Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
1 of 41

Just a Room Full of Stuff? Why Libraries are Great / Katie Birkwood

27

Share

Download to read offline

A brief introduction to what it is that makes libraries so important.

Talk given at Ignite London 4, 8 Feb 2011, with a bit of extra text added to help it make sense.
http://ignitelondon.net/home

Related Books

Free with a 30 day trial from Scribd

See all

Related Audiobooks

Free with a 30 day trial from Scribd

See all

Just a Room Full of Stuff? Why Libraries are Great / Katie Birkwood

  1. 1. JUST A ROOM FULL OF STUFF?why libraries are greatKATIE BIRKWOOD| @girlinthe<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/52890443@N02/4887366327/<br />
  2. 2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/twicepix/4789171695/<br />Libraries are about information…<br />
  3. 3. …and libraries are about people.<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/eole/1394588888/<br />
  4. 4. The Five Laws of Librarianship<br />S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science, 1931, http://hdl.hadle.net/10150/105454<br />http://flic.kr/p/PFuot | http://flic.kr/p/8jJEcN | http://flic.kr/p/amaB2 | http://flic.kr/p/8JQ3iD | http://flic.kr/p/5Qej3<br />
  5. 5. The Five Laws of Librarianship<br />S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science, 1931, http://hdl.hadle.net/10150/105454<br />Libraries <br />are <br />for <br />use<br />http://flic.kr/p/PFuot | http://flic.kr/p/8jJEcN | http://flic.kr/p/amaB2 | http://flic.kr/p/8JQ3iD | http://flic.kr/p/5Qej3<br />
  6. 6. The Five Laws of Librarianship<br />S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science, 1931, http://hdl.hadle.net/10150/105454<br />Libraries <br />are <br />for <br />use<br />Every reader his book<br />http://flic.kr/p/PFuot | http://flic.kr/p/8jJEcN | http://flic.kr/p/amaB2 | http://flic.kr/p/8JQ3iD | http://flic.kr/p/5Qej3<br />
  7. 7. The Five Laws of Librarianship<br />S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science, 1931, http://hdl.hadle.net/10150/105454<br />Every <br /> book <br /> its <br /> reader<br />Libraries <br />are <br />for <br />use<br />Every reader his book<br />http://flic.kr/p/PFuot | http://flic.kr/p/8jJEcN | http://flic.kr/p/amaB2 | http://flic.kr/p/8JQ3iD | http://flic.kr/p/5Qej3<br />
  8. 8. The Five Laws of Librarianship<br />S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science, 1931, http://hdl.hadle.net/10150/105454<br />Every <br /> book <br /> its <br /> reader<br />Libraries <br />are <br />for <br />use<br />Every reader his book<br />Save the time of the reader<br />http://flic.kr/p/PFuot | http://flic.kr/p/8jJEcN | http://flic.kr/p/amaB2 | http://flic.kr/p/8JQ3iD | http://flic.kr/p/5Qej3<br />
  9. 9. The Five Laws of Librarianship<br />S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science, 1931, http://hdl.hadle.net/10150/105454<br />Every <br /> book <br /> its <br /> reader<br />Libraries <br />are <br />for <br />use<br />Libraries are growing organisms<br />Every reader his book<br />Save the time of the reader<br />http://flic.kr/p/PFuot | http://flic.kr/p/8jJEcN | http://flic.kr/p/amaB2 | http://flic.kr/p/8JQ3iD | http://flic.kr/p/5Qej3<br />
  10. 10. Information is messy<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/crumpart/3158169788/<br />
  11. 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebees/3448097325/<br />Librarians organise informationso that things can be found<br />
  12. 12. online≠findable≠ free<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/reway2007/5081390215/<br />
  13. 13. online≠findable≠ free<br />We need librarians more than ever in the internet age.<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/reway2007/5081390215/<br />
