The ghost of a card catalog

From today's Washington Post:

The catalogues are in the ground-floor lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at Ninth and G streets NW, row after row of tan wooden chests containing hundreds of steel-handled drawers filled with approximately 4 million typewritten cards . . . ever since computer terminals began providing an online catalogue in 1984 and the library stopped updating the cards in 1991, frequent use has declined . . .

But . . . library officials say the city's flagship library and its outdated catalogues are stuck with each other -- literally. The cabinets are mounted on top of a concrete fill that is 31/2 inches deep and surrounded by granite, and any attempt to remove them would be an expensive proposition for a public library system strapped for cash and struggling to use what money it has to maintain aging branches.

Complete article.

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