Friday, January 05, 2007

Spicy ponderings

As the New Year begins, resolutions creep up on your consciousness. I make very few resolutions, as it's too depressing when you've broken all of them by the end of January. But, general goals for the year are okay. One of my general goals this year, as always, is to get just a little better organized. This takes me of course to my spice drawer. It is one of the only places I feel tidy and organized regularly.
Now that I've moved and have a whole new kitchen to set up, I have a bit of a conundrum, which is calling my professional skills into use. The drawer I had my spices in at our previous abode was perfectly sized to hold all my 22 spice jars in perfect alphabetical order. The new drawer is much larger, allowing for different configurations. So how do I organize them? Which classification scheme would be of most use? Alphabetization is straightforward and easily accomplished. But would it be more useful to organize them according to place of origin -- or by use (cooking or baking) -- or by format (whole or ground)? It reveals once again the slippery nature of classification. Every time something is slotted into a particular place, it is a judgement call. This applies whether it is spices, or genres of books, or individuals you are talking about.
In this case, I'll stick to the ABC's. It's proven useful in the past. And as every librarian knows, a system is only worth following if it's useful to its users.

1 comment:

  1. Believe it or not, this was actually an exercise I had to do in library school. FYI... an organizational scheme based on plant part of origin (roots, stems, leaves, seeds) requires more research than you'd think it would.


Thanks for stopping by ~ I always enjoy hearing your comments so please feel free to leave some!