Monthly Archives: June 2014

Bibliographic Standards and Resource Description – why descriptive cataloguing?


Brief summaries of learning in ETL505 …

In the current information age, information is ubiquitous; we have access to it everywhere, yet it is said, that the more information there is, the more difficult it is to find the best information (Hider, 2012, p. 61). The primary function of libraries, school libraries and other information agencies is to provide quality information that is central to the needs of its users. In order to perform this function it is necessary for information agencies to organise information so that it is effectively accessible and re-useable (Hider, 2012, p. 2). So that information can be selected and retrieved when needed, an information resource needs to be described in a way that will distinguish it from others and benefit user discovery. According to Freeman & Hider (2013), information resource description is the art of describing a resource so that it can be located when needed.

The provision and maintenance of effective information retrieval tools and systems is essential to the field of information and bibliographic organisation. Information professionals provide access to information resources using a range of well organised systems. 

The field of information organisation involves a range of fundamental principles, prescribed practices and systems designed for the purpose of information access and retrieval. Information resource description plays a significant role in the provision of information access. In libraries, the effectiveness of bibliographic organisation and information retrieval is determined by the quality of resource description and the metadata created. Effective bibliographic organisation and resource description focuses on the needs of library users and is successful when it facilitates access to relevant, accurate and re-useable information.


Freeman, A & Hider, P. (2013). The need for information resource description. [ETL505 Module 1.1]. Retrieved August 15, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

Hider, P. (2012). Information resource description: creating and managing metadata. London: Facet.