September 28, 2009

Cataloging makes things so much easier to find! It really does. When we were studying some of the history of libraries in class the other day, I realized this more and more.

This is my impression of libraries from the olden days:

  • No record of books (tablets or scrolls) that the library owns
  • No organizational structure
  • Very few resources (seldom more than a couple hundred)
  • Only selected people could access the resources

Considering the time period, this isn’t as surprising as it may seem. Most of the population was uneducated and could not have used the resources if they had been allowed.

When educational levels improved, I imagine that the demand for information grew and the organizational structures of libraries had to change to keep up.

I know the cataloging and classification systems today aren’t perfect. I know that the human element means things aren’t always where another might expect them to be. Still, I am grateful for the organizational system that has enabled me to search and find many of the books that I have needed.


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