Saturday, March 12, 2005

Useful Technology

When asked if I think technology negatively affects how people write, I'm hesitant to venture a guess. When pressed, I mention my suspicion that technology might hinder serendipity in researching. While a Google search no doubt yields unexpected results, those results still contain the search terms entered. The poster-child example I've used is researching in a library. When I go to pull a book from the shelf, I often stop and browse the titles near by, or even not-so-nearby, but on my way. Technology, I thought, hindered this particular kind of serendipitous researching. Until now.

Searching NCSU Libraries' online catalogue for Mirel, Barbara, Interaction design for complex problem solving: developing useful and usable software, I saw that the book was available and located on in the 6th floor stacks at QA76.9 .H85 M57. And then I saw this.

Posted by Hello

Clicking "Browse the shelf!" displays a list of books which are "near by" in the stacks -- books with close call numbers and therefore, on a somewhat related topic. I'm impressed.

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