books


I picked up David Weinberger’s new book Everything is Miscellanous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder the other day. I’ve only read 30 pages or so but it’s great so far. It’s very thought provoking, especially for me as an LIS student. It’s got me thinking about the power of organization and how everyone’s organization is different. When I first picked up the book, I was struck by the dedication: To the librarians. I thought it was an interesting homage to the librarians who perhaps had influenced Weinberger. But when I got about 10 pages into the book, I soon realized how wrong I’d been. It’s more about encouraging librarians to read the book and think about the power of organization in a different way. And that there’s no “right” way to organize. The power lies in finding a system that allows each of us to organize in our own way, for our own goals, in our own context. And to help people find meaning in their organization. And then I read this quote from David Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous blog and realized I was on the right track:

I said that the Aristotelian assumptions, combined with the limitations of paper-based knowledge, lead to authority over knowledge being placed in the hands of a few. The few tend to be highly qualified and often selfless, but it still is a power regime. Although I didn’t say this last night, that’s why I am so enamored of the idea that fundamentally the Internet is ours. In fact, another way to say what the book is about would be: Everything Is Miscellaneous is about meaning becoming ours.

Excellent. I am digging this book and cannot wait to read more. I encourage all you librarians (and non-librarians) out there to read it. It’s all about what I’ve been studying these last two years. And not.

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David Weinberger, Tim Spaulding (of LibraryThing fame) and Karen Schneider (the Free Range Librarian) were on Radio Open Source yesterday. You can listen to it here. I haven’t listened but I plan to be downloading it to my iPod so I can listen on the bus one day soon. They talked about Daivid Weinberger’s new book and the organization of all digital. Christopher Lydon refers to it as a “new taxonomy of knowledge taking shape”. Tune in. I’m sure it’s a good one.

Meredith Farkas wrote what looks to be a great book, Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online. I haven’t read it yet but it’s getting some good reviews. There are been some problems with the first print run, so general availability won’t be for a few weeks. (Amazon has one copy for $65!) I hope your library has ordered it already. Based on the quality of Meredith’s blog, it should be a good one.