Popular Information Science Books

23+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Information Science

Discover the list of some best books written on Information Science by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Information Science highly popular among the readers worldwide.

5/5

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.   The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.   The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself.   And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.

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4.1/5

Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger

Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

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3.7/5

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

In This Book is Overdue!, acclaimed author Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians, and, as she did in her popular first book, The Dead Beat, discovers offbeat and eloquent characters in the quietest corners. In defiance of doomsayers, Johnson finds librarians more vital and necessary than ever, as they fuse the tools of the digital age with love for the writte In This Book is Overdue!, acclaimed author Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians, and, as she did in her popular first book, The Dead Beat, discovers offbeat and eloquent characters in the quietest corners. In defiance of doomsayers, Johnson finds librarians more vital and necessary than ever, as they fuse the tools of the digital age with love for the written word and the enduring values of truth, service to all, and free speech. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals who organize our messy world and offer old-fashioned human help through the maze.

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3.4/5

Foundations of Library and Information Science by Richard E. Rubin

Foundations of Library and Information Science is the most current introductory text available, covering the practice of librarianship, the place of libraries in the broader information infrastructure, the development of information science, and more. Library and information science students and professionals will find the background and concepts they need to meet today's Foundations of Library and Information Science is the most current introductory text available, covering the practice of librarianship, the place of libraries in the broader information infrastructure, the development of information science, and more. Library and information science students and professionals will find the background and concepts they need to meet today's - and tomorrow's - challenges. TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. The Information Infrastructure: Libraries in Context; 2. Information Science: A Service Perspective; 3. Redefining the Library: The Impacts and Implications of Technological Change; 4. Information Policy: Stakeholders and Agendas; 5. Information Policy as Library Policy: Intellectual Freedom; 6. Information Organization: Issues and Techniques; 7. From Past to Present: The Library s Mission and Its Values; 8. Ethics and Standards: Professional Practices in Library and Information Science; 9. The Library as Institution: An Organizational View, and 10. Librarianship: An Evolving Profession.

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5/5

The Organization of Information (Library and Information Science Text Series) by Arlene G. Taylor

The extensively revised and completely updated second edition of this popular textbook provides LIS practitioners and students with a vital guide to the organization of information. After a broad overview of the concept and its role in human endeavors, Taylor proceeds to a detailed and insightful discussion of such basic retrieval tools as bibliographies, catalogs, indexes The extensively revised and completely updated second edition of this popular textbook provides LIS practitioners and students with a vital guide to the organization of information. After a broad overview of the concept and its role in human endeavors, Taylor proceeds to a detailed and insightful discussion of such basic retrieval tools as bibliographies, catalogs, indexes, finding aids, registers, databases, major bibliographic utilities, and other organizing entities. After tracing the development of the organization of recorded information in Western civilization from 2000 B.C.E. to the present, the author addresses topics that include encoding standards (MARC, SGML, and various DTDs), metadata (description, access, and access control), verbal subject analysis including controlled vocabularies and ontologies, classification theory and methodology, arrangement and display, and system design.

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4.7/5

Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become by Peter Morville

How do you find your way in an age of information overload? How can you filter streams of complex information to pull out only what you want? Why does it matter how information is structured when Google seems to magically bring up the right answer to your questions? What does it mean to be "findable" in this day and age? This eye-opening new book examines the convergence o How do you find your way in an age of information overload? How can you filter streams of complex information to pull out only what you want? Why does it matter how information is structured when Google seems to magically bring up the right answer to your questions? What does it mean to be "findable" in this day and age? This eye-opening new book examines the convergence of information and connectivity. Written by Peter Morville, author of the groundbreaking Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, the book defines our current age as a state of unlimited findability. In other words, anyone can find anything at any time. Complete navigability. Morville discusses the Internet, GIS, and other network technologies that are coming together to make unlimited findability possible. He explores how the melding of these innovations impacts society, since Web access is now a standard requirement for successful people and businesses. But before he does that, Morville looks back at the history of wayfinding and human evolution, suggesting that our fear of being lost has driven us to create maps, charts, and now, the mobile Internet. The book's central thesis is that information literacy, information architecture, and usability are all critical components of this new world order. Hand in hand with that is the contention that only by planning and designing the best possible software, devices, and Internet, will we be able to maintain this connectivity in the future. Morville's book is highlighted with full color illustrations and rich examples that bring his prose to life. Ambient Findability doesn't preach or pretend to know all the answers. Instead, it presents research, stories, and examples in support of its novel ideas. Are we truly at a critical point in our evolution where the quality of our digital networks will dictate how we behave as a species? Is findability indeed the primary key to a successful global marketplace in the 21st century and beyond. Peter Morville takes you on a thought-provoking tour of these memes and more -- ideas that will not only fascinate but will stir your creativity in practical ways that you can apply to your work immediately.

