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Allegany County
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"Books by wire" available, 1968

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


"Books by wire" system available here.

So, Junior, you thought you were smart last spring by choosing "The Life of an Aardvarks" as the theme of your term paper. You had to change your topic at the last minute and settle for a "C" because you couldn't find any material on aardvarks.

Or, Mom, that film on the readjustment of the delinquent youth to his environment that you couldn't locate. You wanted to use it as a visual aid in launching the club's new juvenile-oriented program.

And, Dad, where on earth can you find those free-wheeling J. J. Donleavy novels about the dissipated state of modern man — "The Ginger Man" and "The Singular Man."?

You all tried the bookstores, every dusty volume, and library catalogues with no luck. But what you apparently failed to do was ask the librarian.

Junior, you missed that "A" for aardvarks, due, simply to lack of information. Mom, the film could've been yours for the asking, and, Dad, Donleavy, at no charge to you, is only a trip to the library away. When you've exhausted all possible sources for whatever written material you need, ask the librarian. For if the Allegany County Library doesn't have the book or information you want among its 35,000 volumes, Enoch Pratt does.

The latter library, Baltimore's free and public house of volumes, has 1,700,000 books at your disposal. You can borrow any one of them (excluding, naturally, reference materials). Films, magazine articles and pamphlets can also be acquired through the local library's teletype link with Enoch Pratt Free Public Library.

By wiring your request to Baltimore the day it receives it, the Allegany County Library can have a book or Xerox copy of a magazine article for you in no more than five days, or a film in two weeks.

If Enoch Pratt has the book, article, film or pamphlet you want, it's yours to loan for the asking. If Pratt doesn't have it, then they'll refer your request to McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland.

And, if yours is a way out request, they'll refer it to Inter-Library Loan, a nationwide organization that scours the country for the book you want.

A book request should be accompanied with author's name, and, if possible, the publisher and copyright date. In the case of magazine articles, however, you must provide the name of the magazine, title of the article, issue and pages on which it appeared. (The information for an article request can be found in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature on every library reference section.)

The service is also extended to reference questions and subject requests. The former is provided mainly for research matter. (For example, you need to know, for a paper, how many works of Degas are in the Brussels Art Museum.) A subject request would have worked for Junior in the beginning of this article. By simply jotting down "Aardvarks" and his name, address and phone numbed on a slip of paper, he could have obtained any available information Enoch Pratt had on the subject.

Despite the wide range of the uses of the teletype, no juvenile books can be requested.

The wire is also used for book reviews, and "Library Only" uses: Important state and national legislation concerning libraries and meetings of the American or Maryland Libraries Associations.

Installed for fulltime operation in November 1 1965, the service has linked all the counties of Maryland and Frostburg State College with Enoch Pratt, FSC being the last to hook up.


L. Eugene Goodrich, Sunday Times

BOOKS BY WIRE Through a teletype network, the Allegany County Library and Frostburg State College can obtain any one of the 1,700,000 books at the public Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Above, Miss Lola Davis is shown operating the teletype machine that has been installed in the county library.

1968 ?

Collection Location:

Public libraries, Maryland, Allegany County; Allegany county Library System (Md.), Anniversaries.

Allegany County (Md,), 1960-2010

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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