Point of Use Guide
Skill testing Questions
Introduction and Quick Guide
The challenge: Within six weeks, develop a system that will be simple enough to be used with limited training.
employees always coming and going with various short-term internship researchers
This system will also need to be ‘kept up’ by staff with no library training. (No funds, no cataloging software)
Major challenge included just finding and recording what we have: Resources are kept all over the Foundation. Including in people’s personal office space, drawers, in closets, boxes, and on shelves.
Slide Five – Kinds of Resources Found
Transitory nature of the Foundation has allowed for the unorganized nature of the resources
What we have: wealth of information, including
Audio visual resources
This has been translated into the four main areas of the collection:
- I have organized the books into Library of Congress classification, this accounts for the main area of the collection, and will allow for browsing and searching
- Magazines have been placed in magazine boxes. They are labeled and placed in alphabetical order.
(Each binder has a table of contents both in the catalog, or in front of binder)
- brochures, pamplets, etc arranged by subject categories and placed in resource boxes.
- articles, printouts, and other loose sheets have been organized into subject categories and placed in binders. (Each box has a title list in the catalog)
Everything has been painstakingly entered into a file, which is essentially a title list in shelf order. This document will work as our catalog
For the main area of the collection, (the books) and the area that you will need to use the most, you are going to need to have a general understanding of Library of Congress Classification. I am going to take a few minutes to go over LCC and explain how the books are organized.
Quick overview of Library of congress Classification
Main Areas of the LC classification system are marked with a single letter (P for language and literature)
Principle subdivisions by marked with an added letter (PR for English Literature)
Classes are further divided by numbers (PR 1-9680 are all different subdivisions within English literature)
Books are arranged on each shelf according to the classification, and within each class, alphabetically by author. (C82 for author’s last name of Currie)
I have created a point of use guide for you, to facilitate your browsing when you are at the shelves. You will be able to take your guide with you to the resource center, and use it to narrow down your search (hand out point of use guide).
I am going to give you one minute. I would like you to take a moment and study the library of congress hierarchy and make sure you understand it.
There are three ways to locate information: browsing – physically, electronically, or searching
Browsing: You can browse the physical shelves by subject category. This will be possible in the resource centre because it is very small. You will want to search this way if you aren’t looking for one book in particular, but are searching a general subject. (this is not an efficient way to research in a large academic or public library).
Example: search for history of Edmonton
Use your guide and scan the shelves, to find FC for Canadian history
Notice the headings in the picture, I have labeled the shelves according to the general subject category - Use them as a guide, you should be able to use them to narrow your topic to within a shelf.
In this case, you would scan until you find Alberta history, which is situated between FC3651-3700.
Continue to Scan until you come across books exclusively on Edmonton, which are located from FC 3696.15- 3696.9
Once you have located books on your subject, you don’t want to stop there. after this it would be useful to take a peek through the magazine boxes. For example, there is a box labeled ‘edmonton’, which includes any pamphlets or other misc. resources related to Edmonton.
You also might want to check out the historical resource binder. The front cover has a table of contents.
The second way to find resources would be to browse the catalog by subject categories
If your looking for information related to religion, for example, you could scan through the catalog in the same way you would scan the shelves (it is in shelf order)
Take a look at your guide: where would you need to look for religion? Under B philosophy, Psychology, Religion.
from here it continues to subdivide by subjects within regligion, and you would just need to scan the titles under the appropriate subject.
Slide Twelve - Example
Heaven is Near the Rocky Mountains
by looking at the call number, can you tell me what the general subject this book is classified under? (BV = practical theory of religion)
Notice the bullet labeled “subject”. Every title in the catalog will have this information. These are library of congress assigned subject headings. These will be very useful for your searching. you will be able to use them to quickly ascertain the general subject area of a book without having to go all the way to the resource center.
Once you find a book that looks useful, you would just need to write down the call number and locate it on the shelf
The third way to find resources is to access the online catalog and perform a search.
Generate a list of synonyms that describe the topic you are researching. Include Broader terms and narrower terms
(some good online thesauri)
use this list to enter search terms into the document. I have put it into PDF version, so there is a search function in the program.
The search will look for any words in the title, author, or subject fields. – keep in mind, you will be able to search for subjects this way – because as we all know, the title of a book is not the best indicator of what it is about.
Once you have found a book that looks useful, take note of the subject terms, and use them to perform another search.
The search function will also search through the title lists of the magazine boxes, and resource binders.
Are there any questions at this point on how to search or browse a subject?
Do all three!
A truly effective search would include all three strategies. Always perform a search, even if you think you know where the books will be located on the shelves. Due to the nature of books (more than one subject), they may be classified under a category you wouldn’t expect.
For example: if you were searching for information on the Cree, and went exclusively to the Es, you would miss “Heaven is near the Rocky Mountains”, which although about the Cree, has been classified under BV for ‘practical theory of Religion’.
I have designed a fun and quick activity for us. This is what we need to do:
divide into two groups of equal numbers
you will have seven minutes to come up with as many synonyms as you can for the topic I give you. Try to include broader terms and narrower terms.
in other words, words that are more general in meaning, and words that are more specific in meaning: Example, for the word Christianity, Religion would be a broader term, and Catholicism would be a narrower term.
Does anybody have any questions about what I want you to do, or on what broader or narrower terms are?
Okay, divide into your groups, and when everybody is ready, I will give you the word.
here are all the words I came up with
Petroleum in the LC hierarchy under TN for mining, metallurgy
Two points to take away from this: important to generate lots of synonyms, BTs and NTs for searching, because you don’t know what it will be. Browsing would not have intuitively led you to the right shelf. Who would look under mining, metallurgy for petroleum? This is why it is important to both search and browse for a topic.
I hope this will help you to find the information you need.
Are there any questions?