Simon Pockley of The Flight of Ducks (an amazing, poetic web experience if you have a few minutes to explore!) and also a colleague told me a fascinating story this morning about alternative approaches to handling information.
Essentially he and others were talking at a recent metadata conference in Seattle about libraries and the way they organise information and a Nicaraguan librarian shared her experience of dealing with a posthumous bequeath of an individuals entire personal library.
Now in Australia (and probably any European or N American library I’m guessing), what would happen would be that the books would be checked against existing stock, examined as to their condition, classified under the Dewey system and then placed / archived / sold on accordingly.
Not in Nicaragua!
Instead the library set apart an area / constructed a separate wing for the personal library and organised it exactly as it had been in the deceased home. This way they could study their indexing and organization, readers could experience the library as it was set out by the individual / family and a coherent collection of books was kept together as a coherent whole.
I’m not entirely sure what this means but, for me, it really resonates and gets the cogs going when thinking about these discussions over tagging, organisation and the ‘centred’ (as opposed to ‘centralised’) development and management of information through weblogs / CMSs. Very interesting.