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1984: Indianapolis Public Library replaces paper card catalog with computerized system

Posted: 6:00 AM, Feb 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-21 06:00:06-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Do you remember using a card catalog at the public library? If so, chances are you were born before 1984.

That’s the year the Indianapolis Public Library introduced a computerized catalog system. It replaced the paper card catalog which was the backbone of the library for more than 110 years.

Former Channel 6 reporter, Greg Todd, tested the new computer terminal at the Indianapolis Central Library in Feb. 1984.

The terminals were touch screen monitors with green text that allowed users to search by title, subject or author.

The technology eliminated the need for drawers upon drawers of paper cards. It also sped up the search process considerably. The terminals allowed users to browse the entire library system as opposed to searching the card catalog at each individual library branch.