Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and of the evaluation and synthesis of research literature.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

When we think about research we think of the study of materials, articles, data, charts, images, survey responses etc. to help establish a conclusion of a previous unknown fact or to solve some sort of problem. Research is systematic, meaning there is a method of conducting research with an organized plan. This basics of this plan is to start with the development of a question or a problem followed by conducting primary research and secondary research of quantitative and/or qualitative data and analysis of this data. Research methodology in libraries takes this systematic approach.

Once the problem or topic has been settled upon by the researcher the next step is to decide the type method the research (primary and/or secondary) will take. Of course, research rarely uses just one method but rather a combination; common research methods are basic research, applied research, evaluative research, quantitative research and qualitative research.

I want to first discuss the difference between primary and secondary research. Primary research is where the researcher collects original primary data through surveys, experiments, focus groups, etc. instead of using data sets already developed. Secondary research is the synthesis of existing research rather than primary research. Secondary research is conducted by gathering material on the topic at hand through databases and literature. Secondary research can also involve surveys and experiments but this data was not collected directly by the researcher. It is important to understand that primary and secondary research is the process in which the information is gathered for basic or applied research methods.

Now I want to discuss the different research methods that one can approach a problem or topic of interest with. Basic research often aims to answer questions based on curiosity and for the sake of gaining more knowledge; “Basic research is used to explore the fundamental bases of behavior, without regard to how those bases are manifested in the real world. Basic research aims to explain, predict, and describe” (Price & Oswald, 2006). Basic research tends to follow the scientific method approach of research.

Applied research, unlike basic research, is more concerned with solving real world problems and practical applications. This form of research is very common in libraries today as programs and services are evaluated, collections are maintained and funding is obtained. Applied research can take the form of evaluative research where surveys are conducted and data is gathered for evaluation, “it is increasingly common and important for librarians and other information professionals to assess the quality and effectiveness of their organization’s resources and services” (Haycock & Sheldon, 2007, p170).

Each of these forms of research, basic and applied, takes on a quantitative and/or qualitative approach to gathering information. A quantitative approach will deal primarily with numerical data or data that can be quantified. If a quantitative approach is taken specifically in a library setting, the researcher will work heavily with departments that gather statistical data such as access services and collection maintenance. This approach is well suited for creating generalized results. A qualitative approach focuses on observation of actual events, such as behaviors of users in their environment, engagement in activities and less on numbers. This approach aims to understand the how rather than the what.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

My first piece of evidence I have included to show my understanding and master of this competency is a [Data Analysis] I did for Libr285. I selected this work because research is about gathering information, whether through primary or secondary research and analyzing this information. In this assignment I selected a data set that was published by The U.S. Department of Education, National Center of Education Statistics, Academic Libraries Survey. I chose this piece of evidence to show my understanding of analyzing quantitative research and developing conclusions based on the findings.

My second piece of evidence is a literature review I wrote on [Environtmental Scanning] for a strategic plan for Libr204. I chose this piece of evidence to show my understanding of conducting research and analyzing secondary resources in a basic research method. The literature review includes a summary of what current literature says on environmental scanning and includes information on the goals, principles, considerations and barriers of an environmental scan.

My final piece of evidence I have chosen to include is an [Annotated bibliography] I put together for an assignment in Libr204. I selected this work to show my ability to conduct professional research, gathering a list of resources for a specific topic. I chose to include an annotated bibliography because it shows my ability to evaluate sources and summarize their pertinence to the topic at hand.


Research is vital to the growth of our profession; without primary research we would not be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our programs and services. Studying what our colleagues have learned, experience and published helps us grow and expand our knowledge of current professional topics; “We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills” (ALA, 2008). Secondary research would not exist if we do not participate and conduct primary research. It is important to understand the methodology of the research we conduct allowing us to improve to the development of ourselves, colleagues and the library as a whole.


American Library Association, (2008). Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. Retrieved from

Haycock, K. and Sheldon, B. (2008). The portable MLIS: insights from the experts. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.

