Information Architecture – Organization Systems


Our understanding of the world is largely determined by our ability to organize information. Where do you live? What do you do? Who are you? Our answers reveal the systems of classifications that for the very foundations of our understanding. Chapter 5

This was a loaded statement when I read this the first time. I am currently living into worlds: one of librarian and the other as a patron. I have been a patron longer than I have been a librarian. I have used the library many times in my life for many reasons. I wanted to learn how to make a movie and went to the library, used the card catalog, and found the books I needed. Prior to this, I did have instructions from my old school librarian which did play a role in using the public library. However, if I had little to no training, how could I find what I needed? Yes, there could be a librarian who could help me but what if I was left to my own devices? When I look at the world of Dewey, I can appreciate the concept of organization but from user point of view; it’s not user friendly. Unlike a bookstore where there are more laymen subject headings, the public library does try to have a similar approach. For me, when I look at graphic novels there are several ways to organize the books by. (Note, I had worked at Borders Bookshop in Miami where I had the number 1 sales in the company when there where only 47 stores.) We had Marvel Comics, DC, Dark Horse and other independent publishing companies. I broke up the books by the different companies and then within each company there different series alpha by title. When it comes to Dewey, the books are arranged alpha by the author. This would make sense if you were following a particular author’s work. Needless to say, growing up on comics, all I cared about was the story of my favorite characters and books: X-Men, Daredevil, JLA, Teen Titans and so on. Read on what Dewey does:

The following selected new and changed entries are effective on February 1. We have revised and expanded 741.5 Comic books, graphic novels, fotonovelas, cartoons, caricatures, comic strips; and replaced seven entries printed in Edition 22 and four entries in Abridged Edition 14. Please consult WebDewey for complete access to all updates to DDC 22, and Abridged WebDewey for complete access to all updates to Abridged Edition 14.

Choice between comic books, graphic novels, fotonovelas, cartoons, caricatures, comic strips and subject
Use 741.5 for works of the imagination in comic book, graphic novel, fotonovela, cartoon, caricature, or comic strip forms that are primarily intended to delight. Use 001–999 plus notation 02 or 022 from Table 1 for works in these forms that are primarily intended to inform or persuade. Use notation 02 “Including humorous treatment” for works where the author’s intention is serious, but where humor is used to convey the author’s message; use notation 022 Illustrations, models, miniatures for works where humor is not apparent. For example, use 900 plus notation 02 from Table 1 for cartoon histories that are primarily intended to inform the reader about history, while using humor to convey the message, e.g., a cartoon history of the United States 973.02; however, use 741.5 for works that are primarily humorous in intent and merely use snatches of history as an occasion for humor.

http://www.oclc.org/dewey/updates/new/200602.pdf

First, I read this and from a patron p.o.v. this make little sense. I believe this tries to hard and over analyzes this area way too much. If I were to catalog these books based on the information above, that is one way to organize information. I would gather that this would make more sense if the library was more academic rather than a simple public library if I wanted to get more specific with the collection. Put this in the context of the information architect, as the text goes, organize information so that people can find the right answers to their questions. Just like with books are organization a certain and traditional way does not make it the most user friendly experience. This begs the question, how do we the middle ground where the library can organize their collection and patrons can find things with ease? The same could be said with library website. The library wants to promote every since service is offers to its patrons but how can a specific patron group can find the needed info when there is no thought for their perspective.

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~ by The Monster on February 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Information Architecture – Organization Systems”

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