Zombies in Refrigerators – A Resource Guide

Women in Refrigerators Trope

Women in Refrigerators (WiR) refers to any plot device that utilizes the injured, crippled, kidnapped, raped, driven insane, possessed, enslaved, devolved, dismembered, depowered, subjugated, zombie-ized, and/or death experiences of female characters in order to develop a male protagonist’s character. This plot device was initially remarked upon by writer Gail Simone in 1999, after reading Green Lantern #54 (Marz et al, 1994), where the Green Lantern returns home to find his girlfriend killed, and her dismembered body in the refrigerator. Not all bad things in comics happen to women, however the men that have horrible experiences seem to somehow return to their prior selves, and/or are better for the experiences they endured. Conversely, female characters that typically experience heinous actions never seem to recuperate, which suggests they are too weak to recover or evolve into better people as a consequence of the evil things that happened to them.

Graphic novels that exhibit the women in refrigerators trope

The War on Flesh (Boring & Hildebrandt, 2005) bases its zombie origins in voodoo, with dark forces providing power and insidious persuasion to lead good people to doing evil. In this graphic novel, a young man is killed during a gang fight. Upon his death, his father succumbs to dark forces and resurrects him using voodoo. The father murders a priest, loses an eye, and sacrifices a testicle, but is still able to cope and continue on his destructive path. The mother, on discovering her son was resurrected through dark voodoo magic, kills herself and thus keeps the father on the path to using dark magic in an attempt to resurrect her as well. This story indicates the woman is too weak to handle the situation, and chooses to die than to cope. The male is powerful, and is willing to defy even death to correct the mistakes of others.

The Living and the Dead (Jason, 2006) is about true love overcoming all obstacles, even becoming a zombie. A low wage male worker is saving up to buy a night with the prostitute he met on his way home one evening, when a meteor lands in a graveyard and awakens the dead. As the zombies attack everyone in town, the worker rescues the prostitute and tries to protect her from being attacked by the zombies. When she turns into a zombie after being wounded, the worker finds he cannot kill her and becomes a zombie too, finally making them into a (undead) couple. Throughout the story, the worker attempts to save the female from zombie attacks by leading her around, while she makes no attempt to defend herself. Indeed, she is not even capable of nailing a board to the windows without injuring herself. This story suggests that a woman needs to be rescued, and only a man can do so.

Graphic novels that defy the women in refrigerators trope

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Austen & Grahame-Smith, 2010) is based on the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice, however with a zombie flair. Capable of fighting zombies that they call “Unmentionables,” the five Bennet sisters are trained in the deadly arts and are usually found chatting about men, weapons and fighting styles, typically right after slaying said zombies. They are capable of taking care of themselves, and are just as strong, if not stronger, than the strongest male characters in the story. Indeed, the zombies in this graphic novel allow the female characters to exhibit their strength by allowing them to fight and defend themselves, while at no point do they rely on a masculine figure to save them.

The Walking Dead (Kirkman, 2012) shows a world where the infected become zombies, and the living try to find refuge from the walking dead. In this volume, a group of people attempt to find refuge in a prison, only to be confronted with psychotic prison inmates and more of the undead. Characters in this graphic novel all have their strengths and weakness, regardless of gender. When Andrea is attacked by one of the prison inmates, she successfully fights him off and rescues herself. Maggie executes the prison inmate after it is discovered he had murdered and decapitated her two little sisters. Neither women sit around waiting for the males of the group to save them or to determine what punishment should be dealt. They make their own decisions, and are capable of taking care of themselves.

Discussion

            The portrayal of WiR is a weak plot device that only subjugates women’s role in society. Alternate methods of developing a male protagonist’s character could be utilized by using some imagination. Many times the degradation of a female character is not necessary to propel the protagonist to action. The Green Lantern would have pursued the villain Major Force if he had only the slightest contact with the Green Lantern’s girlfriend. Killing and dismembering her was extreme. In War on Flesh (Boring & Hildebrandt, 2005), the mother could have rebelled against the father’s voodoo resurrection of the son, and shown her strength through the actions she took in combatting the evil forces at work. In The Living and the Dead (Jason, 2006), the female in the story could have been a partner in evading the zombies, and not a mindless follower. She could have defended herself equally, instead of relying on the male to save her from every zombie they encountered. Both of these graphic novels were disappointing in their development of female characters.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Austen & Grahame-Smith, 2010) and The Walking Dead (Kirkman, 2012) allow the female characters to have strengths of their own, which they are not shy in using to ensure their survival. While every character seems to have their moments of supreme stupidity, especially when confronted with the undead intent on eating their flesh, this idiocy is not limited to female characters alone. As it should be, male and female characters are equally resourceful, and gender is not used to support another characters moral development.

References

Austen, J., & Grahame-Smith, S. (2010). Pride and prejudice and zombies. New York: Ballantine Books.

Boring, J., & Hildebrandt, G. (2005). War on flesh (Vol. 1). Los Angeles, CA: Tokyopop. Jason. (2006). The living and the dead. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books.

Kirkman, R. (2012). The walking dead: Safety behind bars (Vol. 3). Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, Inc.

Marz, R., Banks, D., Aucoin, D., & Tanghal, R. (1994). Green Lantern: Deadly Force (Vol 3., #54). DC Comics: New York.

Simone, G. (1999). Women in Refrigerators. Retrieved from http://www.lby3.com/wir/

Book Review of Reading Matters: What Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community

Reading Matters: What Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community by Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Lynne McKechnie, and Paulette M. Rothbauer (2006) showcases a compilation of research about readers and the role of libraries in promoting literacy and reading. This book addresses the myths and histories of reading. The purpose of Reading Matters is to provide insight into the role that reading plays in the lives of children, young adults, and adults. This book was written to appeal to an audience of library staff, parents, teachers, as well as students in library information science programs. As a result of the research compiled in this book, the reader will comprehensively understand the varying dynamics of reading. This information can then be effectively relayed to library trustees, parents, and others who seek to understand how and why people read.

Background Information

Reading Matters primarily focuses on the role that reading plays in different people’s lives. Ross, McKechnie, and Rothbauer use an abundant amount of research to show the role that reading plays in the lives of children, young adults and adults and the effect that this may have on their lives. Ross, McKechnie, and Rothbauer are all professors at the University of Western Ontario, and all have doctorate degrees in Information and Library Science. Working together on this book, each author brings a unique specialization to the text that helps the reader understand the different aspects of their individual research.

Catherine Sheldrick Ross’ research interests involve the reading experience, the reference transaction, and information seeking and use. Her research concentration focuses on reading as it affects the lives of adults. She continues to study the pleasure reading habits of adult readers, and “at last count had more than 220 open-ended interviews with avid readers” (Ross, McKechnie & Rothbauer, 2006, p.x). Ross has also been awarded grants for her research in qualitative studies of reading. Ross has written two other books, Conducting the Reference Interview and Communicating Professionally. Along with having her books published, Ross has been published in scholarly journals such as School Library Media Quarterly, Library and Information Science Research, Public Libraries, and Research Quarterly in reference to her research with reading and its effect on adults. Ross’ extensive knowledge on the effect of reading in relation to the adult population has made her a valuable resource for this book.

Lynne McKechnie has experience both in research and in teaching, but her expertise focuses on the effects of reading in relation to children. McKechnie, before teaching at the University of Western Ontario, was a children’s librarian for twenty years. Specifically, her research focuses on the intersection of public libraries, children and reading. McKechnie (2013) focuses on “bringing children’s voices into the discussion and inquiry” of reading. She has been published in such scholarly journals as Children and Libraries, Information Research: An International Journal, Canadian Journal of Library & Information Science, and Library Trends. McKechnie’s experience in the role that reading plays in the lives of children qualifies her as an expert resource on the subjects relayed in Reading Matters.

Paulette M. Rothbauer’s research focuses on the effect of reading on young adults. Rothbauer (2013) stated her interest “in the modes and methods of access to reading materials as well as social and cultural barriers to such access” for young adults. She continues to research the roles bookstores and information communication technologies have on young adults in relation to reading. Rothbauer has written the books Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Theories of Information Behavior: A Researcher’s Guide. She has also been published in such scholarly journals as the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, Library Quarterly, and Canadian Journal of Information & Library Science. Rothbauer’s focus on the role reading has on young adults and the research she has conducted on this topic qualifies her as a valuable resource for this book.

