Developing Optimal Subject Representation for Adult Non-fiction Public Library Collections: The Intersections of Hermeneutics and Technology

By Matthew Kelly.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 10, 2014 $US5.00

The problem of how to select a mix of subjects for a public library collection that facilitates a holistic representation of knowledge is grounded in the question of how subjective choice can adequately suffice when a selector lacks specialised domain awareness. This paper advocates bringing hermeneutic insight to bear upon the interpretation of subject priority to create a more defined link between objectivity in knowledge organisation and the promotion of a more generalised communal understanding. The paper also outlines how knowledge domains that are considered appropriate to civil society settings can be manifested in the acts of selecting and evaluating collections and how, through bracketing these choices, a more reflexive practice might be achieved. A conceptual innovation is offered which combines the linking of a hermeneutic approach to subject knowledge with comparative meta-collection analysis, utilising the WorldCat union catalogue, to help optimise the range and depth of available information in public libraries.

Keywords: Collection Management, Hermeneutics, Public Libraries

Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing, Volume 10, Issue 2, January 2015, pp.11-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 10, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 258.811KB)).

Mr Matthew Kelly

PhD Candidate, Department of Information Studies, Curtin University, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia