love it.Do you remember when you went to the library and there was this odd little box thing that the librarian would put the book under - open to that first page with the little folder thingy for a docket to put in - and there'd be a soft flash which i guess was it taking some kind of low quality photo or xerox-type copy as a record of who took the book out and when... now when did they stop using those then? i guess the bar code system took over at some point. the older machines looked really clunky and there was something vaguely... medical about them.
Hmm, I can picture something along those lines but I think I'm assembling rather than remembering.When would this have been, roughly?
I have to know now. I've asked some librarian pals, will report back.
i tried googling various combinations of words but got nothing. one of those everyday-life basic background fucntioanl things / procedures / machines that no one bothered to document maybe. and why would they? they were pretty clunky ungainly looking and had zero aesthetic appeal. but because i was down the Berkhamsted library three times a week it's a vivid childhood and teen memory - the bespectacled librarian shuttling my choices under this sort of white plastic funnel and this dull light beaming onto the books.
This is pressing all my "thrillingly mundane-but-mysterious" buttons. Think of all the activity that led up to the installation of those machines, the unheard of jobs involved in maintaining them etc.Anyway, I found this discussion with all sorts of interesting memories of various library checkout methods, including a fair bit of discussion re the photo method:http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=558711which led to this pdf which not only describes the process but names some commonly used machines:https://ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/5693/librarytrendsv5i2h_opt.pdf?sequence=1Searching for images now...
Here we go, courtesy of a couple of regulars on the Fall Online Forum:http://andersforskar.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/fotomekanisk-utlaning.htmlNote the funnel shapes. Would they be the ones?
I don't remember anything so hi-tech in the library from when I was small. I think we just got a stamp.Thank you muchly for both this post and the subsequent comments by the way - absolutely wonderful.The "Western Plains Library System" one is my favourite. Perfect readymade album cover.
(Now to rename myself Bruno Schulz and record future collector's holy grail "Sanitorium Under The Sign of the H"...)
Ha! Do it!Incidentally, you've reminded me of a dream I had where I visited a mountain-top music library. While riffling through the racks I found a 12" EP by The Fall featuring the tracks "Innovation Management" and "Hampshire County Council".
yeah the descriptions of machines that use microfilm sound plausible. Or this persons's description - "remember the checkout librarian putting both the main card from the book (which had the due date stamped on it) and your library card onto a tray with some kind of camera mounted overhead, and touching a button. The tray/camera device lit up, and made a sound resembling "eee-DURRRRRR-eee". I saw this system in the 1970s and 1980s." The eee-DURRRRRR-eee sound rings a bell!
And then on the Andersforskar blog, that machine does look pretty close to what i remember - the pic with librarian in her glasses and boring top certainly has a memoradelic charge for me
triffic internet detective work BTW
Turns out I had a picture of one of the old ones on my Flickr all this time:https://www.flickr.com/photos/bollops/8529996634/in/album-72157632944636449/