There are numerous books and research written on the subject of the role of reading in people’s lives. Some of these books include The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research by Stephen D. Krashen, Literacy and Libraries: Learning from Case Studies by Graceanne Decandido, Readers and Reading in America: Historical and Critical Perspectives by Carl F. Kaestle, and How Texts Teach What Readers Learn by Margaret Meek. These books specifically focus on reading as it affects people. Out of the numerous authors on the subject, Margaret Meek plays a significant role in guiding the focus of Reading Matters because she is the leading expert referred to throughout the book. Margaret Meek’s work on the subject had inspired Ross, McKechnie and Rothbauer to further research how reading affects the lives of children, young adults, and adults.

Summary

The book Reading Matters comprises of four chapters, each with a different focus. The first chapter discusses reading itself, predominantly the history of reading. The other three chapters detail findings based on age groups: chapter two focuses on children’s reading, chapter three discusses young adult’s reading, and chapter four examines adult reading. The book ends with a concluding statement summarizing how the book’s findings on reading are related to each other. The chapters are broken into units that include various case studies and comments related to the section topic. Additionally, all sections have various segmented information to provide guidelines, suggestions, and additional readings, titled “What libraries Can Do”, “To Read More”, and “Research Tells Us” (Ross et al, 2006).

The authors of the book begin chapter one by questioning the idea that reading is a dying art form. To illustrate, there are some myths about reading such as “people don’t read as much as they used to, men and boys don’t read, and real reading is a solitary affair” (Ross et al, 2006, p. 17). The authors debate these statements by presenting the results of research that suggest reading is an increasing trend and recommending how libraries can further help. Core findings from studies presented in this chapter create a foundation for the rest of the book. These core findings include that reading has many levels of proficiency, takes practice to develop, and has to be fun while practicing (Ross et al, 2006). These findings are stressed as significant resources for information professionals, parents, and community members.

Chapter two discusses children’s reading and begins by providing a summary of research of children’s reading. This research includes large-scale national survey results about children’s reading trends by countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and England, and international comparisons between many countries (Ross et al, 2006).  The authors talk about the negative attitudes toward reading, the age gap, and ELL students reading gap respectively. Ross et al (2006) suggest that reading among children depends on very personal preferences. The authors also discuss the factors that foster reading in childhood. Not surprisingly, children from families that are familiar with reading or story telling tend to become avid readers. Through a study conducted by Ross in 1995, it was found that children love to read series books for pleasure (as cited in Ross et al., 2006, p. 82). With various studies providing corroborating research, the book suggests that series books help children to develop key literature practices such as “making patterns, putting challenges stories together, and extrapolating meaning” (Ross et al., 2006, p. 84). The book also provides insight on how to fix the reading performance and achievement gap found between boys and girls.

Chapter three changes its population to young adults’ reading, and further clarifies some of the myths concerning them. The authors dispute the perception that young adults do not read because it is not as much fun or as engaging as many popular multimedia, and that “real reading means the reading of certain kinds of books” (Ross et al, 2006, p. 102). The National Education Association survey challenges many of these assumptions, finding that more than half of young adults polled read more than ten books a year (Ross et al., 2006, p. 104). The book provides other evidence that young adults like to read and choose to read for pleasure, and reading relates to other leisure activities of young people. Additionally, young adult’s reading material is not limited to books, but extends to other medium such as magazines, newspapers, comics, and graphic novels. Ross et al (2006) discusses how reading is important in helping young adults with understanding their place in the world, how libraries can support young adults’ literacy, and social aspects of reading.

In chapter four, the book focuses on adults’ readers using different scales such as age, demographics, ethnicity, education, occupation, gender, and income (Ross et al, 2006). Using tables, Ross et al. (2006) provide statistical information on the adult reader population, showing relationships between early reading and current reading, reasons for reading, and the types of books read. From this data, the authors suggest that educational level is the greatest gauge of adult reading (Ross et al., 2006). The book also examines the emotional and social aspects associated with adults’ reading. Positive aspects such as pleasure, the feeling of reward, and self-development are emotional motivations for reading. Social aspects are suggested through the many different ways to select books, the role of the best seller list for shaping reading habits, and reading as a social activity.

The concluding statement summarizes the authors findings related to reading for pleasure. Ross et al. (2006) reassure readers, librarians, teachers and parents that their efforts to include fiction and nontraditional resources as reading material have beneficial results and need no apology.

Evaluation (1000 words)

Goal Achievement

Reading Matters proposes that all reading, no matter the genre or type of text, builds reading skills. Ross et al (2006) suggest “through reading you discover who you are” (p. 243) and argue for readers to have varied reading experiences to expand this discovery process. Reading Matters presents a comprehensive view on reading historically, and presents different viewpoints on the act of reading. In the beginning of the text the author states, “This book was written for people who are interested in reading and in the role that reading plays in people’s lives” (Ross et al., 2006, p. ix). This book thoroughly described the role reading has played in people’s lives from childhood to adulthood, and also discusses the ways in which reading can affect people’s lives. This book also discusses the why of people reading, and gives sufficient data to support its results.

Reading Matters achieved its goal of providing research about reading, libraries, and community effectively. The authors state, “The goal of this book is to provide a map to the research findings, organized according to themes that are central to people interested in the intersection of reading, readers, and libraries” (Ross et al., 2006, p. ix). The book organizes the research into four categories encompassing readers from the childhood years through to adult years. The compilation of research provides valuable insight into why and how readers read.

Overall, this book can be a good starting point for anyone who is interested in literacy. By reading this book, a person should be able to explain why reading is important in one’s life with sound theoretical evidences and study cases. This book could be used by the educators in the library and information science, but also by parents, teachers, librarians and readers.

Suggested Possibilities

Several possibilities are offered throughout the book. Ross et al. (2006) call for libraries to expand collection development policies to include varying resource types. The authors utilize research and case studies to corroborate their suggestions, directly targeting these at librarians, teachers, parents and other readers. The research not only provides rationale for reading, but also suggests what libraries can do to support and promote literacy for different populations. The book provides tips and suggestions for further research and reading by including reading lists and ‘what to do’ sections. The case studies presented in the book offer assistance to other researchers interested in literacy for different populations. The lists and suggested reading offer help for readers seeking specific solutions to the various reading dilemmas discussed.

The authors suggest the possibility that the number of readers is increasing, and not decreasing as many people assume. Ross et al. (2006) report that Americans “spend on average 7 to 10 hours a week of leisure time on reading and say that reading is their second most popular leisure activity” (p. 2). The authors show, through research, that while many assume people are not reading because there are so many other things to do, new mediums for reading has actually increased literacy. Reading Matters suggests that reading and readers are not declining. Librarians, parents, and teachers should be encouraged that their support of reading is making a difference.

Another possibility suggested by this book is that reading is an important part of people’s lives emotionally and in forming their identities. Ross et al. (2006) suggest that “for children, memories of reading closely connect the experience of story with family scenes of comfort and caring” (p.152). This shows that not only can a person have an emotional connection with the text of a book, but also with the experience that went along with reading the book. This book gives several examples of that emotional connection with the text, along with the suggestion that reading plays an important role in our identity. Ross et al. (2006) state that reading books for pleasure “helps us understand who we are and what our place in the world is and might become” (p.115). The social structures shown in books and the relation of the reader within that context helps the reader understand more about themselves as they read.

Missing factors

            The most obvious component missing from the text was the aspects related to reading for a specific purpose. The authors discuss pleasure reading extensively, however little is discussed on quality or purposeful reading. Many readers research topics for educational purposes, or to fill an information need that is not necessarily pleasurable. This book also largely leaves out the impact that non-fiction text has on readers. The book discusses the history of literature and reading, and the importance of fiction. It briefly mentions non-fiction, but there is a wide variety of people that prefer reading non-fiction. However, how non-fiction plays a role in their lives is excluded from the authors’ analysis.

Digital media is also not discussed in Reading Matters. Even though this book was published in 2006, there was still a growing population of e-readers and digital texts in the world, and this book could have discussed this type of reading as well. Even though the text of an e-book and print are the same, the experience of the reading process is different. The book could have included more on the influence of digital media and how these technologies affect reading habits.

