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The Organization of Information (Library and Information Science Text Series)
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The Organization of Information (Library and Information Science Text Series)

liked it 3.0  ·  Rating details ·  817 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews

The extensively revised and completely updated second edition of this popular textbook provides LIS practitioners and students with a vital guide to the organization of information. After a broad overview of the concept and its role in human endeavors, Taylor proceeds to a detailed and insightful discussion of such basic retrieval tools as bibliographies, catalogs, indexes

Paperback, Second Edition, 417 pages
Published November 30th 2003 by Libraries Unlimited (first published March 1997)
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Jan 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My Information Organization and Retrieval class used this book to kick off the first half of the semester. I can honestly say that I learned absolutely nothing in this very dry least, nothing that I didn't discover in the more engaging, detailed and pertinent articles used to supplement this book.

Way to perpetuate the stereotype of boring, schoolmarmy librarians, ARLENE.
Peter Neely
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: readbutwontbuy
This was actually a text I needed for a an introductory Information Science class. For a course that is centered on organization, it would have helped immensely if the text used had been well-organized, clear and did not contradict itself or leave things un-explained, or explained poorly. There were a few well-designed chapters, but the book itself is poorly organized and really hurts the effectiveness of using the information in the text in an efficient manner.
Lane Wilkinson
Feb 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
I include this book only as a means of including every book published by Libaries Unlimited. In pursuit of the MLIS, I have been ordered to purchase no fewer than four text-books published by LU. I say with complete, non-inebriated candor that every successive book from LU has set a lower bar for intellectualism. My grades actually suffered from reading this book.

What can I say about this epic that hasn't already been said? The obsession, the sorrow, and the passion that is Information Organization comes alive in the burning pages of this masterwork. Have faith, all library science acolytes. I speak earnestly, this is an amazing book.

Assigned for the course SLIS 5200 - Introduction to Information Organization.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2016
All of my MLIS-holding cronies led me to believe "Organization of Information" is just cataloging in disguise. WRONG! This is the philosophical study of and historical record of the practices and usefulness of cataloging. I'd give it five stars if the ranking was classified as "more effective than Ativan".
Janelle Cleaves
Oct 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
For a book about organizing information, this is the most disorganized, dry thing I have every had the displeasure of reading. It is incredibly hard to follow. I came into my degree program thinking I might be into the "I" side of Information Sciences. This book has made me seriously question that idea. If you are an information sciences professor, please find a more suitable book for introductory courses. Find one that inspires your students to learn instead of being forced to begrudgingly scan ...more
This book was a textbook for an information science course that I took. The topics are pretty self-evident from the title. The book covered many good topics that any information professional should be familiar with. Chapter titles included: retrieval tools, history of organization of recorded information, metadata, encoding standards, system and system design, subject analysis, controlled vocabularies, and classification systems. Overall full of god information, provided overviews of many topics ...more
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Because this textbook is so broad by necessity, it's not an especially engaging read. However, it does breeze through a huge list of topics, supplying a lot of vocabulary and a little insight into various philosophical debates. This makes it a great starting point for many more focused and obsession-worthy areas.
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a bit of a lie to say I read this book, but I read enough to get the general feel for it. As far as textbooks go, it was pretty readable. Not so readable that I could stay awake for very long, though.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, library
This is a textbook but it's still pretty bad. For a book that is supposed to be about the organization of information, it should take its own advice and be a little more organized with the information that it is trying to explain!
Jan 11, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the most dry of all the textbooks for my masters (and those who have had to read the Rubin textbook as well for 701 will find this amazing), not only that but Taylor had such a round about way in telling things that I never really seemed to understand them.
Kristin Robinson
It was dry, yet informative. It was also required reading in a class for my MSLIS. I wouldn't recommend it for recreational reading unless you love information science as much as I do!
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a textbook. There isn't anything wrong with it. But in the end it is a textbook.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Used this is one of my first SLIS classes. Good overview of information organization.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No thank you. Lots of definitions, and gets you well immersed, but Cataloging is not for me.
Jana at
I'd like to give it 0 stars.
soooo boring. metadata = metaheadache. Kill me now. I will never be a cataloger. NEVER.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Had to read it for class. I'm not sure why the professor had us read an outdated text from 2009 in 2017 when technology moves as fast as it does, but oh well. It's very dry.
May 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: course-textbooks
Taylor's text (3rd edition) was required reading for my very first MLIS class of the same name. In general, information regarding the notable people and theories that contributed to cataloging history helps one understand and contextualize why certain systems were created--what problems they help re/solve. This is shared sparingly in Taylor's text, which is her choice I suppose. However, I found the actual descriptions of the various existing cataloging systems and how they function to be very f ...more
I suspect that not even the most well-written and sensibly organized text could make me thrill to the subjects of metadata and cataloging, but I'll never know since my instructor for Information Organization chose to use Taylor and Joudrey's The Organization of Information instead.

