Library Man

I’ve started a new job. Well, not “job” in the sense of “getting paid,” but more in the sense of “going somewhere and doing work.” I’m volunteering at the local library.

It’s three hours a day, five days a week. I’m in the Local & Family History section, which turns out to be a surprisingly in-depth and interesting place. They’ve got census records, church records, old directories, deeds, soldier discharge papers, all kinds of stuff, stretching back about 200 years. If I had any family here, I could do some serious digging.

And they’ve got microfilm. Microfilm! In my twenty-nine years, I’m pretty sure I had used a microfilm reader exactly zero times before this job. Now I’m a pro. Or at least, um, an amateur. You stick the roll on the spool, wind it around the other spool, flip on the light, turn the knobs, adjust the magnification and focus, and boom! Pages from some old book, right there up on the screen.

Image from Wikipedia (here), but the ones at our library are similar.

Image from Wikipedia (here), but the ones at our library are similar.

Uh, I’m not gonna lie, PDFs are about fifty times better. But we have what we have.

So far, I’ve mostly been making lists. Lists of books/film we have on particular subjects, and lists of page numbers in documents about certain people.

I’ve been looking through a lot of soldier discharge papers from the nineteenth century. They had some names back then that we don’t really have anymore. Like…

  • Valentine
  • Squire
  • Uriah
  • Nimrod
  • Augustus
  • Adolf
  • Moses
  • Absalom
  • Mordecai
  • Faust

An interesting window into the past.

Gotta go. Oh and I have a dentist appointment today. Ugggh

See you tomorrow.

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4 responses to “Library Man

  1. Sounds like fun.

    I have used a few Microfilm readers; definitely not as easy as PDF.

  2. Excellent. My parents both worked as librarians (that’s where they met) and by the time I came along they had both gone on to other careers, but they raised me to have very positive feelings about libraries. in fact, there’s a library fund in their name (though in a different town than where they worked).

    Ah, microfilm. I also remember those very early copy machines where everything came out reversed (black for white) and slightly damp. Those were the days (sort of).

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