SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: SIGIA-L: Insight moves sight to the
Re: SIGIA-L: Insight moves sight to the site
From: Susan Zeyher (susan_z40_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 10:47:07 EST
--- Ziya Oz <ZiyaOz_at_earthlink.net> wrote:
> Susan Zeyher wrote:
> > When I catalog and index books and articles I ask
> > myself, "What questions might this information
> > answer?" I, most definitely, do not ask myself,
> > kind of person would want to find this
> > People are way too complex to categorize.
> I'm hoping to avoid a semantic quagmire here, but
> I've got to ask: what's
> the difference?
> Questions are not asked by themselves, otherwise we
> could automate this
> entire process by machines, and we can't. It's the
> people who ask the
> questions. Knowing the people who ask the questions
> can only help to clarify
> their import and context. Not knowing may
> potentially and probably reduce
> the effectiveness of the questions and thereby the
<Stuff snipped out>
> One direction definitely informs the other.
I agree, Ziya. Knowing the people and the questions
they ask do inform each other and thereby help the one
who is assigning subject terms to the items. The
difference between asking "what questions" or "what
people" is a subtle mind shift to help the indexer get
past the difficulty of guessing every potential
question from every potential questioner. It's not
easy! It's a delicate balance, but that's what makes
indexing and subject cataloging so interesting.
In the library world, it means that the catalogers and
the reference librarians have to talk to each other.
In other words, there needs to be communication
between those who search and those who create the
search system. Usability testing!
Working as a library cataloger.
Striving to make order out of information chaos.
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:01 EST