Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: googled (04/10/14)
- TITLE: WWW Card-Catalog
By Ruth Tredway
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"Grandma, what's a card catalog? Is that like a catalog to pick a card to send to someone?"
"No, not at all. That's what a library uses to let people know what they have on the shelves."
"How does it work?"
"We start here, in this box, by telling it what we are looking for." She typed "early railroad history," then clicked "search."
Timothy was puzzled. "Grandpa used to work on the railroad. Why don't you ask him?"
"Oh, honey," she chuckled, "the railroad has been around much longer than your grandpa has been alive. I want to see what other people have written about the beginnings of railroad travel." She pointed at the screen. "See. Here's a list of all the books that have information I might be looking for. Next, I just need to check the titles and descriptions, find out which ones look the best for what I need."
"But it will take forever to find the right ones in all these books!"
"It's a system of numbers," Grandma explained. "Like this one: 625.1 WES. It tells me which shelf to look in, and part of the author's last name." Grandma looked again at the screen. "Oh, no. It also says the book is not available right now. But I could reserve it and they will let me know when it comes back in."
"That sounds like a lot of reading and waiting. It takes too long time to get what you are looking for."
"Sometimes it does," she admitted, "but it's the way libraries work. Perhaps you'd like to look at kids' books while I'm searching?"
Timothy glanced toward the row of workstations. "Would it be okay if I used one of the computers over there?"
"Sure," Grandma agreed. "Let's get permission from the librarian."
Timothy sat down at the computer, while Grandma went back to the card catalog station. She continued to read the list and make notes on the paper provided. Then she took her notes and went in search of the books she wanted. She spent a few minutes locating the books which would be most helpful to her, and picked them up to take to the checkout desk.
"Timothy, are you about ready to go? I've found what I need."
"Sure, Grandma. But look at what I found."
She looked at the screen, with several titles about railroads. "How thoughtful of you. Did you find anything that might be useful to me?"
"Maybe," he said, sitting more erect. "Here's one on railroads in the 1800's. And here's one about the Santa Fe."
"How do I check them out? Are they in this library, or where?"
"They're right here, Grandma. In the computer," he moved the pointer and landed on a larger title. "Just click on the blue line, and it takes you to that page. And when you get there, sometimes there's more information you can follow from that page."
"What if that's not what I was looking for?"
"Then you just go back and pick another link, and go again." He demonstrated, but it was too fast for her to keep up with. "And the good thing is, it's always there. Even if someone else is reading it, you can see it too."
"That's impressive, Timmy. I didn't know there was a library at my fingertips. How do you know all that? Is it something we can do at home, or just in the library?"
Now Timothy chuckled. "No, Grammaaaa... (in that exaggerated "be patient with her - she's old" voice), you don't have to come to the library. You can do this at home. Just Google it."
"Oh. Of course... I suppose I can do that, but I might need a coach. Are you available?"
"No problem, Granny. It's easy. You'll see."
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