Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Since we went on a field trip geocaching today and as this is a relatively new topic for me, I decided to begin by searching this topic on Delicious.  The tags I found were geocaching, gps, maps, gis, travel, tools, map and outdoors.  All of the tags seemed appropriate and when I clicked on the links,  they were active and relevant.  I do think Delicious is quite similar to Pinterest where one could spend hours looking up info and run the rest of getting sidetracked.  I did appreciate the fact that one can narrow down their search using the tags.
The second topic I looked up was constellations as this is a topic I will be starting shortly with my students.  The top tags were space, science, stars, astronomy.  These were all tags I would expect to find under constellations.  However, I did find it strange that the second link for Constellations on th first page was Odd Christmas gifts.  Not sure about that one?  I am not too clear how the public tags and links are chosen on Delicious but it doesn't seem selective enough and at times not appropriate for a school setting.  It seems to me it could be better organized?  For instance, I also looked up Wayne Gretzky as I often have students wanting to choose a hockey player for their annual speech and found some tags that were really not suitable for the school setting.  Maybe there is some way of avoiding/filtering these tags?  Having said this, I do see Delicious as a useful timesaving tool for storing bookmarks and could see myself using this professionally but not with my students.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


It was interesting to see how much the CIP has evolved over the years with so much more information being added, in general.  I also was surprised with the detail that was added to the Dr. Seuss book(1957) I looked at.  Thank goodness, we now have pictures you can add to records that help patrons recognize the book.   I can not imagine adding such detail to each book and ever book.
I am also still wondering about subject headings and how to add them to a record for added accessibility.  Something I will need to investigate.
The second book I chose  was O Canada by Ted Harrison.  While the book offers descriptions of each province/territory, the book was written before Nunavut was a territory.  While I, as a classroom teacher, use this book for its art, I was thinking it might be an idea to perhaps have the students make their own page featuring Nunavut.  As a teacher-librarian, I do wonder about weeding out these types of material as the information is outdated.
As for the third book, I looked at was the Giving Tree, I was surprised under the subject  headings that only trees was featured.  It made me realize the importance subject headings play in making a book more accessible.  I was speaking with our teacher-librarian and as far as she knows we are only allowed to add to the notes section.  I guess this will be something I will have to investigate when I do have a teacher-librarian job should the need arise.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

MARC records

"The Marc record is frightening at first, seeming complicated, written in a different language." 
I can attest to feeling all of the above!  At the beginning of the week, I did think to myself, what have I gotten myself into!  I can't do this.   Taking a deep breath, diving in and trying to create a few records on my own and checking them with the VPL was not as difficult as I had originally thought.  With practice, I wasn't doing too badly.
I do appreciate and think this week's lesson was beneficial and will be helpful should I ever want to add information to a MARC record in our school library. We have central cataloging in our district.  I am by far an expert but now have an understanding of how a MARC record works.
We have talked a lot about access in  class and I think the on-line catalogue could be a useful tool in providing access to students and teachers to resources.  Being able to create our own MARC records, allows us to add important details to our on-line catalogues which might have otherwise been missed by central cataloging.  The more details we add, the more likely a student or teacher will take out or look at a resource.  In these times, it is important teacher-librarians do all the can to keep circulation numbers up and the school library busy.


Friday, 5 October 2012


Access point is "a unit of information in a bibliographic record under which a person may search for and identify items listed in a library catalog or bibliographic database."(ODLIS)

As I was browsing our school's library on-line catalogue this week, I came to realize how much this tool could help in the selection of books for primary students by parents.  I teach French Immersion in an area where there is high parent involvement and I often have parents asking about suitable French books for them to read at home with their children.  We have a wealth of French books at the school that parents and students alike could easily access.  I think circulation rates would increase,  too by making the parents aware of the school library's on-line catalogue and promoting it at such events as Meet the Teacher.
I could see some parents looking up books on-line with their children and discussing which books they would like to take out.  On a side note, I realized you need to spell the title, author or subject correctly when using the school library's on-line catalogue.  This could be challenging and frustrating for primary students.  It would be a great feature if like Google the search said "do you mean this?".  I'm sure this must be coming with time.
I also noticed some of the catalogue records needed more information such as summaries written in English for parents as well as identifying the target audience(this is especially important with French material as most often the parent is unaware what is suitable).  I know with my French Scholastic order, the parents appreciate that each of the books is numbered for an appropriate grade level making it easier for selection.  Having said this, I am not sure how this would play out in my district as the processing of books is done at the district level?  I am not clear either whether the teacher-librarian can add to the record herself/himself?   It could be a worthwhile endeavour though, if parents would access it.