IN A CATALOGUE
The green letters flashed on the screen like a visual metronome.
But now she was being required to have faith in an order she could neither see nor touch. All the words summarizing and cataloguing her books had been converted to an untrustworthy digital database. She scoffed aloud, “Converted!” As if this new digital world were a religion!
“Is there a problem, Ms. Audrey?” The young tech stood behind her, a looming and lanky representative of the new age of computers. “It’s alright. Just put in the title and you should be able to get started.”
Audrey took a deep breath and counted to ten. This young man knew nothing of the comfort of a card catalogue. How could he know? He trusted a machine to do the work of a librarian!
The youthful tech sensed the woman’s animosity and carefully backed away. He had been warned about this librarian.
A new sensation touched Audrey’s face. A tear wetted her check as she finally faced her deepest fear. What if she hit the wrong key and all the unreal, green words, representing all of her wonderful books, disappeared? She could hardly imagine the years of work that would vanish—especially when they finally loaded the card catalogues onto the trucks.
“This is ridiculous!” she finally announced to herself and the vacant, untextured screen. Her fingers struck the keys with the ferocity required of a Smith-Cornoa Galaxie Twelve typewriter or a Tchaikovsky piano concerto. Within milliseconds the screen was filled with green words, wonderful words.
The History of the Decline and the Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 6
Audrey leaned close to the screen, her eyes filled with the beauty and wonder of an entire catalogue entry available with such speed at the tap of her fingers and in such lovely, leafy-green letters.
Copyright M.R. Hyde May 14, 2014
Homage to the cards of the card catalogue . Created by Beryl K. Pagan, an actual and cheerfully forward-thinking librarian at Point Loma Nazarene University, who also is a friend of mine. Remember Dewey!