Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In celebration of catalog cards

From today's American Libraries Direct (the online update from ALA):
In celebration of catalog cards: Staff at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library are working to hold a series of events called “It’s All in the Cards” to honor the card catalog, its use in the transformation of knowledge, and the people who created and used it. During Welcome Week there was a game night and a boat race featuring cards from the catalog. The latest event is a competition (PDF file) that challenges students to see what they can make with the cards. The contest has four categories: functional (serves a purpose), fashionable (wearable), foundational (building models), and free form....

I have typed a fair number of catalog cards in my time. (Electric eraser, anyone?) I've filed them. I've pulled even more out of the catalog drawers as part of collection maintenance. I have a 30-drawer unit (Library Bureau, circa 1920) in my studio that holds thread and other notions.

Though librarians may harbor some nostalgia about card catalogs, they don't miss the space that they took up or the staff time they required to stay up-to-date.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Utah Rocks!

Our fall Exploritas/Elderhostel trip was fantastic! The national parks and monuments of Utah (state parks, too) are magnificent. There were 40 in our group, including a P.E.O. (Chapter AW-North Carolina), one AAUW (Littleton, CO), a quilter (Corfu, NY), and a Methodist pastor (NC). (No librarians. But there was a woman with whom I had been stranded overnight in New Orleans in a fierce rainstorm, both of us trying to get to Minneapolis (and for her to Rochester, for me to Fargo), in January, 1998.)

I kept up with e-mail and FaceBook, but not with blogging (obviously). Here are some of the photos:

Trip highlights, pre-Elderhostel
* seeing friends Lynn and Rob in their new locale of Boulder City
* tour of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
* surviving Saturday night on the Strip in Las Vegas
* discovering Springs Preserve, a nature preserve in Las Vegas (www.
* touring the Atomic Testing Museum (

Trip highlights from the Elderhostel:
* historic St. George, Utah, founded on orders from Brigham Young as a cotton-growing community
* tour of the St. George tabernacle, the original LDS church building in St. George (now a venue for concerts and the like)
* National parks: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Monument Valley, Glen Canyon/Lake Powell
* State parks: Snow Canyon, Anasazi, Dead Horse Point

* Antelope Slot Canyon
* Expert geology tutelage from tour leader Eldon Griffin
* Expert tour guidance from leader Nancy Osborne
* Excellent bus driving by Bill Costello
* the city of Moab, whose long Main Street lined with boutiques, restaurants, motels, and sports outfitters reminded us of North Conway, NH (though the surrounding hills were a very different color!)

It was raining when we landed in Chicago on Thursday evening, a fitting contrast to our two weeks in desert country. My internal clock is just about readjusted. (Las Vegas is on Pacific Time; Utah is on Mountain Time; Arizona is on standard time year round, and we were in all three.)

The new Exploritas catalog came this weekend. Where shall we go next?!

Friday, October 2, 2009

New jacket!

Our Exploritas/Elderhostel trips don't require dressy clothing--generally denim-shirt/tee/khakis. However, I like to bring along something that, though casual, is a little snappier in case we go to church or have a restaurant dinner.

In anticipation of our upcoming trip to Utah ("Stairway to the Past: Utah's Grand Circle of Parks and Monuments"), and because it's fall and I wanted something new to wear, and because my box of dotted fabrics is still overflowing, I created this.