1969: Parks Library adds a computer

Library Installs Computer

This is the age of automation and the Iowa State Library is no exception. The library has installed a computer to take care of the “book work” there.

Warren Kuhn, director of the library, said the new IBM 1030 system would increase the efficiency of the library and its staff. He said the computer would eliminate all the hand filing and therefore eliminate the human error aspect of filing.

The new computer was installed this summer. Kuhn said the summer would give the library staff a chance to familiarize itself with the system. He said he hopes they would have all the “bugs” out of the system by the time fall quarter began so they would cause as little inconvenience as possible to the students.

The computer will furnish a print-out everyday but Saturday. This print-out will tell what books were checked out of the library that day and will add those books to a list of books that were checked out before. All the books are listed alphabetically according to their call numbers. Kuhn said that with this system, the library staff will know where all books are all the time, and there will be no more guess work about the location of a book. He said this new system would serve as a protection for everyone.

Along with the new computer there is a new checkout system. Kuhn said that a person wanting to check out a book must have a special badge. These badges are student identification cards with the students’ social security number punched out. Kuhn said this system serves as a double check for the library and to the student.

Kuhn said that as of July 1 the library eliminated two full time jobs. But there has not been a cutback in library staff, Kuhn said. Instead, there are more people being hired to take care of “housekeeping” chores. Because the library is in the process of enlarging, Kuhn said, more people are needed to keep the library in order. He also said the computer will release many workers from routine filing jobs so they give the students more personalized service.

Kuhn said this was just the first step in the automation of the library. He said they were going to put the bindery records through the computer and eliminate the problem of not knowing whether a book was at the bindery or not.. He said they also plan to computerize the book catalogue.

Long range plans for the library include another addition to the library and the construction of an undergraduate library. Kuhn said that when the library is completed it will be two major buildings. The present library will have another addition, probably taking over some of the library parking lot south of the library.

Iowa State Daily, “Library Installs Computer” from 8 Sep 1969

Then-library director Warren Kuhn retired in 1989 and died in 2018 at age 94.

In 1969, Parks Library was on its way to the automation of its bookkeeping system.

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