Peel’s Ward Library is one of the last in British Isles to still use a colour coded card system that’s more than 100 years old . . . but that is finally about to change.
Under the Browne System, when a book was borrowed the librarian took the reader’s borrowing card and removed the book’s own card.
When a book was returned, the user’s card was removed from the file and given back, and the book card was replaced in the book.
This system was used in almost all libraries before computerisation. Each book has an individual ticket inside with a colour or numerical code and that ticket goes into the member’s folder when they take books out.
Librarian Gemma Quilliam said: ‘We often get visiting librarians and indeed older borrowers coming in and commenting on how nice it is to still see the old card system in use.
‘A lot of people will be sad to see the old book issuing system replaced as Peel has always combined the feeling of a wonderful traditional library with innovations in technology.
‘Under the former librarian, Mrs Carol Horton, Peel was one of the first libraries to offer the public access to computers and Wi-Fi technology.
‘The new software is just being phased in now so if anybody still wants to come and see how the more traditional system works they need to call into the library by the end of the month really.’