Creating the 21st Century Library
The Prelinger Library eschews the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress systems, and is organized instead by what Megan Shaw Prelinger calls “a map of my brain.”<blockquote>[T]he idea of making a library was fed by my experience that college and university libraries’ closed stacks inhibit browsing and the process of random discovery. I always felt like I had my best ideas or developed my best projects when I was wandering and looking for certain things, but then finding things I didn’t expect.</blockquote>I think there will always be value in being able to find a precise item by a predictable and precise method; but for unstructured learning and discovery, this is one of the few truly exciting ideas to come along in quite a while. It’s still very difficult to duplicate the aesthetic spelunking experience of walking around amongst rows and stacks of human knowledge. At least for me, there is a visceral satisfaction in discovering ideas by that method that is absent from web based discovering. That doesn’t make either one good or bad, they’re just different.