My closet is a veritable rainbow of pretty dresses, skirts, tops and cardigans. Each item is lovingly washed, ironed and replaced in its place with care. Starting from the right, the dresses start as formal, and work their way to day dresses, before moving on to skirts, tops, cardigans and jumpers. In each subsection they are further organised by colour. At a glance, I can see what I have hanging up and locate an item with ease.
Then my husband comes along to ‘help’. He ‘helps’ by putting away my carefully washed and ironed dresses by shoving them into the wardrobe in whatever spot seems available. Needless to say this causes me mild panic when I cannot find my ‘Florelle’ (orange cotton dress) which should be in between ‘Neroli’ (yellow print dress) and ‘Melody Rose’ (orange print dress). Instead ‘Florelle’ been shoved between ‘Cascade’ and ‘wish upon a star’ (both black and white patterns).
I was horrified. How on earth was I supposed to find my precious dress buried in the wrong spot???
My husband was miffed. Here he is helping me by putting away my clothing all I am doing is complaining.
Apparently my wardrobe organisation is too complicated to understand, and I have too many dresses that look exactly the same.
Now I was miffed. I certainly do not. There are nuances between them and I definitely do not have too many clothes. (note that picture of my wardrobe was from January 2019 and I can honestly say I have added a few (maybe more than a few) to that collection since then.
But I digress.
This blog post is not about my dress acquisition nor my marital disagreements about my wardrobe organisation or Imelda Marcos tendencies.
Instead, this post is a prelude to the subject that I will commence tomorrow morning. ETL 505 will open my mind to how resources are cataloged. I will learn how the records are created and use that information to benefit the users within my community. This knowledge will also help me with giving constructive feedback to metadata specialists as part of my role as a TL.
Last semester in ETL 401 I learned about what the role of a TL encompasses as a whole. In ETL 503 I learned how important it was to correlate the resources within the library to the curriculum. This is simply because the point of a school library is to address the needs of the curriculum. This semester, it appears my learning is aimed more at the librarian aspect of a TL than the teacher component. As an information specialist and information services manager, my role involves ensuring that the collection is easily accessible by the student population using the information management system available.
To sum it up succinctly. I need to learn how a library is organised so that the kiddos can use it successfully.
The point of organisation is to easily find and locate an item when you wish to use it. How it is organised depends on who is doing the work, but the underlying point is ACCESS! If the item cannot be found and used when it is needed, then the system is broken. The resource is underutilised and the monies wasted. In school libraries this is a travesty when budgets are often stretched and funds scant.
Libraries are famous for their organisation.
Dear ole Mr Dewey revolutionised the information world with his Dewey Decimal System. Known famously as the ultimate in organisation and classification, DDS organises the information within a library into groups and then further divisions for specifics areas (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018). Due to its comprehensive and adaptive nature, the system is universally used across the world (OCLC, 2019). A bibliophile in New York city can find a book about Bonnie Prince Charlie in the same location as they would in a suburban library in Melbourne’s suburbs.
But information isn’t so simple in this modern day. Gone are the days where libraries only stocked books and maps. A modern day library will have shelving of books, but will also have access to other formats such as videos, audiobooks, eReaders and images. All of these resources need to be catalogued and organised so that they can be accessed by the user. They also need to be differentiated within the catalogue records so that the user can easily identify that their request for ‘The Odyssey’ includes versions of the epic tale, even if the creator and format differs.
So as the last day of my uni holidays draws to a close I ponder the knowledge I will gain from this subject. I am a bit apprehensive as the assessment tasks are not essays but rather more practically based tasks. I am far better at blathering out epochs than being useful. So this may be a steep learning curve for me. Also, I burnt out a bit last semester so I am just doing the one subject now.
Bring on Session 2, 2019.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (2018). Dewey Decimal System. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/Dewey-Decimal-Classification
OCLC (2019) How one library pioneer profoundly influenced modern librarianship. Retrieved from https://www.oclc.org/en/dewey/resources/biography.html