Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Librarians: Connect and Collect/Curate

Late last week I was going through old files where I'd made a few notes several years ago. I came across the item below. This is the most basic way I could represent librarianship in a single image:

I just kind of dropped it on Twitter with the comment that maybe there could be a better word to use than "collect." I remember going back and forth between "collect" and "organize" since the general public understands both of those words. The problem is that, to me, organize--while commonly associated with librarians--doesn't convey the level of purpose in what a librarian does as quite like the word collect. Organizing can be as simple as color-matching, but collecting is a purposeful decision to select and remove items from a grouping.

I received two good ideas from the library twitterverse. Several people mentioned changing collect to "curate" and another person suggested even adding a third leg with the word "care for." Here are those images.

I do like the word curate in this instance better than collect, because there is a greater purpose to a curated group of items than a collection of items. I must say, though, that while I like the simplicity of Connect-Collect/Curate there is always something appealing about things in threes. The addition of "Care for" tells the viewer that librarians aren't simply warehouses for books, which is always a good thing to remind people.

I also made a slightly improved version of Connect-Collect:

What you think? Do you have other words to use in place of collect, curate, care for, or even connect?