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Last updated Dec 24, 2021 Edit Source

The Great Library of Alexandria is one of the largest information systems in modern history. It was built in Alexandria, Egypt, and part of a larger research institution called the Mouseion. The idea behind the library was to be a universal collection of knowledge.

Many influential philosophers worked at the library in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, including Euclid (founder of geometry), Homer (author of epic Greek poems), Plato (founder of the first Western university), and Socrates (founder of Western moral philosophy).

Public libraries are great examples of where knowledge goes beyond data and information. They are centers for civic knowledge, trusted knowledge broker, community archives, public digital infrastructure, rather than just a place to borrow books

Do we need bookstores and libraries anymore? Yes!

How can digital communities learn from libraries and librarians to prevent a Library of Alexandria moment?

See also: information system

# Fugitive Libraries

Source: Fugitive Libraries by Shannon Mattern

Libraries are not universally welcoming spaces. At least 87% of librarians are white, and stories of discrimination/hostility for their race/class/sexual identity/disability are not uncommon. There is a lot of reinforcement of outdated values embedded in classification.

There is a concept called “ double-consciousness” which is essentially the “sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” especially felt by minorities. Historical library practices can shape contemporary technologies.

How neutral should libraries be? Historically, neutrality has been a core value for a lot of librarians, but has often been used to justify “disengagement from crises in urban communities.”

Undercommons: a place allowing for “ongoing experiment” with informal ways of learning together, of building futures together

Fugitivity then, is the mode of being other than settled, especially recognizing that there are spaces and modalities that exist separate from the logical, the logistical, the housed and the positioned.

# The permanent library

Archive nesting in Arweave