Factotem: What is Information Access for?
ABSTRACT: Inspired by Allyson Carlyle's advice to explain fundamental concepts clearly and simply, this article seeks to explain the notion of information access, and what it means to provide information access in a responsible way. Specifically, this essay looks at the idea of facts. How should providers of information deal with facts? To examine this question, the essay considers the 2017 protest slogan "Librarians for Facts." What does this slogan really mean? Ultimately, the essay contends that information providers need to determine what they are for, and orient information access mechanisms toward that goal.
KEYWORDS: Metadata, classification, indexing, controlled vocabularies, information retrieval
Cataloging Research by Design: A Taxonomic Approach to Understanding Research Questions in Cataloging
Rachel Ivy Clarke
ABSTRACT: This article asserts that many research questions (RQs) in cataloging reflect design-based RQs, rather than traditional scientific ones. To support this idea, a review of existing discussions of RQs is presented to identify prominent types of RQs, including design-based RQs. RQ types are then classified into a taxonomic framework and compared with RQs from the Everyday Cataloger Concerns project, which aimed to identify important areas of research from the perspective of practicing catalogers. This comparative method demonstrates the ways in which the research areas identified by cataloging practitioners reflect design RQsand therefore require design approaches and methods to answer them.
KEYWORDS: Cataloging research, research questions, design, Everyday Cataloger Concerns, taxonomy
Four Orders of Classification Theory and Their Implications
Joseph T. Tennis
ABSTRACT: This article provides an interpretation of the structure of classification theory literature, from the late 19th Century to the present, by dividing it into four orders, and then describes the relationship between that and manuals for classification design.
KEYWORDS: Classification, metatheory, versioning, interoperability, foundations
Bibliographic Entities and their Uses
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Allyson Carlyle Bibliography
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Ethos of Care: A Festschrift for Dr. Allyson Carlyle at the Occasion of her Retirement
Joseph T. Tennis
University of Washington Information School
Dr. Allyson Carlyle is a mentor, teacher, and an advocate for the art and technical work of cataloging. Her influence is far reaching both in the profession and in the literature. Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles and under the tutelage of Dr. Elaine Svenonius, Carlyle wove her professional experience into her concerns about how to represent the complexities of the bibliographic universe, through the catalog, specifically for the user. Her first and final consideration was the user – we catalog for the user.
This festschrift is an assembly of works by three of Allyson's students and her teacher, Elaine Svenonius. The volume starts with Dr. Melanie Feinberg's reflection on the relationship between representation in librarianship, the systems we use, and the concept of truth as a value in the services we provide in the profession. Dr. Rachel Ivy Clarke offers us the opportunity to step back and consider the nature of research in cataloging, claiming the majority of research questions in cataloging are design questions and that this reshapes our considerations of methods, findings, and interpretation. Dr. Joseph T. Tennis follows Carlyle's motivation to examine research literature and comment on how it affects practice by looking at classification theory, not as a unified body of literature, but as four types. Finally, Dr. Elaine Svenonius's reprint of "Bibliographic Entities and their Uses" encapsulates the relationship between Carlyle's focus on the user by talking about functions and the need to model our universe effectively for the practical design of catalogs. We close this festschrift with a full bibliography of Carlyle's publications.
In all of these contributions you can hear Carlyle's instruction coming through. The chorus of voices sings in the same tune, set by Carlyle's twain concerns of clarity and simplicity.
I want to offer my special thanks to Sandy K. Roe, Editor of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, for her support and continued care in seeing this festschrift to production.
The editor of this special issue was fortunate enough to learn from Allyson Carlyle the values of clear writing, focus on purpose and use, and an ethos of care in the sometimes-complex work of cataloging and classification work. Thank you, Allyson for your mentoring.
About the Editor
Joseph T. Tennis is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at the University of Washington Information School; Adjunct Associate Professor in Linguistics; and a member of the Textual Studies, Computational Linguistics, and Museology faculty advisory groups at the University of Washington. He was President of the International Society for Knowledge Organization from 2014-2018. He is on the Library Quarterly and Knowledge Organization editorial boards, and a member of the InterPARES Trust research team – a multidisciplinary digital records preservation research project with researchers across six continents.