Price, Dr.  & Oswald, Dr. (2006) Basic vs Applied Research. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved from:



Data Analysis

Literature Review – Environtmental Scanning


Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

Beyond communication being a vital part of our lives and society; the information profession is user-oriented, meaning our day to day tasks involve communicating at some level with another person. This communication can and will take place across multiple verbal mediums, both oral and written, and in formal or informal settings; the key is to know when one is more appropriate than another. The fact that our profession revolves around communication, it is vital that we hone our skills to be professional and personable to serve the needs of our users.

The avenues in which communication can take place is exponentially greater than it was 10 years ago. We have social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, SMS/Text, IM/Chat, e-mail, snail mail, virtual collaboration (Skype, Google Hangout, Blackboard Collaborate), blogs, and traditional face-to-face. Many of these avenues exist in libraries today, requiring us as information professionals to understand the best practices in using each.

All forms of communication require well developed skills to be effective in conveying an idea to another body. Developing these communication skills requires study and practice. Evans and Ward (2007, p272) recommend to review a set of simple questions as you communicate with others in both written and oral forms:

  • What am I trying to convey?
  • With whom am I communicating?
  • When is the best time to do this?
  • Where is the best place?
  • What is the best channel?
  • Why am I communicating?

When preparing a written form of communication you have the option of revising your message multiple times before anyone ever hears it, asking yourself these questions during your preparation will help assure that you are effectively communicating your thoughts to your audience. These questions are more easily applied to a planned communication setting such as memos, newsletters, annual reports, staff meetings, and training sessions; however through experience, trial and error, these question will become second nature and easily applied to on the spot oral and written communication.

I have suggested that communication in libraries always occurs where we know or see our receiving audience such as in meetings or serving users at the reference desk or circulation desk. I failed to express that communication also includes the static resource guides, brochures, instructional content in various forms of media (e.g. YouTube video), users rely on well-crafted documents to help them retrieve the information they are seeking. The six questions presented above apply to these forms of communication as well.

I’ve discussed practices in communicating your thoughts effectively however a major key in effective communication is the ability to listen. Evans and Ward state that, “We hear about four times faster than most people speak; that leaves about three-quarters of our listening time free for the mind to wander…In addition to having substantial amounts of time available for the mind to wander while listening, we also ‘filter’ what we do hear” (2007, p279). Listening is tough business but it is imperative to good communication. When we listen we not only open the playing field for ideas that complement our ideas but we also communicate to the audience that we care about what they have to say, ultimately people just want to be heard and valued. As information professionals it is likely we will do significantly more listening than anything else as our profession is user-oriented. In order to respond accurately to the desires/needs/wants of the user we need to hear what they are saying; being able to listen will help avoid miscommunication as well as help calm irate customers, “By listening you are showing respect for the customer and her or his problem which, again, show that you are on the same ‘side’ as she or he. It also allows the patron a chance to get it out and calm down” (Rach, 2011)

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

The first piece of evidence I chose to show my understanding and mastery of written communication is a [Berkeley_CL] I wrote for a job application at the University of California, Berkeley. I included this piece of evidence because it is a prime example of the importance of written communication. A good cover letter will execute the thoughts of the writer to an important deciding body effectively. Just as with any form of communication the way in which you present yourself in the cover letter could make or break the situation at hand, in this case a job interview opportunity.

The second piece of evidence I have included for this competency is an assignment [Where is my team]  I wrote on the importance of communication in team work, especially virtual teams. In this assignment I also discuss maintaining a successful team; this is tied directly into communication. This assignment demonstrates my understanding of communication in not only one-on-one situations but how it affects team work.

My third piece of evidence is a [Canvas Tutorial – course_copy ] I developed for the faculty on copying their Canvas courses into another Canvas course shell. This piece of evidence demonstrates my ability to effectively communicate across a one sided medium, a web page. It shows my ability to be concise in my documentation and clear in my instructions to accomplish the end goal.

My final piece of evidence is a link to a meet-up session recording I did for my Peer Mentoring course [Fall 2013 Peer Mentor Meet rec]. I begin the session by introducing myself and communicating to the participants what the session is one and how we will begin. We have the participants introduce themselves in the beginning of the presentation so the main portion of my part of the presentation begins at 11:00 – 22:35. I selected this piece of evidence to demonstrate my oral communication to a group.


