• Inheriting library cards to Babel and Alexandria: contemporary metaphors for the digital library

    Author(s):
    Paul Gooding, Melissa Terras (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    Library & Information Science
    Subject(s):
    Digital humanities, Information science, Library and Archival Studies, Library and information science, Library science
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    #digitallibraries, #informationscience, #knowledgeorganization, metaphor
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M68782
    Abstract:
    Librarians have been consciously adopting metaphors to describe library concepts since the nineteenth century, helping us to structure our understanding of new technologies. As a profession, we have drawn extensively on these figurative frameworks to explore issues surrounding the digital library, yet very little has been written to date which interrogates howthese metaphors have developed over the years. Previous studies have explored library metaphors, using either textual analysis or ethnographic methods to investigate their usage. However, this is to our knowledge the first study to use bibliographic data, corpus analysis, qualitative sentiment weighting and close reading to study particular metaphors in detail. It draws on a corpus of over 450 articles to study the use of the metaphors of the Library of Alexandria and Babel, concluding that both have been extremely useful as framing metaphors for the digital library. However, their longstanding use has seen them become stretched as metaphors, meaning that the field’s figurative framework now fails to represent the changing technologies which underpin contemporary digital libraries.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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