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LIS510 lecture 10


Rubin says, quite rightly that library policy is a part of ... 100 Philosophy, parapsychology occultism, psychology. 300 Social Sciences 400 Language ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: LIS510 lecture 10

LIS510 lecture 10
  • Thomas Krichel
  • 2006-11-29

library policy
  • Rubin says, quite rightly that library policy is
    a part of information policy.
  • He spends the majority of the chapter talking
    about intellectual freedom. This is a topic that
    is a bit overrated, IMHO.
  • Before that so important topic he has some
  • He waffles about policies.

Organization of materials policy
  • Most libraries organize their materials according
    to subject classification schemes.
  • In the United States, the most widely used are
  • Dewey Decimal Classification
  • Library of Congress Classification System
  • This part of activity will be covered later.

collection policy
  • It answers questions such as
  • what subjects should be collected
  • in what depth should each subject be collected
  • what types of formats and what balance between
  • what cooperative agreements should be formed
  • it does not answer questions such as
  • who are the library users
  • what is the mission of the library

collection policy use
  • As a planning tool for allocating
  • staff
  • money
  • As a guide for the selection process
  • As a tool to try to insure consistency of the
    collection across time and staff
  • As a means to train new staff
  • As a statement to the public
  • As a defense if challenged

selection criteria
  • authority
  • appropriateness
  • timeliness
  • physical characteristics
  • collection fit
  • demand
  • content
  • special characteristics (e.g. indexes, teachers
    guide, translations)

selection for electronic resources
  • If they are available in open access, they do not
    need to be collected.
  • If they are not, much the same criteria as before
    apply. Special criteria such as the ones advised
    by Rubin do not appear to useful.
  • There is an important issue with archiving online
    access material.

circulation policies
  • These policies govern the circulation of
    material. Topics include
  • short loan
  • renewal
  • what materials do not circulate
  • fines

reference policies
  • There can be restrictions on reference
  • time limit
  • type of question asked
  • no homework
  • no contest answers
  • There can be an emphasis on instructional
    reference, away from looking for the answer on
    behalf of the patron.

preservation policy
  • This is technically very difficult.
  • Acid paper crumbles.
  • Paper can burn.
  • Microfilm is old fashion and not convenient to
  • Digital preservation is difficult.
  • Massive digitization remains costly.

intellectual freedom
  • There has been an enormous fuss made about this.
  • There have been isolated attempts to bar a whole
    host of materials from libraries.
  • Librarians have generally tried to promote the
    free circulation of ideas, whatever these ideas
    may be and whoever is holding them.
  • However there are some moral dilemmas.

obligations to restrict access
  • obligation to act with respect to ones values.
    example incitement of husbands to philander.
  • obligation to preserve, protect and maintain
    values of the local community. example pictures
    of bare-faced women.
  • obligation to protect children form harm
  • obligation to protect the library from harm

obligation to open access
  • obligation to protect the right of patrons to
    free access to ideas
  • democratic society is based on informed and
    educated citizens.
  • This supposedly comes from the first amendment.
    Rubin claims that there is a corollary right to
    receive expressions. I doubt that this is the
    case. You will only get those expressions you
    and/or your community have paid for, or that are
    freely available.

first amendment text
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an
    establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
    free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom
    of speech, or of the press or the right of the
    people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
    Government for a redress of grievances.

obligations to increase access
  • obligation to educate children
  • an important battle, Island Trees v. Pico,
    happened right here on Long Island. Island Trees
    School Board ordered the removal of nine books
    from junior high and high school libraries which
    were considered anti-American, anti-Christian,
    anti-Semitic and filthy. Students at the schools
    sued claiming a denial of their First Amendment
    rights. The Supreme Court ruled that school
    boards could not just remove books from libraries
    simply because they didn't like the ideas in
  • Palmer School hosts events celebrating the

other obligations to provide access
  • Obligation to preserve the values of the
    profession. ALA orchestrates campaigns on that
  • But in reality it is quite hard for the
    individual librarian. They can only provide the
    best stuff, and by deciding what the best is,
    they implicitly limit the non-best material.
  • Most think that pornographic, violence-inciting
    and foul language dont belong into the library.

