The Discipline of Organizing. MIT. 2013. 539p. ed. by Robert J. Glushko. bibliog. notes. index. ISBN 9780262518505. $40. PRO MEDIA
Have you ever organized your books, CDs or DVDs, food pantry items, files on your computer, or bookmarked websites? If so, though the activity may have felt like second nature to you, what you were actually doing, according to editor Glushko (Sch. of Information, Univ. of California, Berkeley; coauthor, Document Engineering: Analyzing and Designing Documents for Business Informatics and Web Services), was creating an “Organizing System—an intentionally arranged collection of resources and the interactions they support.” Here, Glushko pulls together contributions from scholars, information analysts, and technology experts to introduce the concept of an organizing system and explain the fundamental goals and challenges in the design and setup of such systems, using libraries, museums, businesses, and other organizations to illustrate how these systems are created. Entries cover such topics as selecting and organizing resources, theories of categorization, classifications (faceted and computational), and forms of resource descriptions (e.g., XML, JSON, RDF). Each chapter concludes with six types of endnotes: citation, LIS (library and information science), computing, CogSci (cognitive science), law, and business. Additional resources include a glossary and companion website. VERDICT This ambitious and well-written book provides a foundation of the theory and practice of organizing. It is highly recommended to library and information science academics who incorporate the concept of organizing or organization into their courses.