The first three chapters (an argument for the continued importance of organizing metadata, a brief synopsis of the types of retrieval tools available, and a historical survey of the history of information organization
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I used this for an independent study course with a student interested in librarianship. While it was dry at times, the bibliography and additional readings are a gold mine, as well as the syllabus to the corresponding course by Joudrey that is freely available online.

Used in the right context, this could be a great resource for those interested in how information is organized. How I wish there had been a course with this content before taking cataloging in library school! I think it would have
Sep 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This work is a textbook; accordingly it is far more technical than thought provoking in nature. However, it serves its purpose well by providing a general overview of the majority of fundamental concepts involved in information structuring. It is successful in terms of keeping up with current developments in the field. Furthermore, the work is particularly commendable in its detailed sections on metadata and cataloging schemas. The brief histories of the information organizational methodologies ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes more sense the more you read into the subject of information organization. A lot of the chapters would make only a little sense on a first read, but the second time around I found loads of helpful information.

My one complaint about this book is that it spends a lot of time discussing important, but more edge cases of information organization, such as how to organize paintings or stuff for archives. While useful information to know, the purpose of reading this book is to get a bas
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: MLIS profs
Recommended to Michael by: Eric Meyers
Arlene Taylor's purpose in writing this book was to create an introductory textbook for use in classes on Cataloging, and in that she has indubitably succeeded. Unfortunately, while textbooks in other subjects can be useful for reference (see my review of _Kontakte_) and sometimes even entertaining or illuminating (see my review of _Cognition_), textbooks on cataloging can be nothing but informative, it seems. Taylor doesn't help matters by trying to spice things up by creating controversies whe ...more
(class reading for Information Organization and Access)

In the midst of reading the last chapter of this book. I firmly believe that if I pay for a textbook I have to read every single bit of it that is assigned. In this case, the entire book. Uuuugh. Mission accomplished I guess (preemptively celebrating).

This book is pretty boring. However, I found it occasionally to be a decent read. It sort of filled in the "general knowledge" holes that couldn't be covered in more detailed articles assigned
May 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Read for school (3rd Ed.). This book wasn't a difficult read, but I didn't really learn much from it. I feel the subject matter wasn't well presented either in this book (so I could teach myself) or by my teacher. Now, I have a very general knowledge of metadata, subject analysis, systems of organization... but between this book and the class, I don't think I'll ever be interested in pursuing a cataloger career. 2*

Warning: this book WILL put you to sleep.
Oct 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: school-text, research
Modern researchers will be much more efficient at researching databases and other sources of high-quality, dependable information if they understand how information is organized. I read this for class but actually learned a great deal that might be useful to the general public in an information society.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it
It's tough to review a textbook, but I'll give it a shot. Taylor outlined her points well, for the most part, but even still, reading texts after 9:00 at night is not a recipe for the highest level of success with regards to retention. Was it useful and helpful for the course? Yes. Will I potentially reference it in the future? Maybe. Will I ever read it over again? Unlikely.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Required reading for school. Very technical and dry. Some chapters were engaging, but this was by and large a typical textbook through and through. Great for library geeks who really want to understand the complex inner workings of what we do everyday.
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