The Dubois Library: Books & Technology

I have vivid memories of my elementary school’s card catalog, the beautifully polished wood, the shiny brass handles on the drawers, and the mass of white and yellow cards, all heavily marked with pencil and typewriter ink.  It all seems so quaint and antique now, and I nostalgically remember the process of finding a library book as such a lovely ritual.

Now that I work as a Librarian, however, I am beyond grateful for the technology that helps me manage a 20,000-volume library. I can’t imagine dealing with the intricacies and details of a card catalog, and the requisite typewriter ribbons and wite-out.

And that technology only continues to improve. The Dubois Library, and its vast holdings of materials related to photography, including everything from books and magazines, to exhibition announcements, catalogs and encyclopedias, is organized using an online catalog developed and hosted by LibraryWorld, Inc. This catalog allows visitors to search the Library’s cataloged holdings from any internet-connected computer. In 2008, LibraryWorld announced the release of LibraryWorld Mobile, allowing users of iPhones and BlackBerries the ability to search on their mobile devices. More recently, LibraryWorld has launched a search App, specifically created for iPad and iPhone users, and available through iTunes or the App Store. Once downloaded, users enter Dubois Library for the Library name (no password required), and can begin searching the Dubois Library collection from anywhere.

All this searching helps visitors discover what the Dubois Library has to offer, but to truly experience this incredible collection, a visit to the actual Library is in order. The Library is open by appointment, Monday-Thursday, 8:30-2:30pm. Browse amongst the seminal works by photography’s masters, get lost in the travels of the medium throughout the years, or peruse the most recent contemporary releases. Maybe in a few more years all this technology will feel quaint and antique as well, but for now, the process of finding a library book is still a lovely ritual.