Class Reflection – Precoordinate Systems

It seems like the most important thing that we covered during this class discussion was the fact that classification of anything is hard. There are many issues that bring to bear before you ever even take into account the variant perspectives of those who are classifying. I’ll admit that I wasn’t surprised by the large variety of responses to our assignment. Something, however, struck me. If you were to take a large enough body of classifiers and have them come up with what they believed should be an appropriate classification of an item, you could take come up with a pretty accurate and rich picture of how an item should be classed. I noticed that while there were several responses, a few responses kept recurring. The conversation reminded me of statistical standard distribution. Even in our relatively small group of classifiers, a pattern of averages and standard deviations began to emerge.

I was also surprised at the vehemence with which some people rail against a system that is not absolute and objective. I tend to think of myself as a pretty black and white person (and have had several people comment to that fact) and yet I have no issue with there being a certain ebb and flow within the confines of LCSH, DCC, and LCC. It was good to see that even my view of myself as pretty fundamental is a subjective view when see in relation to society. It made me appreciate a little better the need for knowledge, diligence, and compassion when entering these areas that mean such vastly different things to different people.

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