11/16/10 - posted by Frank Dunnigan
Back in the day when libraries REALLY kept track of their books, Parkside had a large (a least 3 feet above the height of the counter) microfilm machine just to the right of the main entrance. The librarian would open each book to page that contained the index card, and then photograph the book, the index card, and your library card, before stamping the due date in the appropriate place. Sometime in the early 1970s, SFPL did away with that system and just inserted a pre-printed slip with the due date, after the borrower had filled out a small piece of paper listing the book titles.

I'm willing to wager that fewer books went missing under the old system.
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