Saturday, October 27, 2012

Delay in Installation of new library system

Library users in Tacoma will probably have a new book circulation system and card catalogue on Monday afternoon.  According the the library, though, there is a delay in installation.  Just increases our faith in the system and its buildings, including the old Carnegie which is over a hundred years old.  Photo of me by Library Steps.

Friday, October 19, 2012

More regarding the 1962 Brodac System

More regarding the 1962 Brodac Sytem - an explanation of how it looked.  The Thermography machine top lowered onto the cards.  Once they were firmly held in place in special grooves, the worker pushed the two buttons, the thermography machine top lowered, the light flashed to make the record on the paper.
I wanted to include a tiny slide which replicates a news photo of the Brodac Machine in the article from the News Tribune, February 25, 1962 - I have drawn in the machine to illustrate how the machine worked - the special paper reacted with the heat to copy the information from the book title card, the transaction card, which had holes punched in it, and the borrower's library card.  The roll of paper flowed toward the worker, who needed to watch each impression.  If the impression was too faint to read, the worker pushed the two buttons once again and another impression was made.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

July 3, 1924 Order of Runeberg Dance newspaper advertisement and link to dance song.

Finska Valsen is listed in the program for the First Grand Concert of the Order of Runeberg Singing Society fo Southwest Washington - by H.P.Sather, performed by the Tacoma Choir.  This song probably was also a part of an advertised dance earlier in the summer at the B Street Hall in Hoquiam. 

A Few Snapshots of Buildings Present During the 1924 Labor Day Weekend First Annual Runeberg Songfest

This summer I made two bus trips to Hoquiam to view the records of the Runeberg Lodge, which are part of the collection of the Polson Logging Museum in Hoquiam, Washington.

The Runeberg Choir had its beginnings in 1913.  Eleven years later, during Labor Day Weekend of 1924, leader Martin Carlson and organizer Leonard Svedberg planned the first songfest of The Order of Runeberg Singing Society of Southwest Washington, which featured choirs from Tacoma, Olympia, Aberdeen, and Hoquiam.   Held under the auspices of the local lodges of Hoquiam and Aberdeen, the performances, on August 30 and 31st, 1924, were held at the Masonic Temple of Hoquiam, Washington. 

When I visited I was interested in viewing buildings that were part of the songfest.  The Masonic Temple building was new, built in 1923.  The Masonic Hall's Doors were locked, however a representative of the food and clothing bank at the building allowed me to take snapshots of the original woodwork inside the entry hallways. 

Polson Logging Museum
The Polson Mansion, on the other side of the river, was present at the time of the songfest. 
A choir photograph was taken at the Finn Hall.  As it happens, the Finn Hall, or B Street Hall, was only a few blocks from the Polson Museum, somewhat back from the riverfront.  Presently it is a family home.   

                            Vasa Hall                                 Finn Hall
Along the river road before the Polson Mansion is a hall the Museum Director explained to me as a Vasa Hall.  These are modest photos, and I wish to include a photo of a Gray's Harbor Transit Bus, just turning a corner near the Museum.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Punched Cards and the Holocaust - the Lecture by Edwin Black, IBM And The Holocaust

The Book by Edwin Black, IBM And The Holocaust, reinforces its descriptions of the role IBM played throughout the six different phases of the Holocaust with meticulous evidence. I found the narrative about the many boxes of proof that flowed to the author as he worked on his study, the many boxes arrayed all across his basement floor and filled with file folders several people hurried around at a time to cross reference very moving. On the internet we learn that Brad Pitt is working on a film version of the book.

During the free brown bag lecture at PLU yesterday by Edwin Black, author of IBM And The Holocaust, my thoughts often returned to the punched cards I worked with at Tacoma Public Library for my last two years of high school. At the Pacific Northwest Room the librarian gave me a file folder and ordered scrapbooks from 1965 from their storage. I found a pamphlet from February, 1962 that explained the Brodac Thermography System and a newspaper article (February 25, 1962) about the installation of the new system throughout the libraries. This year it is fifty years since the BRODAC system was installed at Tacoma Public Library.

The originator of BRODAC was Arthur Brody of BRODART, a library services company. Their website explains includes a memorial for Arthur Brody, June 30, 1920 – May 10, 2012. He invented the plastic book jacket, among other library supplies, and developed magic tape.

