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Notes on brief talk about libraries

A librarians’ group is meeting today at the Berkman Center to talk about the future of libraries. Gene Koo, Jake Shapiro, and Melanie
Dulong de Rosnay
, all of the Berkman.

I’m supposed to give a discussion-opener later this afternoon. Here are the notes of what I’m thinking of saying:

– Two themes
   – metadata over content
   – socializing of knowledge

– Knowledge as content
   – K was a quality of a belief
   – Became content esp. with books
      – Good fit because K was believed to be universal, single and eternal – permanence of books
         – Christian belief in a single universal truth
   – Books created:
      – topics as self-contained
      – experts as containers

– Web/Net
   – Primary characteristic: Abundance
      – Abundance of good is scarier than abundance of crap
      – Web invented to deal with abundance by giving us links…gives human-mediated shape to the endless sea
   – Links destroy container model
   – Web as social realm leads to socialization of K

– Socialization of K is all about metadata
   – e.g., this is worth reading, this is wrong, this connects to that
   – Paper-based metadata throws out info
      – Digital includes it all
      – Means that in general we get good enough info (but is that good enough?)
   – What does this mean for digital libraries?
      – Library is all metadata
      – distributed content
      – Place for expert and social knowing

Question: Digital libraries have nothing in common with libraries?

(Pardon the compressed form. These are my notes.) [Tags: ]

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