Communication is vital to society, without it we would all be very frustrated from being unable to share our thoughts and concerns with others. Our communication skills, as information professionals, is a service to our patrons, the better we do it the greater impact we will have on the community.


Evans, G.E & Ward, P.L. (2007). Management basics for information professionals. Second edition. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Rach. (2011, January 3). Defusing the angry patron [Web log post] Retrieved from:



Canvas Tutorial – course_copy 

Where is my team

Fall 2013 Peer Mentor Meet rec

Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

Libraries often serve a general public in some way or another which means the population served will be diverse. This diversity will range from gender and ethnicity and most importantly from age level, learning types and cognitive ability. The problem that lies here is that with this diversity and the services the library offers it is imperative that we, information professionals, be equipped to teach our patrons, especially if we are offering the services to the general public. Char Booth quote’s David Carr stating that, “libraries are public places intended for learners, and for lives of self-invention and pursuit. At their best, they are forums for communication, independent learning, and self-preservation” (2011, p37). Due to the diversity of a class population it is easy to acknowledge that teaching is not an easy task, especially if done well.

Instruction is a big part of libraries and the life of most information professionals. The process in how instruction is presented is based largely on the learning theories approached when teaching. There are three learning theory schools: behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. The first theory, behaviorism is observable learning or conditioning. This technique was perfected by Ivan Pavlov and was a huge influence on how we perceive learning processes and behavior today. The theory showed that by repetition of an action will result in a form of learning; ringing of a bell signaled food to the dog which in turn produced salvation from the animal. In behaviorism teaching practice and repetition are key.

The second learning theory, cognitivism is where learning is structural and internal. This means that learning is passive rather than active, as behaviorism suggests. The key to encouraging this learning theory is to create and structure your instructional content in a way where connections between information can be made easily. The third major learning theory is constructivism, where learning is social, active and contextual. This learning theory is achieved through real world application of the information gained. Constructivism encourages collaboration and self-directed learning strategies; we see this theory more often in hybrid and online schools. The second and third theories I have discussed have more influence on current learning and instructional theory than behaviorism.

How are these theories applied to library instruction? As a library educator, it is to be expected that we will work with an assorted set of media tools and an audience with varying skill levels and backgrounds, commonly referred to as diversity. The diversity factor makes is less desirable to rely on one theory over another. To apply this to your instruction design you must ask yourself “How do I balance my instructional message between the know-it-alls and the know-next-to-nothings while engaging the know-somethings and resuscitating the don’t-cares?” (Char Booth, 20011, p50). This is where teaching gets difficult; your instructional design will not fit every audience you teach and needs to be adaptable. We should in fact incorporate best practices from each learning theory that will accommodate our audiences: repetition, structure and physical application.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

My first piece of evidence I chose for this competency is a [recording of the training session] I did with Michelle Simmons on using the new LMS Canvas. I selected this piece of evidence to show my understanding of an active learning approach coupled with a curriculum theory approach. In this training session we had a PPT which we focused on certain aspects of the LMS, this is where the curriculum focused teaching existed. Then we went through the LMS together, with a hands on approach where Michelle was able to ask questions and we were able to tailor the instruction to her needs.

The second piece of evidence I have included is a [Prezi presentation] of a developed information literacy workshop I created and I presented to multiple classes as a school I worked at. This specific presentation was tailored towards an Anatomy Fundamentals course where I go over the basics of using our databases and eBooks. During the presentation the class was engaged in using these databases hands on and we worked together to think of relevant search terms and topics they would be researching for their finals projects. This workshop went over our databases but also addressed the audience I was teaching and incorporated best practices in searching for quality material on Google. I knew that although I encouraged them to use the databases that they would also use the popular search engine, Google. To compromise my desire for them to find quality information and their desire to use a tool they were most familiar with, I worked together tips and techniques to accommodate both.

My final piece of evidence is a [Library Assignment for Incoming Freshman and Transfer Students] that I created for Libr210. I chose to include this piece of evidence because it incorporates a self-directed learning strategy incorporating practices of behavioral, cognitive and constructive learning theories. The assignment is tailored for a specific audience, incoming college freshman & transfer students, and designed to allow them to work at their desired pace, independently and with a structured topic. The assignment encourages interaction from students with library staff and to apply and practice what they are learning.


