Memorializing the Card Catalog


Sometimes it’s hard for a librarian to admit that we’ve arrived at the age of the virtual card catalog system. It’s a sentiment that’s especially true for Greenfield Community College librarian Hope Schneider who spent fourteen years sending out retired catalog cards to their respective authors asking for a signature or a short tribute.

Some writers responded, some didn’t. Poet Billy Collins returned a poem spread across three of his cards reading: “I love card catalogues/but I only wish/my cards were more dogeared!”

Her project recently made its exhibition on her library’s walls, however she was shocked and disheartened when a group of prospective students didn’t recognize the cards.

Julie Morse lives in San Francisco and is a poetry teacher. She can be found @JulieMorse16. More from this author →