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Building the Bridge. Librarian as an Information Architect

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Building the Bridge. Librarian as an Information Architect

  1. 1. Librarian as an I nformation Architect Stanislaw Skorka Pedagogical University Krakow, Poland Building the Bridge
  2. 2. A piece of History... <ul><li>Librarians have always created and organized information </li></ul>
  3. 3. Yesterday’s Librarian <ul><li>Someone who: </li></ul><ul><li>Worked with books (collected, selected, borrowed, shifted etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Knew any authors of any books („living encyclopaedia”) </li></ul><ul><li>Focused rather on documents (books) than on people (users) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Today’s Librarian <ul><li>Person who: </li></ul><ul><li>manages information in all forms </li></ul><ul><li>is capable of searching for in every information sources </li></ul><ul><li>knows where and how to find a relevant information (searcher) </li></ul><ul><li>analyzes users’ searching behavior </li></ul>
  5. 6. Today’s Librarian (2) <ul><li>also named: cyber librarian (cybrarian) </li></ul><ul><li>uses analytical information seeking strategies </li></ul><ul><li>educates next generation users </li></ul><ul><li>has appropriate knowledge to start a new profession (information professional , information architect ) </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>But... </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately... </li></ul><ul><li>He takes Users into consideration </li></ul><ul><li>mostly for statistic purposes </li></ul>Today’s Librarian (3)
  7. 8. Information Architect <ul><li>Someone who: </li></ul><ul><li>humanizes technology focusing on people (Lynne Duddy) </li></ul><ul><li>enables data to be transformed into understandable information </li></ul><ul><li>organizes the patterns inherent in data, making the complex clear </li></ul><ul><li>creates the structure or map of information which allows others to find their personal paths to knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>(R.S. Wurman) </li></ul>
  8. 9. Librarian vs IA-ct Common elements of interest <ul><li>Managing huge information resources (collecting, selecting, accessing) </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing information </li></ul><ul><li>Servicing users/readers </li></ul><ul><li>Developing searching tools (indexes, catalogs, navigation systems) </li></ul><ul><li>Creating findable information spaces (websites, readers rooms etc.) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Librarian vs IA-ct (2) <ul><li>Librarian’s main aim is to provide access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Information architect’s main aim is to facilitate this access </li></ul>
  10. 11. Five Laws of Library Science by S.R. Ranganathan (1931) <ul><li>1. Books are for use . </li></ul><ul><li>2. Every reader his or her book . </li></ul><ul><li>3. Every book its reader . </li></ul><ul><li>4. Save the time of the reader . </li></ul><ul><li>5. The Library is a growing organism . </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>A librarian is a natural information architect. </li></ul><ul><li>But in Poland very few librarians consider this fact. </li></ul><ul><li>IA makes up a chance to appear new, attractive profession in library science: </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architect Librarian (IAL) </li></ul><ul><li>The possible scope of IAL profession: designing of usable library web sites, easy findable library rooms, training to use IA in everyday life etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from his work are hard to over-estimate because knowledge is invaluable. </li></ul>Conclusion
  12. 13. IA in librarian activity <ul><li>1. Library webpage designing </li></ul><ul><li>2. Organization of physical library space (reading rooms, book collections etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Evaluation of web resources </li></ul><ul><li>4. Educating IA </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Polish Library Web Sites Current state-of- art </li></ul><ul><li>Boring content </li></ul><ul><li>Limited to official information </li></ul><ul><li>(amount of resources, facts) </li></ul><ul><li>Very weak informative </li></ul><ul><li>Old fashioned </li></ul><ul><li>Unusable </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to find </li></ul><ul><li>Non-strategic approach </li></ul><ul><li>to web site designing </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Polish Library Web Sites Challenges and goals </li></ul><ul><li>user-centered design </li></ul><ul><li>strategic and tactical planning approach to web site designing and management </li></ul><ul><li>supporting education and research </li></ul><ul><li>helping users finding needed information </li></ul><ul><li>providing access to various e-sources (web catalogs, portals, e-journals, data bases) </li></ul><ul><li>reporting the news about library and school live </li></ul><ul><li>showing the better, valuable site of the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>incorporating students into creation process </li></ul>
  15. 16. Process of designing cycle (example) Library Web Site is not only for librarians but for their users (students, teacher, parents etc.) 1. Library Web Site
  16. 17. Notices <ul><li>Users of a library Web site (lws) are mostly the readers of this library (students, pupils, teacher, parents, scientists), so it is quite easy to collect important information about them and their opinion about the site </li></ul><ul><li>lws should indicating appriopriate resources in the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Web site designing is an endless process... </li></ul>1. Library Web Site
  17. 18. 2. IA of real library space <ul><li>Library has the same </li></ul><ul><li>IA’s elements as web sites: </li></ul><ul><li>organization system </li></ul><ul><li>navigation system </li></ul><ul><li>searching </li></ul><ul><li>labeling </li></ul>Library resources need to be organized in a usable way
  18. 19. Foundations <ul><li>enabling free access to library resources </li></ul><ul><li>giving fast and short information about library resources, new books etc. </li></ul><ul><li>supporting users to move through the shelves in search of a document, </li></ul><ul><li>pointing ways to important places in library </li></ul><ul><li>supporting users’ decisions about where to go, what to read, borrow etc. </li></ul>2. IA of real library space
  19. 20. 3. Evaluating IA <ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><li>Educate methods of evaluating information critically </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristic of Web site layout, navigation and searching systems </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement in Web resources quality selection skills </li></ul><ul><li>Support information searching for educational purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to recognize whether a Web site is trustworthy </li></ul>
  20. 21. Elements of IA evaluation 3. Evaluating IA structure grouping labeling IA Web resources evaluation By Steve Toub
  21. 22. <ul><li>By evaluating librarian teaches better Web sites designing and how to avoid common mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>The main aim is to improve the quality of educational and informative Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>It is one of criterion involved in complex process of Web pages evaluation including: authority, objectivity and currency of resources evaluation </li></ul>Benefits 3. Evaluating IA
  22. 23. 4. Educating IA in Library <ul><li>Topics: </li></ul><ul><li>recognize Web sites elements </li></ul><ul><li>organize information </li></ul><ul><li>understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information </li></ul><ul><li>strategies or methods using in Web searching </li></ul>The part of information literacy curriculum
  23. 24. Handful of conclusions <ul><li>Library and Information Science (LIS) and Information Architecture are inseparable disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>The bridge is a metaphor of communication, cooperation and corelation between these disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>IA is a metadiscpline not having its own identity so LIS ought to be a source IA-ct derive from </li></ul>
  24. 25. The bridge between two disciplines
  25. 26. Handful of conclusions (2) <ul><li>IA needs librarians because: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>they deal with collecting, organizing and searching of information. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>they educate future information and web users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Librarians need the IA’s knowledge because of its awareness of users </li></ul><ul><li>IA is not only a craft or discipline but also it is a point of view </li></ul>
  26. 27. Future’s Librarian <ul><li>Information Architect Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>A person who incorporates attributes from today’s librarian and information architect </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of traditional profession </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting opportunity to develop research areas in Library and Information Science </li></ul>
  27. 28. In the end... <ul><li>The Internet is constantly evolving towards global information resources, we could call it, according to Jorge J. Borges, </li></ul><ul><li>The Library of Babel </li></ul><ul><li>But every library needs librarians... </li></ul>

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