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Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, March 03, 2007
  Reading Star... I want to go classify something!
I've always appreciated the taxonomists, catalogers, indexers and those who catalog and classify information so that it can be found. I remember turning in my little musical instrument thesaurus in Organizing Information class and feeling a bit gleeful...(mostly to have it done and that I knew a flute is a woodwind). For the most part, though, I have stayed as far away from this stuff as possible and left it to the people who do it well. Now I'm reading some things by Susan Leigh Star and I'm about ready to go out and classify something (is this one of Mark's intellectual crushes?). It started with:
Star, S. L. (1998). Grounded classification: Grounded theory and faceted classification. Library Trends, 47(2), 218.

now I'm perusing:

Star, S.L. (1999).
The ethnography of infrastructure. The American Behavioral Scientist, 43(3), 377.

How can you not love a woman who compares something with the phone book and determines that the phonebook has better narrative structure? :)

I think it is that she writes well and obviously really enjoys her work. Interestingly, she's a sociologist who studied with Strauss. Too much to read, too little time...
 
Comments:
Hi, Christina. Sorry it took me a week to get back here. I saw this, wrote myself a note to comment and got lost somewhere in the ant invasion ....

I wouldn't say that Star is a crush yet--possibly only because I haven't read enough of her stuff--but I do appreciate her. Thanks for the suggestions. I have read an article or two and most of Sorting Things Out, which would have been much better if Bowker had gotten even more out of her way in the writing.

I tried very hard (3x) to read his new book--the one he got an award from ASIST for--but it was practically inpenetrable. And that was only the introduction. Maybe the ASIST awards are like the Academy Awards sometimes in that someone finally gets an award because they were overlooked so many time before. He's a brilliant guy--no doubt--but he ought to try writing for the normally intelligent.

Ah well, I'll track down these Star papers and see how it turns out. Thanks.
 
I actually meant that *I* had a crush like the crushes you said you had... but I wasn't clear. There's room for both of us to have crushes :)
 
Well of course there is! Sorry I missed your point, but luckily these aren't the kind of crushes that require monogamy.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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