Skip to main content

Research Guides@Tufts

Classics 185: Library of Alexandria

Professor Monica Berti

Subject Guide

Jennifer Ferguson's picture
Jennifer Ferguson
Tisch Library
Tufts University
35 Professors Row
Medford, MA 02155
Skype Contact: jennifer.ferguson621

Five Laws of Library Science

Five Laws of Library Science, by S.R. Ranganathan.

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

Physical Space, Intellectual Space

What is a library

  • a physical collection
  • a group of professionals
  • an array of electronic resources

Library as place

  • prior to 1870, library as warehouse
  • study space
  • computer lab
  • store of information
  • workspace
  • preservation space

Physical organization: objects in space
Intellectual organization: objects in relation to each other

Inventory management 101

  • grocery store aisles
  • bookstores: broad subjects, alphabetical = Pinakes
  • warehouses: IKEA

Intellectual organization

Cutter’s rules for a dictionary catalog (p.12)

Organizing the universe

Technical approaches to this problem

  • shelf lists
  • book catalogs
  • card catalogs
  • online card catalogs
  • discovery environments

Other approaches to this problem

Electronic Resources

The future is here, it just isn't evenly distributed.

  • hundreds of vendors
  • ebooks in a variety of formats
  • journal articles published in many different places
  • indexes still exist, to the confusion of all
  • database A to Z list