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Abstract 28th February 2014 – Session 4B

Dobrica Savic (International Atomic Energy Agency, Austria)
Using a Google Search Appliance (GSA) to search digital library collections: a case study of the INIS Collection Search
Abstract
Libraries are facing many challenges today. In addition to diminishing funding and increased user expectations, the use of classic library catalogues is becoming an additional challenge. Library users require fast and easy access to information resources regardless whether the format used is paper or electronic. Google search, with its speed and simplicity, set up a new standard for information retrieval which is hard to achieve with the previous generation of library search facilities. Put in a position of David versus Goliath, many small, and even larger libraries, are losing the battle with Google and letting many of its users use Google rather than library catalogues.
The International Nuclear Information System (INIS) hosts one of the world’s largest collections of published information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. It offers online access to a unique collection of 3.6 million bibliographic records and 320,000 full-texts of non-conventional (grey) literature. This large digital library collection suffered from most of the well-known shortcomings of the classic library catalogue. Searching was complex and complicated, required some training in using Boolean logic, full-text searching was not an option, and the response time was slow. An opportune moment came with the retirement of the previous catalogue software and with the adoption of Google Search Appliance (GSA) as an organization-wide search engine standard. INIS was quick to realize a great potential in using such a well-known application as a replacement for its online catalogue and this paper presents the advantages and disadvantages encountered during three years of GSA use. Based on specific INIS-based practice and experience, this paper also offers some guidelines on ways to improve classic collections of millions of bibliographic and full-text documents, while achieving multiple benefits such as increased use, accessibility, usability, expandability and improving the user search and retrieval experience.
Antonella Trombone (University of Basilicata, Italy)
New displaying models of bibliographic data and resources: cataloguing/resource description and search results
Abstract
The logical model outlined in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records in 1998 has led to a theoretical reflection on the function of data and their organization into catalogues that hasn’t found stable effects in the representation of information yet. A consequence of the wide theoretical resonance of FRBR report was the review of regulatory codes and standards for electronic recording of bibliographic data. The first code that partly implements the FRBR model is the Italian one, published in 2009, the Italian cataloguing Rules: REICAT. The revision the Anglo-American cataloging rules has resulted in a new tool, based on the FRBR model and not set as a cataloging code: RDA. Resource Description and Access, released in 2010. To changing patterns of information models and contents’ media it has to add new information environment available to users, accustomed to using search engines as information retrieval tools, powerful and generalist.
Today’s electronic catalogs are based on MARC formats for encoding of information, aimed at sharing and exchanging bibliographic records. However, the library data encoded in MARC exchange formats are invisible to search engines.
Gradually, over the last few years, software modules devoted to cataloging have been differentiated from those for consultation, data visualization interfaces dedicated to users aimed to simplify the search mechanisms.
One of the open issues relating to the new display systems concerns the selection and presentation of data. The sorting order is based on the criteria of relevance, which is based on scores that a software assigns to the record in relation to the weight or importance of the words entered in the search string.
The new display systems of users ‘ searches, the discovery platforms that simultaneously query heterogeneous data bases for content and location, including also the OPACs, no longer use the languages of librarianship. The final display of search results does not conform to librarians’ models, judged commercially unclear for end-users, now accustomed to the seeming simplicity of the search engines. The risk , both at scientific and at professional level, is to lose the opportunity to propose not only a model for description of resources, but also a model for displaying data, the structural representation of entities based on the FRBR model, or RDA or REICAT principles.
The paper here proposed analyzes different patterns of bibliographic data visualization that libraries’ OPACs and library service platforms begin to offer, focusing on three categories of innovations in displaying of cataloguing data: the data proposed by discovery tools or library service platforms, that transform and integrate information taken from the Integrated Library Systems with other collections accessible through libraries; the data derived from the cataloguing based on RDA started in some libraries; the displays of bibliographic data emulating the hierarchical organization among entities foreseen by FRBR.
Andrea Fabbrizzi (University of Florence, Italy)
An atlas of classification. Signage between open shelves, the Web and the catalogue
Keywords: Dewey Decimal Classification, signage, library instruction
Abstract
This paper intends to present the in-progress project for the signage system of the Dewey classified shelves in the Library of Social Sciences at the University of Florence.
The aim of classified arrangement in open access shelves is not only to direct users to works on a particular subject, but also to encourage them to browse works which are shelved in close proximity in the context of the same discipline, according to the hierarchic logic of classification.
