What I’ve learned

It’s funny to think about how quickly the past 4 years have gone by.  I’ve experienced a lot, but it doesn’t really feel like it until I hit on something in a class or at work and realize that I understand it because of those experiences.  What brings this to mind is the fact that I’m sitting here reading a powerpoint about controlled vocabularies, and it talks about the fact that although they can be great for more effective and organized searching, they need supervision and can be slow to be updated.  My brain flashed back to my very first internship, where I spent a day with a technical services librarian, who showed me the thousands of printed pages of changes to LoC subject headings that she had to go through and update in the school’s local catalog – manually.  Many of them were tweaks to make terms more specific, or more technically correct, and some occurred because terms acquired new social connotations (for example phasing out outdated means of referring to various ethnicities).

Having seen this process in action (albeit very slow action) and having talked about the ways in which Dewey is based around the ideas and values of the time in which it was created, I wonder if Dewey has ever undergone such revision?  Presumably subjects such as computing have been added in, but under what original topic?  I realize I’m mixing apples and oranges a bit, but I’m just realizing that I don’t really know the answer, and I’m super curious to know more about how Dewey has evolved.

And isn’t it just the way that I’m writing the rare blog post tonight, when I really should be doing my project?

🙂

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