Lobby Exhibition, 1947

Step 1 Step 1.
The patron searches the card catalog in the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia for the call number of the book which she is interested, in this case Edward Everett Hale's Franklin in France.
Step 2 Step 2.
After finding the call number in the card catalog for a book the patron wishes to borrow, she requests the book from the library staff member in the Main Reading Room in the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Step 3 Step 3.
The call number of the book requested is received on the teletype receiver on the correct floor in the Bookstacks in the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. A runner is dispatched to retrieve the book from its place on the shelf
Step 4 Step 4.
The runner retrieves the book from the shelves takes it to the central station on that floor of the Bookstacks in the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Step 5 Step 5.
The book is taken to a central station in the Bookstacks of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia where it will begin its automated journey on the conveyor system to the Main Reading Room
Step 6 Step 6.
The book is placed in a box which will be transported to the Main Reading Room of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Step 7 Step 7.
The box with the requested book winds its way through the Bookstacks toward the Main Reading Room of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Step 8 Step 8.
Eventually the box with the requested book makes its way to the sixth level of the Bookstacks and across the first mezzanine floor to a point directly under the Main Reading Room of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Step 9 Step 9.
The box with the requested book is raised by a dumbwaiter from the first mezzanine level to the Main Reading Room of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Step 10 Step 10.
In the Main Reading Room of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia, a library staff member retrieves the requested book from the dumbwaiter and hands it to patron
Step 11 Step 11.
In the Main Reading Room of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia, a member of the library staff charges the requested book to the patron's account. The entire process took only two to four minutes

Back to the Exhibit
To the Free Library of Philadelphia Main Page The Exhibition