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INF 6210 - Organization of Information

Supplemental resources for students enrolled in INF 6210, Organization of Information.

Course Texts

Data Content Standards

Data content standards (cataloging rules and codes). These are guidelines for the format and syntax of the data values that are used to populate metadata elements.

Data Content Standards provide the rules on how data should be entered into the elements/fields.

The Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) are designed for use in the construction of catalogues and other lists in general libraries of all sizes. The rules cover the description of, and the provision of access points for, all library materials commonly collected at the present time.

Part I deals with the provision of information describing the item being catalogued, and Part II deals with the determination and establishment of headings (access points) under which the descriptive information is to be presented to catalogue users, and with the making of references to those headings. In both parts the rules proceed from the general to the specific.

Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) is a manual to help you describe,  document, and catalog cultural artifacts (like art and architecture) and visual media that represent them.

Use CCO to:

  • Create sharable metadata
  • Build common practice for museums, digital libraries, and archives
  • Complement diverse data structure and value standards in any system
  • Improve discovery and access of cultural works

Data Structure Standards

Data Structure Standards (metadata element sets, schemas) define a record, what elements / fields are present and used, and the relationships between them.  These are “categories” or “containers” of data that make up a record or other information object.

Metadata, literally "data about data" -- specifically, descriptive metadata -- is structured data about anything that can be named, such as Web pages, books, journal articles, images, songs, products, processes, people (and their activities), research data, concepts, and services. Now a mainstream concept, metadata first trended in 1995, closely following World Wide Web in 1994.


Dublin Core metadata, or perhaps more accurately metadata "in the Dublin Core style", is metadata designed for interoperability on the basis of Semantic Web or Linked Data principles. Metadata in this style uses Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) as global identifiers both for the things described by the metadata and for the terms used to describe them (vocabularies). 

The METS schema is a standard for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital library, expressed using the XML schema language of the World Wide Web Consortium. The standard is maintained by the METS Board in collaboration with the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress, and started as an initiative of the Digital Library Federation.

Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) is a schema for a bibliographic element set that may be used for a variety of purposes, and particularly for library applications. 

Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is an XML standard for encoding archival finding aids, maintained by the Technical Subcommittee for Encoded Archival Standards of the Society of American Archivists, in partnership with the Library of Congress.

The MARC formats are standards for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form.

Library Classification

Library Classification or Classification or Book Classification or Bibliographic Classification is the process of arranging, grouping, coding, and organizing books and other library materials (e.g. serials, sound recordings, moving images, cartographic materials, manuscripts, computer files, e-resources etc.) on shelves or entries of a catalog, bibliography, and index according to their subject in a systematic, logical, and helpful order by way of assigning them call numbers using a library classification system, so that users can find them as quickly and easily as possible. The call number serves a dual purpose: it determines the place of a book on the shelf and colocates books on the same topic next to each other.

-- Librarianship Studies and Information Technology

What is Classification?

  • The use of a system of notations or symbols to categorize the contents of resources
    • Used to provide logical shelf arrangement (i.e., call numbers), but also can be useful in searching the catalog
    • Organized by disciplines, they begin with broad general topics which give way to more specific subtopics

Young, J.L. & Joudrey, D.N. (2016). Library of Congress Subject Headings: Online Training.

"The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. It was developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to organize and arrange the book collections of the Library of Congress. Over the course of the twentieth century, the system was adopted for use by other libraries as well, especially large academic libraries in the United States. It is currently one of the most widely used library classification systems in the world."

-- Librarianship Studies & Information Technology

Data Value Standards

Data value standards (controlled vocabularies, thesauri, controlled lists). These are the terms, names, and other values that are used to populate data structure standards or metadata element sets.

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is the list of headings produced from the subject authority file maintained by the United States Library of Congress for use in bibliographic records. It is popularly known by its abbreviation as LCSH and is sometimes used interchangeably with the phrase subject authority file. LCSH is a controlled vocabulary.                       -- Librarianship Studies & Information Technology

Authority control is a process that organizes bibliographic information in library catalogs by using a single, distinct spelling of a name (access point or heading) or a subject for each topic.

Haider, S. (2021, May 9). Glossary of Library & Information Science. Librarianship Studies & Information Technology.




Vintage poster showing catalog card types and how books are arranged on a library shelf.

Cataloging or Library Cataloging is the process of creating and maintaining bibliographic and authority records of the library catalog, the database of books, serials, sound recordings, moving images, cartographic materials, computer files, e-resources etc. that are owned by a library. The catalog may be in tangible form, such as a card catalog or in electronic form, such as online public access catalog (OPAC). The process of cataloging involves two major activities, viz. Descriptive Cataloging and Subject Cataloging. In Descriptive Cataloging, we describe details of library resources, such as the name of creator(s), contributor(s), titles, edition, publication, distribution, date, physical description, series etc. Two popular standards for Descriptive Cataloging are Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR) and its successor Resource Description and Access (RDA). Subject cataloging involves subject analysis of the resource and assignment of classification numbers using schemes such as Library of Congress Classification (LCC) or Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and providing subject headings using schemes such as Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).

Haider, S. (2021, May 9). Glossary of Library & Information Science. Librarianship Studies & Information Technology.

Image: From Card Catalog to the Book on the Shelf [Digitized Poster], by C. Booth, 2011, Flickr ( CC BY 2.0.

Descriptive Cataloging


That part of the indexing process which is concerned with identifying and describing a document by recording information such as title, author's name, edition, imprint details, collation, series details etc.

Keenan, S., & eBook Academic Collection - North America. (2000). Concise dictionary of library and information science (2nd;2; ed.). K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH & Company


Subject Cataloging


Subject cataloging is the phase of the cataloging process which is concerned with determining and describing the intellectual or artistic content and the genre/form characteristics of a resource, and translating that understanding into subject headings and classification notations.

After the resource’s aboutness has been determined, as many subject headings as are appropriate are chosen from a standard list. There are many such lists, including: Library of Congress Subject Headings (known as LCSH), the LC Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials, Medical Subject Headings (which is often referred to as MeSH), the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, and so on.

In addition, a classification notation is chosen from whatever classification scheme is used by the library. In the United States, the most likely candidates are the Library of Congress Classification (often referred to as LCC) or the Dewey Decimal Classification (known as DDC).

Traditionally in the U.S., the classification serves as a means for bringing a resource into close proximity with other resources on the same or related subjects. In the case of tangible resources, the classification is the first element of the call number, which is a device used to identify and locate a particular resource on the shelves. 

Young, J.L. and Joudrey, D.N. (2016). Library of Congress Subject Headings: Online Training.

Training & Tutorials


Professional Associations, Organizations, & Web Resources

Ethical Issues

Critical & Radical Cataloging