Monday, 18 June 2007

Plenary: the times they are a'changin'

The plenary this morning was about preparing students for the 21st century, and the speaker mentioned the book "Everything is Miscellaneous" by . Here's a quote about libraries from an interview with the book's author, David Weinberger:
"You know, in a library, a physical book has to go on only one shelf under one category. That’s not a natural restriction; a single book is about many different things. But even when you try to make up for that restriction with the catalog card, which is a very reduced form of meta-data for the book, the size of the card is dictated by the inconvenience of atoms. The size of the card means that you can’t put in very many of those references. But on the web, everybody can put in his or her own references. We can have hundreds or millions of references and links and connections of meaning linked to a single resource. There’s no limit. So, in some ways, the web reflects better the complexity of the linked nature of the world."

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