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This blogsphere attempts to capture, catalog and share resources relating to visual perception of information. It is about a world mostly dealing with Physical (Touch, Taste, See/Sight, Smell and Hear) and sometimes Metaphysical (and that is none-of-the-above category). Physical, for instance, touch (e.g., feel, felt, found), look and visualization, is here with an attempt to combine verbal, vocal and visual--to synchronously see, hear, share and do much more. Interestingly, in order to visualize one does not need special skills, competencies, etc. It is all about common sense, especially with human visualizations. In short, "information is in the eye of the beholder." Continue reading much more all-ado-about this Blogosphere

Akbani is a Cutchi Memon family name.

March 03, 2014

Nine Lives of the Library Catalog

STUDY: Cats Not As Effective As Index Cards At Organizing Books, Fluffington Post (image courtesy: Fluffington Post)
"A new study from the Dewey Institute finds that while cats are far more adorable than index cards, they aren’t as effective at organizing books.  While this new study will undoubtedly save some libraries the mistake of investing in all-cat system, the American Library Association tells The Fluffington Post that as many of 175 libraries across the country have collectively already spent over $20 million on these ineffective organizational catalogs."

This significant library product (output format), traditionally called a book catalog (and now OPAC), has at least nine funcitonal names, as used in the library world (with spelling variants in British, American usage). According to Robert Lopresti, the catalog keeps changing. These nine lives, not a final list, are depicted in the following funcational names of this product
  1. Library catalog (aka Library Catalogue), 
  2. Card catalog  (aka card Catalogue =  is an individual record in a library catalog), 
  3. Library index (as in a database),  
  4. Shelf List (esp., for inventory),
  5. Classified catalog (aka subject catalog, Systematic catalog),
  6. Dictionary catalog (aka  Keyword catalog),
  7. Author catalog
  8. Title catalog
  9. Online catalog (OPAC) 
Further, this library product must have lived nine lives, from its inception (in pre-print age, with the Arab bibliographer compiling the first library catalog in the Arab World: Abu'l-Faraj Muhammad bin Is'hāq al-Nadim (Arabic: ابوالفرج محمد بن إسحاق النديم‎) (died September 17, 995 or 998) was a Muslim scholar and bibliographer), thence to the card format, microfilm format, microfische  format, etc., to the present OPAC (Web-based Online Public Access Catalog). 

The following image taken from article Nine lives of the catalogby Robert Lopresti, has one more way to look at the true colours of the nine lives:


What are our Tools ? (for input, these are also nine depending on the expression, manifestation, item type, access options, etc.)
"AACR / RDA = content standard for resource description and access MARC / MODS / FISO= communication and exchange format providing a structure for encoding the content of bibliographic and authority data Related to: ISBD = rules that organise the display of a bibliographic description of an item in a catalogue FRBR = a entity-relational model of the data required to find, identify, select and obtain resources"
LC or Dewey Classification number's; LC/ Sears / MLA's Subject Headings; Library of Congress or some other Authority files; WorldCat or OCLC or LC database. [more tool options, here]

Nine Search Options:
"Using the idea that there is ample information in both the brick-and-mortar library and the virtual library, Mann (Library of Congress) develops the volume around nine search methods: (1) using controlled vocabulary, (2) browsing subject-classified books, (3) keyword searching, (4) citation searching, (5) using related records, (6) using published subject bibliographies, (7) Boolean combination searching, (8) using experts, and (9) searching subject literature. Individual chapters cover a specific aspect of research and give numerous examples." (source: The Oxford guide to library research, by  Mann, Thomas)

Nine Browse  Options: cited in an article Bester (2010).

More on the same shelf:

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