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RadCat!

RadCat! Radical Cataloging & Why it Matters is a poster presentation created for LIS-653, Knowledge Organization. Learning objectives achieved: LIS practice and communication.

Project Title: RadCat! Radical Cataloging & Why it Matters

Project URL: View/Download RadCat group poster and Interrogating Library of Congress Subject Headings individual project paper.

Project Description: This group project was created for Knowledge Organization (LIS 653) and required analysis and discussion of a topic pertinent to knowledge organization and library service. Our team selected the issue of radical cataloging and examined its history and ongoing impact and application in LIS practice. The project was comprised of an in-class group presentation, a group-designed conference-style poster, and individually authored research papers. Our poster was nominated and accepted for presentation at the Spring 2014 SILS Student Showcase.

Methods: Our team conducted a broad literature review in order to learn about the history of the topic. We then analyzed specific instances of linguistic, social, and cultural bias in Library of Congress Authorities, the Dewey Decimal system, and Web 2.0 in light of radical cataloging theory.

My Role:  I examined and presented on the history of radical cataloging, and more specifically how it pertains to Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). I reviewed a selection of current LCSH and discussed the ways in which bias remains inherent to many of the subject headings. I additionally conceived our team’s poster design, which utilized symbols of hand signals developed by the Occupy movement to function as an analogy to the creation of a radical communication system that attempts to communicate widely and without bias. I was the single author of a paper that examined the subject and its implications to LCSH in greater depth.

Learning Objective Achieved: LIS Practice

Rationale: The objective of this project was to learn about a specific issue within the LIS community and best practices and approaches. The research and analysis we undertook allowed us to gain in-depth understanding and awareness of bias in knowledge organization and information classification systems. This is a critical issue about which information professionals must be conscious and that impacts the way in which librarians function, disseminate information, and do public outreach. In addition, our group created a conference-style poster. Such posters are commonly used to express content at professional LIS conferences.

Additional Learning Objective Achieved: Communication

Rationale: Our team created a poster that organized textual analysis in a clear and visually compelling manner to convey a theoretical concept to a broad audience. We additionally presented this poster at the Pratt-SILS student showcase, allowing us the opportunity to discuss in person the issues illustrated in the poster. Finally, not only was I able to expand upon the topic in a research paper, I also had the opportunity to communicate my analysis and research to my peers through the oral presentation component of the project.

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