  14. 14. Google can bring you back 100,000 answers.A librarian can bring you back the right one.<br />Neil Gaiman, 16 April 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH-sR1uCQ6g<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/formalfallacy/3357070581/<br />
  15. 15. So what do librarians do?<br />
  16. 16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dronir/3230377585/<br />Librarians hunt for resources<br />
  17. 17. Librarians throw things away<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/3894418911/<br />
  18. 18. Librarians throw things away<br />(Most) libraries aren’t just silos of stuff that will be kept for ever.<br />Some, like the British Library, do have a role in keeping stuff for the nation, but most want their resources to be accurate and useful to their current users. <br />That means throwing away the resources that are out of date.<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/3894418911/<br />
  19. 19. Librarians make catalogues…<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesterpubliclibrary/3352920732/<br />
  20. 20. …and teach people how to use them<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/4024156752/<br />
  21. 21. Personal Name: Hansen, Robin. <br />Main Title: Flying geese & partridge feet : more mittens<br /> from up north & down east / by Robin Hansen,<br /> with Janetta Dexter. <br />Published/Created: Camden, Me. : Down East Books, c1986. <br /> Related Names: Dexter, Janetta. <br /> Related Titles: Flying geese and partridge feet. <br /> Description: 133 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 x 26 cm. <br /> ISBN: 0892722142 (pbk.) <br /> Notes: Bibliography: p. 128-133. <br />Subjects: Knitting --Maine --Patterns. <br /> Knitting --Maritime Provinces --Patterns. <br /> Gloves --Maine. <br /> Gloves --Maritime Provinces. <br />http://lccn.loc.gov/85072923<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/wumbus/19699360<br />
  22. 22. This book title is eccentric and doesn’t tell you much about the book’s contents.<br />Personal Name: Hansen, Robin. <br />Main Title: Flying geese & partridge feet : more mittens<br /> from up north & down east / by Robin Hansen,<br /> with Janetta Dexter. <br />Published/Created: Camden, Me. : Down East Books, c1986. <br /> Related Names: Dexter, Janetta. <br /> Related Titles: Flying geese and partridge feet. <br /> Description: 133 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 x 26 cm. <br /> ISBN: 0892722142 (pbk.) <br /> Notes: Bibliography: p. 128-133. <br />Subjects: Knitting --Maine --Patterns. <br /> Knitting --Maritime Provinces --Patterns. <br /> Gloves --Maine. <br /> Gloves --Maritime Provinces. <br />http://lccn.loc.gov/85072923<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/wumbus/19699360<br />
  23. 23. This book title is eccentric and doesn’t tell you much about the book’s contents.<br />Controlled vocabulary added by a librarian helps you find what you’re looking for.<br />Personal Name: Hansen, Robin. <br />Main Title: Flying geese & partridge feet : more mittens<br /> from up north & down east / by Robin Hansen,<br /> with Janetta Dexter. <br />Published/Created: Camden, Me. : Down East Books, c1986. <br /> Related Names: Dexter, Janetta. <br /> Related Titles: Flying geese and partridge feet. <br /> Description: 133 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 x 26 cm. <br /> ISBN: 0892722142 (pbk.) <br /> Notes: Bibliography: p. 128-133. <br />Subjects: Knitting --Maine --Patterns. <br /> Knitting --Maritime Provinces --Patterns. <br /> Gloves --Maine. <br /> Gloves --Maritime Provinces. <br />http://lccn.loc.gov/85072923<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/wumbus/19699360<br />
  24. 24. Librarians arrange things<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/tillwe/4229084559/<br />
