Friday, November 01, 2019
Life Before Google
I was raised before computers, when the library card catalog and a good encyclopedia were the source of the answers. A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to wander around the Library of Congress, they stopped updating card catalog in 1980 (just three years after I finished high school.) It is still there, people were pulling the card for books they had published and having their picture taken with the card. You can't do that with Google.
Computer databases have changed research and scholarship. The answers are faster and in some ways easier to find. There are times when paging a few cards forward or back, or a few pages forward or back would find the perfect answer, that is hard to do on a computer. And the answers we get in an online search are limited based on what is popular or highly rated, not always what is best. I am working on a journal article, so far I have one paper book cited in a footnote, and about two dozen online citations. My how things have changed in my lifetime.
Did you go to school before Google?
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I certainly did but I had forgotten about the card catalogue system, although I used one about ten years ago to find a newspaper article. I think in between cards and online were microfiche catalogues. 1980 was very early to go electronic.ReplyDelete
started first grade in 1960, graduated college in 1976. no nothing back then but paper and real books. and typewriters.ReplyDelete
We had computers in sixth grade...the kind with the green screen.ReplyDelete
When I went to school, google was something you said in a high pitched voice to babies while tickling them. We weren't allowed calculators either. One had to know the work. Libraries were a wonderland to me. Never used the cards, I just wandered until something caught my fancy.ReplyDelete
I am a retired librarian. I graduated from college in 1972, got my MLS in 1987 at Indiana University. No Google, but we had our card catalog computerized in 1987-88, at my first library job. It was nothing fancy, but searchable, primitively.ReplyDelete
Oh yes, I spent endless hours researching via the card catalogue. Good times! In this century, I became proficient in computer research -- you're right, it's much faster but not as soul-satisfying, somehow.ReplyDelete
I was born when people knew who Barney Google was. SG was chief of Cataloging Distribution Services at the Library of Congress in the ‘80# and led the automation efforts.ReplyDelete