My plans have been foiled

Back in July I plotted out my entire MLIS program – but it looks like one of my spring classes has been canceled. So now I need to pick between these – what do you think?

  • INFO 681 – Legal Bibliography
    Introduces the fundamentals of legal research, including sources and research strategies.

  • INFO 622 – Content Representation
    Focuses on fundamental decisions in designing subject access systems and alternative approaches to indexing. Explores current issues in content representation: principles of subject analysis; natural language vs. vocabulary control; manual, computer-assisted, and automatic indexing; faceted indexing and classification systems; image indexing and retrieval; indexing and the World Wide Web. Includes evaluation of indexer consistency and indexing system performance.

  • INFO 688 – Instr Role Info Specialist
    Examines the instructional role of the information professional. Emphasizes the planning, implementation, and evaluation of instruction for the purpose of information education.

I’ll be taking one of these alongside these 2:

  • INFO 608 – Human-Computer Interaction
  • INFO 660 – Cataloging & Classification I

I’m up for suggestions.

50 comments

  1. For your purposes I’d say Legal Bibliography…but instruction could be good if your library does a lot of that (If I had my MLIS to do again, I think I would have tried to squish in an instruction class). Hope that helps! :-)

  2. Originally I wasn’t going to take Legal Bibliography, just because I wasn’t going to be working on the reference desk – but knowing what my librarians know might help me do my job better.

  3. For your purposes I’d say Legal Bibliography…but instruction could be good if your library does a lot of that (If I had my MLIS to do again, I think I would have tried to squish in an instruction class). Hope that helps! :-)

  4. Originally I wasn’t going to take Legal Bibliography, just because I wasn’t going to be working on the reference desk – but knowing what my librarians know might help me do my job better.

  5. I like the sound of INFO 688. I think that perhaps librarians often don’t have enough formal training as educators- and there are precious few more important skills.

  6. I like the sound of INFO 688. I think that perhaps librarians often don’t have enough formal training as educators- and there are precious few more important skills.

  7. Plus I really enjoy giving classes at the library – but how much do you think I can learn in a class like that via the online medium? Just something that has me thinking.

  8. Plus I really enjoy giving classes at the library – but how much do you think I can learn in a class like that via the online medium? Just something that has me thinking.

  9. If I were choosing, I’d go for 622 – the best way to learn about instruction is to just DO it, and the other class sounds boring (but that’s just me).

    And 622 would probably fit well with your web manager bent…

  10. If I were choosing, I’d go for 622 – the best way to learn about instruction is to just DO it, and the other class sounds boring (but that’s just me).

    And 622 would probably fit well with your web manager bent…

  11. 688! Training and instruction are key….and it would provide some foundational theory to put into practice!

  12. 688! Training and instruction are key….and it would provide some foundational theory to put into practice!

  13. When I was in library school, I took a bibliographic instruction course. It was…well, it was excruciatingly boring. And I can’t say I learned a lot. But it give me some good solid foundations that I’ve since used in actual teaching situations. But I do agree with David that the best way to learn to teach is by doing it. I’d probably go for 622.

  14. When I was in library school, I took a bibliographic instruction course. It was…well, it was excruciatingly boring. And I can’t say I learned a lot. But it give me some good solid foundations that I’ve since used in actual teaching situations. But I do agree with David that the best way to learn to teach is by doing it. I’d probably go for 622.

  15. I’d say 681. Good window on resources you bump into, and is bound to give you ideas on ways to improve the Website for everyone. Not only that, but things might start clicking in ways you have not expected about the resources and staff you support. 662 sounds like it would be a lot like 660 anyway, and I’m for going outside comfort zones whenever possible. (688 is good, but I think I saw you speak before, and frankly, I don’t think you need it.)

    Legal research is so incredibly complex, and is battling a very unsatisfactory (in my opinion) hybrid print vs. online world. It creates all kinds of areas for development.

    Disclosure: I’m a law librarian, so I guess I’m biased. (But as a law librarian who went to library school later in my career, I decided to get ignore the traditional classes, and get into as much techie and non-librarian classes as I could. Am a much better librarian for it.) So to draw the analogy, even though you never intend to be a reference librarian, knowing that side of thing will enhance your current job in ways you don’t expect.