Reading Matters also left out the impact of what children read, which could show the effects of different types of books that include violence, action, and adventure. This section of the book focuses mostly on a child’s achievement as a reader. However, avid reading in children may not always lead to growth of the whole child if the content the child is reading is having an adverse impact. With this in mind, research on the quality of what a child reads, not just the quantity would have been beneficial.

Points that are not convincing

There were few points that were not convincing and lacked sufficient research to be persuasive. Topics such as identity development, gender differences, and forming reading habits through writing have inadequate supporting evidence in the book to be convincing.  Ross et al. (2006) state, “You are what you read and through reading you discover who you are” (Ross et al., 2006, p. 243). However a lack of reading experience does not indicate an inability to form an identity or develop character. The authors also state, “Reading then helps us understand who we are and what our place in the world is and might become” (Ross, McKechnie & Rothbauer, 2006, p. 115), but there is no research to support the idea that only people who read know their place in the world. It is not convincing that the construction of one’s identity is only as a result of what is being read. While a reader might identify with a character or a situation that is being read, the text does not provide research indicating the development of an individual’s identity is only as a result of reading habits.

The issue of gender is also not convincing in relation to the reading habits of children. While there are differences between male and female readers, especially in youth, stereotypes of these differences have shifted and are not as prevalent as they once were. Ross et al. (2006) state statistics about boys and learning disabilities, but that does not discuss the role of reading in an adolescent boys’ life (p. 88). This section also discusses the types of stories that boys and girls enjoy reading, which is dynamic and subject to change. Many girls enjoy reading sci-fi and fantasy in social settings, while boys can also enjoy reading fairy tales. Statistics based on a study of kindergarten and first grade students does not accurately reflect the reading tastes of older children (Ross et al, 2006, p. 89). Children of that young age could be choosing the books for themselves, but more likely parents or teachers suggest specific readings that could influence their future choices.

Personal experiences related to reading

As a group, there are varied and diverse experiences related to reading. Each group member has discovered a love of reading, and eagerly looks forward to sharing the adventures and trials in reading with others through librarianship. Although each person’s experiences in reading are different, each is equally valid and worthwhile.

Group Member A read every book she encountered while growing up, and was frequently gifted with books from family members. One such gift included a collection of fifty classical literature books, which she voraciously read. This distressed her mother, who tried to blame Member A’s need for glasses on reading. After reading the whole collection in a two month timespan, she continued reading books and is now working on her doctorate degree in library science.

Group Member B (Stacy Derleth) exclusively read romantic fiction as a young adult. The attraction of a guaranteed happy ever after would consistently bring her back to this genre. Occasionally, she would attempt reading classical literature or nonfiction, but usually could not summon the enthusiasm to finish reading the book. This experience in reading gave her the practice needed to be able to focus on and comprehend academic articles for her graduate studies in library science and information technology.

Group Member C frequently reflects on how time changes the perspective of a story for her. She recently reread a fictional story after an extended lapse in time, and it provided a different meaning to her on the second reading. Ross et al. (2006) discuss the “Reader Response Theory” (p. 50) in which the focus of the reading experience is the emotions of the reader. These emotions are based on the past experiences of the reader, evolving over time and affecting the emotional response of reading.

Group Member D shares her reading experience with other people through book clubs. She has experienced the validation a book club can give to time spent reading for pleasure and finds book clubs help in making different book choices than her normal selections. As part of these book communities, she also can look forward to the social aspects of regular meetings and time together with friends.

Conclusion

Reading Matters successfully compiles research about reading, and provides insight into the development of reading skill. The progression of the book from child to young adult to adult in the development of reading skill is carefully organized and logical. As an appeal to librarians, parents, teachers, and readers everywhere to encourage reading of whatever genre and material that is interesting and fun, Reading Matters is successful in convincing the value of pleasure reading. Any reader of this book will emerge from its pages with a clear understand of how important it is to read for pleasure.

References

McKechnie, L. (2013). Research Interests. Retrieved from http://www.fims.uwo.ca/peopleDirectory/faculty/fulltimefaculty/full_time_faculty_profil e.htm?PeopleId=130 [O1]

Rothbauer, P.M. (2013). Research. Retrieved from http://www.fims.uwo.ca/peopleDirectory/faculty/fulltimefaculty/full_time_faculty_profil e.htm?PeopleId=545 [O2]

Ross, C.S., McKechnie, L. & Rothbauer, P.M. (2006). Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals abut Reading, Libraries, and Community. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.


Record Creation for Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Part I Record Creation

Simple Dublin Core Element

Resource Values

Title

Graceling

Subject

Journeys

Subject

Magic

Subject

Fantasy

Subject

Fiction

Description

Katsa lives in a land of seven kingdoms, where people graced with special abilities are marked by their mismatched eye color. As a child, it is determined that her ability is to kill quickly and expertly, and as an adult Katsa becomes the executioner and enforcer to her uncle, King Randa, due to her amazing fighting skills. Katsa hates her role, and creates a Council to fight the injustices around her. While on a secret rescue mission, Katsa meets Po, another graceling with his own powers attempting to free his grandfather from the king of Monsea. Katsa and Po journey to unravel the dark secrets of King Leck of Monsea, while they learn more about themselves and their abilities along the way.

This story is about discovering life, love and the ironies of both. The main character sees herself as a killer, only to realize that her grace has nothing to do with death and everything to do with life.

Description

Table of Contents: 1. The Lady Killer. 2. The Twisted King. 3. The Shifting World.

Language

en

Creator

Kristin Cashore

Publisher

Harcourt, Inc.

Rights

Copyright 2008, Kristin Cashore. All rights reserved.

Date

2008-10-01

Type

text

Format

Book 471p.

Identifier

ISBN:9780152063962

 

 

 

 

Explanation of Dublin Core Elements of Name and Value Pairs

            There are fifteen Dublin Core elements, of which I determined eleven specific elements to be applicable to record the book Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Each selected element creates a standard record for the item being cataloged, and unselected elements are excluded because descriptors do not apply. Elements can be categorized by content, ownership, and presentation of the resource.

Several of the elements used in the record creation are related to the content of the resource. The title element reflects the name of the information resource, and is a required element to any Dublin Core metadata as every item cataloged into a database will have a title. The subject element reflects the topic of the resource, and is also a required element as every item can be classified by the resource subject matter. The description element is an abstract of the purpose of the resource, and can also include the resources table of contents.  The language element specifies the language of the text within the resource, which in this instance is English.

Elements that reflect ownership of the resource indicate responsible parties for the development and publishing of the resource. The creator element reflects the author of the book, as she is responsible for creating the resource. The publisher element indicates the name of the publishing company, Harcourt Inc. The rights element reflects who has ownership of the copyright of the resource, which in this instance is the author, Kristin Cashore.

Elements that indicate the presentation of the resource refer to when the resource was made available and what present form the resource is being cataloged in. The date element indicates when the material was released for purchase. The type element indicates structure, which for this resource is text. The format element is listed as a 471 page book, and describes the physical form of the resource. The identifier element is a unique combination of numbers and/or letters used to identify the resource based on formal identification systems in practice.

Repeated Elements

            The elements that are beneficial to repeat for clarity on this resource are subject and description elements. The subject descriptors include journeys, magic, fantasy, and fiction. These descriptors are all available to cross reference through a thesaurus, and each individual descriptor specifies the overall subject of the book. The story is a work of fiction that is fantastic in nature, with characters journeying from one location to another encountering magic as they go. Having one entry for the subject element would be limiting and not general enough. Searching for this item could be referenced through any of these subjects, and eliminating any of them could limit the response of a catalog search.

            The description elements are repeated to include an abstract and the table of contents. The abstract provides an overview of the resource, for evaluation of whether the contents of the resource meet the user’s needs. The table of contents indicates the organization of the resource, in this case that the story is divided into three parts. It clarifies the material’s overall organization.

Deleted Elements

There were several elements that are not included in the record for the book Graceling. The excluded elements include contributors, source, relation, and coverage. The contributor element is excluded as there are no other people or organizations that made significant intellectual contributions to the book besides the creator Kristin Cashore. The source element is not part of the table due to the present resource being in its original form, and it is not a second resource of itself. The relation element is excluded from the element list as the book is not an edition of another work, nor a chapter or translation. Coverage elements are not included due to the lack of spatial or temporal characteristics within the contents of the book, and there are no physical regions or place names that are familiar to use because the story location is fictitious. Each of these elements did not apply for recording the book, and so including them would not have been logical or properly descriptive of the book itself. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II Standards Evaluation

MARC Tags

Graceling / Kristin Cashore.