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4/5

The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown , Paul Duguid

For years pundits have predicted that information technology will obliterate everything, from supermarkets to business organizations to social life itself, but beaten down by info-glut, exasperated by computer crashes, and daunted by the dot com crash, individual users find it hard to get a fix on the true potential of the digital revolution. John Seely Brown and Paul Dugu For years pundits have predicted that information technology will obliterate everything, from supermarkets to business organizations to social life itself, but beaten down by info-glut, exasperated by computer crashes, and daunted by the dot com crash, individual users find it hard to get a fix on the true potential of the digital revolution. John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid argue that the gap between digerati hype and end-user gloom is largely due to the "tunnel vision" that information-driven technologies breed. We've become so focused on where we think we ought to be--a place where technology empowers individuals and obliterates social organizations--that we often fail to see where we're really going. The Social Life of Information shows us how to look beyond our obsession with information and individuals to include the critical social networks of which these are always a part.

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3.1/5

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites by Peter Morville , Louis Rosenfeld

The post-Ajaxian Web 2.0 world of wikis, folksonomies, and mashups makes well-planned information architecture even more essential. How do you present large volumes of information to people who need to find what they're looking for quickly? This classic primer shows information architects, designers, and web site developers how to build large-scale and maintainable web sit The post-Ajaxian Web 2.0 world of wikis, folksonomies, and mashups makes well-planned information architecture even more essential. How do you present large volumes of information to people who need to find what they're looking for quickly? This classic primer shows information architects, designers, and web site developers how to build large-scale and maintainable web sites that are appealing and easy to navigate. The new edition is thoroughly updated to address emerging technologies -- with recent examples, new scenarios, and information on best practices -- while maintaining its focus on fundamentals. With topics that range from aesthetics to mechanics, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web explains how to create interfaces that users can understand right away. Inside, you'll find: * An overview of information architecture for both newcomers and experienced practitioners * The fundamental components of an architecture, illustrating the interconnected nature of these systems. Updated, with updates for tagging, folksonomies, social classification, and guided navigation * Tools, techniques, and methods that take you from research to strategy and design to implementation. This edition discusses blueprints, wireframes and the role of diagrams in the design phase * A series of short essays that provide practical tips and philosophical advice for those who work on information architecture * The business context of practicing and promoting information architecture, including recent lessons on how to handle enterprise architecture * Case studies on the evolution of two large and very different information architectures, illustrating best practices along the way * How do you document the rich interfaces of web applications? How do you design for multiple platforms and mobile devices? With emphasis on goals and approaches over tactics or technologies, this enormously popular book gives you knowledge about information architecture with a framework that allows you to learn new approaches -- and unlearn outmoded ones.

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4.1/5

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

We used to know how to know. We got our answers from books or experts. We'd nail down the facts and move on. But in the Internet age, knowledge has moved onto networks. There's more knowledge than ever, of course, but it's different. Topics have no boundaries, and nobody agrees on anything. Yet this is the greatest time in history to be a knowledge seeker ... if you know ho We used to know how to know. We got our answers from books or experts. We'd nail down the facts and move on. But in the Internet age, knowledge has moved onto networks. There's more knowledge than ever, of course, but it's different. Topics have no boundaries, and nobody agrees on anything. Yet this is the greatest time in history to be a knowledge seeker ... if you know how. In Too Big to Know, Internet philosopher David Weinberger shows how business, science, education, and the government are learning to use networked knowledge to understand more than ever and to make smarter decisions than they could when they had to rely on mere books and experts. This groundbreaking book shakes the foundations of our concept of knowledge, from the role of facts to the value of books and the authority of experts, providing a compelling vision of the future of knowledge in a connected world.

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4.5/5

Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages by Alex Wright

What do primordial bacteria, medieval alchemists, and the World Wide Web have to do with each other? This fascinating exploration of how information systems emerge takes readers on a provocative journey through the history of the information age. Today's "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation--nor even the fir What do primordial bacteria, medieval alchemists, and the World Wide Web have to do with each other? This fascinating exploration of how information systems emerge takes readers on a provocative journey through the history of the information age. Today's "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation--nor even the first species--to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian archives, Greek libraries to Dark Age monasteries. Today, we stand at a precipice, as our old systems struggle to cope with what designer Richard Saul Wurman called a "tsunami of data." With some historical perspective, however, we can begin to understand our predicament not just as the result of technological change, but as the latest chapter in an ancient story that we are only beginning to understand. Spanning disciplines from evolutionary theory and cultural anthropology to the history of books, libraries, and computer science, writer and information architect Alex Wright weaves an intriguing narrative that connects such seemingly far-flung topics as insect colonies, Stone Age jewelry, medieval monasteries, Renaissance encyclopedias, early computer networks, and the World Wide Web. Finally, he pulls these threads together to reach a surprising conclusion, suggesting that the future of the information age may lie deep in our cultural past.

