ETL505: Describing and Analysing Resources

Assignment 2 Part C Reflections

This course has dramatically changed the way I think about cataloging and developed my understanding immensely. It has also left me with the realisation that I have a long way to go before mastering any of the systems that I have learnt about.  I found this course to be one of the most challenging of the degree thus far.  I was overwhelmed by the information at hand and found some of the activities in the modules contradictory. When attempting to participate in the module activities, I found that other people’s concerns left me feeling more confused and overwhelmed. Where to from here? The answer was simple, continue reading, continue practicing and ask for help.

The complexity of the Metatdata standards and the existence of different standards were overwhelming. Hider, (2012) describes librarians as ‘information and bibliographic organisers’ and to do this, I needed to build an understanding of metadata, its associated vocabularies, classifications and tools and systems. What did I need to do to improve my knowledge and understanding when I currently don’t work in that field of specialisation?

One of the most beneficial learning tasks I undertook whilst doing this subject was the ETL507 Placement. It allowed me to consolidate the information I was learning about and put it into practice. I was able to witness first hand how the storage of resources and archives differed based on the metadata standards. Specifically, I could recognise how a failure to use metadata standards had resulted in dramatically reduced accession rates. My knowledge and understanding of Dewey Decimal classification (DDC) within the TAFE Library context developed dramatically. I developed my ability to build DDC numbers, to organise texts so they are located more easily, to classify items and research item classification numbers (because we don’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel) in order to consistently and systematically locate items (Svenonius, E. 2001). I developed an understanding of why this system is also implemented in so many school libraries and how. Additionally I developed an understanding of how the SCIS standards influence the way we located and catalogue items (CSU Module 5 forum). Hider & Harvey (2008) identify that we must be aware of the users, their needs and how we can adapt our systems to meet their needs, and in this case, DDC works. It additionally enforced the essential requirement to have metadata system that organises information effectively in order to locate and retrieve relevant information when required. Essentially, how could standardised vocabularies enhance my ability to access and organise collections?

I studied the Subject access spectrum, and considered-what search strategies do I use the most (CSU Module 4 forum)? Are these effective? What strategies do my students use? Continuing to interact and research the SCIS headings expanded my understanding and built my confidence. I am increasingly aware of how the requirements of school students and teachers impacts the way we organise information both physically and virtually. How can I use this new knowledge and improved vocabulary to assist my students in locating information?

I am increasingly developing a systematic understanding of the methods that information resources are being portrayed in with the purpose of accessing information across a vast range of contexts. Obtaining this knowledge and understanding is not a stagnate process. I can see how past and future trends in information organisation will continue to shape how we describe, organise and access educational resources.  The big question now- how will I adapt my own practice to continue to grow and expand my knowledge? Will social tagging and folksonomies move from social metadata  and shape the way we view and use metatdata as a whole in the future (Hilder, 2012)? I look forward to finding out and continuing to build confidence and understanding as I adapt and in an ever increasingly technological age.

Resources

CSU Forum 4 (2014) Retrieved from:http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL505_201460_W_D/page/a71f364c-437b-4aa3-8025-d55530cbf661

CSU Forum 5 (2014) Retrieved from:http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL505_201460_W_D/page/430569b8-fe33-4874-005d-14117967e95d

Hider, P. (2012). Information Resource Description Creating and Managing Metadata. London: Facet Publishing.

Hider, P., & Harvey, R. (2008). Organising Knowledge in a global society. Principles and practice in libraries and information centres. Wagga Wagga: Centre for information studies. Charles Sturt University

Svenonius, E. (2001). The intellectual foundation of information organization. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.


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