Peter Morville’s Ambient Findability could have been an abstract, jargon-littered clunker of a book. Instead it’s easy to read, grounded with great examples, and has lovely color pictures and diagrams to break up the text.
Using examples from that book, Morville presented a fascinating history of library sciences (in medieval times, books were actually chained to the shelves to prevent theft), pre-internet information search studies, and current information architecture issues from Google rankings to Amazon’s cacophonious layout. Even if you aren’t an IA, you’ll appreciate learning about the way we find the information we need and how design can enhance or hinder the process.
We especially loved learning that, at one point in time, librarians had the ultimate control over all knowledge, making them the most powerful figures in culture.