Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge

Competency G

Libraries rely heavily on standards for several reasons. One reason is so that users are able to find information from library to library. If libraries used different systems to organize information, patrons would have to learn a new system with every library or database they use. The other is so that libraries can share information with one another. Standards allow librarians and information professionals to share information with one another, saving time, resources, and money. There are various systems of standards that libraries use regularly to classify, catalog, and organize information.


Cataloging and Classification
It is important for libraries to have consistent cataloging in order to share resources across libraries. It is important for libraries, especially those with limited funding, to share information and cataloging data. In order to do this, librarians have developed several sets of standards. The Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition (AACR2) were created "to standardize descriptive cataloging practice and thereby facilitate cooperation among libraries" (Taylor, p.25). The amount of information that can be included in cataloging an entire library collection can be vast. In order for the information to be meaningful, there must be some consistency. MARC, or Machine-Readable Cataloging, is used to encode descriptive cataloging so that it can be used in electronic catalogs. These days, it's important especially that cataloging information can be shared across systems, as single searches can access several databases and the system must be able to understand what it is accessing and how it should be displayed.


Classification systems are used to collocate similar materials as well as to provide a way to find physical materials in a collection. There are two primary classification systems that libraries use: Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and Library of Congress Classification (LOC). The DDC is most frequently used in public libraries, while LOC is mostly used in academic systems. The both have their benefits and drawbacks, but having standardized systems allows for sharing information among libraries, as well as consistency in going from one library to another. A patron can go into most public libraries and know that they can find all art books in the 700 section. Standards and consistency makes operating and organizing information easier both for those who are making it available and those who are trying to locate it.


Metadata Standards
Metadata presented as XML files is being used more and more to share information among libraries and other information organizations. Since XML is highly customizable, in that any tags and fields can be created, some order has to be established to make the information useful across systems. Various standards have been created for different types of information. Dublin Core is a metadata scheme that is very generalized, specifically so that it can be used to describe a wide number of media types and can be shared across many systems. Some others include Open Language Archives Community (OLAC), Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and many more.


Evidence


Cataloging Non-Book Items - LIBR 248 - Fall 2006 
In this assignmemt for LIBR 248 Beginning Cataloging and Classification, I cataloged non-book items using AACR2 and MARC standards. I also provide an explanation for the cataloging decisions I make and cite the section of the AACR2 used for each section of the descriptive catalog record.


Metadata Schema for the DHLR Photography Database - LIBR 247 - Spring 2007 
This group assignment for LIBR 247 was also about designing a metadata database. We analyzed different systems and how these established metadata schema could be used in our metadata schema.


References


Taylor, A. G. (2000). Wynar's introduction to cataloging and classification. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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© 2017 Deirdre Stretton