I was surfing around Scientopia and found a discussion of metadata schemas on The Book of Trogool. I guess if I thought about it, I would have realized that different disciplines use different organizational structures for their data, and this puts up language barriers between them. But I had never realized just how much power such a situation gives the librarians. Especially in a university of magic!
Fortunately, Bill Hooker and Dorothea Brown over at Book of Trogool are right on top of this, even to expressing it in verse:
“Three schemas for the astronomers under the sky;
Seven for the urban planners in their halls of stone;
Nine with which biologists comply;
and ONE for the Librarian on hir Dark Throne:
In the Land of Library, where the metadata lies.
One schema to rule them all,
One schema to find them;
One schema to bring them all;
And in the repository bind them.
In the Land of Library, where the metadata lies.”
Plenty of arcane libraries exist in fiction, but most of them rely on books for their effects — biting books, evil books, flying books, books that never existed. How much more exciting and dangerous will the virtual world of the magic library become, in modern universities of magic?
Caveat scriptor – as in all plot noodling posts, your great ideas may be stolen and used in future novels without attribution.