July 23, 2008

Grading Blitz, Last Day

Posted in Updates tagged , at 2:21 pm by maf

I am pretty much finished with grading. Check the WebCT Gradebook. The official grade rolls aren’t available yet through the UGA system, but I won’t forget to complete the minute they’re available.

Course evals: 27 students have completed (thank you all!) That’s very good, but 100% would be better! Four to go. (Can’t see your grade? This might be why.)

One final goody for Cataloging: Vivian created a guide for downloading MARC records from the Library of Congress. Anxious to practice this during your break?

🙂 🙂 LOL!

Hush, you might need this sooner than you think.  Thanks to Vivian for doing this. Find it in WebCT 6380/Resources. You will have access to the course for another few months.

June 13, 2008

Q+A: 082 Tag: Text discrepancy

Posted in Assignments tagged , at 7:21 am by maf

Today I have a question from the class, a pragmatic answer, and a philosophical reminder.

The question, slightly paraphrased:

In the KR text for the classification exercises (082 tag) the text and the exercise instructions have the institution indicator (_, 0 or 4) first and then the version, (0 or 1). But when you check the answers it is reversed and later in the text it is reversed. Which one is correct?

Don’t you love it when you find a booboo in the text? To be honest, I did not track down where in the book it is correct versus not correct. I simply went to The Authority (my title), which is the Library of Congress (actually, I searched all Delicious bookmarks for MARC and spotted this near the top of the list). There I found this long tag list. I did a Control-F search for 082, and found this helpful clarification:

      First - Type of edition
         # - No edition information recorded (BK CF MU VM SE) [OBSOLETE]
         0 - Full edition
         1 - Abridged edition
         2 - Abridged NST version (BK MU VM SE) [OBSOLETE]
      Second - Source of classification number
         # - No information provided
         0 - Assigned by LC
         4 - Assigned by agency other than LC

So, clearly, the first indicator is for edition and the second identifies the cataloging agency.

And now for philosophy. Do I think it’s important for you to carry this 082 information around in your head? Absolutely not. There will always be authorities for you to check – unless you’re on a desert island somewhere! Do I think it’s important for you to understand this? Perhaps. But it is not the most critical of the MARC tags to understand. Do I think it’s important for you to know how to check any aspect of MARC? Absolutely critical. And the LOC is the best tool for this.

June 6, 2008

Several text updates and Orders

Posted in Updates tagged , , , at 7:58 am by maf

Seems like the summer weather is really here now! Even I enjoy air conditioning under these circumstances.

KR Text issues:

Allyson pointed out a discrepancy in the exercise regarding the 082 tag. If someone wants to research this as their absentee “giveback,” let me know – quickly; I don’t want the question to dangle too long.

Here’s a good question:

For our KR exercises, do you want us to explain the answers that we create for our exercises or do we just provide the answer?

My answer is: No explanations necessary. 🙂 The submissions I’ve seen so far look fine. I’m trying to “do a dab” on these various assignments each day, in order submitted (usually).

Mortimer: I hope that no one is actually all finished and waiting on these exercises to be published. But here is what I’m thinking: 1). Everybody read. 2). Do selected exercises (I am selecting them now and publishing the ones chosen so far on the assignment description page). 3). I will make a “quiz” (open-book, low-risk, repeatable) in WebCT for you to “pass.” Any concerns about this?

A comment about KR: whew. As I reread this text (trying to reconcile with the older edition), I am struck once again as I am every time I teach this class – do not sweat the small stuff. Approach this book with this attitude: 1). gaining an overview. 2). absorbing some general qualitative ideas and principles. 3). applying just enough to get the idea – using the exercises. 4). noticing where the details are located in case you ever need them. Frankly, some of the descriptions are just painful to wade through. I can’t help but think that the detailed level of MARC knowledge described (while much less detailed than in other cataloging tomes!) is a dying dinosaur. It’s exactly like html code. I know just enough about web page coding to solve little problems if they come up, using the many html tools out there. I do not need to memorize those codes. MARC – same thing. Your software will do the work; you just need to be able to get in there and tweak when necessary.

As we go along, I’ll try to pull out for you the general principles that are important to understand. Just get through it in the meantime.

Finally: Order scores and feedback are now available through the 6340 Dropbox. I uploaded the feedback files to each team member, so you won’t need to share them around this time.

May 30, 2008

Q+A for Several Assignments

Posted in Assignments tagged , , at 8:09 am by maf

We have pioneers in this class – people who are working fast and ahead. With the busy summers many of you have planned, this is understandable. As I deal with some of their questions below, you shouldn’t feel guilty if your priorities have been something else – but notice the questions. In many cases, they point to little problems in the assignments or clarifications that need to be made.

Access Enabler question:

Our group needs clarification … Do we have to do the actual lesson/handouts that we discuss as being our solution, or just describe what we would do?

Answer: I apologize that the assignment is quite unclear on this point. What I would like is a “middle way”: a). thoroughly describe your solution; and b). develop just enough of the solution package (or lesson, or tool, or resource) to give us a clear idea and a small sample. This might be a single piece of the package, or a list of lesson plan steps, or an excerpt. You may decide it’s easiest and most appropriate to provide the entire resource, especially if it’s compact. In the case of lesson or unit planning, I do not expect to see everything down to the last word of the handout or test for students. If you are uncertain how much to hand in, ask me.

Bibliography Question:

I chose to do this assignment on my own. Since two parts of the Rubric under “reflection” deal with group participation and process, what should I do to earn these 2 points?

Answer: I’m sorry I missed this aspect of the assignment. Simply mark this section “NA.” You will more than make up for the points by doing the assignment alone!

And finally for today, a more philosophical, general question:

On MARC records: How often are we actually going to do anything with them except download them from our vendor and import them into our circulation system?

Answer: Hardly ever, if ever. But you may make small edits on a frequent basis; most often, your software will make this very easy.

You will find a lot of variation in the SLMSs you talk to – many think MARC knowledge is crucial, while others are wary of MARC records and reluctant to tamper with them. I don’t want you to be afraid of MARC – you should feel confident about editing if necessary. And you will always have the text and other authorities to consult. The goal for now is to empower you for when you need this skill in the future. We all need to “know our way around,” and some of you will be more interested in this technical stuff than others. That’s where we’re going in this class.