Reflection on Chapter 11 of the Portable MLIS

If I searched for Chapter 11 on an internet search engine, I doubt that I can easily find the Portable MLIS listed.  Searching might seem like an art form, but it’s really science.  We don’t find what we’re looking for because information is often stored in conflicting manners.  Attempts to standard the way we label data has been difficult.  Who dictates the universal method?  What if there’s something that doesn’t fit?  In an ever changing world, we will continue to encounter new data that might throw the system off.

“How you can retrieve it is determined by how it was stored.”  It’s very practical.  If you throw an item into the back of a messy closet, it will take you some time to find, assuming you can find it at all.  But if you carefully placed it in an organized closet you can find it with ease.  The problem is that the closet can be messy.  The internet is a big mess and there have been efforts to “organize” it, but it is an endless task.  People can create a webpage and throw it on the internet.  It becomes another part of the mess.  If we have each new page categorized before it is even part of the internet, then it might be possible to organize the internet.  There are so many little problems that may arise that I’m not sure how that will work.

Searching and retrieving information from a database is easier.  All the data should have metadata, which organizes everything.  Since it is stored in a standard manner, we just need to know how to search efficiently.  I think this is where searching is definitely a science and not an art form.  There’s nothing incredibly fancy.  All you need to know is the language and the options each database has.  While each database is a little different from one another, once you figure out how it works from its help/thesaurus, you can retrieve any information like a professional.

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