Personal archiving and info lit

Vintage birthday card picturing a basket of flowers
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. Birthday greetings. Retrieved from

The District of Columbia Public Library has a Memory Lab, where people can save outdated media into newer formats and organize the files (Hazlett, 2018).  The ACRL Framework mentions the knowledge practice of organizing information “in meaningful ways” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2016, Research as Inquiry section).

The emphasis above is mine and bears explanation.   Organizational systems exist so that people can share how to find something: They are meaningful to the users.  For example our citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.) are based on shared meanings.  We can’t assume, though, that a novice user knows the meanings behind how academic information is organized.

Whether the information is personal treasures or academic articles, we organize it.  The recent Preservation Week (April 22-28) reminds us of this obvious point.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2016). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website:

Hazlett, D. R. (2018, April 1). The Memory Lab. Library Journal, 143(6). Retrieved from


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