A central problems of libraries is the category — particularly the ones we are accustomed to. They are, Nowviskie writes, “enlightenment-era crystallizations of a singular, dominant understanding,” failing to represent marginalized communities and, on an individual level, “all the other words users might use to describe themselves.” (Drabinski)
I was imagining a library where everyone could have their personal catalog with a preferred set of categories that maps to a shared shelving system (which would be stripped of legible categories or thematic order). It wouldn’t need ‘category words’ that attempt to mean the same for everyone. It could even function without words, arranged visually or spatially on a digital map, or in different ways which, I am sure, others have already pioneered.
I can imagine this library to feel more welcoming for everyone but am afraid it might, at the same time, prevent debate about values that should be shared.