Organizing Information – Chapter 4

What I found most interesting about the discussion of bibliographic format and the MARC 21 system in this chapter was how precise and mathematical the system is. I know that probably does makes sense since it’s a system for computers, but it reminded me of the Buckland reading and the formula for what information is. I don’t think many people would know just how much analytical and scientific thinking goes into being a librarian! The MARC system feels like it’s akin to learning HTML code or something, it looks like a bunch of key smash gibberish at first but as you spend more time with it you begin to understand and “read” it properly, and pick out what streams have the data you are looking for.

The MARC 21 format seems to have a code list for just about everything under the sun. Whereas in some organizational systems it might be hard to shoehorn something into a category, MARC 21 most likely has a code setup that could work for whatever you are trying to categorize. I’m kind of bummed out at the prospect of having to get way better with computers, but I know expanding a digital based skill set is going to be important for librarians in the future.


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