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3.9/5

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on mathematical modeling—a pervasive new force in society that threatens to undermine democracy and widen inequality.   We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by m A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on mathematical modeling—a pervasive new force in society that threatens to undermine democracy and widen inequality.   We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this shocking book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his race or neighborhood), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.   Tracing the arc of a person’s life, from college to retirement, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. Models that score teachers and students, sort resumes, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health—all have pernicious feedback loops. They don’t simply describe reality, as proponents claim, they change reality, by expanding or limiting the opportunities people have. O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for how their algorithms are being used. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.

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3.3/5

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

“Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

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3.2/5

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays. This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.

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3.2/5

Introduction to Metadata by Murtha Baca (Editor)

Praise for the First Edition: "An excellent starting point for information professionals to gain a basic understanding of fundamental concepts, then move ahead with a guided path for further research and study." --Art Documentation Metadata, literally "data about data," provides a means of indexing, accessing, preserving, and discovering digital resources. The volume of Praise for the First Edition: "An excellent starting point for information professionals to gain a basic understanding of fundamental concepts, then move ahead with a guided path for further research and study." --Art Documentation Metadata, literally "data about data," provides a means of indexing, accessing, preserving, and discovering digital resources. The volume of digital information available over electronic networks has created a pressing need for standards that assist in locating, retrieving, and managing this vast and complex universe of information. This revised edition of Introduction to Metadata, first published in 1998 and updated in an online version in 2000, provides an overview of metadata--its types, roles, and characteristics; a discussion of metadata as it relates to resources on the Web; a description of methods, tools, standards, and protocols that can be used to publish and disseminate digital collections; and a handy glossary. Newly added to this edition are an essay on the importance of standards-based rights metadata to the activities of cultural institutions; and a section entitled "Practical Principles for Metadata Creation and Maintenance." The Introduction To series deals with complex issues and tools related to the production, management, and dissemination of cultural heritage information resources.

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3.9/5

Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century : An Introduction by Kay Ann Cassell , Uma Hiremath

This innovative text features an all-new approach that will change the way you think about reference service. The only reference text to identify the top resources in major subject areas and genres, it shows students how to approach the reference query by matching specific types of questions to the most appropriate format (when answering questions that require handy facts, This innovative text features an all-new approach that will change the way you think about reference service. The only reference text to identify the top resources in major subject areas and genres, it shows students how to approach the reference query by matching specific types of questions to the most appropriate format (when answering questions that require handy facts, for example, go first to ready reference sources; for questions about current events and issues, start with indexes). The book begins with the essentials -- interviewing patrons, determining the information need, and developing a basic search strategy. It then gives a thorough overview of the materials, print and electronic, most frequently used to answer questions -- from government information to bibliographic resources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical information sources, atlases, and more. A section on special topics in reference includes chapters on when and how to use the Internet as a reference tool, suggestions on user instruction at the reference desk, and reader's advisory work, as well as a chapter on service to children and youth authored by acclaimed expert Mary K. Chelton. Finally, the book addresses reference management basics: selection and evaluation of material, management of the reference department, assessing and improving reference services, and future trends. Guided by an advisory board and a focus group, the authors have achieved an ideal balance between practical elements and guiding principles. This landmark text is sure to be of interest to LIS educators, students, and both novice and experienced reference professionals.

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3.4/5

Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread— The Lessons from a New Science by Alex Pentland

From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour ofthe new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex "Sandy" Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour ofthe new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex "Sandy" Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics. Humans have more in common with bees than we like to admit: We’re social creatures first and foremost. Our most important habits of action—and most basic notions of common sense—are wired into us through our coordination in social groups. Social physics is about idea flow, the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into behaviors. Thanks to the millions of digital bread crumbs people leave behind via smartphones, GPS devices, and the Internet, the amount of new information we have about human activity is truly profound. Until now, sociologists have depended on limited data sets and surveys that tell us how people say they think and behave, rather than what they actually do. As a result, we’ve been stuck with the same stale social structures—classes, markets—and a focus on individual actors, data snapshots, and steady states. Pentland shows that, in fact, humans respond much more powerfully to social incentives that involve rewarding others and strengthening the ties that bind than incentives that involve only their own economic self-interest. Pentland and his teams have found that they can study patterns of information exchange in a social network without any knowledge of the actual content of the information and predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is, whether it’s a business or an entire city. We can maximize a group’s collective intelligence to improve performance and use social incentives to create new organizations and guide them through disruptive change in a way that maximizes the good. At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow.  Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Pentland leads readers to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself.