Relevance:

 

LC Control No.:

2007045436

LCCN Permalink:

http://lccn.loc.gov/2007045436

000

01097cam a2200241 a 450

001

15124010

005

20111104100419.0

008

071228s2008 flub d 000 1 eng

906

__ |a 7 |b cbc |c orignew |d 1 |e ecip |f 20 |g y-gencatlg

925

0_ |a acquire |b 2 shelf copies |x policy default

955

__ |a lb10 2007-12-28 |i lb10 2007-12-28 |e lb10 2007-12-28 to cip |a ps04 2008-08-19 2 copies rec’d., to CIP ver.; |f lg13 2008-08-25 to SL; |g lg13 2008-08-25 (overtime) sent 2 Copies to BCCD

010

__ |a 2007045436

020

__ |a 9780152063962 (hbk.)

040

__ |a DLC |c DLC |d DLC

050

00 |a PZ7.C26823 |b Gr 2008

082

00 |a [Fic] |2 22

100

1_ |a Cashore, Kristin.

245

10 |a Graceling / |c Kristin Cashore.

260

__ |a Orlando, FL : |b Harcourt, |c 2008.

300

__ |a 471 p. : |b map ; |c 21 cm.

500

__ |a Companion book to Fire.

520

__ |a In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

650

_1 |a Fantasy.

   

   

CALL NUMBER:

PZ7.C26823 Gr 2008 FT MEADE

 

Copy 2

— Request in:

Jefferson or Adams Building Reading Rooms – STORED OFFSITE

   

— Status:

c.2 Overdue – Due on 10-02-2012


   

CALL NUMBER:

PZ7.C26823 Gr 2008 FT MEADE

 

Copy 1

— Request in:

Jefferson or Adams Building Reading Rooms – STORED OFFSITE

   

— Status:

Not Charged

Full Record

Graceling / Kristin Cashore.

Relevance:

 

LC control no.:

2007045436

LCCN permalink:

http://lccn.loc.gov/2007045436

Type of material:

Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)

Personal name:

Cashore, Kristin.

Main title:

Graceling / Kristin Cashore.

Published/Created:

Orlando, FL : Harcourt, 2008.

Description:

471 p. : map ; 21 cm.

ISBN:

9780152063962 (hbk.)

Summary:

In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

Subjects:

Fantasy.

Notes:

Companion book to Fire.

LC classification:

PZ7.C26823 Gr 2008

Dewey class no.:

[Fic]

   
   

   

CALL NUMBER:

PZ7.C26823 Gr 2008 FT MEADE

 

Copy 2

— Request in:

Jefferson or Adams Building Reading Rooms – STORED OFFSITE

   

— Status:

c.2 Overdue – Due on 10-02-2012


   

CALL NUMBER:

PZ7.C26823 Gr 2008 FT MEADE

 

Copy 1

— Request in:

Jefferson or Adams Building Reading Rooms – STORED OFFSITE

   

— Status:

Not Charged

 

 

Part II B Metadata of Graceling

            Cataloging generally includes the contents of the title page, leaving resources that do not contain a title page uncataloged or poorly represented (Yee, 2007, p. 312). Creating records that include the relationships between separate and seemingly disparate records is a challenge that is explored in Dublin Core, and is largely unaddressed in Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC). When defining categories of networked electronic resources, Dublin Core has become the most widely accepted proposed standard according to Nair & Jeevan (2004) because the ability to address the unique relationships between electronic resources. Margaritopoulos et al. describes the Dublin Core as multivalued, with each element having specific value to metadata completeness. This completeness of metadata examines the ability to describe a resource including all of its potential properties (Margaritopoulos et al., 2012, p. 724.)

Access Points of Graceling

            Core bibliographic elements are available for every resource that can be input into a catalog or database. According to Lee and Jacob (2011), the elements that record title, author, subject and description are vital to a complete bibliographic profile of any resource and are available for every resource. Every resource originates from an individual or organization that is responsible for the intellectual content, and is representationally titled in some manner. The resource will also always address some subject matter, and can further be described by the medium it is available in. These common elements can be used to create metadata information for any resource, and the lack of any of these elements can adversely affect the quality of the metadata completeness.

Representation of Graceling

            When determining the four most important descriptive access points for surrogate records for the book Graceling, the different elements of DC and MARC were evaluated for core bibliographic elements. Dublin Core elements that reflect these core bibliographic elements include title, creator, subject, and format. MARC elements that reflect the same core bibliographic elements include Main Title (245), Personal name (100), Subjects (650), and Description (300).

Similarities in Standards

            Dublin Core and MARC standards share similar intentions. Both standards create metadata in a consistent and normalized format. Dublin Core and MARC standards for Graceling are similar to each other in that the entered values are the same for each of the core elements. The entered values for title in Dublin Core and main title in MARC both have the entry of Graceling. The Dublin Core creator, subject, and format elements also reflect the same value as the MARC element personal name, subjects, and description values. There are corresponding elements in both of the standards.

            Both standards also share a standardized vocabulary. MARC has delimiters available to specifically address certain circumstances in categories, which are expressed numerically in the MARC field. These numerical values are included in the above discussion, and reflect specific attributes of the field they are entered. Variances in the author category are addressed through delimiters of varying descriptions, and the numerical codes assigned to those delimiters clarify the origin of the value. Dublin Core has a standardized vocabulary in generally accepted values are typically used for each element, although there are not the limitations on expanding the vocabulary as in MARC.

Differences in Standards

Metadata standards for Graceling differ between Dublin Core and MARC by the ability to repeat elements in Dublin Core, and by the ability to have sub-type and sub-object relationships (Nair & Jeevan, 2004, p. 4). While creating the record for Graceling, elements were able to be repeated, this is not available on the MARC record. These supplemental entries enable users to have broader access to database search responses, and enable these responses to be more specific to their particular needs. 

Where MARC has been the traditional standard based on print materials needing to be entered into a machine readable system, Dublin Core responds to developing formats that are unconventional to metadata categorization. Attempts to expand MARC to be a functional standard for developing formats has been unsuccessful due to the system limitations on mapping relationships between elements. Although my resource for the Dublin Core record creations is a print material, referencing this to ebooks, audio resources, electronic files, websites, and other electronic resources is not possible through the MARC record. Dublin Core is able to describe a variety of electronic objects, which is not available through the MARC standard.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Principles

            Tillett (2003) summarizes FRBR as the theoretical standard for cataloging resources based on content description, relationships, and attributes for all types of materials. A revised vocabulary is proposed to meet current and future user needs. The key consideration of FRBR is the attention to relationships between resources, and the ability to cross reference between these relationships. Structured and unstructured values are used to link associated entities (Picco & Repiso, 2012, p. 634). FRBR assigns user tasks to find, identify, select, obtain, and explore resources (Tillett, 2003, p. 5) to explore how resources are related to each other and then evaluated by the user. This standard explores the needs of the user through subject searching and the relationships between the subject values (Zavalina, 2012, p. 159).

FRBR Principles in MARC Standard

                        MARC has been the accepted metadata standard for the past forty years. It was developed to encode and exchange bibliographic data in a machine readable structure while allowing for storage and organization of this data in a uniform and standardized system (Lee & Jacob, 2011, p. 17). While this standard is sufficient for traditional print resource, the standard does not address the unique needs of electronic, computer, and internet data. The MARC standard creates records with a fixed format, and does not indicate relationships between linked data (Baker, 2012.).

            While MARC is a fixed format, there are corresponding FRBR attributes that can be linked between the standards. Lee and Jacob (2011) argue that mapping these structurally similar elements and attributes can further be explored to create a link between the standards to integrate current MARC records into developing new standards for metadata. The FRBR categories determined to be structurally similar to MARC standards by Lee and Jacob (2011) include Author, Title, Subject, Description, Identifier, Publication, and Format. Although each category is not an exact match, the mapping of each value can be evaluated for further research to enable current MARC records to be transitioned and integrated into metadata that complies with FRBR principles. This is a marked difference than the view expressed by Jones (2005) where he stated MARC records could not be mapped to the connections and various levels of abstraction included in the FRBR model, and shows the development of the FRBR model to fit into an applied form. Ultimately, characterizing the categories of data held in MARC records is an essential step in developing new rules and metadata systems for developing methods to meet user needs (Mayernik, 2010, p. 49).