Classified arrangement in open access shelves can be effective if the characteristics, the fundamental elements and therefore all the potentials of class indexing can be expressed and presented to users in a visible and understandable way. In the case of the Dewey Decimal Classification these characteristics are the organization by disciplines, the principle of hierarchy expressed through both the structure of classified subjects and the notation, and the decimal notation, which expresses the coordination and the subordination of subjects.
The signage system for the classified arrangement in open access shelves in the Library of Social Sciences aims to make clear to users the criteria with which the documents are organized, to indicate the position of the shelves in the physical context of the library as well as in the conceptual context of the Dewey Classification, and to display effectively all the classified subjects of the works contained on each shelf. The project for the signage system of the Dewey classified shelves at the Library of Social Sciences dates back to 2005: http://www.aib.it/aib/contr/fabbrizzi1.htm.
In order to achieve its aims, this signage system integrates the library’s communication means at various levels, both in the context of the same medium and between different media: between the information signs at the head of the shelves, between these information signs and the library website, between the library website and the catalogue; the cross-media nature of this signage suggested also the use of the QR code. The initial project was to get the signs to interact with the library’s or the users’ computers, which, for the particular architecture of the Library of Social Sciences – a completely open environment – are generally in close proximity to the open shelves; nowadays, mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, due to their portability, seem to be even more suitable for this integrated system. The possibility to access the Web while moving from shelf to shelf allows this project to be put into practice even in environments which are structurally different from the one for which it was designed.
This signage system creates a close relationship between the Dewey classified shelves and the catalogue: because of their material presence, the open shelves could be considered in turn signage for the electronic catalogue.
Anne Welsh (UCL Department of Information Studies, UK)
Flipping the cataloguing class: Equipping and empowering cataloguers for the hybrid cataloguing environment
Abstract
With not only the Library of Congress and British Library moving to RDA in 2013 (Wiggins, 2012; Danskin, 2013), but also major research libraries including Cambridge University Library, the Bodleian and Trinity College, Dublin (Carty, 2013; O’Reilly, 2013; McManus, 2013), while others are adopting a wait and see approach (Gryspeerdt, 2012), it is not only current cataloguing staff who are required to understand and be able to create records in both the old (AACR2) and the new (RDA) cataloguing standards; library school students must prepare for a working life in which their future employers may be looking for expertise in one standard, or the other, or both. This paper presents the findings of a project to introduce a flipped classroom model to the core cataloguing module on University College London’s MA in Library and Information Studies.
As a teaching and learning concept, the flipped classroom has been gaining coverage in the academic press both for secondary and tertiary education. In essence, the provision of video and other online content enables students to undertake the passive learning that normally occurs in a classroom at home and to complete activities in class-time that previously were undertaken as homework. Based on the well-established theories of John Dewey that experience is the mediator of knowledge (Dewey, 1929) and that we learn best not merely through the performance of an educator at the front of a room but by undertaking activities independently of the educator, although with their appropriate support (Dewey, 1897), the flipped classroom provides a student-centred approach as opposed to a “one size fits all” approach to teaching (Michael, 2006).
Although all students must complete at least one year’s experience working in an information service, the cataloguing experience of individual class members varies greatly at the start of the module, and this is a challenge for both students and instructors (Middleton, 2013; Welsh, 2013). In this study, the flipped classroom model, with its greater capacity to accommodate individualized learning, was found to accelerate learning for both beginning cataloguers and those with greater experience at point of entry. An anonymised analysis of the results of the assessment (due in January 2014), alongside a comparison with previous years’ assessment results will be used to evaluate whether this aspect of the flipped classroom may be regarded as having ‘leveled the playing field’ for students, or whether the spread of results is the same as in previous years even although the students’ perception of their learning is different.
This research investigated several aspects of the flipped classroom, and, in particular, the following research questions: Does the flipped classroom provide enough support for students to learn two cataloguing standards (AACR2 and RDA) in a module with the same student:teacher contact time (30 hours) that it had when only one standard (AACR2) had to be learned? Which elements of the module worked best in a flipped format? Are there elements of a basic cataloguing module that benefit from presentation in standard lecture format, as Strayer (2012) found in the introductory Statistics courses he evaluated? o If so, what are these elements? Did students spend more time outside class in learning the two standards than was needed to learn one standard in previous years, or did the flipped classroom materials provide any efficiency in saving time? o If so, which materials were most helpful in this regard. Did students’ results from the module assessment match their expectations? Are their negative impacts from the flipped classroom model? o If so, what are they? Data was collected from students using a survey and interviews. These methods were particularly appropriate intruments to gather information both on factual aspects (e.g. “How long did you spend working on learning cataloguing outside class) and subjective observations (e.g. “Would you feel confident to apply for a cataloguing role now you have completed the module?”). Data on students’ subjective observations was considered useful and important with regard both to the perceived impact of the flipped classroom and their expectations of their performance in the assessment. A phenomenon of the assessment in previous years, when cataloguing was taught using a “one size fits all” model was that students commonly expected to do much worse in the assessment than either the teacher expected or, more significantly, in terms of how they actually did perform. Any lessening of this “perception gap” is a positive gain.
