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Michael Dirda’s Browsings

"Books don't just furnish a room. A personal library is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be, of what you value and what you desire, of how much you know and how much more you'd like to know. ... Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves… Continue reading Michael Dirda’s Browsings

Into the infosphere: theory, literacy and education for new forms of document

This is a slightly revised version of a chapter contributed by myself and Lyn Robinson to a Festschrift in honour of our colleague Professor Tatjana Aparac-Jelušić, of the University of Zadar in Croatia. We came to know Tatjana particularly through the LIDA conferences, of which she has been the inspiration and main organiser, through her… Continue reading Into the infosphere: theory, literacy and education for new forms of document

Alfred Holt and the Agamemnon; an information history anniversary

It is often said that a modern information environment came into being in the mid-nineteenth century. The virtually instantaneous communication of brief messages via the electric telegraph was paralleled by developments in printing technology which allowed the creation of massively increased volumes of printed materials, disseminated through newly established universal postal systems. A vital, and… Continue reading Alfred Holt and the Agamemnon; an information history anniversary

“A point along a line”: the future of knowledge organization

This is a slightly amended copy of a letter published in a special issue of 'Knowledge Organization' (issue 3 of volume 43, 2016), devoted to developments in thesauri and other formal vocabularies. The editors of the issue kindly invited me to speculate on how research in knowledge organisation should develop, and it also gave me… Continue reading “A point along a line”: the future of knowledge organization

CoLIS 9 Uppsala

The latest in the series of CoLIS (Conceptions of Library and Information Science) conferences was held at the University of Uppsala at the end of June, following on from CoLIS 7 in London in 2010, and CoLIS 8 in Copenhagen in 2013. This is, I think, my favourite conference from the viewpoint of getting new… Continue reading CoLIS 9 Uppsala

“A different kind of knowing”: speculations on understanding in light of the Philosophy of Information

This is a slightly updated and extended version of a paper by myself and Lyn Robinson, presented at the 9th Conceptions of Library and Information Science conference, Uppsala, 28 June 2016. It includes some additional points raised in discussion of the paper. Introduction This is a different kind of knowing… It’s like understanding, I suppose… Continue reading “A different kind of knowing”: speculations on understanding in light of the Philosophy of Information

Information, misinformation disinformation: Copenhagen interlude

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science, now part of the University of Copenhagen's Faculty of Humanities, to act as part of the committee for the defence of the doctoral thesis of Sille Obelitz Søe. The thesis, entitled "The urge to detect, the… Continue reading Information, misinformation disinformation: Copenhagen interlude

The new dualism of information and data science

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear Luciano Floridi give a Turing Lecture at the British Library Conference Centre, on 'Ethics in the Age of Information'. The Alan Turing Institute is the UK's national institute for data science, and locates itself at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, statistics and systems engineering.… Continue reading The new dualism of information and data science

The noblest pleasure: theories of understanding in the information sciences

This is a modified and updated version of a chapter published in 'Theory development in the information sciences' (edited by Diane Sonnenwald, University of Texas Press, 2016, pages 281-299). Some newer references are included here, but for the full bibliography, see the original chapter. My aim in writing the chapter was to set out my… Continue reading The noblest pleasure: theories of understanding in the information sciences

The once and future editorial; expressing academic opinion

This is an amended and expanded version of an editorial to appear in Journal of Documentation. My copy of Chambers Dictionary tells me that an editorial is "an article in a newspaper, written by an editor or leader writer". Merriam-Webster puts it slightly differently: "a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the… Continue reading The once and future editorial; expressing academic opinion