...that determines what you will be when you can't help it." ~Oscar Wilde (Source)
Forgive me as I slip into geekdom for a moment...
Remember libraries? You know, those places with shelves with things on them called books? Yeah, those things, with covers and pages. You probably went to libraries once a week in elementary school for story time. You listened to the librarian read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle or Amelia Bedelia while the boys played with your hair.* And at the end you would check out joke books and ghost stories. Or maybe you were fortunate enough to have a mom who would take you to the town library before you were old enough for elementary school.
Remember how great they smelled? Like old books.
Remember how intimidating the librarian was, seated behind her big wooden desk, wielding the all-mighty and powerful stamp?
Remember how exciting it felt to have a library book to read, and the thrill of the challenge of trying to finish it before it was due?
Ah... libraries. I came across this picture today from Factory 20 via the blog Modish Vintage, which I came across by way of We ♥ Indie. (Yes, I took another journey around the internet. Yes, I was procrastinating again. So?) Which is what inspired this post.
How cool is that stamp rack (not to be confused with tramp stamp)?
I have to be honest with you, I fear for the future of our libraries. I imagine something along the lines of what can be seen in The Time Machine where libraries no longer exist and we have to get our information from Orlando Jones. With the introduction of technology like Kindle and the iPad, I wonder if we are nearing a day when books will become obsolete.
Just last year (or maybe it was two years ago now... three? Time is so tricky lately), the library at the elementary school I was working at was going through a process of bar coding all their books and integrating a scanning system. As a result, the card catalogs were no longer useful and were being disposed of. The librarian asked me if I had any use for them. I wish I had taken a moment to really think about it before I said no, but I didn't, so I said no. I regret it now. Just imagine all the things you could do with an old wooden card catalog....
The possibilities are endless and I cringe to think that I passed up the chance to own some history. Shame on me. Here are some pics of card catalogs and other library artifacts I fell in love with:
* Everyone experienced this, right? RIGHT?! Nowadays I imagine this would be grounds for a sexual harassment suit. I can just see poor little Lucas now as he's being hauled off by the cops, muttering in awe, "but it's so soft... so soft...".
UPDATE: If you are a resident of New York State and would like to "take action" against the elimination of funding to public libraries, follow this link, New York Library Association.