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Transcript of Library
The library was once a popular literary tool used in many different ways including research or leisure. It was helpful to those that needed to read without having to purchase a book.
I focused my literary research on an interview. I carefully devised a set of questions for an interviewee that was selected based on their generation. In order to assess the lost literacy that I chose, I needed to chose a person of Generation X (1960-1980) or earlier.
I interviewed my mother who grew up in Lincoln Park, Michigan in the Metro Detroit area. She later moved to Trenton, Michigan where she lived until college.
I thought she would be a perfect candidate for my research because she provides insight into an education from two different school systems through her developmental years. She also attended Central Michigan University (Undergraduate) and University of Michigan-Dearborn (Graduate). She has had the ability to work with more traditional research literacies such as library books, as well as, computing.
Interviewing her proved to be simple. She remember the library as a literacy event really well. She explained how common it was and it's value educationally.
The card catalog was necessary for a traditional library. It would be comparable to the search engine for the computer. The card catalog told the user exactly where a book should be. Now card catalogs are digital. These are important aspects of a library because it was the organizational tool for the finding books in the library. You needed a card catalog in order to find what you were looking for. It is one of the first things my interviewee learned when she first went to the library. The books in card catalogs are arranged alphabetically. Then from there you can see the author and where it is placed on the shelf in the library. Without this organization system the library would be difficult to find what you were looking for.
-How old were you when you first got your library card?
--"5th grade. it was pretty cool. I remember my mom telling how much trouble I would get into if I didn't return the book on time. We were charged 2cents per day."
Printing is an excellent way that people or students have used the library through the years and now. This video emphasizes the use of libraries now. The physical sense of the library is still very much needed. People seem to yearn for the physical. As they talk about printing, it shows that there is a need to maintain a tangible form of literature. When interviewing my mother, she really emphasized the desire to have a tangible book. The ability to go to the library for its resources like printing or simply reading has always been a needed resource.
1. "Libraries are much more open. Heck they are coffee houses sometimes. But they lack the respect for the physical. There is something about a physical book that commands respect. Plus it was so fun to mess about the shelves- and bring tons of books back to your desk for research."
This is the front of a library card. It is in fact my very first library card. When I would go to the Trenton Veteran Memorial Library, I would pick out my books then give it to the librarian. She would scan the bar code. If I had any overdue books she would also tell me that I owed money. The library card was the key to the books. I used it quite often, and I had to pay some fees. If I lost my library card, I had to pay five dollars for a new one. I could not find my mother’s library card, but she told me that if she had an overdue book it was only two cents per day it was late. The library card was key in order to gain the book needed.
L. Dahlquist (personal communication, September 27th, 2013
Gailey Associates. (n.d.). Microfiche library. Retrieved from http://www.investigatorforyou.com/microfilm-records-research-library.html
Sirer, E. (2013, August 02). Meta is often more valuable. Retrieved from http://hackingdistributed.com/2013/08/02/metadata/
Zickuhr, K., Rainie, L., & Purcell, K. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/01/22/library-services/
"A significant experience about libraries? Well there used to be a back room where the microfiche was. They had these huge readers- and these files that were really old. It was like being in a museum. Everything was recorded back there. I liked looking at old magazines,etc."
By: Ann Dahlquist
Interviewing Leslie was informative. She gave me a lot of insight on differences and similarities with the library as a literary tool. During her developmental years, the library seemed to be more of a daily and even social event. She really emphasized the use of library and importance of the physical aspect. It was a place to be able to hold books share knowledge.
The library still remains a common ground for literary practices. In the library now, there are probably students congregating about classes or even Tech employees. I think it has changed though into a more professional setting often used as a meeting place , storage uses, or printing purposes
It is amazing how the library has evolved. my mother explained many areas that shifted from library cards, card catalogs, and microfiche's. Now the library is more or less used as a study area. It is still widely used for students. It is still used mainly for the tangible area designated to gaining information discussing various literature. It is more of a formal setting now. In the library at Michigan Tech, people actually have to sign out a study area. There is printing for those that still need the tangible. And there are books, but I honestly have no idea where they are or how to check them out.