FRBR Principles in Dublin Core Standard

            The Dublin Core standard was developed to meet the growing need to create metadata for electronic objects, which was not addressable through the established metadata standard MARC. The objective was to create a standard compliant with search engines that could index records to improve search quality (Baker, 2012, p. 119). This objective easily supports FRBR principles in addressing user needs. Although the Library of Congress (as cited in Baker, 2012, p. 127) has determined FRBR as a theoretical model whose real-world applications are still unknown, FRBR provides a framework for linked data that was unavailable through MARC standards.

            Dublin Core initiatives suggest using controlled vocabularies, which has been able to be integrated into FRBR models (Nelson & Cleary, 2010). Controlled vocabularies support content identification and indexing, while also exploring relationships between content and attributes.

Applying FRBR principles to Dublin Core requires the previously mentioned FRBR user tasks to be applied to all information resources (Zumer, Leng, & Salaba, 2010). These tasks are general and applicable to all information resources. Users identify a resource, select the resource that is most appropriate for their needs, obtain access to the resource, and explore relationships between related resources. While FRBR principles remain a model for metadata, the Dublin Core standard promises to be able to be integrated with FRBR principles to support international standardization. 

Conclusion

The book Graceling is able to be cataloged in its current MARC standard without difficulty due to being a print resource. However, this MARC standard does not explore the relationships and attributes available in other forms of this resource, particularly the electronic forms and variations of this resource. Dublin Core allows for this resource to be referenced into a database that allows for relationships to be available and variations on the resource to be searchable. Access points are available to link MARC and Dublin Core standards, but the points are difficult to directly map from one standard to another. Catalog archives are changing from simple record compilations into interactive databases that are reflective and interconnecting. FRBR principles are shaping new metadata standards. Creating a record of a resource is not as simple as it used to be. Modern metadata requires understanding resources on multiple levels and how resources are related to every other resource in the database.

 

 

References

 

Baker, T. (2012). Libraries, languages of description, and linked data: A Dublin Core

            perspective. Library Hi Tech, 30(1), 116-133.

            http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07378831211213256

Jones, E. (2005, October). The FRBR model as applied to continuing resources. Library

            Resources & Technical Services, 49(4), 227-242.

Lee, S. & Jacob, E. (2011, January). An integrated approach to metadata

            interoperability construction of a conceptual structure between MARC and FRBR.

            Library Resources & Technical Services, 55(1), 17-32.

Margaritopoulos, M., Margaritopoulos, T., Mavridis, I., & Manitsaris, A. (2012, April).

            Quantifying and measuring metadata completeness. Journal of the American

            Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(4), 724-737.

Mayernik, M. (2010, January). The distributions of MARC fields in bibliographic records:

            A power law analysis. Library Resources & Technical Services, 54(1), 40-54.

Nair, S. & Jeevan, V. (2004, July). A brief overview of metadata formats. DESIDOC

            Bulletin of Information Technology, 24(4), 3-11.

Nelson, J. & Cleary, A. (2010, December 21). FRBRizing an e-library: Migrating from

            Dublin Core to FRBR and MODS. Code 4 Lib Journal, 12. Retrieved from

            http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/4357

Picco, P. & Repiso, V. (2012, May 12). The contribution of FRBR to the identification of

            bibliographic relationships: The new RDA-based ways of representing

            relationships in catalogs. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 50(5-7), 622-640.

            http://dx.doi.org/10.1018/01639374.2012.680847

Tillett, B. (2003). What is FRBR?  Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging

            Distribution Service.

Yee, M. (2007). Cataloging compared to descriptive bibliography, abstracting and

            indexing services, and metadata. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 44(3-4),

            307-327. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J104v44n03_10

Zavalina, O. (2012, September 17). Subject access: Conceptual models, functional

            requirements, and empirical data. Journal of Library Metadata, 12(2-3), 140-163.

            http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19386389.2012.699829

Zumer, M., Zeng, M., & Salaba, A. (2010) FRBR: A generalized approach to Dublin

            Core application profiles. International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata

            Applications, 0, 21-30. Retrieved from

            http://dcpapers.dublincore.org/pubs/article/view/1024

 

Library Database Review

Database: FSU Catalog Search  S: 4  R:3  UC:2  US:1

The strongest features of the FSU Catalog Search for system functions are refining results, query limits, and sorting results, which is the reason I gave it S:4. The results are easy to find and understand, and give more than sufficient choices to refine a search. The search options feature provides moderately sufficient flexibility, with numerous results in my search for the author William Shakespeare. The advanced search query limits give users a variety of ways to refine their search to fit their individual parameters, including Boolean options and limiting search results by location, format, language, and publishing date. The weakest search features are authority control and the help option. The authority control was disappointing, because when I misspell Shakespeare (without an “e”) as the author, the results were drastically reduced from 2,689 when spelled correctly to 40. The system does spell check, but it is still lacking in alternate spelling suggestions. A help option is available for the catalog; however most of the information only provides general answers to common question, such as “Can I renew a book?”, and does not address bibliographic information.

 

Representation is moderate for the FSU Catalog overall, which is why I rated it R:3. The indexed resources do indicate author/creator/translator, the title of the individual work and publication information for each result. Finding out if the search results are part of a journal or series is not readily apparent from the results list, but it can be found by using the “narrow results by” feature. The FSU Catalog severely lacks detailed information about results. It does not indicate any subject headers or keywords, lacks collocation, and is missing other possibly useful information. There is not an abstract or summary of the content, which could be helpful in determining if the results/contents are even valid for the search being performed. The lack of citation information could prove difficult for searches that need to be substantiated. The lack of citations being listed could also make it difficult for searches that are seeking collaborative information. I have written many papers using second generation material to substantiate and collaborate on first generation resources, and vice versa.

 

Users with a moderate level of topic knowledge would do well with this database. They would be able to find information to satisfy their basic needs, as long as they did not need detailed information for each result. I would rate the FSU Catalog users as only needing to have novice level bibliographic knowledge due to the simple search options and general information provided with each result.

 

The FSU Catalog is a good resource for finding general resources. It lacks detailed information and references to other resources within the same subject. A person researching a topic to see if there is a lot of material about a topic would be good to start here. The lack of the catalog’s ability to find and suggest other materials by subject is its main detractor.

 

 

 

 

 

Database: WorldCat.org Search  S: 5  R:4  UC:2  US:2

 

WorldCat.org is one of the strongest databases for system functions, because it gives so much information. I gave it a rating of S:5 because of its flexibility. Features that excel through the WorldCat.org database include: search options, query limits, refining results, sorting results and help information. The results are easy to find and understand, and give more than sufficient choices to refine a search. The search options feature provides excellent flexibility, with numerous results in my search for the author William Shakespeare. The advanced search query limits give users a variety of ways to refine their search to fit their individual parameters, including Boolean options and limiting search results by year, audience, content, format, and language. Results can be refined by format, year, language, audience, and topic. A help option is available for the catalog and provides comprehensive information on how to improve searching for information, as well as technical information about the database. There are several help topics that would make database searching more efficient, and there’s even a help topic for searching for lists. The only weak search feature I could find is authority control, because when I misspell Shakespeare (without an “e”) as the author, the results were drastically reduced from 70,438 when spelled correctly to 485. The system does spell check, but it is still lacking in alternate spelling suggestions.

 

Representation is above average for the WorldCat.org, which is why I rated it R:4. The indexed resources do indicate author/creator/translator, the title of the individual work, publication information for each result, and accessibility is obvious. The search results plainly are listed as part of a journal or series under the format section. The WorldCat.org does have detailed information about results, but is still missing subject headers and collocation. Users can add tags, but there are few that I looked at that have been tagged already. There is not an abstract or summary of the content, which could be helpful in determining if the results/contents are even valid for the search being performed. The lack of citation information could prove difficult for searches that need to be substantiated. The lack of citations being listed could also make it difficult for searches that are seeking collaborative information.

 

Users with a moderate level of topic knowledge would do well with this database. They would be able to find information to satisfy their needs, as well as determine from the information given in the details if the information would be relevant. I would rate the WorldCat.org users as needing to have moderate level bibliographic knowledge due to the more complex search options and moderately detailed information provided with each result.

