About Knowledge Organization

Knowledge organization as a practice is foundational to librarianship. Libraries collect andmake accessible recorded knowledge and art. To carry out this mission librarians create catalogues,and make available indexes and other finding aids. Through naming and categorization theyorganize knowledge.

Knowledge organization, however, reaches beyond libraries and affects every aspect of ourinformation-focused lives. The diversity of our researchers demonstrates that. At the iSchool we askbasic questions about the nature of knowledge organization systems like catalogues, the semanticweb and Wikipedia. And we ask comparative questions like how do Native American ways of knowinginform the creation and evaluation of our tools for knowledge organization? And how do differentmedia require different representation, say for example video games or music?

Knowledge Organization at the iSchool and Beyond

The practice of knowledge organization is ancient. From the time that human beings needed tomanage assertions about the world, they needed to organize those assertions -that knowledge.The academic reflection on knowledge organization surfaces in different disciplines atdifferent times. In the contemporary research landscape computer science, information science,librarianship, archives, museums, as well as textual studies, and other humanities all informknowledge organization. Each of these streams feeds our understanding of how people problem-solve to make accessible the vast and varied amount of information extant in the world today.