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Nomicons December 20, 2005

Posted by unamable in Folksonomies, metagraphic, Tagging.

The other thing I suppose I could say is that “unamable” looks sideways at is – what librarianship, if I can use the old form of address, does and maybe, occasionally specifically, at names and things that identify or describe other things. (That is a bit of what us librarians do isn’t it?)

Ooh dear it’s all so confusing for one who remembers the metal-on-wood slidesound of the card drawer and the pleasant dusty dogeared sensation of riffling through those ole cards…..

To be told that users will soon be able to write our records for us. I mean, steady on. Where will all the pedantry, nitpicking and terminal exactitude go which attended the careful “boiling in the belly” of a carefully crafted card – I ask myself. You can sense that I style myself one of the maverick breed of librarian from that remark.

I never felt satisfied by any of my efforts at describing an item – I was following rules which were logical and rational – but somehow it never quite touched the wild hardback/paperback beast I had in my hands. And I can only begin to imagine what a metadator (or whatever the naming convention is) does to less tangible, more complex and rich content items such as a webpage… my heart goes out to them. Of course OCLC has done some luvly things for us all and Open World Cat really brings to put together correct form with a juicier set of user-based fruits. But I am reminded of my high-minded browsing of Amazon where the neutral tone of an Amazon reviewer is rapidly undermined by a “hey dude dig this ‘lume” or some such enthusiastic fan-type response. Yes I know it is the voice of you and me and I should not be so snotty … but can I quite stomach such descriptive content in my library catalogue? If this is the price libraries must pay to stave off extinction, then I guess it’s o.k. ….just about



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