January 19, 2022

Library History: “Toronto Reference Library at 40: The Library Catalog. From Paper to Online”

Happy Anniversary! Here’s a small portion of an impressive post sharing some public library history from one of the world’s greatest cities.

From the Toronto Reference Library Blog/Toronto Public Library:

This month we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Toronto Public Library’s largest branch, Toronto Reference Library.  Over the past 40 years, TRL has undergone some drastic changes; from its relocation to Yonge and Bloor in 1977, to a megacity amalgamation 20 years later, to a major revitalization project in 2014.

But throughout these 40 years there has been one piece of technology that has been vital to the functioning of this (or really just any) library, and that my friends is the catalog.


In 1981, the library closed its card catalogue and began its venture into the Computer Output Microfilm Catalogs (COM cats). COM cats were great as they allowed for the storage of multiple records on a single flat sheet of microfiche. In just two years it contained 168 000 records

Read the Complete Blog Post, (approx. 100o Words + Images)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.