I enjoyed Steckel’s ode to S.R. Ranganathan, partly because I love the personal details shared about this lion of the library world. 13 hour days, 7 days a week with just enough time to pound out 60 books on what I am guessing was a very worn typewriter. I too appreciate his 5 laws of Library Science and was delighted to learn this week that he put his favorite number to good use and came up with PMESH. Anecdotes like his divine inspiration after seeing an Erector Set are literally the stuff of legends (Dex at Straight Dope tries his hand with the eureka moment “Dui” had at church.) and his insight is profound:
Rather than creating a slot to insert the object into, one starts with the object and then collects and arranges all the relevant pieces on the fly.
I get that Ranganathan’s faceted CC is more “hospitable” than enumerative schemes like LC, and that flexibility is needed to adapt to changing ideas of classification, but I had trouble visualizing what a physical library floorplan looks like in the CC world. The CC record example in Chowdhury made me scratch my head when thinking how to retrieve a book and I figure that a more in-depth explanation of the non-linear APUPA pattern may be in order. Until then I may have to hold off on my own Ranganathan tattoo.