Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Monday, June 14, 2004
I wonder what they are for libraries?  
The Two Things - "For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.� Via Metafilter.

Some interesting suggestions for various disciplines. I spent, ooooh, at least two minutes trying to think what the "Two Things" might be for Library Science. Those two minutes took me as far as Ranganathan:

1. Books are for use
2. Save the time of the reader.

I think that actually works - you can assume that the other three laws ('each book its reader', 'each reader his [or her] book' and 'libraries are growing organisms')are applications of those two. OK, I'm on slightly shaky ground with the last one, but if you assume that "growing" means "evolving" rather than "ever-incrasing in size" then collection development/management is really an application of the first two laws (we're getting rid of unused or useless resources, so we can replace them with more appropriate ones, because books are meant to be used, and so that we can save the reader's time).

While it's more of a humourous exercise than a genuine attempt at epistimology, I think there's some merit in this Two Things theory.


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