This is from the internet, Library Technology Timeline

Brodart introduced it's circualtion system "Brodac" at the 1956 ALA conference. Brodac used heat sensitive paper, similar to film to recod circulation transactions.

Source: Library Trends, October 1956

This was my experience with punched cards: Early during a shift a page would stamped the due date on a lot of transaction cards, red cards for seven-day, green for children's books, and black for adult books. Separate transaction cards to cut the numbers used in half. The numbered transaction cards went out with the checked-out books in numerical order, and they were the cards with punches. They came back at random. Clerks returned the cards to numerical order by running a spindle or wand through the holes in a certain order. They stacked the cards together by shoving and tapping them as though they were shuffling a deck, then they ran the wand through a big stack. Some cards remained on the spindle, and some fell. The clerk did this many times, until the cards were in order.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fiftieth Anniversary of the 1962 Columbus Day Storm

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm

When Laura and Mom came into the back door after kitchen committee, Pop stood up from the chair with his paper in light from the floor lamp. Glad to see you.

Guess Elizabeth has not gotten back yet.

No. The power is out in different places.

When Betty came back from the movie she told the story about the flashlight and the shadow puppets. Someone had a flashlight and did shadow hand puppets on the screen.

Laura and Mom were at the Valhalla Hall in the storm. That evening as they drove along the streets the wind had battered rain against the windshield. As they carried boxes of sandwiches to the door of the Valhalla Hall, they had to walk along hard and push against the high wind.

Then they were inside the swinging doors with glass windows and up the stairs to the foyer. In the dance hall, which was always locked on meeting nights, was a gallery that looked down over the dance floor. Off that third floor gallery was the main dining hall on the third floor. A narrow staircase led up from the foyer to the dining hall. Its small door was always locked on meeting nights. The Runeberg Lodge rented only a small dining room on the second floor and the meeting room on meeting nights. There was a piano in the dance hall and a piano in the meeting room and there was also a piano in the small dining room. The piano was closed and locked. Inside the small dining room they all reflected in the black night at the windows - herself, her mother and Aunt Pearl, with the long old tables and rolls of paper to cover them.

There should be thumb tacks under there. Where is Elizabeth? Aunt Pearl wanted to know. She had a small greenhouse in her yard where she grew her own seedlings. Uncle Gilbert always drove her where she wanted to go. Aunt Pearl had on a dress with a pleated chiffon skirt. After the meeting there might be dancing or song practice. They spilled dance wax over the wood floor and pulled back the straight chairs so everyone could dance, to the schottische or the hambo.

Elizabeth had a date tonight. They went to a movie.

Laura stood beside the window. Across the street in the streetlights and dark a window in another building shuddered and shook so that reflections of the streetlights shimmered. The wind blew the power lines around. It was very dark outside. The light shimmered on the window across the street. Then suddenly the wind shook the window very hard, the reflections shook hard, then there was a curtain of glitter and shapes, for the window had shattered and was falling in a glitter cascade down to the sidewalk.

The wind blew out a window.

Laura noticed that Aunt Pearl had moved back from the window. But Laura kept standing there, still watching the storm.

Var sa god! The lodge members from the meeting room crossed the foyer to the kitchen door. The kitchen counter swung up on hinges toward the wall to allow in the kitchen crew, and the lodge members put quarters into a cup on the counter, then each one carried a cup a coffee and a heavy white plate with sandwiches and cookies from the platters along the counter through the other kitchen door into the small dining room.

This storm is swinging all the power lines around. This is real hurricane. Covered my boat before I drove here. But everyone had to finish their sandwiches and cake while the wind kept blowing onto the windows.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back to the Library - Books@12:10

Back in 2010-2011 Books@12:10 lost the funding that provided staff time. However, a group of us regular members persevered, another group member reserved the meeting room for 2011-2012, we each chose titles and shared in group discussions as volunteers.

Although we had discussed another year to start this Autumn, other volunteers emailed me not long before the September event that they had joined other reading groups.  Without the regular participants (perhaps temporarily) at this point Books@12:10 is volleyed back in to the court of Tacoma Public Library. (The reading group name is their own invention, the contact reminds me.)

And volleyed back to Tacoma Reads Together – the future of the project is also now returned to them. The group began at the end of 2002 as a lunchtime reading group as a spin-off of the project, Tacoma Reads Together. Our first selection was a novel by Sherman Alexie, and our list of novels and an occasional non-fiction work has been nice for everyone.