ETL505 Describing Education Resources

When undertaking this course my previous experience with the term metadata had been in terms of the issue of telecommunications industry data retention and metadata laws. What I didn’t realise was that as Teacher Librarians we work with metadata every day. When we describe and organise the information resources in our library catalogue we create metadata (Hider 2012).


Examining the Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR) demonstrated that for our school library to be user-focused then the metadata we create for our library catalogues should centre on the FRBR user tasks of find, identify, navigate and obtain (Hider 2012 ; Oliver 2010). The FRBR hierarchy of information resources of Items, Manifestations, Expressions and Works did take a bit of time to wrap my head around. However the concrete examples in the text helped to unravel this for me (Hider 2012).


The RDA exercises, likewise, initially confused me and I found myself really struggling despite years of experience describing resource. Eventually, but gradually chipping away at the exercises, I found my way. In fact, I actually enjoyed doing the RDA exercises in assessment 1. I also came to appreciate the need to have the common vocabulary that RDA provides to help understand create the metadata for easy user retrieval (Hider 2012 ; Oliver 2010).


The exercises in assessment two based on WebDewey and SCIS also helped deepen my understanding regarding classification and subject headings. Building the classification levels in WebDewey for various resources provided a deeper insight into how information resources are organised according to the content and subject (OCLC 2016). I also quite enjoyed assigning SCIS standard subject headings for this assignment. It gave me a better understanding of how I could create subject headings to align resources to curriculum materials for our students. As a result, I will have much more confidence in doing this in future using the SCIS Web subject heading and the SCIS subject headings guidelines (SCIS 2016; SCIS 2016a ; SCIS 2015).


Reference list


Hider, P. (2012), Information resource description: Creating and managing metadata. London: Facet.


OCLC. (2016). WebDewey. Online Computer Library Center. Retrieved from

Oliver, C. (2010). FRBR and FRAD in RDA. In Introducing RDA: a guide to the basics (pp.13-36). ALA Editions.


SCIS. (2015). Guidelines to using SCIS subject headings. Schools Catalogue Information Service. Retrieved from


SCIS. (2016). SCIS Subject Heading Search Screen. Schools Catalogue Information Service. Retrieved from

SCIS. (2016a). SCIS Catalogue (OPAC). SCISWeb.  Retrieved from

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