Sample Education Paper on an information organization system

For this assignment, you will select an information organization system used in a cultural
heritage setting (i.e. a library, archives, museum, or other institution responsible for providing
access to information resources), and will conduct research on that system to be summarized in a
written report. The assignment should prompt you to think through and apply many of the key
concepts discussed throughout the semester.
You can select any kind of information organization system that serves to organize and provide
access to information resources maintained by a cultural heritage organization. Some examples
include Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) for public or academic libraries, object
databases for museum collections, or search portals for finding aids to archival collections. You
do not need to physically access the institution in which the organization system is used, but you
do need to be able to interact with the organization system online. For instance, it’s fine to select
the Library of Congress OPAC and research the system by interacting with the online interface.
Let me know if you are having trouble identifying an information organization system, and I will
help you to brainstorm some possibilities.
The research will largely be conducted through your direct interactions with the information
organization system, along with engaged and critical reflection on this direct experience,
although you are encouraged to consult any relevant supplementary materials, either from course
readings or from further literature searching. For example, you might bring in something from
the class on authority control to describe how a particular controlled vocabulary is being used in
your chosen information system.
The report should consist of three main components: 1) a description of the system, including
details on the information institution using the system, an overview the kinds of resources being
organized and accessed, and a consideration of who the primary users and use cases of the
system are; 2) an analytical evaluation, addressing how well the system organizes and provides
access to information resources; and 3) a reflection, considering how the system illustrates key
concepts from throughout the semester.
The main goals of the assignment: apply concepts learned throughout the semester to a realworld example; consider how the specific aspects of an institution and the kinds of materials
being organized influences the deployment and use of an information organization system;
practice critically evaluating an information system.