  25. 25. Librarians arrange things<br />The Dewey Decimal system isn’t the only way of classifying books.<br />Most libraries don’t arrange books by colour, though many librarians have thought about it…<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/tillwe/4229084559/<br />
  26. 26. http://www.flickr.com/photos/weesen/3515201536/<br />Whataboutthis ?<br />
  27. 27. Classifying stuff is always hard.<br />Librarians don’t just blindly follow rules: they interpret them in the way that’s best for their library and the people who use it.<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/weesen/3515201536/<br />Whataboutthis ?<br />
  28. 28. A Spotter’s Guide to Librar*<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardholden/4908920140/<br />
  29. 29. Librarians have lots of names<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4464205726/<br />
  30. 30. Librarians have lots of names<br />Authority Control & Cataloguing Specialist | Content Development Officer | Development Officer | Information Advisor | Information Officer | Information Consultant | Information Services Manager | Knowledge Engineers | Knowledge Manager | Knowledge Strategist | Learning Resource Centre Manager | Metadata Administrator | Research Specialist | Research Advisor | Transformation Officer<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4464205726/<br />
  31. 31. http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-tal/236503376/<br />
  32. 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-tal/236503376/<br />Public libraries are amazing, but that’s not all there is…<br />
  33. 33. Libraries are everywhere<br />http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary<br />
  34. 34. business<br />newscompanies<br />lawfirms<br />Libraries are everywhere<br />engineeringfirms<br />http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary<br />
  35. 35. business<br />Research labs<br />newscompanies<br />lawfirms<br />Libraries are everywhere<br />hospitals<br />engineeringfirms<br />http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary<br />
  36. 36. specialist & learned societies<br />business<br />Research labs<br />newscompanies<br />lawfirms<br />Libraries are everywhere<br />hospitals<br />engineeringfirms<br />http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary<br />
  37. 37. specialist & learned societies<br />business<br />Research labs<br />newscompanies<br />universities & colleges<br />lawfirms<br />Libraries are everywhere<br />hospitals<br />engineeringfirms<br />http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary<br />
  38. 38. specialist & learned societies<br />business<br />Research labs<br />newscompanies<br />universities & colleges<br />lawfirms<br />Libraries are everywhere<br />hospitals<br />schools<br />engineeringfirms<br />http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary<br />
  39. 39. “Iflibrarieswereinventedtomorrowpeoplewouldflockto them”<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/joffley/5218675956/<br />Ned Potter & Laura Woods, 2010, http://prezi.com/if9wccvvunup/escaping-the-echo-chamber/<br />
  40. 40. “Iflibrarieswereinventedtomorrowpeoplewouldflockto them”<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/joffley/5218675956/<br />Libraries are great. Don’t take them for granted.<br />Ned Potter & Laura Woods, 2010, http://prezi.com/if9wccvvunup/escaping-the-echo-chamber/<br />
  41. 41. Find out more<br />Credits<br />Photos used in this presentation<br />Katie Birkwood<br />Girl in the Moon<br />@Girlinthe<br />Libraries & librarians<br />Voices for the Library<br />Ten things you need to know if you want to work in libraries<br />What it takes to be a 21st-century librarian<br />Library Day in the Life Project<br />

