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Organization of information

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Lesson slide for teaching undergraduate students about call numbers & subject headings in a for-credit information literacy and research skills class, ISLT 1111.

Lesson slide for teaching undergraduate students about call numbers & subject headings in a for-credit information literacy and research skills class, ISLT 1111.

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  • 1. Information Use and Student Success
  • 2.  What sort of information do you organize?How do you determine what goes where?
  • 3.  Each group will receive 16 notecards withbook titles on them Sort the book titles into topics/subjects thatyou think go together You come up with what topics you think areuseful
  • 4.  What sorts of topics did you organize yourbook titles into? What books were sorted into each topic?Were there any disagreements about whereto put them? Did some of the books seem like they couldfit under multiple topics?
  • 5.  Different people can have differentinterpretations about what the subject of abook is In order to keep their collections asorganized as possible, librarians usecontrolled systems to determine what goeswhere. Academic libraries like at Mizzou useLibrary of Congress Library of Congress sorts books two ways:call numbers and subject headings
  • 6.  Every book in the library is assigned a uniquestring of letters and numbers called a callnumber Since no books share a call number, theywork as an address to help you locate aparticular book in the library
  • 7.  Take a few minutes and complete thefollowing tutorial (link available in CourseMaterials)http://www.clark.edu/Library/iris/start/books_organized/books_organized.shtml
  • 8. DP269 .C373 2013First letter: ClassSecond letter:SubclassNumbers beforedecimal: secondsubclassLetter and numbersimmediately after decimal:Represents the author Last numbers:Year of publicationCall number for: A Short History of the Spanish Civil War
  • 9.  So, let’s look at the call number from lastslide: DP269 .C373 2013. The first section of a call number (DP269)describes what a book is about. First letter is a class, or broad topic. D signifiesWorld History & History of Europe, Asia, Africa,Australia, New Zealand, etc. Second letter is a subclass. It is a more narrowtopic. P means it is about Spain-Portugal The number is an even narrower topic. Anything269-269.9 is about the Spanish Civil War
  • 10.  Since call number are assigned partiallybased on what the book is about and booksare placed in the library based on callnumbers, books on similar topics are locatednear each other Therefore, if you find one good book on yourtopic, it’s likely there is another one nearby
  • 11.  So the call numbers represent a way ofdescribing the subject of a book. But what ifthe book could be described multiple ways? Subject headings are alternate ways toidentify what a book is about. Unlike a callnumber, a book can have more than onesubject heading
  • 12.  Using keywords to Identify Subject Headings
  • 13.  The subject headings given to a book are notrandom. There is a set list of terms thatlibrarians pick from when trying to describe abook. Sometimes the official term isdifferent from the term you are likely to use. So, your topic is the death penalty. However,there is no LC heading for “death penalty.”The vocabulary used in LC is “capitalpunishment.” This is why it’s good to startwith a keyword search: it helps you find thesubject headings that are actually used.
  • 14.  When you have a long research project (andyou do), you need to keep track of whatresources you are using Especially if you are working on more than one There are many ways to do this (MicrosoftWord, written notes), there is specializedsoftware designed to organize your resourcesand keep track of them
  • 15.  Assignment: Identifying Subjects by CallNumber We will be meeting in Ellis Library at thereference desk Bring your student ID and a list of the booksyou found on your topic so that you cancheck them out
  • 16.  Go to the BlackBoard page In the left column find and click on the tabthat says “Exit Slips” Click on the link that says “Exit Slip:Organization of Information Fill out the survey on this week’s lesson

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