We need to add some new dimensions to the library.
The library today is 2-D, relying heavily on linear order – linear order of shelves, linear order of headings in the catalog, and linear order of catalog records that are retrieved with searches.
The first dimension that we need to add is linking; linking between items in the library based on any aspect of the concepts they contain; linking from the library to information outside of the library; and linking from the main information resource in the users’ environment, the Web, to the library. With links, the library can become 3-D.
The fourth dimension is time. It needs to be possible to follow thoughts and ideas in the library as the develop over time. This includes knowing what works influenced an author or inventor and what new discoveries that person may have contributed to. Readers should be able to reconstruct the context of information that they encounter, so that they can better understand the world that knowledge addressed.
The fifth dimension is people. What is in the library was created by people, and people will use the services and materials of the library in unpredictable ways. People will understand and create new knowledge using the library. That knowledge may be totally new to the world or just new for that user. It will combine thoughts from the person’s life and information previously encountered.
Karen Coyle, Think “Different”, 2012.