Editor's Notes

  • Photo: ‘Peckham Library’ by C. P. G. Grey on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/52890443@N02/4887366327/ About the author: Katie Birkwood is a knitting musician librarian. She’s @girlinthe on Twitter and blogs at http://maedchenimmond.blogspot.com. If I asked a person on the street to imagine a library, they’d be quite likely to think of a room full of books, maybe with a few other things like CDs, DVDs, newspapers or computer games thrown in, too. I’m not here to say that rooms full of books are bad – but I do want to explain why there’s much more to a library than just a room full of stuff.
  • Photo: ‘i’ by twicepix on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/twicepix/4789171695/ The reason that libraries have traditionally held lots of books is because books are a great way of accessing information. But it’s the information, not the books themselves, that is the important thing. When I say information, I don’t just mean facts and figures – I mean information for fun, for work, for learning, for all aspects of happy living!
  • Photo: ‘Mankind’ by Éole on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eole/1394588888/ The whole point of a library is to connect people with the information that they want or need. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that librarianship is just about sitting in very quiet rooms reading dusty books. Librarianship is a people profession: good librarians have to be excellent communicators who can help people work out what information they’re after, and help them find it.
  • Photo (1): ‘No One to Turn the Turnstile’ by scratch n sniff on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scratch_n_sniff/539580175/ Photo (2): ‘Alvaro in profile’ by bgrimmni on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/grimmnitz/4806517524/ Photo (3): ‘Notturno’ by gualtiero on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimota/105783011/ Photo (4): ‘Untitled’ by eflon on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/5079163335/ Photo (5): ‘Untitled’ by josef.stuefer on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/54676138/ Quotation: Chapter titles from S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science (Madras: Madras Library Association, 1931). http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105454 This focus on people is apparent in the five laws of library science, which were compiled in 1931 by the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan. You may already know him as the creator of the colon classification system. His five laws are: Libraries are for use. Every reader his(/her) book(/resource) Every book(/resource) its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism.
  • Photo (1): ‘No One to Turn the Turnstile’ by scratch n sniff on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scratch_n_sniff/539580175/ Photo (2): ‘Alvaro in profile’ by bgrimmni on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/grimmnitz/4806517524/ Photo (3): ‘Notturno’ by gualtiero on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimota/105783011/ Photo (4): ‘Untitled’ by eflon on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/5079163335/ Photo (5): ‘Untitled’ by josef.stuefer on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/54676138/ Quotation: Chapter titles from S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science (Madras: Madras Library Association, 1931). http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105454 This focus on people is apparent in the five laws of library science, which were compiled in 1931 by the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan. You may already know him as the creator of the colon classification system. His five laws are: Libraries are for use. Every reader his(/her) book(/resource) Every book(/resource) its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism.
  • Photo (1): ‘No One to Turn the Turnstile’ by scratch n sniff on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scratch_n_sniff/539580175/ Photo (2): ‘Alvaro in profile’ by bgrimmni on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/grimmnitz/4806517524/ Photo (3): ‘Notturno’ by gualtiero on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimota/105783011/ Photo (4): ‘Untitled’ by eflon on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/5079163335/ Photo (5): ‘Untitled’ by josef.stuefer on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/54676138/ Quotation: Chapter titles from S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science (Madras: Madras Library Association, 1931). http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105454 This focus on people is apparent in the five laws of library science, which were compiled in 1931 by the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan. You may already know him as the creator of the colon classification system. His five laws are: Libraries are for use. Every reader his(/her) book(/resource) Every book(/resource) its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism.
  • Photo (1): ‘No One to Turn the Turnstile’ by scratch n sniff on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scratch_n_sniff/539580175/ Photo (2): ‘Alvaro in profile’ by bgrimmni on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/grimmnitz/4806517524/ Photo (3): ‘Notturno’ by gualtiero on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimota/105783011/ Photo (4): ‘Untitled’ by eflon on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/5079163335/ Photo (5): ‘Untitled’ by josef.stuefer on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/54676138/ Quotation: Chapter titles from S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science (Madras: Madras Library Association, 1931). http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105454 This focus on people is apparent in the five laws of library science, which were compiled in 1931 by the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan. You may already know him as the creator of the colon classification system. His five laws are: Libraries are for use. Every reader his(/her) book(/resource) Every book(/resource) its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism.
