This subject has given me a deeper understanding of the role a teacher librarian (TL) must play ensuring the school community has effective access to quality resources. The digital revolution has many advantages and challenges. In the online environment students have access to an ever increasing amount of information, which can make it harder to find the information to best address their needs; some information resources are better than others (Hider, 2012, p. xi).
A fundamental role of the TL is to support and improve the students’ ability to successfully retrieve information. Effective collection management and development ensures quality resources (physical and virtual) are available to the school community. This subject highlights the important role of the TL in organising resources to facilitate effective access for the school community (Hider, 2012, p. xi). Quality metadata is vital for effective access to resources.
Information resource description and organisation topics deepened my understanding of how important these practices are in ensuring resources remain re-accessible and re-usable for the school community (Hider, 2012, p. 61). Using the Resource Description and Access (RDA) toolkit to create metadata for information resources deepened my understanding of how metadata standards are essential to meet the needs of library users.
It is vital the TL understands the diverse learning needs of the school community. This includes special needs, range of reading and cognitive levels and information searching habits of students. Younger children may have difficulty reading extensive text created for information resource descriptions (Jacobsen, 2011, p. 20). TLs need awareness of these learning needs when selecting or creating metadata for catalogues. Understanding ensures the metadata used in information organisation employs language that can be read and understood by students searching for information (Jacobsen, 2011, p. 21).
Understanding the conceptual model, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) was a critical learning point. The concepts that RDA is based on helped me to understand RDA is a standard for resource description and access that focuses on the convenience of the user. The first principle of FRBR focuses on the user tasks of FINDING, IDENTIFYING, SELECTING and OBTAINING the information needed (Education Services Australia [ESA], 2013, pp. 10-11). Implementation of RDA by the Schools Information Catalogue Service in 2013 ensures school libraries can utilise these changes to library cataloguing. RDA is designed for the digital environment. It emphasises the importance of resource relationships, provides precision to access points, internationally focused and search results provide users with meaningful information (ESA, 2013, p. 9).
Access to the SCIS cataloguing products was essential for a deeper understanding about SCIS subject headings and catalogue records. I have clearer understanding when looking at a SCIS catalogue record, what the metadata means, why it is there and how it can provide effective access to resources for users.
Access to WebDewey has provided a deeper understanding of how classification numbers are assigned in DDC23 and ADDC15. Gaining a deeper understanding of how SCIS assigns classification numbers for resources guided by the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry. The overarching role of the school library is to meet the needs of the school community, this includes decisions about which level of classification the school library uses and what local devices need to be added to SCIS classification numbers to best meet the needs of the school community.
Education Services Australia. (2013). SCIS cataloguing update: RDA in school libraries. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/scis/rda-in-scis?qid=d6c6f66d-4b17-4da9-9ae9-413d2c7ae8cd&v=default&b=&from_search=1
Hider, P. (2012). Information resource description: Creating and managing metadata. London: Facet Publishing.
Jacobsen, L. A. (2011). How children search. In S. S. Intner., J. F. Fountain & J. Weihs (Eds.), Cataloging correctly for kids: An introduction to the tools (5th ed.). (pp. 19-23). Retrieved from EBook Library.