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University of Dayton Libraries Blog


When my colleagues in the University Libraries gathered on the west portico of Roesch Library June 9 for our own version of the Olympics, our competitive nature, mostly dormant in our daily work, emerged in events that put our teams to the test both physically and mentally: journal Jenga, journal toss, cart racing, book balancing, speed sorting and the hardest scavenger hunt I’ve ever participated in.

But like many things I’ve discovered in my two years in the Libraries, the information science that inspired these trivial games is anything but trivial.

As I raced to put a cart full of books in order by the Library of Congress call numbers on their spine labels, the very genius of this system occurred to me: Without orderly cataloging of the world’s knowledge, even in this age of search engines and high-speed networks, information could easily be rendered obscure in an ocean of data, accessed by mere chance rather than intention. Research being a cumulative process, where would it be without the ability of scholars to discover and build upon the work of others in a subject area?

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