This subject has developed my understanding as previously, I had no idea the amount of time and effort that went into the creation and organisation of resources for retrieval, especially in a school setting. When beginning this topic I was overwhelmed with new concepts. In fact the concepts continued to be difficult to understand up until I was able to put them into practice in the activities and the assessments.
According to Hider (2012, p. 61), it is the teacher librarians job to assist in the retrieval of the vast amount of information available in today’s world. Information organisation is the way information can be organised to improve access to resources physically as well as through using specific organising techniques such as arranging, labelling or using indexes (Hider, 2012, p.11). These techniques describe the resources using metadata which if done effectively will have a positive effect on resource usage within an information organisation.
Metadata needs to be entered into information retrieval systems such as online catalogues that can be found in schools. It is now common practice in schools for teacher librarians to download catalogue records which contain all the metadata required. They acquire these records commonly from places such as School Catalogue Information Services (SCIS). However it is still the teacher librarian’s job to enhance and maintain these records to suit the needs of students and staff within the school.
When creating catalogue records certain standards need to be followed. Libraries have been creating guidelines for many years and many of these were looked at in this subject with specific focuses on the new standard, Resource Description and Access (RDA). My understanding developed in the use of metadata elements and format through the modules 1-3 as well as the assessment task that was completed.
Module 4 developed my understanding in the area of standard vocabularies which is the language used to describe particular elements and specifically the subject element (Garrison, 2014). I have come to realise through my study that subject access plays a large role in information retrieval especially in a school setting where I have found student and staff information queries tend to be subject based. My understanding of controlled and uncontrolled subject headings has developed. SCIS Subject Headings have helped me to develop my understanding of how my own school catalogue works and my teaching of the use of the school catalogue to students. I have also broadened my knowledge of Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT).
Module 5’s focus was based around the Dewey Decimal Classification 23 (DDC23) scheme as well as SCIS Standards for cataloguing and data entry. The DDC23 according to OCLC (2014, p. 1), classifies information to organise knowledge represented in different form by using notation in the form of Arabic numerals. For the DDC23 to be used effectively in Australian schools, SCIS created adaptations to it.
As I am currently working in a school I can now see the significance that this subject brings into a school. My understanding of the concepts around describing and analysing resources, specifically the concepts around metadata, will help to manage my library more effectively to better suit the needs of my school.
Garrison, K. (2014). Subject access. [ETL505 Module 4.1]. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL505_201460_W_D/page/a71f364c-437b-4aa3-8025-d55530cbf661
Hider, P. (2012). Information resource description: creating and managing metadata. London: Facet.
Online Computer Library Center. (2014). Introduction to the Dewey Decimal Classification. Retrieved from Online Computer Library Center website: http://dewey.org/webdewey/standardSearch.html