    My .50 cents.

  16. I’d say 681. Good window on resources you bump into, and is bound to give you ideas on ways to improve the Website for everyone. Not only that, but things might start clicking in ways you have not expected about the resources and staff you support. 662 sounds like it would be a lot like 660 anyway, and I’m for going outside comfort zones whenever possible. (688 is good, but I think I saw you speak before, and frankly, I don’t think you need it.)

    Legal research is so incredibly complex, and is battling a very unsatisfactory (in my opinion) hybrid print vs. online world. It creates all kinds of areas for development.

    Disclosure: I’m a law librarian, so I guess I’m biased. (But as a law librarian who went to library school later in my career, I decided to get ignore the traditional classes, and get into as much techie and non-librarian classes as I could. Am a much better librarian for it.) So to draw the analogy, even though you never intend to be a reference librarian, knowing that side of thing will enhance your current job in ways you don’t expect.

    My .50 cents.

  17. Are there any Drexel students out there who have taken one of these classes (or more than one)? Which do you recommend based on your class experience?

  18. With everything that you do I would suggest taking 622. This course would go really well together with Cataloging class you are planning on taking this semester.

  19. I vote for Legal Bib, even if you are not planning on working at Reference. That way, as you said, you will know the types of questions that your Reference Librarians get which will help you help them.

  20. If you plan on working in a law library, I think INFO 681 is an important class to take. You may not plan on working at the reference desk, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know the materials that surround you. One of the missions of your institution (any law library, really) is to provide “comprehensive access to legal and other information [and] relevant educational programs.” You are in a position to influence access to these resources. To do so effectively you might want to fully understand what they are and how the relate to one another. BTW, I took this class after having worked for several years in a law library. It really brought it all together for me. I may be biased, but I think it’s important to learn these resources from the ground up. Besides, you are already doing 688 and have been for years. And chances are you already know about 622 (or can learn about it through reading, CIL, IL, etc.

  21. Are there any Drexel students out there who have taken one of these classes (or more than one)? Which do you recommend based on your class experience?

  22. With everything that you do I would suggest taking 622. This course would go really well together with Cataloging class you are planning on taking this semester.

  23. I’ll vote for 688. Although I agree to some extent with the aforementioned idea that you learn teaching by teaching, I think you can pick up some pedagogy that will also help. You probably can’t go wrong with 622 either.

    I think the legal research is something you could pick-up from the reference librarians you work with.

  24. Thanks everyone for your opinions so far! You’ve all made my choice harder :) hehehe – keep the comments coming – I have until next week to decide.

  25. I vote for Legal Bib, even if you are not planning on working at Reference. That way, as you said, you will know the types of questions that your Reference Librarians get which will help you help them.

  26. A canceled class! Some things never change. I vote for Info 681. I think that it would be a good balance to the Cataloging class and give you an overview of what you only see pieces of now. Plus you never know when an epidemic may hit the Reference Department and we’ll be looking for help!

  27. If you plan on working in a law library, I think INFO 681 is an important class to take. You may not plan on working at the reference desk, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know the materials that surround you. One of the missions of your institution (any law library, really) is to provide “comprehensive access to legal and other information [and] relevant educational programs.” You are in a position to influence access to these resources. To do so effectively you might want to fully understand what they are and how the relate to one another. BTW, I took this class after having worked for several years in a law library. It really brought it all together for me. I may be biased, but I think it’s important to learn these resources from the ground up. Besides, you are already doing 688 and have been for years. And chances are you already know about 622 (or can learn about it through reading, CIL, IL, etc.

  28. I’ll vote for 688. Although I agree to some extent with the aforementioned idea that you learn teaching by teaching, I think you can pick up some pedagogy that will also help. You probably can’t go wrong with 622 either.

    I think the legal research is something you could pick-up from the reference librarians you work with.

  29. Thanks everyone for your opinions so far! You’ve all made my choice harder :) hehehe – keep the comments coming – I have until next week to decide.

  30. A canceled class! Some things never change. I vote for Info 681. I think that it would be a good balance to the Cataloging class and give you an overview of what you only see pieces of now. Plus you never know when an epidemic may hit the Reference Department and we’ll be looking for help!

