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Open Platforms and the Anti-Fragile Library

Antifragile collections

Wilkin profiles are a concept explained by Dan Cohen in 2012. Named after John Wilkin, a ‘Wilkin Profile’ essentially shows how unique a library’s collection is compared to any given group of libraries.

A library with lots of titles that are only held by a few other libraries in the set will have a ‘left leaning profile’. A library with mostly titles also held by many other libraries will have a ‘right leaning profile’. A library that has a few unique titles and a few popular ones but mostly an average sort of collection will have a ’rounded profile’.

If we took the Taleb ‘barbell’ approach to collection management, the Wilkin Profile would look like a left-leaning barbell. This is something we have started doing with our hardcopy reference collection at my library service. In public libraries a hardcopy non-lending reference collection is really used for two things – quick reference where it is easier and/or faster to use hardcopy than online e.g. language dictionaries, thesauri and questions with complex or obscure answers that can’t be easily answered with freely available online information which manufacturer does that silver mark belong to? what will the tide line be at this location in two weeks? When was this local building constructed?.

via Open Platforms and the Anti-Fragile Library.
HatTip to Dave Lull

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