Sunday, July 02, 2006

Library is a Growing Organism - Dr. Ranganathan's Fifth Law Revisited

The Fifth Law of Library Science (viz., Library is a growing organism*), encompasses every component of the library, including books, staff, infostructure, infrastructure, etc. And, information visualization of this lifeline is directly related to compassion and human outlook. It is, in short, about increase of the human touch. In this same human environment, libraries do stimulate social networks. Furthermore, some examples of growth of this network is seen in the literature, visible in the form of books promoting social network, as well as, books reading us. Don't believe, I suppose. Keep readng this post, and you will find out!!!

Given below is a literature survey of WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T, and WHAT'S PROMISING in the above framework (i.e., in dealing with a growing organism):

Quotable quotes:

Part of that growing involved a move to grow beyond just 'books' and into all modes of information, service, community and entertainment. We evolved but didn't discard the past. [Stephen Abrams, source]
The library: a growing organism
Healthy libraries pursue opportunities for growth and renewal. There are always new fields of knowledge to acquire, new information formats to integrate, new technologies to implement, and new groups of unserved users to address. Libraries engage in short term and long-range planning to develop goals and strategies for remaining current, fresh and relevant to community needs.

Libraries are living and breathing entities, the librarians within its walls should be as well. No longer is the stereotype of an old, shriveled woman behind a desk saying "SHHHH!" at every noise! [source]
Libraries are living organisms. (Libraries are constantly changing to meet user needs.) [source]
Libraries are living, breathing, growing, evolving, learning entities, and, when they're not, someone else needs to take charge of the books. [source]

Libraries are living, organic entities. Like a garden, they do not grow (or even produce) without periodic weeding. [source]
Our libraries are living organisms. They shall respond to the crisis. Some signs of this transformation are already here. [source]

Libraries are living functional buildings which should be allowed to change with the times. [source]
But libraries are living, dynamic institutions that must change and adapt to new conditions, including technological advances and user interests, in order to retain their strength and usefulness to the citizens. [source]

Literature Survey:

  • The Social Life of Books
    Visualizing Communities of Interest via Purchase Patterns on the WWW
    by Valdis Krebs
    ...A book author and/or publicist could use the knowledge of existing book networks to position a book where there is a hole in the network. A publisher could view evolving book networks -- they may change weekly -- to adapt its marketing efforts. Amazon, of course, is still the big winner -- they have the data, and a rich upside of untapped possibilities of how to analyze the data and apply the findings. Continue reading The Social Life of Books

  • Digerati: The Social Life of E-Books and their Reader/Writers, Betsy McKenzie, June 26, 2006
  • The Book in the Network: Mitchell Stephens - Without Gods / McKenzie Wark - GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1
  • google and the myth of universal knowledge: a view from europe 06.30.2006, posted by ben vershbow
  • The Book Is Reading You
    Why publishers need to stop worrying and love the network
    by Ben Vershbow -- 6/5/2006
    Jorge Luis Borges, a great spinner of metaphors for the information age, once said, "A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships." Publishers have an opportunity to reinvent their industry by plugging books fully into the new environment. They can let Google and Amazon do it for them, or they can take matters into their own hands. continue reading The book is reading you

  • The Social Life Of Books By Andrew Richard Albanese — May 15, 2006
  • Weiner, Sharon Gray "Resistance to Change in Libraries: Application of Communication Theories" portal: Libraries and the Academy - Volume 3, Number 1, January 2003, pp. 69-78
  • organic information design, Ben Fry | Master's Thesis | MIT Media Lab
  • Extract from my review of the book, Magic and Hypersystems: Constructing the Information-Sharing Library, by Harold Billings
    The fourth chapter: The Bionic Library, both by text and context, connect to a significant aspect that interest historians, biologists, technologists, theologists, linguists, etc. This connection is an important phase in visualization of a sense of living organism that dominates, more or less, equally well in the trio: information, knowledge and library. By reading the book one would feel that Billings gets the credit as responsible for coining the term, bionic library. Whereas the origin of the idea is from Dr. S. R. Ranganathan's master piece, famous as five laws of library science. Continue reading the review

  • Technostress in the Bionic Library, by John Kupersmith [Originally published in Cheryl LaGuardia, ed., Recreating the Academic Library: Breaking Virtual Ground,
    (New York: Neal-Schuman, 1998), pp. 23-47.]
  • Everybody Has a Librarian Inside, posted by Sukhdev Singh, April 28, 2006 [work cited: "The Librarian", a 1556 painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo.]
  • Internet Librarian: Competing with Google: Library Strategies, By Sarah Houghton, Jul 14 2006 [Includes, Stephen Abrams' Top Ten Strategies for Competing with Google, viz., #1: Know Your Market; #2: Know Your Customers Better than Google; #3: Be Where Our Customers Are; #4: Federated Searching; #5: Support Your Culture; #6: Position Libraries Where We Excel; #7: Be Wireless; #8: Get Visual; #9: Integrate; #10: For Pete’s Sake, Take a Risk!]
  • "Information is a Growing Organism," my review of another book. See details: It's Alive: The Coming Convergence of Information, Biology, and Business by Christopher Meyer [continue reading the review at]

    The Punch Line:
    >>Ah, you must be a librarian. How did you guess, doctor?
    It's the boredom, you see; same old books, same old date-stamping, same old fines for late returners, same old shushing of noisy readers. I need to get out more, may be save a life or two or pass a signal at red. Continue reading Stress? Shhhhh . . . By Alan Hamilton, The Times, January 12, 2006

    >>Fighting fires may sound taxing, chasing criminals demanding, but a new study says that working in library is the most stressful job of all. Continue reading from Librarians 'suffer most stress' BBC NEWS, 12 January 2006
    >> as a librarian, identify one of ranganathan’s lawa of librarianship and explain how you would apply it in your library -- Principle 5: library is a growing organism, Formal Media International funds trust(FMIFT) Blog

    >>*Google for more on the Fifth Law of Library Science
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