My interviewee shows a sense of respect for the physical book. Respect for the physical book brought the library a sense of respect. There were rules and regulations. It had boundaries. She explains the use of the library in a more childlike bliss. Her descriptions are interesting of the book shelves. It provides evidence for emphasis on the physical. The physical seems to be the most important aspect of being in the library. The idea that there was a place designated for reading books and sharing knowledge was imperative. I was an important place. When you went to the library it was understood that it was time to read or discover.
-What were your feelings about the library?
-- "I was excited. I wanted to go- I loved libraries and books."
There was a sense of excitement for the library. It was a new place to go. It had more of a special experience attached to it. The interviewee enjoyed the possibilities that could have come from the library. With each physical book, you could see who had the book before. The use from it was documented by the worn down pages and previous stamps from the librarian. There was a sense of a sacred place for reading- a place designated to literature. The books had a personality to them. You could see what was more popular and what was most intriguing. The care for the books was also inevitable because it was not yours but it was shared there was a sense of consideration for the other users. A real communal feel towards the library.
" I went to the library for all three- leisure, education and research. When you are a nerd (like I am) that process can all be the same."
When asking what her main use for the library was, I found it interesting that she used it for leisure, research, and education. I mean research and education could be tied together, but I was thinking research for personal gain not an educational. The library was a place that was frequently attended for many different reasons. People learned about it at an early age, and then it was intended to be used throughout their life. You had to use it in order to be successful in school. It is interesting though because various people probably had better opportunity if their library was more up to date than others. My mom explained that Trenton had a better library than Lincoln Park, where she previously lived. Librarians are literacy sponsors, having it funded by the city would make the community literacy sponsors as well. The community wants a nice library which would hold literacy events such as book clubs.
The significance of age when my interviewee got her library card provides evidence of a timeline for the usual time that someone would get a library card. Five years old is pretty young, but it shows the need to have the ability to use the library at a young age. You needed the library for many reasons. It gave you access to important resources for knowledge like encyclopedias. A mother or father would want their son or daughter to have a library card at an early age to get them literate early. In the process of learning to read, the library contained resources for it. The library was a literary tool as widely used as school, a lot of school had libraries for their students to use.
"It was common to go to the library- in fact it was somewhat social. If you wanted to get away from your parents you would go to the ice rink or library. They were the two places you were allowed to go during the school week."
The popularity of it as a literary event carried over into social life. This exemplifies the emphasis on sharing of knowledge. You can visibly see who checked out the book before you, and you could discuss it. The library would hold some community events as well. It is not uncommon from the internet now. I mean it is a source for sharing knowledge and information. It allows for discussion. The library is a physical place that encourages literary practices such as reading.
These statistics show that the library has been really useful for children. The second highest statistic says that the library is not as useful because the person’s children have grown, they are retired, or they are no longer a student. I also found it interesting that five per cent of people said that they would rather borrow books from friends or buy books which are again having the physical book. The library must not be used as much because it has not been as big of an influence for younger people in school. I know that my mother did not go to the library as much after she got older. She mainly would go there if she absolutely had to; she did not attend as much just to find a good read.
My mother explained a strange machine that I barely remember. She talked about a microfiche. These were used to read magazines. She explained the importance of recording “back then.” It was a storage space for reading older magazines or newspapers. It was a technology to preserve. The library is meant to preserve. There are rules for keeping the books nice and technologies to preserve older pieces of literature. It gave the community the best resources for reading the written word. These ideas have been shared and continue to be shared. My mom really emphasized the need to preserve the books, your library card, encyclopedias, and etc.
Here is a picture of a microfiche. It was mainly used to storage, reading, or printing. They are images so people can read or simply view something. They can be provided as positives or negatives, but they are most commonly seen as negatives. I personally never used them; however my mom did use it quite often apparently. They are interesting machines that are commonly found in libraries. The one my mom used was in the back room of her city library. She was excited to use it because it was a newer technology. It was different reading from it compared to a book. It is another reason why people would go to the library for it literary uses. It is not a portable tool.