 

The WorldCat.org is an excellent resource for finding resources. It lacks subject headers and collocation, but it makes up for that by being so comprehensive in its query limits and refining results options. A person researching a topic would be able to find most of the information they needed from this database.

 

 

 

Database: WorldCat (FirstSearch) Search  S: 5  R:5  UC:2  US:2

 

FirstSearch is a strong database for system functions, because it gives so much information. I gave it a rating of S:5 because of its flexibility and comprehensiveness. Features that excel through the FirstSearch database include: search options, query limits, sorting results, and help information. The results are easy to find and understand, and give more than sufficient choices to refine a search. The search options feature provides excellent flexibility, with numerous results in my search for the author William Shakespeare. The advanced search query gives users a variety of ways to refine their search to fit their individual parameters, including Boolean options and limiting search results by year, language, number of libraries, type of media, availability, audience, content, and format. Results can also be further refined by audience, content, and format. The results cannot be refined by topic, but being able to easily tell where the resources are located makes up for that lack in my opinion. A help option is available for the database and provides comprehensive information on how to improve searching for information, as well as technical information about the database. There are several help topics that would make database searching more efficient for an inexperienced user. The weakest system function I could find is its authority control, because when I misspell Shakespeare (without an “e”) as the author, the results were drastically reduced from 70,438 when spelled correctly to 485. I also attempted to misspell another word (fish as ufish) and it did not provide me any suggestions at all. The system does not seem to perform any sort of spell check, which could make searching difficult if the correct spelling is unknown or a word is typed incorrectly.

 

Representation is excellent for the FirstSearch, which is why I rated it R:5. The indexed resources do indicate author/creator/translator, the title of the individual work, publication information for each result, accessibility is obvious, subject headers are included, and collocation leads to other sources. The search results are clearly separated by resource format. FirstSearch does have detailed information about results, and lists descriptors include subjects and geographic references. There is a summary of the contents for each resource, which could be helpful in determining if the results/contents are valid for the search being performed. There is no citation information, and this lack could prove difficult for searches that need to be substantiated. The lack of citations being listed could also make it difficult for searches that are seeking collaborative information.

 

Users with a moderate level of topic knowledge would do well with this database. They would be able to find information to satisfy their needs, as well as determine from the information given in the details if the information would be relevant. I would rate the FirstSearch users as needing to have moderate level bibliographic knowledge due to the more complex search options and moderately detailed information provided with each result.

 

FirstSearch is an excellent resource for finding resources. It lacks authority control, making users dependent on correct spelling and typing to be successful, but it makes up for that by being so comprehensive in its search results and format specificity. A person researching a topic would be able to find most of the information they needed from this database.

 

Database: LitLib Search  S:5  R:5  UC:2  US:2

 

LitLib is an excellent database for system functions. I gave it a rating of S:5 because of its flexibility and comprehensiveness. Features that excel through the LitLib database include: search options, query limits, refining results, sorting results, authority control, and help information. The results are easy to find and understand, and give more than sufficient choices to refine a search. The search options feature provides excellent flexibility, with numerous results in my search. The advanced search query gives users a variety of ways to refine their search to fit their individual parameters, including Boolean options and limiting search results by publisher, language, journal name, document type, Dewey decimal number, year, and accession number. Results can also be further refined by source type, subject, and publication. The results cannot be refined by topic, but being able to easily tell where the resources are located makes up for that lack in my opinion. A help option is available for the database and provides comprehensive information on how to improve searching for information, as well as technical information about the database. There are several help topics that would make database searching more efficient for an inexperienced user. The database also includes an authority control, because when I misspelled the word fish (as ufish), it provided me with the options of fish, huffish, and offish. The system seems to perform and excellent spell check, which could make searching easier if the correct spelling is unknown or a word is typed incorrectly.

 

Representation is excellent for the LitLab, which is why I rated it R:5. The indexed resources do indicate author/creator/translator, the title of the individual work, publication information for each result, accessibility is obvious, subject headers are included, and collocation leads to other sources. The search results are clearly separated by resource format. LitLib does have detailed information about results, and lists descriptors for subject headings. There is an short abstract for each resource, which could be helpful in determining if the results/contents are valid for the search being performed. There is no citation information, and this lack could prove difficult for searches that need to be substantiated. The lack of citations being listed could also make it difficult for searches that are seeking collaborative information.

 

Users with a moderate level of topic knowledge would do well with this database. They would be able to find information to satisfy their needs, as well as determine from the information given in the details if the information would be relevant. I would rate the LitLib users as needing to have moderate level bibliographic knowledge due to the more complex search options and moderately detailed information provided with each result.

 

LitLib is an excellent resource for finding resources. Its ability to offer authority control, freeing users from having to correctly spell and type to be successful, makes it more user friendly than most databases.  A person researching a topic would be able to find most of the information they needed from this database.

 

Database: Web of Science Search  S:5  R:5  UC:3  US:3

 

The Web of Science database is the most comprehensive database for system functions. I gave it a rating of S:5 because of its flexibility and thorough information. Features that excel through the Web of Science database include: search options, query limits, refining results, sorting results, authority control, and help information. The results are easy to find, and give more than sufficient choices to refine a search. The search options feature provides excellent flexibility, with numerous results in my search. The advanced search query gives users a variety of ways to refine their search to fit their individual parameters, including Boolean options and limiting search results by timespan, citation databases, and spelling variations. Results can also be further refined by document type, research areas, authors, group authors, editors, source titles, book series titles, publication years, organizations, funding agencies, languages, and countries. The results can be refined by topic, with the Web of Science offering different topic categories by discipline. A help option is available for the database and provides comprehensive information on how to improve searching for information, as well as technical information about the database. There are several help topics that would make database searching more efficient for an inexperienced user. The database does not seem to include an authority control, because when I misspelled the word fish (as ufish), it did not provide me with any options. The system does not seem to perform a spell check, which could make searching difficult if the correct spelling is unknown or a word is typed incorrectly.

 

Representation is excellent for the Web of Science database, which is why I rated it R:5. The indexed resources do indicate author/creator/translator, the title of the individual work, publication information for each result, accessibility, and collocation leads to other sources. The best feature of this database is that it maps references and records the number of times a resource has been used as a citation in other works. It further provides these citation resources in detail, which is excellent for substantiation and collaborating information. Web of Science does not have detailed information about results, and does not list descriptors for subject headings.

 

Users with advanced topic knowledge would do well with this database. They would be able to find information to satisfy their needs, as well as determine from the information given in the details if the information would be relevant. Usage of the best feature, citation mapping, would require advanced knowledge of how the data base works to best use the information. I would rate the Web of Science users as needing to have an advanced level bibliographic knowledge due to the more complex search options and detailed information provided with each result.

 

Web of Science is an excellent resource for finding resources, but using the specialized features available is more difficult than most other databases. Its ability to offer citation information enables users to completely explore a topic. A person researching a topic would need assistance to best be able to find most of the information they needed from this database.

 

 

Pinteresting Wedding Plans

This past July 22nd, my boyfriend of five years proposed while we watched the sunrise on the beach. It was five years, to the day, after we met and it was the first sunrise we had ever watched together. As the sun was slightly over the horizon, he took my hand into his and asked me to marry him. My response to his question was a happy and excited yes.

Part 1: My search for wedding planning information

            My next task, and what has consumed my life since I became engaged, has been the planning for our wedding and reception. I never realized the level of planning that goes into a wedding. My maid of honor, who coincidentally is working on her internship for event planning, highly recommended I start looking at Pinterest.com for ideas of what I might like and want to do. Since then, a day does not pass that I am not looking at something on Pinterest. Some days, an hour might not go by without me looking. Every time I sign in, there are new images posted setting my imagination awhirl. What I love most about Pinterest is that it contains easily found images of what other people are doing, or have contemplated doing, for their own weddings. I can type in “wedding favors” and see hundreds of images of what other people have collected and thought would be good wedding favors. I can then scroll through the pictures for ideas, and when I find one I like, I can click on the picture to link back to the original website that posted the picture. Frequently, the original website will indicate how to make the item or where it can be purchased, so I can shop and get do-it-yourself ideas at the same time. I can also re-pin my favorite images to my own boards, so locating the image/website/idea again later is possible. I can locate these images without having to hunt the internet or sort through a list of saved web pages while not really remembering what I am looking for at that particular site. Through Pinterest, I have chosen my wedding colors, invitations, ceremony details, reception decorations, wedding cake setup, and photography poses. I have read articles other brides have posted about how to keep wedding costs down, and etiquette on who is responsible to pay for what. I have even pinned timelines letting me know when I should have details finalized, and when I should pay for those details.