As librarian professionals we may not all be teacher librarians but we must be able to provide some form of instruction in our careers, whether formal or informal. This instruction will incorporate methods from the three major learning theories, whether we are cognitively aware of them or not. It is important however that we understand these learning theories so that our instruction can be effective and successful for those we do teach.


Booth, C. (2011). Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional literacy for library educators. Chicago: American Library Association Editions.


Recording of Training Session with Michelle Simmons:

Prezi Presentation

Library Assignment for Incoming Freshman and Transfer Students

Competency I: Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

Disclaimer: The terms librarians and information professionals are used interchangeably in this statement of competency. I use them to mean of persons working in the librarianship profession Also, the terms patrons and users are used interchangeable in this statement of competency. I use them to mean of persons who use services of the library.  

Service is at the core of our profession; “We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests” (ALA, 2008). This value, service, has been the primary responsibility of librarians since the beginning of the profession. Reference services exist in all aspect of librarianship, whether you are a librarian in reference services, systems & technology, special collections or access services; we are the means of connecting users with the information they are wanting.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks library defines reference services as “disseminat[ing] the information the library has acquired” (UAF). How this information is disseminated is up to us, the information professionals. The Ryerson University Library & Archives states the general goal of their reference services is “to meet the information/research needs of library users (faculty, students, staff and other patrons) accurately, efficiently, and pleasantly” (RULA, 2001). Reference services take place through a handful of methods including answering reference questions, information literacy or reference instruction or reader’s advisory services. The difference in each of these methods is the form of interaction you have with the patron and how you present the information to them. With the growth of remote users and technology these reference transactions can take place in person, by telephone, instant messaging, email, or social media posts like Twitter or Facebook. Reference services continues to be a highly valued service by library users.

The success of our reference service is dependent on the quality of the reference interview. A reference interview; “The reference interview is more an art than a science, an ever-changing practice that requires responsiveness to context rather than just the application of a predetermined set of skills” (Cassell & Hiremath, 2009, p15). The reference interview is key to making sure we connect with our patrons and understand what they are asking. Cassell and Hiremath (2009) explain that there are several parts to a reference interview and these parts include:

  • Establishing rapport with the user
  • Negotiating the question
  • Developing a strategy for a successful search and communicating it to the user
  • Locating the information and evaluating it
  • Ensuring that the question is fully answered – the follow-up
  • Closing the interview

It is important to remember that although there are elements to a reference interview that how the interview is conducted will be a case by case situation. Reference questions can vary from just wanting circulation policies or library hours to needing primary resources for a research paper they are writing on a topic they know nothing about.

When conducting in person interviews it is easier to tell if a patron is satisfied with the amount of information you have provided or if you are on the right track for what they are looking for; we can see this in their body language and hear it in their tone. However, as I have mentioned the increase in remote access and virtual reference services it is important that we, the information professionals, ask the right types of questions. It is suggested that asking neutral or open ended questions are most successful in reference interviews. These types of questions allow the user to provide information that will help us understand the true nature of the question. However, closed questions, questions that usually have a yes or no or one worded answer, help narrow the search and eliminate unnecessary ‘bantering’.

Beyond asking the right questions the primary responsibility, in my opinion, is that the librarian is approachable; this is of same importance whether the services are provided in person or virtually. If a user does not feel like they can approach the librarian to ask a question no matter the simplicity or the complexity the mission of the library is lost. Ways to make oneself approachable in person is being aware of your body language while you are available to patrons; this is often referred to as non-verbal signals.

Whatever the circumstances, the user must feel that the librarian is interested in his or her question. The librarian can accomplish this by facing the user and maintaining eye contact with him or her. The librarian signals his or her understanding of the user’s questions by responding verbally or by nodding. (Cassell & Hiremath, 2009, p18).

In a virtual setting, librarians can maintain the approachability through verbal assurance. How they word their response to the users will impact how comfortable the user is; “a well-written response not only answers a question eloquently but it also tells the user about the importance that the library places on the question” (Straw; 2000, p379).

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

For my first piece of evidence I have included an [Exercise1] that was assigned in Libr210. The exercise includes a set of reference questions both simple and complex. The point of the exercise was to answer these questions as I would if they were asked to me and includes an explanation of the process I took in finding the answers and providing the information to the user. This piece of evidence demonstrates my understanding of reference services and my ability to use the resources and knowledge I have and present them to a user to satisfy their need.

