Ever seen one of these? Modern technology and the internet have made searching for books, subjects, authors, and titles not much harder than ‘googling’. A few keyboard strokes or tapping a link on a screen can bring up information immediately for many. But monasteries are different. Yes, there are computers but very few compared to the number of books! When we moved from New Mexico to Tennessee two of the most intricate items we moved was the cemetery (but some of those sisters were used to moving already) and the library.
The current library boasts over 7,000 volumes and, not surprisingly, the majority are on religious subjects. Browsing the stacks can become a physical fitness exercise (as can dusting them) so an old fashioned card catalog (yes…with actual cards), as seen in the photo, helps sisters locate the books. In addition each stack has a list of its general contents on the end for those wishing to stretch their legs. Whenever we receive new books as gifts, they are first categorized, labeled, carded, and pocketed. Then they are placed on a table which is promptly surrounded by nuns perusing the new wares more than bargain shoppers at an outlet mall. Nuns love books!
Life is short. So read good Catholic books.