After weeks of torture in Cataloging, I think we've finally come to an area that I can (somewhat) embrace - LCSH!! (Library of Congress Subject Headings, y'all!)
I don't know why, but I do love the classification of *things*. I've always loved organizing things and making order out of chaos, so this part deux of the class is something I can relate to more than the description of items. Classification and organization are two of the main reasons why I'm drawn to IA (information architecture) work. Finding similarities in items that appear to have no relationship is tricky, whether it is in a catalog or on a website. The main idea is to get users to find the item and hopefully, matched up categories correctly so that they get from searching to finding rather painlessly.
Pete Morville talks about "findability" in his blogs, books, etc. He is one of the forerunners in the area of IA and, I think, quite brilliant. One thing he comes back to and, really this is oversimplified but true, "You can't use what you can't find." I think if Cutter were alive today he'd be leading the charge with Pete and the rest of them in the "user experience" movement and making things more 'findable' whether it be in a database or on the web.
I'm not going to blather on, but I thought I'd leave some good resources on the topic of user experience, findability and IA in general. I hope you get some time to check these out:
Findability - http://findability.org/
UX Zeitgeist - http://rosenfeldmedia.com/uxzeitgeist/
(great place to link to books, articles, etc. on the "above" mentioned topics)
What is IA? - http://iainstitute.org/en/learn/resources/what_is_ia.php
(probably should have started here first...basic def. of what IA is by the Information Architecture Institute)