The second piece of evidence I have included is a course resource guide [HIS 328redo] I created for an assignment in Libr210. I have chosen to include this piece of evidence to show that reference services take place in many forms including resource guides such as the one I created. This resource guide answers the reference questions about where to find resources on a specific topic. The assignment required selecting a college level course and developing a resource guide tailored specifically to the topic the course was on. The requirement was to provide a sample selection of resources in a variety of formats including sample subject headings. The piece of evidence shows my mastery of connecting users with information they are seeking.

My final piece of evidence I have included is a discussion I wrote for Libr210 on using the [internet as a reference tool]. The discussion addresses using live digital reference services (Chat or IM) and whether they are worth setting up and using in a library. I expressed that I felt they are worth the hassle to set up and discuss my experience with using these services as a student and the benefit they have. I close the assignment by saying that these forms of reference services should not replace in person reference services but should be an added form. I find it important to mention that I took this course in the Fall of 2012; we can see today that Chat and IM as reference services are very common in libraries today and that have indeed been added a supplement to traditional reference services.


Whether in person or virtually, reference services are the core to our profession. We are the keepers of information; we are also the teachers and advocates of learning. It is our duty to disseminate the information we have meticulously acquired. This is done through reference services. It was a concern as the digital age bloomed that traditional reference services would be replaced with computer and virtual help. Instead of replacing these services, virtual reference services has allowed libraries to collaborate and work together to provide a better service to patrons. One example of this is the Ask a Librarian 24/7 chat. Most libraries are not open 24/7 however with virtual reference and time zone differences reference services have become more readily available than ever before.


American Library Association, (2008). Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. Retrieved from

Cassell, K. A. and Hiremath, U. (2009) Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: an introduction. Second Edition revised. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

RULA (June, 2001). Reference Service Policy. Information Retrieved from:

UAF Libraries. Reference Services and Sources. Information Retrieved from:


HIS 328redo


internet as a reference tool

Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

“From its earliest days, the true power of the Internet lay in the ability of the network to enhance communication” (Farkas, 2007, xix). With the introduction of the internet not only has communication ways changed but the way we access information has changed. Before the web, information was accessed within highly structured systems with which librarians knew best how to navigate to these structures and databases to find information for the user. This was a well-known need for a librarian. With the implementation of algorithms and spider crawling in web search engines such as Google and Bing, navigating these systems and finding information, albeit maybe not be of highest quality, has become common knowledge to the 21st century user. New technologies and the digital age have forced libraries to reevaluate their function and role within the society. Libraries will not disappear, as many suggest instead they will thrive as long as those within them evolve and adapt with new technologies.

One major impact of technology is the ability to navigate our resources remotely, many of our patrons are no longer needing to come to the library and that’s okay. However, this means that we must go to where our patrons are, social media platforms. We want to communicate with them, learn about what they are interested in, what they want to “get” from the library. It is imperative that libraries develop an online presence and make themselves available remotely, as we do with our resources. This means that we as information professionals need be cognitive of how to use these technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr.

Beyond communicating through social media avenues we also need to be able to serve our patrons by being proficient in current and up and coming technologies. This includes physical hardware (e.g. tablets, eReaders, smartphones, and mobile devices) but also software such as cloud services (e.g. Google Drive or Drop Box), presentation services (e.g. Prezi, Glogster), collaboration services and webpage building services. The library will continue to be the place to look for the newest New York Times best seller but on top of that we will be the place to try new technology and develop innovative software, a prime example of what libraries will evolve towards with technology is North Carolina State University’s state-of-the-art library, The Hunt Library (

I introduce the Hunt library for multiple reasons. First, it touches base on the funding and cost of technology implementation. Funding, budget cuts, short staffed are all unfortunately common terminology within information professionals. The design and building of the Hunt library cost a significant lump of change, $115 million to be exact. Technology is not cheap, especially when you are expected to offer it to your users, it is the new norm. Library administration will be spending a significant amount of time on funding technology adaptation and less on budgets for collection development.

