Computers: Terminals Among the Stacks

Public libraries are moving into the electronic age

For nearly three-quarters of a century, the heavy oak drawers and musty, dog- eared cards of the New York Public Library's catalog room were the index to knowledge for countless scholars and schoolchildren. Last month, however, the card catalog served up its last title, author and book number. As part of the main library's $45 million face-lifting, the catalog room is being computerized, its 8,973 drawers and 10 million cards replaced by a central memory bank and 50 low-slung terminals. Instead of thumbing through stacks of 3-by-5 cards in search of a book, readers will now type a title or topic...

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