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30 Things I Remember

Canton Public Library is celebrating our 30th Anniversary, and to mark the occasion we're making lists of 30 things. Today, Adult Services Department Head Rebecca Havenstein-Coughlin recounts 30 things she remembers from throughout the library's history:
  1. We started out on the 3rd floor of Township Hall
  2. The card catalog was a piece of furniture
  3. To call someone in from lunch to help at the reference desk we rang a bell from the 3rd floor window
  4. We had a huge fly problem when we were in the old building and we were intimately acquainted with the "death dance" flies do
  5. All reference questions were answered from one reference desk
  6. Monday mornings the entire staff filed cards into the catalog
  7. On opening day, our staff numbered 9 people
  8. A large part of our opening day collection was discarded from the Wayne County General Hospital collection
  9. The night before we opened we worried that no one would come
  10. At the end of our first open day, there wasn't even 1 picture book left on the shelf
  11. The book drop was a long 3 floors down when the elevator wasn't working & books were hauled up the stairs in canvas bags
  12. Name badges looked like this
  13. A president visited the library
  14. It was big news when in 1990 we stopped charging rental fees for videos, compact discs, and new books
  15. In the late 80s there was a shortage of public librarians that really threatened our ability to offer the best customer service possible
  16. The library once had an assistant director [it was me!]
  17. My confirming letter
  18. The library has always been known for its strong customer service and was the front page feature of the July 1990 "Customer Service Report"
  19. Books received a due date stamp rather than a printed receipt
  20. Reference questions were answered from reference books rather than from the internet
  21. We maintained a Fugitive Fact file of reference questions which I believe morphed into what is now Google
  22. Old newspapers were viewed on microfilm rather than as digitized images on the web
  23. The library once had a LAN instead of internet databases
  24. Books were checked out with paper forms rather than on a PC
  25. Many of the best-selling authors of 30 years ago are still best-selling authors today
  26. Email didn't exist and we mostly ran around desk-to-desk when we needed to communicate with colleagues
  27. Phone messages were delivered on pink memo slips rather than via voicemail
  28. Students prepared reports using our typewriters rather than computers
  29. Students used the Readers' Guide To Periodical Literature to search for magazine articles
  30. Our library logo was once a tree
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customerservice.pdf6.58 MB