Even as I become progressively less librarian-ish (for someone still officially a LS rather than IS degree-seeking), I still find reference librarian Brian Herzog’s Swiss Army Librarian to be my most compelling professional blog read. More so than the more technically minded Jessamyn West. He’s my antidote to Society for Librarians Who Say Mofo, so it shouldn’t surprise me that he has me reflecting semi-favorably on the concept of abandoning Dewey in the public library.
I’m not an organizational traditionalist – I have 50+ tags for my emails and I still frequently find that I need to search for items, but not because I’ve forgotten what tag something is filed under – so it is probably hypocritical of me to feel that knowledge is something people should have to work for. I’m not so much endorsing Dewey as I am saying that there needs to be places where people learn how to navigate information systems and a public library is a good place for this. Still, Herzog is right and Ranganathan in pointing out that a lot of Dewey organization is counter-intuitive to how people look for information these days. Rigor has it’s place, but any information system should be concerned with saving the time of the user.