Web filtering
  • This is a more recent topic under the umbrella of
    freedom of information.
  • Libraries that have provided Internet access are
    under pressure children dont use it with the
    result of exposure to pornographic material.
  • Self-regulation of the contents industry has not
    worked up to now.
  • Much of this has been done with dedicated
    filtering software.

filtering software
  • There are two approaches
  • text-based prohibit access to sites containing
    certain words
  • URL-based blocks access to addresses that are
    known to given URL
  • Overall, both methods work poorly.
  • Methods and lists are secret, which is one reason
    why they work so poorly.

ALA information policies
  • ALA wrote a library bill of rights in 1939,
    changed last in 1980.
  • Point 5 age is particularly controversial, but
    reaffirmed in 1996.
  • There are freedom to read (1953) and a freedom
    to view (1979) statements.
  • As explained by Rubin these positions are fairly

ALA positions
  • free access to minors, including the adult
  • opposition to charging for library services
  • oppose filtering
  • protect the privacy of the patron
  • confidentiality of circulation records

Organization of information
  • Libraries organize information. Otherwise nothing
    that is an library could ever be found.
  • Traditional method of doing this have been labor
    intensive. They can not cope with the exploding
    amount of information.
  • But the theoretical approaches and the tools
    developed by librarians remain very important for
    any attempt at organizing information by computer.

approaching knowledge
  • There are things we want to know about. These are
    called subjects.
  • And there are ways of looking at things. Rubin
    calls them disciplines
  • Example subject sex, way of looking at it
    through biology, gender studies, pornography.

  • It is the act of organizing the universe of
    knowledge into some systematic order.
  • Classification provides a descriptive and
    explanatory framework for ideas and a structure
    of the relationship among the ideas.
  • Example Science gt Chemistry gt Organic Chemistry

Classification schemes
  • Generally schemes to classify subjects are
    discipline oriented, rather than subject
  • Example
  • Sports gt Racing gt Horse Racing
  • Science gt Biology gt Zoology gt Horses gt Horse
  • The same thing can be viewed form different

use of classification schemes
  • As a way to arrange items in a library. Things
    with same classification are next to each other.
    This encourages the patron to discover similar
  • But sometimes, serials are kept apart. Individual
    articles in serials are not classified.
  • Once a system is chosen, a library sticks with
  • There are two common ones
  • Dewey Decimal Classification
  • Library of Congress

Dewey Decimal Classification
  • Introduced by Melvil Dewey in 1876.
  • Ten top classes
  • 000 Generalites 200 Religion
  • 100 Philosophy, parapsychology occultism,
  • 300 Social Sciences 400 Language
  • 500 Natural Sciences Mathematics
  • 600 Technology (Applied Sciences)
  • 700 Arts 800 Literature Rhetoric
  • 900 Geography, history and auxiliary disciplines

  • Rubin has a good examples
  • 640 is home economics
  • 641 food and drink
  • another
  • 795 games of chance
  • 795.4 card games
  • 795.41 card games where skill is involved
  • 975.412 poker

comments on DDC
  • Mainly used in public libraries.
  • Like any scheme, it needs updating. Such updates
    a cumbersome.
  • Like any scheme there is a significant cultural
    bias in it.
  • Owned by OCLC and sold very dearly. OCLC sued the
    library hotel for using the scheme. This limits
    the uptake of the scheme and therefore it

Library of Congress Classification
  • Has twenty top letter as classes.
  • Many looks at the world from an academic
  • Therefore used in universities.
  • Owned and maintained by the library of congress,
    problems with restricted access are similar to

controlled vocabulary
  • Many words can be used to describe the same thing
  • US, U.S., United States of America, ???
  • One approach to deal with this problem is to use
    only one term, consistently.
  • Example the yellow pages provide a consistent
    vocabulary for all professions.

