Thursday, 20 October 2011

Niggling notions

I decided to write a post on some things that keep cropping up and don't really belong anywhere on their own.  So I have given them a home in this rather mismatched post.

An OCD Nightmare by Diamond Geyser, on Flickr
Mismatched socks - I so want some

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  Diamond Geyser 

In this week's 605 reading (Reference and Information Literacy Services) there is discussion on when and how to use the internet as a reference tool.  An interesting point raised is that, at the start of the twenty-first century, reference librarians viewed the internet as a tool that patrons can use themselves rather than as a bona fide reference tool (Ross and Nilsen, 2000).  As librarians we need to aid the use of the internet and facilitate understanding of it as thewikiman eloquently puts it and I have discussed previously.

In 616 (Information Resources: Organisation and Access) this week, apart from making me very nostalgic for Cambridge with LC cataloguing, we touched on the use of classification numbers in the digital world.  This is something I have already written about and about which I am genuinely in quite a quandary.  Our professor, an avid cataloguer, stated that classification numbers may become extinct.

dodo by kevinzim, on Flickr

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  kevinzim 

But do not fret, she also mentioned a solution.  Online items allow for several classifications and so several possible 'virtual shelves'.  There have been many times when I have come across a physical book that could fit in several locations and I have had to think long and hard about where I should put it to best suit the uses of the students.  In the virtual world, however, several classifications can be attributed to fully represent the subjects covered by the item.  However, I don't know why we can't just use subject headings for the purpose of searching?  Are classification numbers themselves still necessary?  Many in my class would say not based primarily on the rather arcane and illogical nature of the classification systems but I'm loathe to give on them so easily.

And I thought that I would add here in this rather bitty post the video that I and three of my classmates made for one of our classes to answer the question "You need a graduate degree to do that?" - it should give you a laugh.  It was fun to make and gets out point across in a concise and lighthearted manner.


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