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5/5

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

This is a book about everything. Or, to be precise, it explores how everything is connected from code to culture. We think we're designing software, services, and experiences, but we're not. We are intervening in ecosystems. Until we open our minds, we will forever repeat our mistakes. In this spirited tour of information architecture and systems thinking, Peter Morville c This is a book about everything. Or, to be precise, it explores how everything is connected from code to culture. We think we're designing software, services, and experiences, but we're not. We are intervening in ecosystems. Until we open our minds, we will forever repeat our mistakes. In this spirited tour of information architecture and systems thinking, Peter Morville connects the dots between authority, Buddhism, classification, synesthesia, quantum entanglement, and volleyball. In 1974 when Ted Nelson wrote "everything is deeply intertwingled," he hoped we might realize the true potential of hypertext and cognition. This book follows naturally from that.

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4.9/5

How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody by Abby Covert

Everything is getting more complex. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information we encounter each day. Whether at work, at school, or in our personal endeavors, there’s a deepening (and inescapable) need for people to work with and understand information. Information architecture is the way that we arrange the parts of something to make it understandable as a Everything is getting more complex. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information we encounter each day. Whether at work, at school, or in our personal endeavors, there’s a deepening (and inescapable) need for people to work with and understand information. Information architecture is the way that we arrange the parts of something to make it understandable as a whole. When we make things for others to use, the architecture of information that we choose greatly affects our ability to deliver our intended message to our users. We all face messes made of information and people. I define the word “mess” the same way that most dictionaries do: “A situation where the interactions between people and information are confusing or full of difficulties.” — Who doesn’t bump up against messes made of information and people every day? This book provides a seven step process for making sense of any mess. Each chapter contains a set of lessons as well as workbook exercises architected to help you to work through your own mess.

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3/5

Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

The dream of universal knowledge hardly started with the digital age. From the archives of Sumeria to the Library of Alexandria, humanity has long wrestled with information overload and management of intellectual output. Revived during the Renaissance and picking up pace in the Enlightenment, the dream grew and by the late nineteenth century was embraced by a number of vis The dream of universal knowledge hardly started with the digital age. From the archives of Sumeria to the Library of Alexandria, humanity has long wrestled with information overload and management of intellectual output. Revived during the Renaissance and picking up pace in the Enlightenment, the dream grew and by the late nineteenth century was embraced by a number of visionaries who felt that at long last it was within their grasp. Among them, Paul Otlet stands out. A librarian by training, he worked at expanding the potential of the catalogue card -- the world's first information chip. From there followed universal libraries and reading rooms, connecting his native Belgium to the world -- by means of vast collections of cards that brought together everything that had ever been put to paper. Recognizing that the rapid acceleration of technology was transforming the world's intellectual landscape, Otlet devoted himself to creating a universal bibliography of all published knowledge. Ultimately totaling more than 12 million individual entries, it would evolve into the Mundaneum, a vast "city of knowledge" that opened its doors to the public in 1921. By 1934, Otlet had drawn up plans for a network of "electric telescopes" that would allow people everywhere to search through books, newspapers, photographs, and recordings, all linked together in what he termed a reseau mondial: a worldwide web. It all seemed possible, almost until the moment when the Nazis marched into Brussels and carted it all away. In Cataloging the World, Alex Wright places Otlet in the long continuum of visionaries and pioneers who have dreamed of unifying the world's knowledge, from H.G. Wells and Melvil Dewey to Ted Nelson and Steve Jobs. And while history has passed Otlet by, Wright shows that his legacy persists in today's networked age, where Internet corporations like Google and Twitter play much the same role that Otlet envisioned for the Mundaneum -- as the gathering and distribution channels for the world's intellectual output. In this sense, Cataloging the World is more than just the story of a failed entrepreneur; it is an ongoing story of a powerful idea that has captivated humanity from time immemorial, and that continues to inspire many of us in today's digital age.

