Friday, 9 November 2012

From Discoverablity to READ-ability

Enhancing records to aid discoverability

In my last blog post I was concerned with how users could discover the wealth of information that is contained in the huge variety of resources we have in our library, and suggested that the catalogue  - be that the library catalogue, the institutional repository, or the archive catalogue – could be the perfect discoverability tool!

This all lead me to thinking about what our cataloguers do and resulted in the READ-ability Initiative, which I launched at out last cataloguers’ meeting just before the Leicestershire schools half-term. This was positively received, and is now due for release at the Bib Services team meeting next week, before being presented at more senior level. I will explain more about the READ-ability Initiative in a future post, as this is not the topic of my blog post today!! 

Today I am focussing on a Tweet I posted a couple of days ago that said something like:

“Doing the desirables often makes it easier and quicker to do the essentials. This makes desirables often essentials.”

I can’t quite remember what sparked off this thought, but when I thought about it today, I realised it applied quite nicely to the READ-ability Initiative. So, having all our name headings authorised, having copious, authorised subject headings, are all desirables that we have not achieved (and, of course, probably never will because as soon as you authorise one heading a new one comes into your system!)

However, if we have a programme of retrospective work that includes spending time authorising name and subject headings in records for material we already hold, then this makes the process of cataloguing new stock coming in somewhat quicker and easier because the more authorised headings we have the more likely it is that the heading in that record for that new book/CD/DVD etc. that has just been received is already in our authority file, thus making the new stock cataloguing process quicker and more efficient.

Hence the idea that doing the desirables helps with the essentials and therefore desirables are actually essentials!!