Great point, Deg! I guess my response to that is that these other materials
have their own Dewey/LCC call numbers, or that they (for the most part) are
physically unable to reside comfortably on the same shelves as the regular
sized books and/or videos. You make this point below as well; I would still
argue that some media collocation is better than none.
Buy libraries don't do that. And why is that? Because in many instances,
filing materials together by format or information structure makes sense for
space, for staff maintenance, for access to the necessary equipment to
view/use the content, for user access.
It seems to me that the key to what is in the collection is not the
placement of similar content in close proximity, but rather the * catalog *.
And then secondly, a staff that users can approach and obtain assistance in
locating materials they are seeking. The serendipitous discovery of content
by browsing is great... But should we be promoting it as the means of
Naturally the catalog and our own work allow searchers to find everything
(*ahem* no easy jokes here, please!), but why shouldn't we try to facilitate
browsing as well? Many people prefer finding their information through
browsing techniques, even on (in?) a media as dense and disorganized as the
Internet, let alone the place that they can go where everything is
preconceptually ordered for browsing. Currently, we actually hinder a
library browser from finding this additional avenue of information by
forcing her/him to think in terms of media before subject . . .
Using hippos again as the focus... Perhaps all the user wants is a good
color picture of a hippo... National Geographic might have that... But the
user may not know to check Reader's Guide, or some other article index for
True enough, but that is where the reference librarian comes in, regardless