A few weeks ago my wife and me visited the National Library of Spain in a guided tour. It was quite boring – that’s not been a big surprise. But one thing caught my attention. It was exciting to come to know how they organize their vast collection. One would expect that they order the books and other media by release date, genre or author. But what they actually do because of the limited space in the historic building is to sort them by physical size!
Real-world file systems
They then use paper files to find a book by author, date or other categories. Library staff locates the desired item in a shelf or drawer identified by a unique number. Of course most of this file system is already computerized.