The Power to Name: Locating the Limits of Subject Representation in Libraries

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Kluwer Academic, Jan 1, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 261 pages
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The names we give things colour the ways we perceive them. Those in a position to name hold the power to construct others' perceptions and realities. This book looks at the pervasive naming of information that libraries undertake as a matter of course through representation of subjects. It examines the 19th century foundations, current standards, and canonical application of internationally used classification (Melvil Dewey and his decimal scheme) and subject headings (Charles Cutter and the Library of Congress Subject Headings). A feminist poststructural critique is used to reveal the presumption that these standards are universally applicable even though their marginalizations and exclusions are well-documented. The book will be of interest to librarians, information scholars and professionals, researchers interested in representation and the construction of meaning, and anyone who uses a library.

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About the author (2002)

HOPE A. OLSON, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, is also Editor-in-Chief of Knowledge Organization, the official journal of the International Society for Knowledge Organization.

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