'Sneakernet' is a colloquial term for moving data by walking back and forth with a removable digital medium such as a floppy disk or tape in your hand.
In 'IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems', page 533, I came across this interesting quote:
It was over a year after he moved to Boulder before Winger could spare resources for more than preliminary studies. By then his observations of tape library operations at several installations had convinced him that a lot of machine time and labor could be saved if the process could be automated and placed under computer control. At the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, for example, he had watched "boys and girls in tennis shoes, running back and forth between the machine room and the tape library, carrying as many as eight to ten reels on one arm." Tapes could easily be misplaced in the library or on the machine floor, thus wasting expensive time and delaying the completion of critical jobs.
My experience with sneakernetting was in the eighties and nineties with floppy disks, where it was just something everyone did from time to time. It hadn't occurred to me that in the big old mainframe systems, it might be a full-time job, yet that seems to be what the above description is suggesting.
Am I understanding the description correctly? In the old mainframe systems, were people actually employed full-time, specifically to carry tapes and disk packs back and forth?