Saturday, 11 October 2014

ETL 505 - Critical Reflection

Part C – Critical Reflection

As information needs change and develop, the number of resources available for library users will change and grow as well. 

Information resource description is the information that describes a resource to make it accessible to searchers and users.  Information about a resource is called metadata and it’s the quality of this metadata that makes information resources more accessible to users.  The function, comprehensiveness, accuracy, clarity and consistency of metadata all determine the quality of metadata and have considerable impact on the effectiveness of information retrieval tools.  Quality metadata is required to make information resources more accessible to users. (Hider, 2012)

Resource description and cataloguing are the backbone of the school library collection.  They are two elements that work together to bring you organised resources that can be accessed easily.  Through the use of quality information resource description, Teacher Librarians open the gate to resources that are easily accessible by the majority of library users.  Every resource is different and offers the user and the subject various levels of information.  (Hider, 2012)  The quality of information resource description helps library users to access the most appropriate resource for their needs.

Learning about RDA and the importance and benefits of user-friendly systems of organisation.  RDA is an international cataloguing standard with the structure for recording date based on the FRBR user tasks of find, identify, select and obtain.  The first assessment item for this subject gave me another perspective to the way information is recorded and organised within a library setting.  The organisation of information isn’t just about having everything in order; it is just as much about how easily library users can access the information they are searching for. (Hider, 2012)
Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) provide catalogue records for an infinitesimal number of resources, to a growing number of schools and educational services.  Catalogue records include SCIS Subject Headings and terms from the Schools Online Thesaurus (SCOT) that are uniform across Australia.  
Accuracy and consistency are vital to the implementation of SCIS Guidelines and the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system.  SCIS and DDC are complex cataloguing systems that allow users access to the resources they are looking for through a variety of search entry points.  As well as the consideration of subject headings, there are rules and regulations that guide the classification of works so that they can be catalogued with like materials and not placed where they will not be accessible to users. The majority of library users would be oblivious to the complex nature of cataloguing and the importance of accuracy, consistency and diligence when organising resources for a library.

ETL505 has taught me a lot about the technical side of Teacher Librarianship and the importance of guidelines and universal formats, critical analysis and accuracy.  I have learned the skills of resource description, subject heading assignation and resource classification.  It is interesting that now I have a greater knowledge and understanding of the nuts and bolts of resource organisation, I have looked at the books on my bookshelf at home and my mind has immediately begun to reorganize the resources away from the physical attributes of the books to the content of the books. 

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

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