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Ministry of Reshelving [Nov. 17th, 2005|08:15 am]
There is an underground movement underway in our bookstores (libraries don't seem to have been targets, yet) to reshelve copies of George Orwell's 1984. Boing Boing picked it up, as did CNet AND there's a Flickr group. From a library perspective, this is interesting for two reasons.

First it's further proof (did we need that?) that our users are flocking to the "costco model" of librarianship - they want to do things themselves (Costco vs. Saks Model thanks to Gary Marchionini of UNC, Chapel Hill). They want control of the metadata and classification. I think we, as libraries, really need to answer this, and fast... AND the faster we do it, the better because our users want it SO much that they're resorting to petty vandalism to regain control of they're own information. If we can give them what they're asking for now, we can introduce it as a compliment to the controlled vocabularies we already do. So, something like, you search using natural language, you tag, and we'll show you how your tags match up with LCSHs and win you even more citations = best of both worlds. It seems a bit over simple, but the best ideas are, aren't they?

Second, we've been hearing about and talking about folksonomies and tagging online for a while now. And up to now, this has been a strictly digital phenemenon - this is the first I've heard of people showing signs of wanting similar control in the real world. This seems to me part of a trend toward an evening and closening (closening?) of digital and analog worlds. One is no longer consider the master and the model of the other - habits and trends inspired and formed in the digital format are now being passed into the physical and not exclusively the other way around.

From: (Anonymous)
2005-11-17 04:26 pm (UTC)


Imagine this could help all of us who don't think the way book publishers and book stores do! Now if we could do this in grocery stores, we'd be "set for life"! (Who ever decides the organization in a grocery store needs "help.")

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