Rosemary (Rosie) Mock Interview
Rosie Mock started and ended her library career at Memorial Library,
Minnesota State University, Mankato (1969-2012). In her interview, she discusses what
it was like to work in Cataloging in the 1970s, before automation, and in Systems.
Other topics touched on include: early OCLC searching (1976), development of the PALS
online catalog (1980), using early electronic databases such as Dialog, and the migration
from the PALS system to the Aleph ILS (2004).
Interviewed by Sara Ring, Minitex, on August 31, 2012.
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Quotes From the Interview
On creating catalog cards before automation:
...if there was lengthy information, or a summary that needed to be added, or a contents note
that needed to be added... you would be typing catalog cards, and if it was original you were
typing catalog cards by hand, using a typewriter. We even did it where we squeezed the platen
together or rolled the platen up so that the line spacing was closer together so you wouldn't
have as many cards.
If you had multiple card sets for one title you tied them together with string. To get the card
sets, you would maybe type the one set and then you would tape them together so that they would
make up the card set. You would put them through a duplicating machine on card stock, and then
you would cut all the cards apart and put all the card sets together. You would type the
headings on all the card sets, and then you filed all these cards. I think that people just
can't imagine the labor intensive work. (15:30)
On moving from catalog cards to the PALS system:
I think the best and most memorable event was when we went up on the PALS system and no longer
needed to file catalog cards in the public card catalog, because nobody really enjoyed filing
catalog cards. We had a celebration, we hung banners from the roof, and we had t-shirts
advertising it. We put up posters and had buttons that we wore, and we really made it into a
celebration... it was a great innovative system that was developed by MSU Mankato PALS staff
and I was fortunate to be involved with it. I was very proud of the system just because of all
the detailed features that were built into it and the way that it really helped in getting our
records accessible to the patrons. (9:34)
This Oral History Project interview by Minitex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.