Indexing crisis averted (twice)

This week the real work began on my indexing project for subject analysis. We got our project statements back, and I set about collecting the rest of the books and articles that I hadn’t tracked down before. I still need to do more digging in the databases, but as I am a poor reference librarian that will wait until I am feeling more energetic.

Crisis the first occurred early in the week, shortly after we got our project statements back. I realized that our interim report, in which we must show “substantial progress,” is due fairly soon. As in on March 22. I had absolutely zero idea as to how to get going on this, and was feeling overwhelmed. Rather than stress about this I dropped by to see Candy, who gave me some pointers on strategy and I felt much, much better. That night I started on the first step, which was to go through the issues of The Bulletin and pull out citations for all of the articles that I’ll index. Since copying citations onto index cards is not what one might consider mentally taxing, I did this while watching some episodes of what is apparently my favorite genre of TV show: CSI and NCIS. Continue reading

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Subject Analysis

This semester one of my two classes is LIS 419 – Subject Analysis, with Candy Schwartz. This class covers indexing and abstracting, and everyone in it has to complete a big project. You either have to create a thesaurus, or you have to create an index.

I was initially at a loss as to what to do. I had one idea that wasn’t going to work, but then luckily someone from the Congregational Library came knocking at Candy’s door, looking for a student to update an index that was originally created in LIS 419 – in 1989! The Congregational Library is a small special library downtown (right across the street from the Massachusetts State House) that focuses on American Congregationalism and religious history. The index is for The Bulletin, a periodical that they put out containing historical essays and news about the library. They’d like their index updated to include the issues that aren’t in it, and they want the whole thing put into an Access database. I can do that!

At the end of the semester, we have to do a “culminating thing” about our project that documents the process and the output. This can be a poster or a presentation, and I am going to do a presentation. Since I have to document all of this, and since I have a blog that purports to (sometimes) be about librarianship, I figured I would do that here. If you are so inclined there are some more pictures on flickr, some of which may later be swapped out for scans.