Collection Description Focus, Workshop 3UKOLN

Raising standards for collection description

Subjects and strength in CLDs

Thursday 21 March 2002
Wolfson Suite, University of Edinburgh Library, Edinburgh

The workshop is now fully booked.
If you wish to be added to a "waiting list", please contact Sara Hassen


The third Collection Description Focus workshop will concentrate on the issue of content standards and terminological control for collection-level description, with particular emphasis on the use of subject terminologies and thesauri. The workshop will also explore the use and applicability of collection strength indicators.

Thesauri and subject terminologies have traditionally been used for item level description, to support the discovery of items within individual collections. Some thesauri are general in their coverage and are widely used e.g. UNESCO thesaurus, LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings) whilst others have been developed to meet special subject needs e.g. MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). In addition to thesauri, other types of controlled subject terminologies have been developed to meet local requirements.

As users wish to search for information that is distributed across domains, the requirement for collection level discovery increases and with it the need for the controlled use of thesauri and subject descriptors to aid subject retrieval. The workshop will look at how thesauri and subject descriptors are being used to describe collections, and whether the approaches taken are providing users with consistent collection level description and discovery.

The measurement of the strength of a collection is of increasing importance as a means of comparing and managing diverse information resources. However collection strength is difficult to measure in an objective and meaningful way. The Conspectus concept, pioneered by the Research Libraries Group (RLG), provides a broad subject based overview of the strength of library collections based on alphanumeric codes to indicate the level of the existing collection. Alternatively collection strength indicators can be developed within a specific domain or at a project level using a range of criteria including quality, significance and number of items. The workshop will highlight some of the different approaches to the description of collection strength.

This Workshop brings together practitioners from across the information management traditions and from different backgrounds and contexts. The Workshop will combine presentation sessions with discussions in smaller groups.

There is no charge for this event.

Target audience: The event is aimed at practitioners working in this area, including those describing collections or developing and implementing services which utilise such descriptions, and those with an interest in the development and deployment of standards in this area.