ETL505 Bibliographic Standards for Education

ETL505 – Module One

The need for information resource description

Retrieval of information

Question: Why is it necessary for information agencies such as school libraries to organise information?

Answer: So that information is organised and that is easily locatable when users need to find it again.

At the beginning of this course my mind was boggling with all the terms that I had sometimes never heard of and all the things I did not yet understand. It was extremely overwhelming. But after reading a few chapters into Hider’s things began to fall into place.

The term ‘information resource’ as the generic term to cover all those resources that contain, or represent, data, information, knowledge and/or wisdom.

I also learnt about Metadata, data about data and found out that their are four key aspects of Metadata; elements, values, format and transmission.

So why do teacher librarians even need to worry about metadata? I believe that teacher librarians need to have a clear understanding of information resource description and how metadata is retrieved/created In order to provide a clearer understanding to their users about how to successfully retrieve sought after information.

Teacher librarians need to know more than how to download such records into a catalogue. An understanding of the principles of information resource description will enable you to appreciate the importance of this area to the provision of access to resources, assist you to gain the understanding needed to assess the effective of the access being provided within a school library through the catalogue and educational databases, and how that access might be best utilised and possibly enhanced.

FRBR Activity:

Determine some elements or attributes that might be useful for the purposes of discovering and retrieving a particular resource of interest to you e.g. the prescribed textbook for this subject. Review these elements in light of the four FRBR user tasks — are they useful for all four tasks or for some tasks more than others?

Not sure if I’m on the right track with all that I have read so far but I am more than willing to give it a go. Using the four FRBR user tasks I have chosen to search for my 7 year old’s favourite book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Find: the attributes used first was the resources title because I did not know the resources identifier. Using the resources name alone resulted in the children’s novel being right at the top of the list which I’m sure id mostly due to the resources popularity.

Identify: First I ensured that I was looking at search results for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and not by Tim Burton who came up in the first set of search results as he directed the 2005 film version of the novel. I could have either selected between the book, the book and audio disc or a 2 disc dvd version of the 2005 film. No ebooks were found during this search.

Select: I ended up selecting the Book and CD version as Xavier is only seven and may still like to be read to even though he has read the book before and insists he likes to read it on his own.

Obtain: As the resource is a physical item it cannot obviously be obtained over the internet. It however was on shelf in the library.

Also to further understand FRBR primary entities I have jotted down the following.

Work: Title: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Form: Novel.

Date of composition 1964.

Expression: Physical Form: novel, film.

Language: English.

Manifestation: Publisher: Puffin books

Place of publication: London

Item: Item identifier: ISBN: 9780141331027

Call Number: AV823 DAHL

ETL505 – Module Two

Tools and Systems

A primary tool used to improve access to information resources is an Index. This tool organises a collection not physically (although this may also be done), but intellectually, enabling each resource to be distinguished from others, according to its particular attributes. In libraries, indexes to the collections are commonly called catalogues; in archives, finding aids; in museums, registers. Indexers and cataloguers are, of course, the people responsible for producing and maintaining indexes.

Indexes, are essentially sets of resource description. However simple or complex, indexes are crucial for effective and efficient access to both physical and online collections, allowing an information agency to properly serve its clients. Indeed, they turn a collection into a library.

Tools used in libraries for organising information include:

  • Library catalogues
  • Periodical databases
  • Citation databases
  • Image and other special kinds of database
  • Bibliographies and subject guides
  • Online subject gateways and directories
  • Search engines

Library Catalogue Internet Activity

Three Catalogue Records I searched were;

1. War Horse

I searched by Title as I had recently seen the stage play at the lyric theatre and have been inspired to read the book.

57 results were found

The second result was the one I was after with the first being a biography on the author of War Horse Michael Morpurgo.

SCIS no:1605707

2.  English Kings Subject search

309 Results found.

I filtered the search by narrowing the results to after 2011

48 Results found.

Then filtered it further to electronic resources to see what I’d find.

11 results

SCIS no: 1521493

3. Lastly I searched for Yann Martel the author of life of pie to see what other resources I could obtain. 21 results were found one called Beatrice and Virgil.

SCIS no: 1457426

Most systems index at least some parts of the following fields: Title, Author, Publisher, Subject Heading(s), ISBN and Call number.

ETL505 – Module 3

Metadata quality and standards

Throughout my readings I have discovered that some metadata may be more useful than others, it may be more accurate than others, or clearer than others. The quality of metadata can make a big difference to the effectiveness of an information retrieval tool.

Elements such as comprehensiveness, accuracy, controlled vocabulary, clarity and consistency effect metadata quality and standards.


The following are examples of abbreviations and jargon which have been routinely used by library cataloguers. Do you understand what is meant by all of them?


t.p. = title page (for e.g. a book)
ill. = illustrations
ports. = portaits (i.e. pictures of people)
repr. = reprinted
fl. = flurished (i.e. was living)
prelim. = preliminaries, which Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules define are the pages before and including the title page, and the cover

Resource Description and Access (RDA)

RDA is the standard that replaces the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. It is a computer database that is utterly confusing at first however given time begins to become clear. Whilst working my way through RDA the glossary’s and appendix began to become my best friend and without them I would not have been able to complete my first assessment task. And even though I thought RDA was hard to get my head around it was nothing compared to what was to come,  SCIS Subject headings and WebDewey ahhh!

Although built on the foundations of AACR2R, RDA is based on the theoretical framework of two conceptual models: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD).

ETL505 – Module 4

Is classification helpful? Whilst some may try to argue that classification is unhelpful i believe, overall, classification is very helpful. Classification helps to provide material into certain groups. An appropriate classification scheme for most school libraries is SCIS.

Advantages to adopting a major classification systems are:

  • they are revised and kept up-to-date by a permanent organisation
  • they are widely used and familiar to both staff and users of libraries throughout the world
  • a lot of centrally-produced classification numbers can be accepted, hopefully with little local modification, either from MARC files, national bibliographies or online cataloguing services
  • they have worked adequately for most of the last century.

Dewey Decimal Classification System

The ten main classes are:

000 Computer science, information & general works

100 Philosophy & psychology

200 Religion

300 Social sciences

400 Language

500 Science

600 Technology

700 Arts & recreation

800 Literature

900 History & geography

The first digit in each three-digit number represents the main class.

eg. 600 represents technology (main class)

The second digit in each three-digit number indicates the division.

610 Medicine & health (division)
The third digit in each three-digit number indicates the section.
612 Human physiology (section)
The DDC uses the convention that no number should have fewer than three digits; zeros are used to fill out numbers. However a number should never end in a 0 anywhere to the right of the decimal point.
ETL505 – Module 5

Future trends in information organisation

Content based information retrieval is certainly here to stay, Google and other search engines have certainly played a huge part in this. The interfaces of library catalogues are becoming more Google-like but it must be remembered that these databases are still dependent on both the metadata and the resources ‘underneath’ this Google-ish appearance. At the end of the day the best system that suits user needs will be selected. It is important to remain aware of changes to information organsiation and ensure that if any changes are implemented that benefit the organisation and  as well as user requirements.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s