Second, as you learn about the technology that has been put in place at the Hunt library; the collection is only 1.5 million books and housed in a Robot-driven BookBot storage and retrieval system which uses only about 1/9 of the space that was used when storing the books on shelves. The bot retrieves book request via a computer click and within minutes; the technology not only saves space but time as well. The space that has been freed up from the stacks has been honed in on collaboration, technology creation and innovation and maker-spaces. I mention these facts because the core vision of the library was to provide the “ability for our students, faculty, and partners to immerse themselves in interactive computing, multimedia creation, and large-scale visualization” (Hunt Vision, 2013). This is what library spaces will evolve to, because of technology.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

The first piece of evidence I have included for this competency is the link to the JPG files of a library brochure I created at a prior library using Photoshop [LibraryBrochurep1] [LibraryBrochurep2]. I chose to include this piece of evidence to show that I understand the importance of knowing new technology and using it within your work place. This is but one software application that I know, but it is a very common and highly sought after skill by patrons. While I was working as a Library Director, I wanted to create better digital resources and more aesthetically pleasing library material so I learned the basics of Photoshop and have gradually taught myself more techniques and am able to teach others the basics of using this software. I know that because I was willing and desired to learn this software that I have a very useful skill for our profession as we move towards more digital resource development and web design.

The second piece of evidence I included is a link to a [Prezi presentation] that I created for an information literacy course at a previous job; this piece is included in a folder because there are data files that need to be contained with the presentation in order to view it offline. When you open this file which I have shared using the cloud storage DropBox, you will need to open only prezi.exe to view the presentation. I included this piece of evidence to demonstrate my mastery of using technology tools to produce a presentation for a library workshop. Also, by sharing it through my cloud storage DropBox I have also demonstrated my ability to work with the newest form of storing files on a cloud service.

The final piece of evidence I have included here is a [screen shot of my web portfolio] & included a [link to the webpage] that I built. This piece of evidence shows my understanding of digital recourse and using technology to communicate to remote users the information that I want to share with them. Although this is a personal page, it support the ultimate goal of the library which is to provide access to information to our users. This piece of evidence also shows my mastery in the skill of web design and creation which is highly sought after in libraries as their online presence is the most important aspect of their marketing and advocating their use.


These technologies: BookBots, collaboration tools, social media interaction, and software for program creation, web design or photo editing will be things that we as information professionals should know the basics of. If we want our users to use these tools then we need to know how to teach them or help troubleshoot basic problems. Libraries will become information and technology hubs and less book storage.


Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social Software in Libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

NCSU Libraries (2013). The Hunt Library. Information Retrieved from:


Library Brochure Images


Website Screenshot


Prezi Presentation Link

Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

With the boom in technology and the internet the ability to access information as increased tenfold. The amount of information that is not only available but produced on a daily basis surpasses that which the natural mind can compute. It has been said that we create now in a matter of days what took thousands of years to create; that is an astronomical amount of information. As users we do not see the impact of information that would cause our minds to implode because it has been organized. In order to make this information more accessible to users it is necessary to organize it on a set of consistently applied rules or standards.

The rules and standards of organization of information have existed since the dawn of time. Some schemes are simplistic such as organization of male and female and other schemes are more complex like organization of books in physical and digital libraries. Libraries have the longest standing set of rules and standards for organizing information; they are referred to as organizational schemes; the most common known schemes are the classification schemes Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress.

The primary role of libraries has been to provide access to materials and information already produced. Considering the amount of information available today it is necessary that these standards are used in organizing collections so that this information can be found in a manner that is useful to the user. To achieve this goal the library profession has agreed to control the information about these collections using a format that makes the bibliographical records searchable. This form of control can be referred to as bibliographic control which Charles A. Cutter stated the objects of this control were to (Chan, 2007, p13-14):

  1. To enable a person to find a book in which any of the following are known:
    1. The author
    2. The title
    3. The subject
  2. To show what the library has:
    1. By a given author
    2. On a given subject
    3. In a given kind of literature
  3. To assist in the choice of a book:
    1. As to its edition (bibliographically)
    2. As to its character (literary or topical)

The AACR is the primary standard used for bibliographic description; other standards include Dublin Core (DC) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD). These standards were developed to apply to different sets of material but essentially they all served the same purpose which was to standardize the information cataloged from material.

