Library Collection Mapping

According to eduScapes, library mapping is “the process of examining the quantity and quality of your collection and identifying its strengths and weaknesses.”  Although I had never thought about the process required to examine a library’s book collection, it is something that would be of great importance to keeping a current and up to date library.  At the end of the process of mapping you create a visual map of your overall library collection that can be used to visually evaluate your collection.

Library mapping helps to meet the needs of the students and teachers of a school library in that it helps evaluate the current collection of the library so that you can determine what improvements are needed in your collection.  This will help to ensure that your collection doesn’t remain stagnant.  Once the map is created, the SLMS can use weeding to get rid of books that no longer needed, and determine where books and media can be improved.

American Interfile is one company that provides services such as collection mapping.  There services are not free, however, and do require payment.  Unfortunately, the site does not list the cost of their service.


SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act

Plagiarism and piracy is something that has recently come up in class, and it comes with a lot of baggage.  Who’s responsibility is it to teach to the students?  Who’s responsibility is it to enforce it?  What types of punishment is involved when it is found that a student is infringing on copyrights?


The federal government has been worried about copyright issues as of late too – so much so that they are trying to pass SOPA – the Stop Online Piracy Act.  According to the federal government the purpose of this act is simply to protect copyright holders.  However, it places a lot of power in the hands of the government, giving them the ability to force search engines and ISPs to block copyright infringing sites – essentially creating a United States Firewall.


The question is, is this good?  Personally I do think that copyrights do need to be protected, however, the rights of the individual need to be protected as well.  From all that I have read about SOPA, it places too much power in the hands of the government, and equates to what is bordering on internet censorship.  What about in terms of education, will the SOPA help to promote proper netiquette by bringing light to piracy and copyright issues?  As discussed in this e-Literate blog post,, something like SOPA could have a huge impact on education, partially because it does not take into account ‘Fair Use’.  As an educator I know that we like to use and share what we can – although some educators are not learned in the art of citations.


I guess simply we have to see what happens with SOPA, how it changes, and what congress decides to do (despite there being a large public outcry against the act).

MARC Compatible Automation

A MARC compatible automation system is important for a number of reasons.  Since MARC records are are a standard format, having a compatible system enables you to easily share, obtain, and merge records between your library and neighboring libraries.  Additionally, having a compatible system will help to ensure you have a proper and comprehensive inventory – which is something that is especially important in a field in which your inventory is constantly changing (items coming in, going out, and cycling.)  This comprehensive inventory will also help with sharing records between libraries.

According to Robert S. Martin (2000), “Outsourcing is used as a means to reduce backlogs, increase productivity, and allow for shifts in staff. Outsourcing is also used to gain expertise in foreign languages that is not available from the local staff.”  He continues to say that because of shared (and outsourced) cataloging, libraries are able to reduce costs since they no longer need a “professional cataloguer” to catalogue all of the media.  A MARC compatible automation system would help to keep this process streamlined.

There are many companies that provide this service to libraries – one of which is The Library Corporation.  They provide cataloging services for schools, libraries, churches, etc. for a fee – however, the fees still save the libraries money since, as Martin discussed, they do not need to have a professional cataloguer on staff.


Martin, R. S. (2000). On library services management: A study for the American Library Association. Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies. Retrieved from

Library Classifications

I think of the 3 different classification systems that were examined, I would personally use the Book Store Method of classification for various reasons (though that does not mean that it does not have its fair share of disadvantages). The Book Store Method is a form of classification used by, well, bookstores. It organizes books by major subject areas as opposed to organizing them by number or letter codes (like the DDC or the Library of Congress methods). Once a book is inside the major subject area, it is then sorted in an alphabetical order. (Singleton 2011)

Where I think the Book Store Method stands out is that it is familiar. Before Borders’ recent bankruptcy, you couldn’t drive 10 miles without running into a Borders or a Barnes and Noble. People are used to searching for a book by topic (with the help of digital databases point you to the correct section to find the book.) Yvonne Wingett (2007) states “Libraries are trying to adapt to changing times, experts said, and their success lies in a generation of young people who are more comfy at Borders than libraries.” I tend to agree. Just as our educational methods change to meet the needs of our learners, so must our methods of classification and organization. Google constantly adapts their code and algorithms so that they can improve their searching based on the needs of their users. Why not adjust our book classification system as well?

People are also used to alphabetizing. The Book Store Method uses the topics and author last name to sort books in a way that an average person will be able to easily find it. One does not need to find out what corresponding number or code goes with the book, go to the rack, have a difficult time locating the book, only to find out that you wrote the code down wrong. One can simply go to a database, search the book, find the subject area, and go to the subject area and search for the book alphabetically by author. I don’t know if anything more than that is really needed.

I also think that it succeeds in its simplicity. People in general are used to sorting, and this is a common sense way of doing so. The Book Store Method does not over-complicate anything.

I think the biggest downfall to Book Store Method is that there is currently no universally adopted classification of major subject areas. The Book Industry Study Group (2011) however, has put together a list of subject headings that can (and in my opinion should) be used universally. This would help to keep different libraries and stores on the same (prepare for pun) page; giving patrons familiarity between locations. As Matthew Singleton (2011) states, “On the part of the bookstore customer or the library patron, as well, it creates a sense of familiarity by ensuring that any library that uses Library of Congress Subject Headings or any bookstore that uses BISAC will follow certain standards and it will be easy to find the material you want within it.”

Additionally, with any book sorting method, Dewey Decimal System, Library of Congress, or the Book Store Method, if a book is out of place, good luck finding it. I think this is probably the biggest disadvantage to any non-digital database. While it might be easy to find where a book is supposed to be, if it is not there, it might as well not even be in the building. That is where digital journals and programs such as Google Books or iBooks really stand out. With a digital copy, there is no misplacing the book – and when searching for a book on a topic it is as simple as doing a web search (which we as a society have gotten pretty good at – with of course the help from the increasingly powerful search engine algorithms.) Unfortunately the digital storage of books really opens up a whole new can of ethical worms.

Wingett, Y. (2007, May 30). Gilbert library to be first to drop Dewey Decimal System. Retrieved from
Singleton, M. (2011). BISAC: In which we organize the bookshop sections. Retrieved from
BISG. (2011). What we do. Retrieved from

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my newly organized Instructional Design and Technology blog!

Rather than have a separate blog for each class, I figured it would be better to reorganize all of my class blogs into one place, giving me a more cohesive portfolio of the work I have done for the various classes.  The links at the top all contain sub-links to the different projects for each course.