I recently came across a great little eBook recently published by the Tasmania Department of Education and catalogued by the State Library of Tasmania. The eBook is titled ‘That celebrated & eccentric genius, Gould : a Tasmanian integrated curriculum resource for years 5 and 6‘ and the WorldCat record ID is OCN: 945682874. This is a very impressive eBook with some seriously amazing and informative content. A lot of really good work has also been done to align the eBook to the Australian curriculum (see the screen shot further down for details).
As an aside however, while it is great this book has been made freely available to Tasmania schools, it is less impressive, given so many Australian school libraries are under considerable budget pressure, that access to this eBook has been restricted to Tasmanian’s with a LINC card. LINC Tasmania does great work, but given LINC Tasmania’s 2014-15 expenditure was AUD $ 37.8 million, and given open source publishing and access to information is recognised as increasingly important by organisations that receive government funding and subsidies, you’d like to think the Tasmanians could be a little more forward thinking about the actual market for this publication and the return on investment for selling this eBook outside of Tasmania versus the benefit of making it freely available. The Tasmanian Department of Education need only look at the approach taken by ANU Press to see that it is possible to adopt an open source access model for eBooks published by a not-for-profit organisation with a focus on learning (just saying).
But I digress, back to the cataloguing. The cataloguers at the State Library of Tasmania have catalogued this book using Library of Congress Subject Headings or LCSH. So:
- even though Education Services Australia, a not-for-profit organisation owned by the Australian Education Ministers, including the Tasmanian Minister of Education, has made the entire Australian curriculum machine readable and freely available for years, and
- even though Australian schools have been using ScOT subject headings for years (SCIS started applying ScOT headings to their MARC records around 2005 and its now just over a decade later),
- and even though ScOT is the thesaurus used to describe the Australian curriculum,
- and even though the cataloguers have taken the time to code a very detailed and comprehensive MARC record (see the bottom of this post of details),…
the cataloguers at the State Library of Tasmania have NOT APPLIED one single ScOT heading to this record. And let’s not forget that, unlike the other State Libraries in Australia, the State Library of Tasmania is a division of the Tasmanian Department of Education! I really don’t want this to be seen as an attack on the State Library of Tasmania as they do some great work (and the other large Australian libraries are equally guilty), BUT this raises the question:
Why do cataloguers in the larger libraries still code like they are in the 20th century and catalogue in the same way they always have instead of thinking about who is the end user and positioning their metadata for the future? If the larger libraries don’t take some leadership, and start being more strategic in how they code new publications, what hope is there for the rest of us?
In this example, why would a library that works under the auspices of an Education Department not catalogue a local publication that has been specifically published for schools, AND use the freely available education metadata that describes the actual curriculum in question, especially when this free metadata has the potential to be machine readable?
While the Library of Congress has made LSCH machine readable, and this is a good thing, the Library of Congress, through the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, has also questioned the future of bibliographic control including LCSH. WorldCat records already contain a rich source of dispirit subject metadata including: BISAC, FAST, and MeSH to name but a few. So why are the large libraries rusted onto LCSH to the exclusion of everything else even when the target audience is using something else? To be fair, the State Library of Tasmania has included MARC 336 through to 338 metadata, so they have acknowledged the future direction of library metadata, but is this enough? Even though they are under budget pressure shouldn’t our National and State Libraries, along with the larger university and public libraries, be doing much, much more with their coding and getting us ready for the emerging metadata future?
To what extent does our timid steps of moving away from MARC actually constrain us? Are we like the Ancient Mariner with MARC becoming the albatross around our necks?
What to do, what to do?
Well for starters, even though the WorldCat record for ‘That celebrated & eccentric genius, Gould : a Tasmanian integrated curriculum resource for years 5 and 6‘ OCN: 945682874 is still coded in MARC the State Library of Tasmania could:
- Add ScOT subject headings as curriculum objectives using the MARC 658 so the publication has subject terms relevant to the Australian curriculum and not the Library of Congress. Using the MARC 658 makes the information explicitly machine readable as curriculum metadata. After all, part of the title of this publication is an ‘integrated curriculum resource for years 5 and 6‘, For example, ACSSU043 is listed in this publication (see the following image for details) under Science / Year 5 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences / ACSSU043 and the Australian curriculum lists the two relevant ScOT terms as ‘Animal behaviour‘ and ‘Adaptation (Evolution)‘.