With the introduction of computers and the internet environment the interest in indexing these catalogs in an electronic format grew and with that was developed a format that was machine readable, MARC. This format was developed by the Library of Congress and is now the standard for bibliographic cataloging is MARC; this format was adopted as the national standard in 1971 and as an international standard in 1973. In 2013 the MARC format was supplemented with Resource Description and Access (RDA) in order to adapt more easily with rapidly developing information items and packages (Chan 2007).

A more recent scheme has entered the cataloging and organizing playing field; this scheme is free form and often causes anxiety in librarians due to the nature of its lack in structure and/or consistency and bears no resemblance to MARC, RDA or any other standard of information control. The scheme is referred to as tagging. Tagging essentially allows users to describe and organize content with any vocabulary they choose, using folksonomies instead of a standardized set of terms. You can see examples of tagging on social media platforms such as Flickr, Tumblr, and GoodReads. In recent years WebOPACS have offered the option to enable tagging of material to encourage users to interact with the records and help enhance them. Adam Mathes (2004) states,

A folksonomy represents simultaneously some of the best and worst in the organization of information. Its uncontrolled nature is fundamentally chaotic, suffers from problems of imprecision and ambiguity that well developed controlled vocabularies and name authorities effectively ameliorate. Conversely, systems employing free-‍form tagging that are encouraging users to organize information in their own ways are supremely responsive to user needs and vocabularies, and involve the users of information actively in the organizational system.

Component 2: Evidence and Justification of Evidence

The first piece of evidence I chose to include to demonstrate my understanding of this competency is record I cataloged in MARC format for Libr248, [Excel2003MARC]. This shows my understanding of the national standard format for bibliographic records. It also shows my understanding of MARC tags and the information that should be added to a bibliographic record. It also shows my mastery of cataloging procedures and policies involved in meticulous attention to delimited marks (| , ; ) that allow for these records to my be read accurately by machines so that they may be electronically cataloged into OPACS.

The second piece and third piece of evidence I chose to include to demonstrate my understanding and master of this competency is my [LIBR202 Project #4 Table] and [LIBR202 Project #4] from Libr202. The subject of my search was Ethics in Librarianship. The document breaks down my search process and explains why I chose to search the catalog and databases I selected for this search. This project showed my understanding of controlled vocabularies assigned in catalogs and in databases and how they differ and the benefits I saw between the two. The table lists search queries, results and annotations for pre-coordinate and post-coordinate vocabulary searches.

My final piece of evidence is an exercise from Libr202 [Folksonomies, what are they]. The paper discusses what a folksonomy is and how they are created. I discuss also the benefits and drawbacks to using folksonomies. Due to the nature of information organization and the more recent development of using tagging (a form of folksonomy) in organizing material, especially on the internet, this paper shows my understanding of this newer form of classifying. It also includes screenshots of my personal use in cataloging and classifying with LibraryThing where I store my personal library collection and also where I used it to create a searchable collection for a school I worked for that did not have one.


The amount of information needed to be organized will continue to grow exponentially and user involvement in this organization will also grow. The purpose of these schemes is to help users swim through the information without drowning; having a standard is beneficial and the retrieving quality and relevant information will be best achieved through these standardized schemes. However, the type of information we are searching for has evolved into forms that are better organized through folksonomies such as tweets, photo organization and blog posts.


Mathes, A. (2004). Folksonomies – Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata. Retrieved from

Rubin, R. E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Chan, L. M. (2007). Cataloging and Classification: an introduction. Third Edition. Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.



LIBR202 Project #4 Table

LIBR202 Project #4

Folksonomies, what are they

Comp D

Competency D: Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

Our work is not fundamentally about business, it is about what makes us great however there are principles that need to be followed to achieve this greatness. Jim Collins states in his book, Good to Great in the Social Sectors, “A great organization is one that delivers superior performance and makes a distinctive impact over a long period of time” (Collins, 2005, p7). There are a lot of components in running any organization but to do it well takes a significant amount of work. You must think of the library’s mission, goals to meet and the action plan to meet them, staff needs, budget needs, advocacy of services to the public, collection maintenance and disaster planning. This is why we evaluate our services, push for community programs, and survey our patrons so that we are close to having a greater impact on those we serve.