  • Photo (1): ‘No One to Turn the Turnstile’ by scratch n sniff on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scratch_n_sniff/539580175/ Photo (2): ‘Alvaro in profile’ by bgrimmni on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/grimmnitz/4806517524/ Photo (3): ‘Notturno’ by gualtiero on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimota/105783011/ Photo (4): ‘Untitled’ by eflon on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/5079163335/ Photo (5): ‘Untitled’ by josef.stuefer on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/54676138/ Quotation: Chapter titles from S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science (Madras: Madras Library Association, 1931). http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105454 This focus on people is apparent in the five laws of library science, which were compiled in 1931 by the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan. You may already know him as the creator of the colon classification system. His five laws are: Libraries are for use. Every reader his(/her) book(/resource) Every book(/resource) its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism.
  • Photo (1): ‘No One to Turn the Turnstile’ by scratch n sniff on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scratch_n_sniff/539580175/ Photo (2): ‘Alvaro in profile’ by bgrimmni on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/grimmnitz/4806517524/ Photo (3): ‘Notturno’ by gualtiero on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimota/105783011/ Photo (4): ‘Untitled’ by eflon on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/5079163335/ Photo (5): ‘Untitled’ by josef.stuefer on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/54676138/ Quotation: Chapter titles from S.R. Ranganathan, The five laws of library science (Madras: Madras Library Association, 1931). http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105454 This focus on people is apparent in the five laws of library science, which were compiled in 1931 by the Indian librarian S.R. Ranganathan. You may already know him as the creator of the colon classification system. His five laws are: Libraries are for use. Every reader his(/her) book(/resource) Every book(/resource) its reader Save the time of the reader The library is a growing organism.
  • Photo: ‘after’ by crumpart on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/crumpart/3158169788/ So why do we need librarians to mediate between people and information? First – an aside. It’s really librarians, and not libraries, that are key here as you can’t have the latter without the former. A library, they say, without a librarian is just a room full of stuff. Information in the wild is a right mess.
  • Photo: ‘Koigu Kersti’ by The Bees on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebees/3448097325/ The job of a librarian is to try and bring some order from the chaos – to try and tame the information jungle. We don’t do need just because we have a passion for rules and for neatness; we do it so that people can find what they’re after with the minimum fuss and bother.
  • Photo: ‘11 - October - 2010 -- Web’ by reway2007 on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/reway2007/5081390215/ A lot of people like to say that we don’t need libraries anymore now we have the internet. This assertion is absolute nonsense. For starters, not everything is available online. Secondly, what is online isn’t all free. Although open access publishing is gaining ground, there’s still a lot of good material that can only be had at prohibitive prices – prices that we need libraries to pay on the behalf of groups of people. Thirdly, Google doesn’t find you everything – not everything on the web is indexed by web crawlers.
  • Photo: ‘11 - October - 2010 -- Web’ by reway2007 on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/reway2007/5081390215/ A lot of people like to say that we don’t need libraries anymore now we have the internet. This assertion is absolute nonsense. For starters, not everything is available online. Secondly, what is online isn’t all free. Although open access publishing is gaining ground, there’s still a lot of good material that can only be had at prohibitive prices – prices that we need libraries to pay on the behalf of groups of people. Thirdly, Google doesn’t find you everything – not everything on the web is indexed by web crawlers.
  • Photo: ‘Beach @ Bray’ by formalfallacy @ Dublin (Victor) on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/formalfallacy/3357070581/ Quotation: Neil Gaiman at Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library 16 April 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH-sR1uCQ6g And anyway, Google finds quite enough stuff already. The issue isn’t with the quantity of information – it’s with the quality and the precision.
  • Photo: ‘Helsinki magnified’ by dronir on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dronir/3230377585/ So, I think librarians and libraries are pretty important. How is it that they create order? To start with, they choose what to include in their library, whether that’s a physical store or a digital collection. They might have to pay for it, or it might be a free resource they think their users should know about. Never be afraid to recommend something to a library you use – if it’s useful but it’s not there already that’s not necessarily because the librarian doesn’t want you to have it. It’s quite likely just because they haven’t heard about it, or hadn’t realised that it would be useful.
  • Photo: ‘trash cans’ by niznoz on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/3894418911/ Most libraries aren’t silos of things that will be kept forever. Some, like the British Library, do have a role in keeping stuff for the nation, but most want their resources to be accurate and useful to their current users. That means throwing away the stuff that’s out of date.
  • Photo: ‘trash cans’ by niznoz on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/3894418911/ Most libraries aren’t silos of things that will be kept forever. Some, like the British Library, do have a role in keeping stuff for the nation, but most want their resources to be accurate and useful to their current users. That means throwing away the stuff that’s out of date.
