Outcome 3: Organization of Recorded Knowledge and Information

Graduates of the SLIM Master of Library Science degree program will be able to explain, use, maintain, and develop systems to organize and retrieve recorded knowledge.

Artifact: Group Presentation – Social Tagging
Link to Presentation
Link to Volvelle Handout, designed by Amanda Meeks
MLS Outcomes: 3, 4, 7
MLS Values: 1, 4
LI 804: Organization of Information taught us about the individual, social, and institutional perspectives by which information is organized by both information professionals and information users. We learned about specific tools for organization and their strengths and drawbacks, and examined the assumptions and practices that go with using any organizational framework. We studied these topics via theories that seek to define information and what it means to organize it. Buckland’s theory of Information-as-Thing (1991) focuses in on the physical aspect of information and argues that this aspect is the primary one that information professionals must concern themselves with when seeking to catalog it, store it, and make it easily available for use. Prototype Theory, as defined by George Lakoff (1987), goes beyond Aristotelian notions of same and different to look at degrees of difference as compared to a Prototype, or primary example. And Hope Olson (2001) calls attention to the cultural basis of organization.

This group presentation examined a relatively recent method of organizing information: Social Tagging. After going over a brief history of tagging, each team member profiled a different service that uses it, its comparative advantages and disadvantages as compared to other organizational tools, contexts in which it is used, and current and future possibilities for use in libraries. We each detailed ways in which the strengths of social tagging can be used and its weaknesses mitigated. We gave examples of tagging’s usefulness in channeling and focusing conversation and information by engaging the audience in participation and taught their use through real-time examples of how to use tagging in appropriate ways. This presentation shows that I can explain a growing form of organization on the web and utilize it for the purposes of directing patrons to online resources and services. I can also detail how tagging can be used with regards to many different aspects of librarianship, from reference to cataloging to collection development.

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