Soft Systems Methodology: Its Origins and Use in Librarianship

This Web document is a reformatted version of Chapter Three of Brown-Syed, C.  From CLANN to UNILINC: An Automated Library Consortium from a Soft Systems Perspective (Australia, Peter Checkland). Thesis [Ph.D.]; 1996. University of Toronto (Canada); 0779. ISBN: 0-612-11862-2. DAI, Vol. 57-08A, Page 3309, 00308 Pages. This chapter was presented with slight modifications under the title, “Soft,

lis course notes – magnetic core memory.

This page features some pictures of a 10,000 Bit magnetic core memory. After relays and vacuum tubes, but before RAM memory, there was core.  Even today, core leaves its legacy. An inelegant program which uses a lot of RAM is occasionally called a ‘core hog’. When programs abended (i.e. crashed), the operating system would print out

By Christopher Brown-Syed

What sorts of roles do librarians play in works of fiction? In what sorts of dramatic situations do contemporary writers involve them? How are the personalities and the working situations of these fictitious librarians described? Can we construct a tentative “literary image” of the profession, based upon scrutiny of a few recent novels involving librarians?

Ancient and Medieval libraries

What do librarians do? What principles lie behind the profession? Librarians have traditionally gathered, organized, and disseminated information. In some ways, Aristotle can be said to be the father of librarianship in the West. His categories were a scheme for deciding what something was about. They survive today in the rules of journalism. Who, what,

“Five Laws of Library Science”

Like most laws, they look simple until you think about them. Can you think of some implications of S.R.Ranganathan’s laws for information organization and retrieval, for library automation, for service planning, for collections development….? Try using Marshall McLuhan’s technique of ‘pushing a statement about a medium to its limits’. Look for corollaries. If books are

McBee Cards

Before automated circulation systems, we had McBee Cards. The McBee Keysort System consisted of punched cards and a needle. Different types of information could be written on the cards, such as borrower status,  item call numbers, and due-date. Holes around the edges of the cards could be punched out, so that when the needle was

Cool librarians

Click on these pictures to learn why you should worship a librarian, or visit the belly-dancing librarian, the lipstick librarian, the laughing librarian, or the racing librarian, or the Rockin’ librarian. And if Punk Rock doesn’t appeal to you, call on the Country librarian. Then look below for “Rupert Giles”, and other librarians of fact and

Saint Lawrence

A patron saint of libraries and librarians is Saint Lawrence the Librarian. He is a third century saint and martyr (died AD 258) who had responsibility for the written archives and records of the early church.St Lawrence was one of seven famous deacons of the early church. The other six deacons along with Pope St.