An underrated feature of physical books is how through used bookstores, estate sales, etc., they flirt with being a form of temporally resilient communal resource.

I have a couple books that are in their fifth century of life. They are not expensive or rare, just sets of words that have had 400+ years of people using them, kept in good shape and passed from caretaker to caretaker ("owner" isn't the right word in this case. I am caretaking for it. We are all librarians)

On this subject, lately I've become obsessed with personal libraries and archives, both physical and digital. I don't have a grand thesis yet, but there's something to the role an individual's practice of collecting and curating can lead to a distributed system of stored knowledge, particularly in arenas traditional institutions miss, but even just as a caretaking mentality, library as practice

@mncmncmnc I have this caretaking mentality with projects of mine like Soundpipe and sndkit to an extent. And that's a great way to describe it too: caretaking.

Originally, Soundpipe aimed to be a means to try and better preserve and curate the audio DSP algorithms found in computer music programs like Csound. In a way, I consider them my like my cultural heritage. I don't really feel a sense of "ownership" with these projects. More of a deep responsibility to ensure that the collective wisdom of computer musicians from past generations get properly passed down to the computer musicians of future generations.


@paul ahhhh I love this and this mentality! I hadn't seen Soundpipe but this is such an amazing example of this emerging definition of "library" I'm trying to explore. I love the module list, such a great example of documentation as something communicative, connective, and valuable

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