Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
We all seem to know what Library 1.0 is/was since we continue to tell everyone how 2.0 we are, and some of us have even begun formulating lies for why we're past that and ready to declare ourselves 3.0.
But what about the past; what about the before time? How would we classify the earliest forms of librarianship? I'm trying to understand how Library 2.0 applies to history. At what point can we say that the ideas for a library existed?
If we define Library 1.0 as the point where a form of the modern library exists and Library 0.0 is when no ideas for libraries exist, then what falls in between?
Recent excavations have revealed the discovery of an ancient stone pendant to support this theory (see image on my page). Speculation is that early librarians were recognized by wearing a symbol of the goddess Tanit; because it was easy to draw and seen as further proof of early librarianship because of its relationship to clip art and Ellison die cuts.
The earliest libraries were called Marypedia, or Maripedia (or pedians). And beginning with Library 0.2 Maripedia, they promoted their services by wearing variations of the pendant. Although the original Mary was obviously a “zero-point-twopian,” the discovered pendant displays “0.3.” The owner of this pendant clearly saw herself as apart from the other Maripedia, and was probably viewed, like today, as an ahole.
One of the chief criticisms of the Maripedia was that anyone could record data, and often conflicting data were stored. The Maripedia did not guarantee that all data are correct, only that what was recorded was stored accurately. Some educators and sorcerers considered the Maripedia a threat.
Remember, this is just a theory. Induced by too much cough medicine. Okay, bourbon.
A request is made of “Joe” to repeat a story to “Mary.” "Hey, Joe, tell Mary here, that thing you told me."
Information is recorded. We don't record for mass-distribution. We don't use external meta-tags. Tagging is learned and passed on through contact with the source. Information receives rudimentary categorization. Poor copies of source material are common.
Mary retells Joe's story. Mary is stoned to death for violating some law about speaking to men or learning. But that's another story.
Content is reproduced by memory and repetition. External tags are compared to the original and assessed for validity.
Mary is considered a reliable repository for information. Joe trusts her to repeat his stories accurately to others, and in turn, other storytellers publish their tales with Mary.
Others prove adept at mimicking Mary's storage abilities and other stories are published to these living libraries. Mary and the Maripedia are able to transfer valuable information between providers and customers. Confidentiality and security are chief concerns as Mary (and other Maripedia) are sought for their data storage.
As one of the earliest industrial spies, Lou sought to steal the valuable information the Maripedia carried. Others had come before Lou, but none had the ability to abstract and index as concisely. “2,000 jars oil. 100 goats. En-men-dur-ana has the clap.” Lou utilized pages (child runners) to relay his data to customers.
Lou discovers that if he pours water on the dirt, he can use a stick to scratch symbols into the mud. When the mud dries, the symbols remain. Having an idea for a written form of communication whereby these symbols adopt standard meaning that can be “read” by others, Lou shoots a couple of digital pictures to post on his Flickr account and blog to seek comments on his new idea.
Maripedians are captured and bribed or tortured (torture is much cheaper) into syndicating their information to various readers of Lou’s blog, and the information is transcribed into clay tablets for storage and portability.
Lou can’t carry all the tablets he’s collected, so he rents a place. It’s a little storefront in a strip mall, nothing fancy, but he hopes for a bond issue one day to build a real library.
The tablets are coded by symbols and colors and by subject and shelved by size. Data portability proves so successful that libraries are privatized to keep printed matter safe. Used tablet stores thrive: “You break it, you bought it” is a common business practice.
Then lots of other stuff happens, some monks die and Sean Connery investigates, Gutenberg invents moveable type printing, Hugh Hefner publishes Playboy, and you know the rest of the story.