So, in less than two months, I have decided on most of my wedding plans. I have several decisions to make still, including which caterer has the best tasting food, but all the small details have been decided. I know what items are needed to be purchased and have a good idea on where to get it for the best price. Pinterest has provided the resources and ideas to start putting together my own dream wedding, hopefully one as romantic as my fiancée’s proposal.

Part 2: Pinteresting Information

Information

Boulding stated information is any message producing a change in our image of reality, which manifests as a “picture in our head” (as cited in Case, 2012, pg. 62). Gregory Bateson further defined information as significant differences perceived by an individual, regardless whether those differences are derived from physical or psychological sources (as cited in Case, 2012, pg. 46). When I became engaged, my image of reality changed when I realized I was going to have to plan an event for a large group of people. This realization developed from the psychological acknowledgement that my present knowledge base lacked the information and experience to accomplish this new image of reality. I did not know who I needed to hire or the inventory of items I would need to purchase. Even with aspects of a wedding I was familiar with, I was unaware of the options available to fulfill those needs in the wedding merchandise market.

Information Needs

            When I recognized my knowledge was inadequate to satisfy my goal, this generated a need for me to seek information to provide that knowledge (Case, p. 5). My initial information resource was my maid of honor. With her experience as an event planner, she knew I lacked sufficient knowledge about weddings to make decisions without first being aware of the many options available. She suggested my main information behavior be through searching the images posted on the Pinterest website, a searchable photo database inputted by users with images categorized by general topics for browsing.

My information needs continue to evolve while planning my wedding. The interconnected nature of event planning necessitates each aspect to be coordinated. No sooner do I resolve one issue before I identify another dependent issue needing to be addressed. Satisfying one information need leads to the realization of another gap in my knowledge, causing my information need to change during the process of seeking (Case, p. 84).

Information Seeking

To fill my information need, I began to look at the images on Pinterest, accumulating information to satisfy the information needs I was identifying through my search for answers. I started with familiar aspects of a wedding, such as bridal dresses, hair styles, and invitations. Those first images led to host websites, which provided articles and information about other aspects of weddings yet unfamiliar to me. My initial search for wedding invitations led to information about save-the-date notices. I learned it is popular for people to send save-the-date notices to people who will be traveling long distances so they can arrange their travel plans in advance. My wedding will be in New York, and a large number of the guests will have to travel to get there, so I decided in favor of sending these notices. After reflecting about the save-the-date notices for a few days, I realized I had additional information needs to understand how far in advance of the wedding I should send them out and how they are traditionally formatted. I went back to Pinterest and found many images of the notices, including another image that listed a chronological timeline of when wedding planning components should be completed. That list indicated when the save-the-date notices should be sent, and when the venue should be reserved, which also led to the realization that I needed to find the place where we will have the ceremony and reception. A pattern emerged of finding solutions to information needs, which then caused me to realize another information gap.

Information Behavior

My information behaviors include more than the active seeking of information from friends and through Pinterest. Tom Wilson stated information behaviors include “passive reception of information…without any intention to act on the information given” (as cited in Case, 2012, p. 90). Friends who are aware of my engagement or have seen my Pinterest wedding ideas board have given unsolicited suggestions and vendor referrals. I feel obligated to listen out of politeness, even though the suggestions and referrals are usually impractical. Contextual advertising, which is advertising based on web browsing activities, constantly invades my browser. Even now, I have an advertisement on my browser window stating, “Bridesmaid Dresses!  Classy dresses, free shipping, over 700 styles. Browse now!” I have no intention of following the advertising links, no matter how attractive the headline, but they are still there reminding me of additional information needs. I have also started to receive catalogs and mail for wedding products, although I have not requested any of it nor do I want to receive it.

John commented on my week02 blog post how Pinterest has become an integral part of social media, and it has become common to see the “pin it” icon next to images while browsing the internet (J. Yackulics, personal communication, September 9, 2012). This information behavior is shaped by using images to create a new image of a desired reality. My use of Pinterest demonstrates a willingness to use popular social media as an information source. Social media allows an instant exchange of ideas impossible to duplicate with printed material. In retrospect, I could have easily looked through books about wedding planning. If I had used published material, I might have understood all the aspects of event/wedding planning from the beginning of my information search. Instead, I wanted to know what is popular today, and not what was popular when a book was published.

Part 3: Applying the ELIS Model and the Theory of Least Effort

Savolainen’s ELIS Model

Reijo Savolainen developed the model of everyday life information seeking (ELIS) while interviewing “ordinary citizens pursuing nonwork activities” (Case, pg. 149). His information model differs from other models because he examines the information seeking of everyday life, and the overlap of everyday and work life. Isolating information seeking habits as work or non-work discounts the complexity of information seeking performed to fulfill multiple needs at once.

Studying the ELIS Model.

Lisa Given applied Savolainen’s ELIS model to a study of the information seeking of mature adult undergraduate students. The study included the reported information seeking habits of 25 undergraduate students at a single Canadian university who were at least 21 years old and who also had a gap in their higher education for at least three years. Givens reinforced through the study how “job-related information seeking and ELIS complement each other” (Savolainen, pg. 266), and should not always be considered separately.

Students in the study reported information needs to fulfill academic obligations, and separate needs “arose out of their engagement with the university” (Given, pg. 5). These needs included child care, employment, and housing, which they sought to fill through academic resources in spite of the need being outside of academic learning. The academic resources were used as primary information sources solely because they were the easiest and most familiar to engage, and because the students believed they would have the best solutions. The students later found the most appropriate solution did not necessarily originate from the university resources, but they frequently relied on these answers until another resource presented itself or their information need became dire.

The article further discusses how overlap behavior between everyday and work information seeking can influence each other. Given (2002) stated how a student “chose assignment topics related to her occupation, and used information from colleagues and other work resources for her studies” (pg. 8). Students utilize personal and social information resources in their academic work, saving time by combining everyday information seeking with work and academic obligations. Given suggests through her study that blending the purpose of information seeking between everyday and work life is common and beneficial for saving time and resources.

Applying the ELIS Model to my information behavior.

The ELIS Model is evident in my information behavior because of the nonwork nature of my information behavior. Through Pinterest, I am seeking information to plan an event and make purchases for a life event, and this behavior is not connected or directed by my work life.

Zipf’s Theory of Least Effort

            Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort indicates individuals will expend the least effort needed to satisfactorily accomplish their work (Case, pg. 175). This effort could be the positioning of often used tools close to the work area, using the same words repeatedly when writing, or using the same database to satisfy information needs (Case, pg. 175). The Theory of Least Effort states researchers will “take a path of least resistance when seeking information rather than focusing primarily on quality” (Bronstein & Baruchson-Arbib, 2008).

            Studying the Theory of Least Effort.

Jenny Bronstein and Shifra Baruchson-Arbib explore how Jewish studies scholars in Israel utilize information resources. The study included the reported information habits of 135 researchers from four universities in Israel, followed by an additional 25 researchers from various Jewish studies academic departments at the same universities. To avoid bias, the study was sent electronically and through the mail. Bronstein and Baruchson-Arbib (2008) reinforce through the study how operational difficulty does not significantly influence the scholar’s choice of information resources within the field of Jewish studies scholarship. Unlike most studies which corroborate the idea of researchers preferring online databases, Jewish studies researchers within this study did not indicate any preference to an electronic resource type. They indicated they were inclined to browse libraries hoping for “serendipitous discovery” (Bronstein & Baruchson-Arbib, 2008) and willing to wait extended periods for printed resource materials to become available.

The study also evaluates how academic research generalizes all disciplines within the humanities, and these finds do not take individual discipline’s needs and usage into consideration. The study explores how a specific group, in this case Jewish studies scholars, as atypical from generalized research results which typically reflect Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort. The researchers prefer to use traditional methods as they are effective resources for their discipline.

The study proposes Jewish studies researchers are not influenced by the difficulty of accessing a resource, but will choose information resources based on the quality of the information provided. Applying a model, paradigm, or theory to a broad group can give the wrong impression of the information needs of smaller subgroups. Only through further studies can the information of each subgroup be understood and used to make the process more efficient.

