cataloging, information literacy, Wittgenstein, critical information literacy, philosophy of information
Labeling information is a precarious and risky enterprise. Catalogers have the task of fitting unique concepts within established and rigid language frameworks while also minimizing personal bias. The way information literacy librarians interact with labeled information also influences how users interact with information. Labeling moves beyond the role of categorizing, it also contributes to meaning making and knowledge building. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations serves as a philosophical footing to illustrate how the labeling of things, in this case information, shapes the way we give things meaning. Critical librarianship and philosophy of information theory add to the discussion by considering how personal perspective, power, and bias to manipulate the game of naming information that takes place in the information literacy classroom. This paper is an invitation for librarians to reflect upon the relationship between labeling and how all users of information engage with labels and subsequently create meaning and knowledge.
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Langan, K. A. (2021). The Library Language Game: Information Literacy through the Lens of Wittgenstein's Language Games. Communications in Information Literacy, 15 (1), 104–118. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2021.15.1.6