- Add the coding for the Australian Year Level, in this case years 5 and 6, using the MARC 658 so this information is also explicitly machine readable as curriculum metadata.
The Tasmanian cataloguers have added the coding for Juvenile in the MARC 006 field but adding the Australian Year Level coding is more precise, and specifically aligns the metadata to the target audience. Again, cataloguers need to be mindful of the target audience. A teacher looking for resources is more likely to look up a year level than search for publications listed as suitable for a Juvenile audience. In a linked semantic environment, the integrated learning platform used by the teacher would bring in on the fly all the resources in a local school catalogue relevant to the subject being taught. If you think this is pie in the sky stop and consider the following quote from Dr Ben Chadwick’s excellent VALA2016 paper. I have highlighted the relevant section.
As early as 2003, the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs’ ICT in Schools Taskforce (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA] 2003) acknowledged the role of libraries and library systems in delivering curriculum aligned resources: It is highly desirable that the system that enables teachers to plan lessons or units of work online also enables them to seamlessly discover resources from a local educational repository or from school library collections. (p20-21)
So even though a seamless interconnection between library collections and online education platforms was envisioned by Australian educational bureaucrats in 2003, in 2016 (thirteen years later) Tasmanian cataloguers still don’t use the education vocabularies made freely available by the Australian Government, which basically guarantees there is no seamless linked data connections between the holdings in a Tasmanian school library and a school’s online learning platform.
I have made a start at adding this information to the WorldCat record for this title, and I won’t even charge the State Library of Tasmania for this work even though they have restricted my access to this publication because my school library is on the Australian mainland. At the end of this post is the record as it currently stands in WorldCat and Libraries Australia. My additions are in red. I’d like to think the State Library of Tasmania might be shamed (a little bit) that a small school library (with way fewer resources) can show leadership in adding curriculum metadata, and that this will convince the State Library to finish the job.
As a result of my work the WorldCat record for this publication (OCN: 945682874) now has the extra coding shown in red. Notice that I have also included the linked data elements in the $c. This coding syntax has been developed as part of a small pilot project with SCIS. In case you’re wondering, even though the Library of Congress has registered the Australian Curriculum authorities against the 658 field as a “Curriculum Objective Term and Code Source Codes“, WorldCat still doesn’t like the 7 being used as a second indicator to acknowledge that the “Source is specified in subfield $2”. I still add this information in the $2 to make it clear what type of subject headings is being applied. Hopefully OCLC will implement the necessary enhancement to WorldShare to enable this second leader coding.
WorldCat Record – OCLC Number: 945682874
LDR Record Status c
Type of Record a
Bibliographic Level m
Type of Control
Encoding Level M
Descriptive Cataloging Form i
008 Date Entered on File 151210
Type of Date/Publication Status t
Date1/Beginning Date of Publication 2016
Date2/Ending Date of Publication 2016
Place of Publication, Production, or Execution Code tma
Target Audience j
Form of Item o
Nature of Contents Code
Government Publication s
Conference Publication 0
Literary Form 0
Language Code eng
Cataloging Source Code
006 Form of Material m
Target Audience j
Form of Item o
Type of Computer File i
Government Publication s
006 Form of Material g
Running Time for Motion Pictures and Videorecordings nnn
Target Audience j
Government Publication s
Form of Item o
Type of Visual Material v
007 Category of Resource c
Specific Material Description (c) r
Color (c) c
Dimensions (c) |
Sound (c) a
Image Bit Depth (c) —
File Formats (c) |
Quality Assurance Target(s) (c) |
Antecedent/Source (c) |
Level of Compression (c) |
Reformatting Quality (c) |
020 099439201X (E-Book)
245 0 0 That celebrated & eccentric genius, Gould :$ba Tasmanian integrated curriculum resource for years 5 and 6 /$cwriters, Bernard Lloyd and Caitlin Sutton ; animation & video production, No Flicker Films ; designer, Chris Rees ; video editor, Justin Smith ; software developer, Aden Narkowicz.