Applying the Theory of Least Effort to my information behavior.

The Theory of Least Effort is evident in my information behavior because of the first resource I decided to use, my event planner maid of honor. I decided without personal knowledge of her planning expertise to use her as my primary knowledge base. In retrospect, calling her and asking her what I needed to plan the wedding was not the most effective method, but it was the most convenient. Her recommendation to use Pinterest to learn about wedding planning was also the most convenient, instead of borrowing or buying books that would take me longer to read. The amount of time I spent viewing pictures on Pinterest could have been used for researching formal information sources, but instead I depended on social media for all of my information due to easy accessibility.

Part 4: Comparing and contrasting the results of my analyses

            My Pinterest use was initially shaped by my desire for the newest and most current information available for wedding planning, and my need to control and direct information resources while researching. Along with planning a wedding, I have the responsibility of working full time job and taking graduate classes full time, so I also wanted to acquire the information without difficulty.

Applying Savolainen’s (1995) ELIS model to my information search, a “mastery of life” (pg. 259) has emerged and I have solved “problems not directly connected with the performance of occupational tasks” (pg. 267). The ELIS model discusses how “mastery of life” can create order and influence decision making for everyday life projects, such as buying decisions, time budgeting, and enjoying hobbies (Savolainen, pg. 263). I have used Pinterest exclusively to explore my options for “money spent on the acquisition of various goods and services” being used for my wedding (Savolainen, pg. 263).

The ELIS model further discusses two vitally important dimensions of information seeking which include the “seeking of orienting information concerning current events and second, to seeking of practical information which serves as the solution to specific problems” (Savolainen, pg. 272). When I first became engaged, I initially sought orienting information from another person, who then recommended Pinterest as a better orienting resource. Dervin (as cited in Case, 2012, pg. 177) explains how common it is for people to rely “on close friends and relatives for their information” based on the Theory of Least Effort. I explored Pinterest to determine how a wedding is typically planned, and obtained an overview of what decisions must be made. I then explored Pinterest in further detail to find practical solutions to the specific issues needing to be resolved. In the end, Pinterest has familiarized me with wedding planning, and it has also offered real world information which I can use to resolve my individual wedding planning issues.

Another aspect of my information behavior has been how I have linked my Pinterest use as an academic topic in multiple classes this semester. Savolainen’s ELIS model discusses the non-work information seeking habits of ordinary people, and it also discusses the complimentary relationship between non-work and work information seeking (Case, pg. 149). To isolate each aspect can be misleading because combining the two can explain how many information decisions influence each other. Many models focus on work information needs, and exclude “way of life” (Savolainen, pg. 263) aspects from being an influence. The information study by Lisa Givens made me recognize how my own academic information behavior has frequently reflected my personal and professional goals. The majority of my academic life has been as a mature student and I have used nonacademic experiences to inspire my research topics and information needs. In doing this, I have saved time by connecting my academic, professional, and personal information seeking techniques.

 

 

References

Bronstein, J. & Baruchson-Arbib, S. (2008). The application of cost-benefit and least effort theories in studies of information seeking behavior of humanities scholars: the case of Jewish studies scholars in Israel. Journal of information science, 32(2), 131-144.

 

Case, D.O. (2012). Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior (3rd Ed.). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

 

Given, L. M. (2002). The academic and the everyday: Investigating the overlap in mature undergraduates’ information seeking behaviors. Library & information science research, 24(1), 17-29.

 

Savolainen, R. (1995). Everyday life information seeking: Approaching information seeking in the context of way of life. Library & information science research, 17(3), 259-294.

 

Information Needs and Uses: A Review

A review of:

Dervin, B. & Nilan, M. (1986).  Information needs and Uses. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 21, 1-26.

Main Points Made in Presentation

Traditional Paradigms & Studies – These studies have been used to explain differences among respondents of information behavior dimensions with common predictors.

  • Demographics
  • Sociological
  • Lifestyle
  • Task Description

Discussion Questions:

  • Are studies based on demographic, sociological, lifestyle, and task description predictors the most effective in assessing information behavior?
  • How do we assess information behaviors through these studies? How it is used?

Traditional Information Needs Assessment Approaches – Approaches that imply knowing how users have or might use systems, it is possible to know what their needs are or might be.

  • Demand on System/Resources Approach
  • Awareness Approach
  • Likes-Dislikes Approach
  • Priorities Approach
  • Community Profile Approach
  • Interests, Activities, and Group Membership Approach

Discussion Questions:

  • Do these approaches define system needs or user needs?
  • How do they assess system needs?
  • How do they assess user needs?

Paradigm Shift Debate
Alternate Paradigms & Studies – Suggested alternative to traditional perspectives of information needs and uses research.

  • Objective vs. Subjective
  • Mechanistic, Passive vs. Constructivist, Active Users
  • Situationality vs. Trans-Situationality
  • Atomistic vs. Wholistic Views of Experience
  • External Behavior vs. Internal Cognitions
  • Systematic vs. Chaotic Individuality
  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Alternate Information Needs Assessment Approaches

  • User-Values Approach – Perceptions of utility and value.
  • Perceptions of utility and value – How people make sense of their worlds and how they use information and resources in the process.
  • Sense-Making Approach – People in problematic situations with views of the situations that are incomplete or limited in some way.

Discussion Questions:

  • How are these Alternate Approaches similar to each other?
  • How do they differ from Traditional Approaches?
  • How do they assess user needs vs. system needs?

Conclusion

While this article has been one of the more challenging articles to understand, it was important to read due to the explanation of traditional assessment approaches and the suggestion of alternate assessment approaches. Through the class discussion, we were able to establish that traditional assessment measures address system needs and not user needs. The suggested alternate approaches explore different ways of assessing user needs, and challenge information behavior research to go beyond the statistical and become individual. Further study is needed to research user needs that go beyond common predictors and instead investigates actual information behavior using wholistic views of experience.

Information Needs and Behavior of Incoming Graduate Students: Initial Exploration

Concepts and Themes

Incoming graduate students research abilities and information literacy skills

Incoming graduate students have unique information needs due to the gap in expectations between perceived and actual research expertise. Undergraduate students typically have research topics assigned and research methods do not need to be extensive. As graduate students, it is expected that they are able to determine their own research topics and to locate the appropriate research materials to study and substantiate ideas. The research required for graduate study is more intense and self-directed, requiring higher levels of information literacy than undergraduate course work. The transition between undergraduate student and graduate student is abrupt, no matter if there is a lapse between enrollment, and a lack of information literacy skills during this process can hinder the transition.

Who graduate students typically rely on for guidance on research resources

Graduate students often rely on faculty to determine accepted standards of research resources within their specific academic program. Students utilize the resources suggested by faculty, limiting where research resources originate. Faculty mentoring and guidance during the research process influences students to use specific databases and particular information sources.

Improving information literacy skills in graduate students

In select studies, graduate students were oriented by library reference staff on research methods and information literacy skills. These students showed increased research skills, and had greater ease in locating appropriate materials for use in their research. They also reported utilizing new databases and better understanding research resources. Although these students reported positive results, the instance of reference library and orientation use is infrequent, with most graduate students declining reference librarians’ assistance for their research.

The role of anxiety in libraries

Students that experience library anxiety have a difficult time understanding library resources, and have high instances of procrastination. Anxiety affects research performance by inhibiting students’ ability to concentrate on research material and determining if the materials meet their research needs.

Research Questions after Literature Review

How would library orientation increase graduate student literary skills?

1.)  How would library orientation affect graduate student literary and research skills?

2.)  If library orientation is found effective, how would universities offer library orientation?

3.)  How should graduate student library orientation differ from undergraduate library orientations?

4.)  How would the issue of distance learning be addressed in library orientations and information literacy skill instruction?

Overcoming barriers to graduate students seeking reference librarian assistance

1.)  What causes students to have library anxiety?

2.)  How can students overcome anxiety in seeking librarian assistance? What tools do they need for this? (Anxiety-Expectation Mediation)

3.)  Is there a connection between information literacy skills and library anxiety? Do individuals who experience library anxiety have high or low literary and research skills?

4.)  How can incoming graduate students be educated about literary and research skills when they are ignorant of their ignorance? (Competency Theory)