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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why is information organisation important?

In the age of free-range students (McKenzie, 1994) and digital natives (Prensky, 2011) the idea that information doesn’t have to be formally organized is a compelling one.  

The pervasiveness of the internet into every facet of our lives has shifted the role of the information organiser from ‘professional indexers and catalogers to the populace at large’ (Svenonius, 2000) resulting in a bibliographic universe (Winzenried 2010, p15) which allows users to access information easily from any device, but there is no control over the quality of this information and whether it is organised for future retrieval.

Information organisation is all about control and access; taking control of a collection that would otherwise be unmanageable and allowing people to gain easy access to the information that it organizes.

Within us we have an innate need to organize our possessions (Taylor 2004) with our ultimate goal to retrieve them if and when we need it. Information organization is the development of systems to support this process of storage and retrieval (Hinder, 2012, p11). The school library has traditionally been the epicenter of information retrieval in schools (Hinder, p109).

It’s ability to organize physical resources and provide timely quality access to support teaching and learning has been its strength. But with the pervasive integration of 1:1 computing throughout schools, students no longer need to “go to the library” to get resources. The school library in its traditional form has been rendered obsolete by the widespread access to online resources.


Hider, P. (2012) Information Resource Description: Creating and Managing Metadata. Facet Publishing, London, Great Britain. 

McKenzie, J. (1994). Grazing the Net: Raising a Generation of Free Range Students- Part One. Retrieved August, 20th, 2014, from

Prensky, M. (2012) Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Education. Corwin. Retrieved August 19th, 2014 from

Svenonius, E. (2000). Bibliographic objectives. In The intellectual foundation of information organization (pp. 15-30). Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.

Winzenried, A. (2010). Visionary leaders for information. Wagga Wagga, NSW : Centre for Information Studies

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