There are some limitations to the study. It presents action research, which, although following robust academic standard, was gathered with the principal aim of providing data to assist in the further development and fine-tuning of the module materials and delivery for the next academic session. The sample size (30 students) is not large, although it represents the entire cohort for the MA LIS in 2013-14. Finally, as the last MA LIS course in the UK that offers detailed instruction in cataloguing standards (Bowman 2006; Whalen-Moss, 2007; Wiley, 2011), as opposed to a more general approach based solely on principles and concepts (Bawden, 2012), the course does attract those new entrants to the profession who are particularly interested in Cataloguing, Classification and Systems work, and this may skew results somewhat with regard to enthusiasm about Cataloguing in general and cataloguing standards in particular.
Nonetheless, the findings of this study of the first year of the flipped classroom at UCL are extensible to others teaching and training Cataloguing and indicate that a blended learning approach of videos, handouts, direction to other useful online sources; in-class lectures; and interactive activities provides a powerful and rewarding method for delivering instruction in AACR2, RDA, MARC 21 and BIBFRAME. This paper suggests that the future of cataloguing teaching and learning, like the future of catalogue records themselves, is hybrid.
Piero Polidoro (LUMSA University, Italy)
Libraries and catalogues on the web: from mere usability to experience
If we search Thomson-Reuters Web of Knowledge database for “library website” (or “library web site”) we find about 300 articles. Like all studies about websites, these articles mainly verify the presence of some elements listed in a checklist (navigation tools, interactive tools, photos, texts, links and so on); the checklist is always based on previous studies and/or on the analysis of a certain number of other websites, somehow considered as “best practices”.
This kind of study is suitable for a quantitative analysis and it can be used in two ways. First, it takes a picture of a specific website genre at a precise moment (and it is much more useful if similar researches are held periodically). Second, it can be used to detect, in a specific sector, how close to best practice websites are. This latter approach is more normative than descriptive; it can be useful, but in my opinion cannot be the only one because it has two limits:
– checklist items are usually too generic: website elements of the same kind can have different communicative effects if they are done in different ways;
– checklists are sometimes based on benchmark models chosen without a previous analysis of communication strategies; this can lead to wrong conclusions or to self-fulfilling prophecies.
Semiotics produces qualitative textual analysis. This does not mean it cannot be done on wide corpora or in a systematic way. I will propose some semiotic considerations about library websites.In my study (not an exhaustive one) I have considered library websites from two points of view. The first one is closer to the aims of the literature I have just discussed. It is mainly focused on usability and information architecture. We can start from user information needs and behaviours and try to understand how library websites respond to them. How is catalogue proposed to users? How is it integrated in the website context and with other tools? How have library websites responded to web evolution on one side and to catalogue evolution on the other? Are visual representations of catalogue information really useful? Can a website reproduce experiences typically had in a library? And so on…
Another interesting theme is how a library website foresees and builds its user model. Labelling, information structure and hierarchy are important clues. And it is even more important to understand how close the user model is to the real user.

The second point of view I have considered deals with communication strategies. Literature about library websites always considers library users as “cognitive subjects” looking for information. I think they can be considered as “pathemic subjects” too (and I would like to underline “too”). This means that they can be seen as subjects looking for information and other things: a sense of community, of belonging, value sharing, participation, interaction with other peoples. These are all valuable concepts if, as it seems to be from the most recent debate, libraries in the web age are increasingly seen also as “spaces” or “places” for personal interaction and communities. This can hardly be substituted by a remote query. Many experts say that if libraries want to go on delivering services in physical spaces they have to take into account these subtle and traditionally secondary needs. Many libraries already manage to do this; and perhaps they have done since they began. But how many libraries communicate this added value through their websites? And how to do this? I hope some initial answers will be given.

URL: https://www.aib.it/attivita/congressi/fsr-2014/fsr2014-abstract/2014/40500-fsr-session4b-20140228/. Copyright AIB 2014-02-06. A cura di , ultima modifica 2014-04-01