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ETL505: Module 1; The need for information resource description.

Posted by arlekeno on July 11, 2012

Information organisation, I like this term ( much more than Cataloguing or Bibliographic organisation considering our current digital aquisitions).

Study task: Think about infomration organisation. Well, I will compare my lovely library, which is nicely organised ( provided you remember which books are graphic novels and which aren’t etc) to say, the search engine for clickview… AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! Learn to use proper search terms you clickview idiots.

In short, a well organised anything is easy to use, a badly organised search makes life tricky.

Now, time to read the text. Even if it means we are skipping ahead 😛

Hider, P (with Harvey, R) 2008, ‘What makes information retrieval systems effective?’, in Organising knowledge in a global society, rev. edn. Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, pp. 21-23.   

Study task

What do you consider to be the main points Hider (2008) is making in the above reading? You are invited to share your ideas on the module 1 subforum.

It looks to me like Hider is saying that the system must work, and be used by many organisations so there can be efficiency and familiarity accross a standardised way of doing things. If the system doesn’t work people won’t co-operate in it anyway, so it will have to be user friendly, give the best results etc, but I guess co-operation and all is time and money saving.

Who organises information?


On the web you will find a  paper titled ‘Electronic information and the functional intergration of libraries, museums and archives‘ by W. Boyd Rayward, History and Electronic Artefacts. Edited by Edward Higgs. Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1998, pp207-226. Read the section entitled ‘The traditional collecting institutions’.

Study task

Having read the Rayward paper, try to decide what the main differences are between libraries, museums and archives, and how these differences might affect how information is organised and retrieved. Think about the following questions and post your comments on the forum.

  • What information is each dealing with?

I am finding this tricky, I was concerned more with the purpose of each and how they deal with info. MY first attempt at this question would be that Library deal with access to information through storage and retrieval, as does an archive, just specific information, for say a government, but not for often retrieval, and Museums have information for display, but I sense this is not what the question is asking.

  • How different is it?

well in some cases it’s pretty obvious, when you compare a novel to a dinosaur at a natural history museum, but an electronic government record to say, a webpage? Ultimately to me, it is all either information or a thing ( or information as a thing according to Buckland 😛 )

  • How does it change what information we might want to organise and retrieve?

I don’t think it does, I think its the same info, just in different forms.

Hmm, scary point about how Libraries may only in future have no longer commercially viable information due to profesional data-bases (acting as subscription libraries). That would definitely make us more like museums.

the big question is >>> why would one wish to retain materials in printed form except for what they represent as atifacts if their texts can be cost effectively transferred to electronic systems which provide better storage and access capabilities?

(i.e. if we keep tham as artifacts, then we become like museums).

Ok, to teh next reading … You may also like to read part of chapter 1 (pages 1-24) of: Taylor, Arlene 2004, The organization of information. Englewood, CO, Libraries Unlimited   (not overly helpful in saying which parts to read. Oh well, I have 30 odd min I’ll skim it).

ooh, what is a digital library? good question. I am thinking project Gutenberg.

Ok, Information architect. New Term time. The Job is (pg 19)

  1. Clarifies the MISSION and VISION for the sire, balancing the needs of its sponsoring organization and the needs of its audiences.
  2. Determines what CONTENT and FUNCTIONALITY the site will contain.
  3. Specifies how users will find information in the site by defining its ORGANISATION, NAVIGATION, LABELING and SEARCHING SYSTEMS.
  4. Maps out how the site will accommodate CHANGE and GROWTH over time.

OKay, that is 2 hours straight of readings and I am done, Back again tomorrow from Page 4 of the Module.




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