User:Alice/Even more words

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I am interested in developing an added feature to the bulk collection of books in the library, represented in the idea of stacks. A stack is a number of books that are alternatively read at a certain point in time. What makes them cohesive is the fact that they follow a certain study path, while not necessarily having the same topic. A stack of books can be a very personal collection that one keeps close, that may or may not have a specific order or hierarchy, and that makes it easy to be browsed over and over again. The stacks can also be represented through a certain time period that the reader needs to dedicate in order to go through, and can thus be edited and remixed according to this parameter. One of the main theoretical bases for this research is the study "'Isms' In Information Science: Constructivism, Collectivism and Constructionism", which describes three of the most important theories and perspectives in information science. For this project, the concepts of social constructivism and constructionism are the most relevant ones that will help be better define the idea of stacks. In addition to this, I am also interested in the possibility to combine certain parts of texts, in order to create a mixtape that caters to your knowledge needs.

Another central interest is developing an interface that would be best suited for a library that serves our community. The library will provide a platform for sharing and discussions, with the potential to grow at any time. It is important that the project is always in a state of work in progress. In this way, anyone who is or wants to be part of the network can develop new features and adapt the library to cater to the ever changing needs of our community.

Stacks are central to the way the collection is represented and structured. Each stack represents a certain knowledge core, in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Readers are able to browse through ready-made stacks and combine them into new ones. The stacks come with a description to make it easier for the reader to select a certain stack based on her needs, as well as with a way of representing the volume of text that is included in the stack. A possibility for this comes in the idea of reading time, which helps the reader visualise the length of their chosen path and plan accordingly. While the specific technical details of this structure are still vague, I imagine it being represented as a series of intersecting paths. The use of tags to guide users through the library is also a necessary feature.

The concept of stacks relies on a combination of two meta-theories in information science– collectivism (social constructivism) and constructionism. In broad terms, this means that the emphasis within the concept of the stack is on discourse as knowledge production, social understandings of knowledge and the knowledge as a product of thought-collectives.

When building a stack, one can think of a particular project she was involved in. In the process of working on that project, references built up from many different sources, some contradictory, some irrelevant at first glance, but ultimately useful in creating a broad view around the topic of research. The community the researcher is part of has a major influence in building the reference points that are being accessed within the research. All information that circulates around this particular project is reconstructed in the idea of a stack of books kept beside the bed, one that is consulted often, with books browsed at random when needed.

As Marcia Bates references in her paper on digital libraries, ‘The user’s experience is phenomenologically different from the indexer’s experience. The user ’s task is to describe something that, by definition, he or she does not know (Belkin, 1982)’. What is more, as Harter (1992) points out, discovering that a particular article is relevant to one’s concerns does not necessarily mean that the article is ‘about’ the same subject as one’s originating interest. Generally, catalogers do not index on the basis of these infinitely many possible anticipated needs. Trying to combine both of these experiences made me realize why elements such as stack description, other books in the stack, links between stacks and annotations are so necessary. They are there to guide the reader to the desired topic without necessarily knowing exactly what she is looking for.

I believe this feature can give an accurate representation of the way in which learning happens, which is more eclectic than homogenous. Inspiration can come from surprising sources, and often from a wide range of fields. In order to reflect on a certain topic, you often have to combine ideas that don't necessarily come from the same source. This is in line with my previous research that looked for surprising connections between various fields, that led me to explore the relationship between weaving and programming. At the same time, I find inspiration in the complexity of knowledge within the network of people connected to the Piet Zwart Institute, and I believe sharing this knowledge would have tremendous potential. The network from which this project is starting is always growing, which makes it important to have a virtual space to share and interact. Finally, there is a need to create more and more projects that take a stand for the free sharing of knowledge, unrestricted by copyrights and contracts and other economic barriers.


Talja, S., Tuominen, K., Savolainen, R. (2005) "“Isms” in information science: constructivism, collectivism and constructionism", Journal of Documentation [Internet], Vol. 61 Issue: 1, pp.79-101. Available from:

Hjørland , Birger, (2002) "Domain analysis in information science: Eleven approaches – traditional as well as innovative", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 58 Issue: 4, pp.422-462,

Katchadourian, N. (2014). Kansas Cut-Up. KMAC Museum. Retrieved from

Bates, J. M, (1998). "Indexing and access for digital libraries and the Internet: human, database, and domain factors", Journal of the American Society for Information Science [Internet], Volume 49 Issue 13, Nov. 1998, pp. 1185-1205. Available from:

What I'm Reading

The Pirate book - edited by Nicolas Maigret & Maria Roszkowska

Beyond Representation: The Figure of the Pirate - by Lawrence Liang

In Defense of the Poor Image - by Hito Steyerl

Notes About Spamsoc - by Hito Steyerl

Coda: A Short History of Book Piracy - by Bodó Balázs

Digital Libraries: Analysis of Delos Reference Model and 5S Theory - by Abdulmumin Isah, Athulang Mutshewa, Batlang Comma Serema, Lekoko Kenosi

Maintenance Art Manifesto - by Mierle Laderman Ukeles

The Undercommons - by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten

Dispossession: The Performative in the Political - by Judith Butler and Athena Athansiou