Lynn E. Gates (Colorado)

From Chaos to Order


Embroidery and beadwork
Designed and stitched by Lynn E. Gates

“Metadata librarians take disparate pieces of information from a variety of places and in a variety of formats and bring them together into a whole that can be read and understood by all. In doing this we provide the foundation that our libraries are built on. This foundation allows books and other materials placed on a shelf (physical or virtual) to be found, it allows a user to check an item out and take it home, it allows other library staff to help users, etc. From Chaos to Order uses a variety of embroidery techniques to create a unified whole to show the path from individual pieces of metadata through a metadata librarian’s computer to the library and its users.”

Techniques used: bargello, bead embroidery, blackwork, bobbin lace, hardanger, goldwork and petit point.

Materials used: beads, canvas, cotton thread, felted wool, linen, silk gauze and silver bullion.


Lynn E. Gates is the director of cataloging and metadata services and assistant professor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Lynn’s intricate work comprises of many threads of beads coming together on a piece of fabric. The many threads are being funneled through a stitched image of a computer on a wavy blue background. Above the computer are three images of a home scene (pink), a help or reference desk (orange) and library shelving (greenish-yellow), representing how all the disordered data gets ordered, managed and created by metadata professionals to serve a specific use.


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Unseen Labor by Ann Kardos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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