NISO definition of authority control
  • Vocabulary control is the process of organizing
    a list of terms
  • to indicate which two or more synonymous terms is
    authorized for use
  • to distinguish between homographs
  • to indicate hierarchical and associate
    relationships between term

LoC authority control
  • LoC maintain authority files. They are not free
    but you can consult them on the web.
  • Let us try this out now, see http//authorities.lo
  • Look at the personal authority file and search
    for someone reasonable famous that you like.

  • A thesaurus is list of words. For each word,
    there is a list of related words and the type of
    relationship that the word has with each related
    work. Examples
  • Narrower Terms
  • Academic Libraries
  • Branch Libraries
  • Related Terms
  • Information Centers
  • Thesauri are search tools.

subject headings
  • These are controlled vocabularies of subjects
    that can be added to a record.
  • They may also contain similar relationships
    between terms.
  • But unlike thesauri, they are used when creating
    the bibliographic records. Thus they are indexing

type of subject headings
  • LoC subject headings are very complete, but are
    not easy to use.
  • Smaller libraries use Sears subject headings
  • less compete
  • easier to use
  • very expensive to buy on paper.

  • Catalogs are collection of records about a
    librarys holdings.
  • In olden days, they were organized by author
  • In more modern days you can approach by various
    access points such as title, author, subject.

aims of catalog
  • Cutters 1904 work still pertinent here.
  • Catalogs
  • enable person to find a book of which either
    author, title, subject is known
  • to show what the library has for a given author,
    on a given subject, in a given type
  • to assist with the choice of the book by edition
    or by its character (literary or topical)

  • Cutters vision is more from the users point of
    view, but from the librarys point of view it is
    also important to know
  • location
  • physical characteristics (e.g. oversize)
  • circulation properties

bibliographic record
  • This is a record that describes an item in the
  • Anglo-American Cataloguing rules are a set of
    standardized rules for creating such record.
  • These rules go back to the 19th century, but are
    being revised.
  • Currently AARC2 is in use, last revised 2002.

  • Parts of a record are called fields. A record can
    contain many fields. A field has a name, and a
    value. Example
  • Title Homepage of Thomas Krichel
  • Author Thomas Krichel
  • URL http//
  • is a record with three fields. The first field is
    named Title, and its value is Homepage of
    Thomas Krichel

  • MARC is a record with field name that are numbers
    and some sub field. The same example as
    previously (basically)
  • 100 Thomas Krichel
  • 245 Homepage of Thomas Krichel / Thomas Krichel
  • 865 http//
  • There are gazillions of rules to learn before you
    can write a correct MARC record.

other tools index
  • forget about NISOs definition as quoted by
  • An index is a list of terms and for each term a
    list of locations where it can be found. Example,
    for these slides
  • catalog 17,18,19,20
  • subject 3,5,15,16,17,18
  • They have a crucial role in information retrieval.

types of indexing
  • precoordinate indexing an indexer (usually a
    person) selects all the indexing terms and
    decided how they are combined.
  • postcoordinate searchers can use indexing terms
    they like. for example they can ask if there are
    slides that have subject and catalog.

other tools abstract
  • an abstract is pretty much a description of
    something else without a rigid structure.
  • Homepage of Thomas Krichel
  • written by Thomas Krichel,
  • last updated March 2005
  • at http//
  • would be an example of an abstract.
  • There are many abstracting and indexing databases
    that hold a lot of abstracts and have indexed

other tool bibliography
  • This is basically a collection of abstracts on a
    certain topic.
  • It can be a large like DBLP, see
    http// or a small one like the
    one you may want to create for your essay.

  • Thank you for your attention!
  • Please switch off the computers.