The first chapter of our text which is entitled – Organizing Information: What It Means – gets us off to an exciting start and reaffirms that we instinctively understand the concepts of Classification (organizing and grouping like things), Cataloging (listing all the items in a collection), and Subject Heading Lists (such as Art History, Photography, Sociology, etc.). We certainly proved this point during our in-class discussion on our personal organizational systems for clothing, books, digital files, and so on.
This chapter also touches on two very important topics – bibliographic formats (“defining the way records should be constructed”) and MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) that uses computer technologies to process information. More details on these elements are covered in chapters 2 through 7 of our text. One thing is clear from the book’s title and from this chapter: the physical library and computer technologies for cataloging and information retrieval are ineluctably intertwined.