As a community organization, libraries serve to have a positive impact on their community this is only achieved by following these principles involved in planning, management, marketing, and advocacy of your library.  The planning I mention here is conducted by determining the library’s mission statement and developing an action plan by conducting a SWOT analysis and environmental scan. A SWOT analysis assesses the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of and to the organization. An environmental scan assesses outside factors that can affect the success or failure of the library. Environmental scanning is vital in today’s library profession as rapid technological changes and economic shifts dramatically impact information organizations. These analyses and scans should be conducted periodically and the mission statement should be assessed to make sure that it is still holding true to the goals of the library.

The planning is the most important aspect of managing a library. There are multiple ways to manage an organization the difference between the ways is whether it will lead your organization to be good or to be great. I understand that many who go into the library profession do not intend to manage a library, but it is important to understand what it takes to manage a library so you understand how to play your part towards the success of the organization as a whole. Haycock & Sheldon define the basic task of management to be, “using organizational resources to achieve objectives through planning, organizing, staffing (human resources), leading, and controlling” (2008, p67-68).

Librarians need to have management skills whether they desire to be in a management position or not. We are put in situations every day that require managerial skills, whether we are working as a reference librarian helping solve a research problem or we are an access services librarian dealing with an irate patron. The managerial skills include technical, human and conceptual skills. We need to know how to use our services including the ILS, digital resources, and general hardware that our patrons may use. We need to be able to interact effectively with people, especially if we are working directly with patrons. We need to be able to share with others the concept of the library, beyond directing them to the mission statement.

Beyond the planning and managing of the library it is up to management, staff and volunteers to help market the services the library offers to their patrons. Marketing is the driving force of the library, if your patrons (existing and potential) do not know what you, as a library offer they cannot provide the feedback you need to build and adapt your services to better serve their needs; “True marketing is also the heart of any advocacy effort that attempts to communicate the library’s value to key stakeholders and funders” (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p77). The public needs to be reminded, often, that there are free services just around the corner for them to use.

Component 2: Evidence and Justification of Evidence

The first piece of evidence I have included is a [Hedgehog_Concept] written in Libr204 on the Hedgehog Concept introduced by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great in the Social Sectors. I chose this piece of evidence to show my understanding of one of the management styles for social sectors. Libraries are part of the social sector of businesses. This piece shows my understanding of this management style and the importance of possessing and implementing good management skills to run a great organization.

My second piece of evidence I have included is a [Live Oak School Library- Strategic Plan] created in cooperation with five other classmates for Libr204. This assignment is the culmination of the 204 class: all of our previous assignments required that we complete part of the process required to produce a strategic plan for a library. My team decided to approach the assignment as a group, compiling research and ideas and then assign group individuals to bring everything together in a formal section of the assignment. I was assigned to write the literature review of environmental scan (ES). This section provided a general overview of an ES, its goal, basic principles, considerations and barriers of an ES, and implementing an ES into your strategic plan. I also worked as an editor on the assignment, as I had great attention to detail and very good written communication skills.

My third piece of evidence I have included is the [LIBR204LOSfinal] which we used in presentation of our strategic plan final project in Libr204. I worked with one other group member in assembling the presentation from the final draft of our strategic plan and I discussed slides 4 & 5; where I introduced the environmental scan, discussed the concept and the process of an environmental scan. I included this piece of evidence to further demonstrate my understanding of one of the key principles in planning and managing and organization.


I have shown through my statement of competency and my evidence that I understand how to apply the principles of planning, managing, advocating and marketing. The knowledge I gained in producing, with help of my group, a strategic plan gave me better insight to the key components of library management. I also showed my understanding that even if I do not desire a position in management that managerial skills are necessary to all areas of the library profession. The knowledge I gained from these projects has given me a strong foundation in understanding the responsibilities I will need to accept in managing an organization, as well as a blue print for doing it successfully.


Collins, J. (2005). Good to great and the social sectors: A monograph to accompany good to great. San Francisco, CA: Elements Design Group.

Haycock, K. and Sheldon, B. (2008). The portable MLIS: insights from the experts. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.



Live Oak School Library- Strategic Plan