246 3 That celebrated and eccentric genius, Gould
264 1 [Hobart], Tasmania$bDepartment of Education,$c
264 4 $c©2016
300 1 online resource (62 pages) :$bcolour illustrations, portraits.
336 still image$bsti$2rdacontent
336 two-dimensional moving image$btdi$2rdacontent
338 online resource$bcr$2rdacarrier
347 text file$aimage file$avideo file$c460,410 KB$2rda
500 Animation & video production, No Flicker Films ; designer, Chris Rees ; video editor, Justin Smith ; software developer, Aden Narkowicz.
505 0 [Introductory video] (0.05) — Curriculum guide — 1. Gould’s sketchbook : make a sketchbook — 2. Gould’s fish : why do fish look like this? — 3. Gould’s watercolours : how to paint fish — 4. Gould’s life : cross-examine a convict artist — 5. Gould’s gallery : judge colonial art — 6. Gould’s novel : reimagine Gould’s adventures — 7. Gould’s fate : explore the Allport Museum of Fine Arts.
506 Access restricted to the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office History Room, 91 Murray Street, Hobart. Tasmanian government schools can download the eBook from the Tasmanian Department of Education site https://casas.tas.edu.au. For all other enquiries contact email@example.com.$5TSL
520 Aimed at year 5-6 students, with content extensively linked to the Australian Curriculum, to allow students to explore the life and artistic work of convict and artist, William Buelow Gould. In 1832 Gould painted the ‘Sketchbook of Fishes’ which inspired Richard Flanagan to write his novel ‘Gould’s Book of Fish’. Includes over 150 discussion questions, 20 videos and 50 activities related to themes around William Buelow Gould’s life and work. Contains 7 in-depth assignments encouraging students to become artists, biographers/historians, designers/artists, writers, scientists, art critics and curators.
521 Year 5-6 students.
600 1 0 Gould, William Buelow,$d1803-1853.
600 1 0 Gould, William Buelow,$d1803-1853$vNotebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
610 2 0 Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts$xArt collections.
650 0 Fishes$zAustralia$zTasmania$vPictorial works.
650 0 Marine fishes$zAustralia$zTasmania$vPictorial works.
650 0 Artists$zAustralia$zTasmania$y19th century$vBiography.
650 0 Artists$y19th century$xStudy and teaching (Primary)$zAustralia$zTasmania$vInteractive multimedia.
650 0 Prisoners$zAustralia$zTasmania$xHistory$y19th century$vBiography.
650 0 Painting$xStudy and teaching (Primary)$vInteractive multimedia.
650 0 Zoological illustration$xTechnique.
650 0 Electronic books$zAustralia$zTasmania$vSpecimens.
655 0 Electronic books
655 7 Instructional and educational works.$2lcgft
655 7 Educational films.$2lcgft
658 Year 5$chttp://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/schoolLevel/5$2acsl
658 Year 6$chttp://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/schoolLevel/6$2acsl
658 Convict labour.$chttp://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/scot/3424$2scot
658 Colonial art.$chttp://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/scot/1560$2scot
658 Animal behaviour.$chttp://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/scot/812.html$2scot
658 Adaptation (Evolution)$chttp://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/scot/428$2scot
700 1 Lloyd, Bernard,$eauthor.
700 1 Sutton, Caitlin,$eauthor.
710 2 Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office$eissuing body.
710 1 Tasmania.$bDepartment of Education (1998-),$eissuing body.
710 2 No Flicker Films (Tas.)$eproduction company.
787 0 8 $iRelated sketchbook$aGould, William Buelow, 1803-1853.$t[Sketchbook of fishes].$d
787 0 8 $iRelated novel$aFlanagan, Richard, 1961-$tGould’s book of fish.$d2001.
830 0 STORS online archive
856 4 0 $zAccess restricted$uhttps://stors.tas.gov.au/AUTAS001126438134p1epub
856 4 2 $uhttps://stors.tas.gov.au/AUTAS001126438134w150$3thumbnail
029 0 AU@$b000056861642