What Is It?

The first Slawyer who can answer what this is correctly, wins a prize.
What is it?


(I have a feeling that some will be stumped, but someone will get it fairly easily.)


  1. Umm….hmm. It’s book related. And, um, it’s for signing books out. I think it makes coffee, too.

    Okay, I give. Someone else can try!!!

  2. I’m stumped. It looks like a device for delivering high-powered light to elves who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. But that doesn’t seem right.

    A stapler?

  3. Wow, you were two I pegged as possibilites to get it!

  4. It’s a desktop microfiche reader. The flip-up piece is a mirror that projects the image onto the desk surface; usually you would use a white piece of paper on the desk as a screen. It’s handy for catalogers working on fiche products; they don’t have to read the whole fiche, usually just the title and copyright pages.

    My former library, Saint Louis University Law Library, has long run a cottage industry cataloging historic legal microfiche sets. I’ve seen those projectors often.

  5. Okay…is that true? Or is he just making it up, Mark?

  6. Solar-powered pita toaster for panini, of course. Used to have them on the beach in Beirut; the prong at the back is for propping up library books. Go easy on the tzatziki though, it’s making the books messy.

  7. As much as I would like to say that Simon C. wins, I can’t. Jim nailed it! I refer to it as 70’s portable technology, akin to the laptop of today. I should have made it more difficult by not flipping up the…the..umm …flip up piece.

    Simon C gets marks for originality though.

    Jim I’ll be sending the mug to Buffalo, hopefully it doesn’t get held up for too long at the border.

  8. Cool! I’m looking forward to it.

    I have a fascination with obsolete library technology. Last year, for my birthday, some of the library staff “gave” me an old Dymo labeler–remember those things that punched letters into plastic tape. I would love to get my hands on one of those electric erasers for catalog cards!