Day 8

I spent most of my morning discovering how difficult it is to make decisions about Subject Headings. I am not a cataloguer and this really is my first experience of doing it. I am sure I am making more work for the Section Librarian as she will have to check it and make sure I have done it correctly. The question is, is there a correctly? I am giving journal articles subject headings so that they can be added to the Hong Kong Bibliographic data base that is an inhouse database conceived and constructed by the Institue. I am using some guidelines and double checking with previously catalogued items however there has to be more to it than that. Surely everyone will have a different take on it; or is there a huge database for all texts, including journal articles, that can be access to give you the answer? (Library of Congress, British Library perhaps).

I spent a short amount of time on the Information Counter with Chung. He described what happens there and how it is utlised. Most issues seem to be with the photocopier and how to access the databases. Undergrads seem to have a very limited knowledge of the resources and materials at their finger tips despite attending orientation at the beginning of the academic year. How are the amazing resources promoted? I am not sure. If lecturers promoted them through their lessons and perhaps had an increased expectation that their undergrauates would not just turn to the books on the core reading lists things might improve. I have to say it is not very different to QBS. How do we promote the use of Britannica, BigU and our World Almanac Online? Luckily I can do it through our compulsory lessons but if there were non I’d have to rely on the teachers….and some will use them and some won’t.

In the afternoon I presented a talk on Booktalks. It seemed to go down quite well and my audience seemed to want to use some of the materials with trainee teachers. We then chatted about my library and I gave them a virtual tour of our online provision. It seems very basic now after working at an academic library for almost 2 weeks. However once again the issues are similar. Links need to be updated, materials need to be curated, buttons and displays need to be thought through. Materials need to be promoted and students need to know how to use them… the list goes on. It was great to be able to share and to emphasis that I am trying to prepare my students for what they will encounter later in life.

2 days left.