  • Photo: ‘Card Catalogue, Up Close’ by Lester Public Library on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesterpubliclibrary/3352920732/ Once a library has something in it, users need to be able to find it, and this is why librarians compile catalogues of library contents.
  • Photo: ‘Endpaper Mitts Finished’ by Mr T. in DC on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/4024156752/ Cataloguing is s simple in concept, and remarkably complicated in reality. The principle is that you describe the item you have in your library so that a user can know what they’re like without having to look at all the individual items themselves. To do this, cataloguers both record how items describe themselves, but also use controlled and structure vocabulary so that similar items can be brought together, and dissimilar items separated.
  • Photo: ‘Geese flying’ by Zach Dunn on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wumbus/1969936015/ Catalogue record: From the Library of Congress. http://lccn.loc.gov/85072923 I couldn’t resist including a knitting example. This is a catalogue record for a book of knitted mitten patterns from Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. (Any cataloguers in the house will be able to spot the deliberate mistake.) The book has a typically eccentric title, which fails to mention any of knitting, patterns, Maine or the Maritime provinces. By adding subject headings the cataloguer adds value to the record, meaning that free-text searches for those terms will return this book, and also that books of a similar type can be brought together by browsing subject headings.
  • Photo: ‘Geese flying’ by Zach Dunn on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wumbus/1969936015/ Catalogue record: From the Library of Congress. http://lccn.loc.gov/85072923 I couldn’t resist including a knitting example. This is a catalogue record for a book of knitted mitten patterns from Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. (Any cataloguers in the house will be able to spot the deliberate mistake.) The book has a typically eccentric title, which fails to mention any of knitting, patterns, Maine or the Maritime provinces. By adding subject headings the cataloguer adds value to the record, meaning that free-text searches for those terms will return this book, and also that books of a similar type can be brought together by browsing subject headings.
  • Photo: ‘Geese flying’ by Zach Dunn on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wumbus/1969936015/ Catalogue record: From the Library of Congress. http://lccn.loc.gov/85072923 I couldn’t resist including a knitting example. This is a catalogue record for a book of knitted mitten patterns from Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. (Any cataloguers in the house will be able to spot the deliberate mistake.) The book has a typically eccentric title, which fails to mention any of knitting, patterns, Maine or the Maritime provinces. By adding subject headings the cataloguer adds value to the record, meaning that free-text searches for those terms will return this book, and also that books of a similar type can be brought together by browsing subject headings.
  • Photo: ‘Books of the rainbow’ by tillwe on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tillwe/4229084559/ Another way of allowing readers to find things is the use of classification schemes, either for physical or online resources. You’re probably familiar with the idea of the Dewey Decimal system of classification. That’s just one way of classifying, though. There are few librarians who, in moments of desperation, haven’t thought of arranging their resources by colour. There’s always one reader who says ‘I’m looking for a book… I think it’s green…’
  • Photo: ‘Books of the rainbow’ by tillwe on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tillwe/4229084559/ Another way of allowing readers to find things is the use of classification schemes, either for physical or online resources. You’re probably familiar with the idea of the Dewey Decimal system of classification. That’s just one way of classifying, though. There are few librarians who, in moments of desperation, haven’t thought of arranging their resources by colour. There’s always one reader who says ‘I’m looking for a book… I think it’s green…’
  • Photo: ‘Phizz-Whizzing Collection’ by weesen on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/weesen/3515201536/ Classification isn’t easy – whether you’re using a traditional scheme or classifying by colour. Very little in librarianship is about blindly following rules – it’s about knowing how best to interpret rules for the people who use your library.
  • Photo: ‘Phizz-Whizzing Collection’ by weesen on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/weesen/3515201536/ Classification isn’t easy – whether you’re using a traditional scheme or classifying by colour. Very little in librarianship is about blindly following rules – it’s about knowing how best to interpret rules for the people who use your library.
  • Photo: ‘Pete on the hunt’ by Richard Holden on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardholden/4908920140/ By now I hope that you’re enthused about the wonders of libraries, and getting keen to go and put a librarian through his or her information-retrieval paces. That’s why I’ve put together this very brief spotter’s guide…
  • Photo: ‘Hello, my name is anonymous’ by quinn.anya on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4464205726/ For more about information professional job titles see: http://maedchenimmond.blogspot.com/2011/01/whats-your-name.html Librarians have all sorts of different names, which can make them hard to spot. All these different information professionals do librarian-ish jobs: Information Advisor Informaion Officer Information Consultant Information Services Manager Learning Resource Centre Manager Metadata Administrator Research Specialist Research Advisor Transformation Officer
