Friday, February 17, 2012

Librarian philosophy musings

So I'm in my second semester of librarian school.  I'm really enjoying it.  Doing a school in Scotland, I had hoped to hear the lovely accents of my professors, but since everything is done online through chats and forums, I haven't heard a single Scottish accent!  In fact, last semester, one of my professors was Greek.  She had her on campus lectures recorded for us to watch.  Cool accent.

Anyway, this semester is all about classification.  There is a lot more philosophy than I imagined, but the question that librarians have been facing since library's began in ancient times is "What shelf do I put this book on?"  Perhaps the ancient librarians asked themselves, "What room do I put this scroll in?"

A book about Cat Worship in Ancient Egypt.  What shelf do you put it on?  Does it belong in the animal/cat section of the library?  Does it belong in the religious/worship section of the library?  Does it belong with books about Ancient Egypt?  You only have one book.  Where do you put it?

I think now-a-days the placement of the book isn't quite as critical as it was in the past.  That statement might be enough to get me kicked out of library school, but hear me out.  With computers and technology, the different topics a book offers can be cross-indexed.  If you look up on the computer a book about cats, you will see a cat grooming book as well as Egyptian cats in the list.  The more keywords you enter, the more specific your results.  You don't have to go to the shelf and search through every book on cats in the library to find one about Egypt. 

Technology is great!

Every time I start to talk about school to my husband, his eye glaze over with boredom.  I can sense your eyes have glazed over too.  Fine, I'll stop talking.

1 comment:

Becki said...

Sounds great...I always love to go to libraries! :)

And yes, you're right. The computer can do all the work, if you feed it.

So I guess, it's easier now! :D