  31. I took Content Representation and it was one of the few classes I enjoyed at Drexel. Though, I’m not sure it was all that relevant to my job (or contemporary libraries at all). I did get to write a paper on the use of indexes in novels though.

    I’d go with a) whatever best fits your career goals and b) whatever you can’t take in another semester, with the provision of c) find out about the profs, cause no matter the class if the prof is bad, you’re wasting your money.

  32. I was actually waiting to hear from your Derik :) Your advice last term was very helpful. I’ll look into the professors, because you make a good point – and I’ve certainly had my share of not so good ones – and it’s only the second term.

  33. I took Content Representation and it was one of the few classes I enjoyed at Drexel. Though, I’m not sure it was all that relevant to my job (or contemporary libraries at all). I did get to write a paper on the use of indexes in novels though.

    I’d go with a) whatever best fits your career goals and b) whatever you can’t take in another semester, with the provision of c) find out about the profs, cause no matter the class if the prof is bad, you’re wasting your money.

  34. I was actually waiting to hear from your Derik :) Your advice last term was very helpful. I’ll look into the professors, because you make a good point – and I’ve certainly had my share of not so good ones – and it’s only the second term.

  35. Content Representation and Human-Computer Interaction may compliment each other very nicely. Of course, like Derik said, it all depends on the teachers. Do take the legal course or a gov docs course at some time though. You might be surprised at how handy it can be both at work and in your regular life.

  36. Content Representation and Human-Computer Interaction may compliment each other very nicely. Of course, like Derik said, it all depends on the teachers. Do take the legal course or a gov docs course at some time though. You might be surprised at how handy it can be both at work and in your regular life.

  37. I took Content Representation last winter, and while it was interesting it was also confusing, overwhelming, and I thought I’d drown in reading assignments. As Derik already commented, the quality of the class is largely dependent on the quality of the professor. Had another prof taught it I might have had an entirely different opinion. Interestingly, one of my classmates who is a self-described metadata lover, took INFO 622 the same time I did and felt exactly the same way. My suggestion is that you take INFO 688, and then take INFO 622 as a single class so you can focus solely on it for a term.

    Good luck!

  38. I took Content Representation last winter, and while it was interesting it was also confusing, overwhelming, and I thought I’d drown in reading assignments. As Derik already commented, the quality of the class is largely dependent on the quality of the professor. Had another prof taught it I might have had an entirely different opinion. Interestingly, one of my classmates who is a self-described metadata lover, took INFO 622 the same time I did and felt exactly the same way. My suggestion is that you take INFO 688, and then take INFO 622 as a single class so you can focus solely on it for a term.

    Good luck!

  39. Lisa,

    Taking only one class is not an option :) I will be done this summer come hell or high water – that means 3 classes a term!

    Everyone,

    Thanks for the advice, I have heard some good things about the Legal Bib professor and think I’m going to take that class as my third next term!!

  40. Lisa,

    Taking only one class is not an option :) I will be done this summer come hell or high water – that means 3 classes a term!

    Everyone,

    Thanks for the advice, I have heard some good things about the Legal Bib professor and think I’m going to take that class as my third next term!!

  41. I know this is a late comment, but I think you made the right choice with Legal Bib. If it is the same instructor that I had last spring, he really is great and he’s genuinely interested in teaching. I also took Content Rep last spring, and it was online, and although it was the first really challenging class that I took, and I was excited about that, the online presentation could not have been more confusing and it totally kicked my a**. I was also taking a third course and working full-time, so it wasn’t easy to give the course as much attention as it deserved and needed, and it sounds like you’re pretty busy…. Good call on the Legal Bib!

  42. I know this is a late comment, but I think you made the right choice with Legal Bib. If it is the same instructor that I had last spring, he really is great and he’s genuinely interested in teaching. I also took Content Rep last spring, and it was online, and although it was the first really challenging class that I took, and I was excited about that, the online presentation could not have been more confusing and it totally kicked my a**. I was also taking a third course and working full-time, so it wasn’t easy to give the course as much attention as it deserved and needed, and it sounds like you’re pretty busy…. Good call on the Legal Bib!

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