Bec in the library

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges

Selection aids – what works? March 8, 2011

Filed under: ETL 503: topic 2 — becinthelibrary @ 12:43 pm
Tags: ,

The examples given of selection aids comprise only a small sample of those available. Examine at least two of the examples given of each type covered above and compare their strengths and weaknesses. The examples provided are largely Australian selection aids.

Bibliographies – strengths

  • lots of info in one place, good for time poor TLs
  • mostly created by people ‘in the know’, often without bias
  • include subject lists prepared for a specific purpose which takes guess work out of selection
  • “clearly indicate specific resources which have been identified as having clear relevance, value, popularity, etc. relating to the topic” being discussed (Crotty, 2011)

Bibliographies – weaknesses

  • lists “begin dating from the moment they are created and may consequently contain resources that are outdated or no longer available and may not contain more current and pertinent resources” (Crotty, 2011)
  • the compiler/s of the bibliography, their knowledge of the area and the basis on which they identified the resources contained in the bibliography may be unknown, which can leave you uncertain as to the authority of a bibliography (Crotty, 2011)
  • “bibliographies are frequently developed for a specific context, which may not be relevant to your school. Consequently, it is advisable to frequently cross check the appropriateness of resources listed within a bibliography against other selection aids such as reviewing journals and websites.” (Crotty, 2011)

Input from library staff and from users of the collection – strengths

  • working within the needs and context of the school environment
  • more likely to get resources into the hands of the people who need them
  • easy to cross-check with peers on listservs such as OZTL_NET

Input from library staff and from users of the collection – weaknesses

  • is the source reliable? have they actually read the text or are they basing their opinion on what someone else has said?
  • personal bias
  • does the staff member/user know the extent of what is already available in the collection?

Try and identify at least one further selection aid in each category. Preferably ones of relevance and interest to you.

  • http://www.superkids.com. Website critically reviewing educational software, reviewers are teachers, parents and kids and the website developers are not affiliated with any publisher or creator. REviewing criteria were comprehensive and balanced.

What criteria do you feel a particular selection aid should meet before it is used, trusted and valued? How would these criteria vary, if at all, between the different types of selection aids?

  • TL area of knowledge growth (for us, knowledge of graphic novels and relevant educational software are areas of growth)
  • gaps in current collection – do we need more of a certain TYPE resource? If so, I would look to selection aids that are totally related to that area so I don’t need to wade through stacks of info
  • run aids through OZTL_NET to get peer reviews


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