Sorting and searching at the library

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This post is about searching and sorting, two fundamental aspects of data processing, and what the library has to teach us about them.

If there’s a theme here, it is that the library is doing things that are recongizable as algorithms from computer science. But not the obvious textbook algorithms! I guess when an algorithm is going to take up a human being’s time, it tends to get optimized. These algorithms seem to be tuned very well indeed. But perhaps if you looked inside any organization you’d find something similar.