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A Brief Introduction

So what are library patterns?  A combination of Christopher Alexander’s pattern languages and James Burke’s connections, applied to library functions and services.  Speaking of Alexander’s oeuvre, Wikipedia writes:

The work originated from an observation that many medieval cities are attractive and harmonious. The authors said that this occurs because they were built to local regulations that required specific features, but freed the architect to adapt them to particular situations.

There are two aspects in this description that are particularly apropos when defining library patterns: freedom within form, and the creative adaptation of historical precedent. Continue reading