  • Photo: ‘Hello, my name is anonymous’ by quinn.anya on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4464205726/ For more about information professional job titles see: http://maedchenimmond.blogspot.com/2011/01/whats-your-name.html Librarians have all sorts of different names, which can make them hard to spot. All these different information professionals do librarian-ish jobs: Information Advisor Informaion Officer Information Consultant Information Services Manager Learning Resource Centre Manager Metadata Administrator Research Specialist Research Advisor Transformation Officer
  • Photo: ‘Folks’ by B Tal on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-tal/236503376/ The other thing that makes librarians hard to spot is that they live in lots of different habitats. The most publically visible librarian habitat is probably the public library. The role of professionally qualified librarians in the public sector is increasingly threatened by the way, but I’m not going to get political now. Public libraries are great for hundreds of reasons centred on the fact that they’re available for everyone to use. But there are lots of other sorts of libraries that you might be able to access, too.
  • Photo: ‘Folks’ by B Tal on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-tal/236503376/ The other thing that makes librarians hard to spot is that they live in lots of different habitats. The most publically visible librarian habitat is probably the public library. The role of professionally qualified librarians in the public sector is increasingly threatened by the way, but I’m not going to get political now. Public libraries are great for hundreds of reasons centred on the fact that they’re available for everyone to use. But there are lots of other sorts of libraries that you might be able to access, too.
  • Photos: For links to all photos see http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary There are libraries in all sorts of companies and businesses, engineering firms, law firms and the like. News companies have image and clippings libraries. Research labs and hospitals have libraries – who do you think’s keeping doctors up-to-date? Universities have libraries, and all sorts of smaller institutions and societies have libraries, often with really interesting old holdings. And schools have libraries. I can’t tell you the admiration I have for school librarians.
  • Photos: For links to all photos see http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary There are libraries in all sorts of companies and businesses, engineering firms, law firms and the like. News companies have image and clippings libraries. Research labs and hospitals have libraries – who do you think’s keeping doctors up-to-date? Universities have libraries, and all sorts of smaller institutions and societies have libraries, often with really interesting old holdings. And schools have libraries. I can’t tell you the admiration I have for school librarians.
  • Photos: For links to all photos see http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary There are libraries in all sorts of companies and businesses, engineering firms, law firms and the like. News companies have image and clippings libraries. Research labs and hospitals have libraries – who do you think’s keeping doctors up-to-date? Universities have libraries, and all sorts of smaller institutions and societies have libraries, often with really interesting old holdings. And schools have libraries. I can’t tell you the admiration I have for school librarians.
  • Photos: For links to all photos see http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary There are libraries in all sorts of companies and businesses, engineering firms, law firms and the like. News companies have image and clippings libraries. Research labs and hospitals have libraries – who do you think’s keeping doctors up-to-date? Universities have libraries, and all sorts of smaller institutions and societies have libraries, often with really interesting old holdings. And schools have libraries. I can’t tell you the admiration I have for school librarians.
  • Photos: For links to all photos see http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary There are libraries in all sorts of companies and businesses, engineering firms, law firms and the like. News companies have image and clippings libraries. Research labs and hospitals have libraries – who do you think’s keeping doctors up-to-date? Universities have libraries, and all sorts of smaller institutions and societies have libraries, often with really interesting old holdings. And schools have libraries. I can’t tell you the admiration I have for school librarians.
  • Photos: For links to all photos see http://www.delicious.com/maedchenimmond/typesoflibrary There are libraries in all sorts of companies and businesses, engineering firms, law firms and the like. News companies have image and clippings libraries. Research labs and hospitals have libraries – who do you think’s keeping doctors up-to-date? Universities have libraries, and all sorts of smaller institutions and societies have libraries, often with really interesting old holdings. And schools have libraries. I can’t tell you the admiration I have for school librarians.
  • Photo: ‘Starling Flock over Brighton Pier’ by Joffley on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/joffley/5218675956/ Quotation: By Ned Potter and Laura Woods in their presentation ‘Escaping the echo-chamber’. http://prezi.com/if9wccvvunup/escaping-the-echo-chamber/ Libraries and librarians, by organising information and training people in how to look for it, are gateways to knowledge, to learning, to health, happiness and to fun. Libraries are great precisely because they’re so much more than a room (or server) full of stuff. We take them for granted, and we really shouldn’t.
  • Photo: ‘Starling Flock over Brighton Pier’ by Joffley on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/joffley/5218675956/ Quotation: By Ned Potter and Laura Woods in their presentation ‘Escaping the echo-chamber’. http://prezi.com/if9wccvvunup/escaping-the-echo-chamber/ Libraries and librarians, by organising information and training people in how to look for it, are gateways to knowledge, to learning, to health, happiness and to fun. Libraries are great precisely because they’re so much more than a room (or server) full of stuff. We take them for granted, and we really shouldn’t.
  • ×