Interlibrary Loans 2008

Since my school doesn't do interlibrary loans anymore, I went to the national library this morning to order a book not available in Berlin.

The counter was empty, the lady smiled and handed me the self-same two-part pink form I used to use a few decades ago when I was studying. I grabbed the pen to start writing, but she stopped me.

"You have to use a typewriter."

Typewriter, right. Wrote my thesis during the Summer Olympics 1984. The games were in LA, so I typed all day and watched the events while playing Skat (woo, got sidetracked there and had to rewrite the Wikipedia article on bidding completely) with my roommates all night. I may have slept occasionally. We gave the electric typewriter away at some point. I keep the mechanical one (and an extra ribbon!) at the cabin for writing letters when the electricity is out.

There were two IBM Daisy Wheel typewriters set into a little alcove. They had typed labels all over the place: put paper in here; pull in paper; next line; previous line; rub out. All the cultural information we have lost in 20 years - who knows how to use a typewriter anymore?

I made a complete and utter mess of the first one - mistyping (I correct very fast as I type), the shift key was in the wrong position (for me), bad spacing and running out of room at the bottom. I crept back to the desk, admitted my ignorance, and was granted another form to fill out.

It will be interesting to see if I can actually get a copy of this book in my hands, it is only available, according the the national catalogue, at this one library.

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