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4.9/5

Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies by César A. Hidalgo

Why do some nations prosper while others do not? Economists usually turn to measures such as gross domestic product or per capita income to answer this question, but interdisciplinary theorist Cesar Hidalgo argues that we can learn more by measuring a country’s ability to make complex products. In Why Information Grows, Hidalgo combines the seemingly disparate fields of eco Why do some nations prosper while others do not? Economists usually turn to measures such as gross domestic product or per capita income to answer this question, but interdisciplinary theorist Cesar Hidalgo argues that we can learn more by measuring a country’s ability to make complex products. In Why Information Grows, Hidalgo combines the seemingly disparate fields of economic development and physics to present this new rubric for economic growth. He believes that we should investigate what makes some countries more capable than others. Complex products—from films to robots, apps to automobiles—are a physical distillation of an economy’s knowledge, a measurable embodiment of its education, infrastructure, and capability. Economic wealth accrues when applications of this knowledge turn ideas into tangible products; the more complex its products, the more economic growth a country will experience. A radical new interpretation of global economics, Why Information Grows overturns traditional assumptions about the development of economies and the origins of wealth and takes a crucial step toward making economics less the dismal science and more the insightful one.

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3.5/5

Metadata by Jeffrey Pomerantz

Everything we need to know about metadata, the usually invisible infrastructure for information with which we interact every day. When "metadata" became breaking news, appearing in stories about surveillance by the National Security Agency, many members of the public encountered this once-obscure term from information science for the first time. Should people be reassured Everything we need to know about metadata, the usually invisible infrastructure for information with which we interact every day. When "metadata" became breaking news, appearing in stories about surveillance by the National Security Agency, many members of the public encountered this once-obscure term from information science for the first time. Should people be reassured that the NSA was "only" collecting metadata about phone calls--information about the caller, the recipient, the time, the duration, the location--and not recordings of the conversations themselves? Or does phone call metadata reveal more than it seems? In this book, Jeffrey Pomerantz offers an accessible and concise introduction to metadata. In the era of ubiquitous computing, metadata has become infrastructural, like the electrical grid or the highway system. We interact with it or generate it every day. It is not, Pomerantz tell us, just "data about data." It is a means by which the complexity of an object is represented in a simpler form. For example, the title, the author, and the cover art are metadata about a book. When metadata does its job well, it fades into the background; everyone (except perhaps the NSA) takes it for granted. Pomerantz explains what metadata is, and why it exists. He distinguishes among different types of metadata--descriptive, administrative, structural, preservation, and use--and examines different users and uses of each type. He discusses the technologies that make modern metadata possible, and he speculates about metadata's future. By the end of the book, readers will see metadata everywhere. Because, Pomerantz warns us, it's metadata's world, and we are just living in it.

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3.8/5

Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library by Amanda Etches , Aaron Schmidt

Useful, usable, desirable, like three legs of a stool, if your library is missing the mark on any one of these it's bound to wobble. Every decision you make affects how people experience your library. In this useful primer, user experience (UX) librarians Schmidt and Etches identify 19 crucial touchpoints such as the library website, email, furniture, parking lot, events, Useful, usable, desirable, like three legs of a stool, if your library is missing the mark on any one of these it's bound to wobble. Every decision you make affects how people experience your library. In this useful primer, user experience (UX) librarians Schmidt and Etches identify 19 crucial touchpoints such as the library website, email, furniture, parking lot, events, and newsletters. They explain why each is important to your library's members and offer guidance on how to make improvements. From library administrators to public relations and marketing staff, anyone concerned with how members experience your library will benefit from this book's * Coverage of the eight principles of library UX design, explaining how they can guide you to better serve your library's members * Advice on simple, structured ways to evaluate and improve aspects such as physical space, service points, policies and customer service, signage and wayfinding, online presence, and using the library * Scorecard system for self evaluation, which includes methods for determining how much time, effort, and skill will be involved in getting optimum performance

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4.6/5

BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey

Libraries today are more important than ever. More than just book repositories, libraries can become bulwarks against some of the most crucial challenges of our age: unequal access to education, jobs, and information. In BiblioTech, educator and technology expert John Palfrey argues that anyone seeking to participate in the 21st century needs to understand how to find and u Libraries today are more important than ever. More than just book repositories, libraries can become bulwarks against some of the most crucial challenges of our age: unequal access to education, jobs, and information. In BiblioTech, educator and technology expert John Palfrey argues that anyone seeking to participate in the 21st century needs to understand how to find and use the vast stores of information available online. And libraries, which play a crucial role in making these skills and information available, are at risk. In order to survive our rapidly modernizing world and dwindling government funding, libraries must make the transition to a digital future as soon as possible—by digitizing print material and ensuring that born-digital material is publicly available online. Not all of these changes will be easy for libraries to implement. But as Palfrey boldly argues, these modifications are vital if we hope to save libraries and, through them, the American democratic ideal.

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