De Goya a gofres: knowledge organisation at the Prado

It’s always great when you can incorporate your interests and passions into your work. The assignment for the Knowledge Organisation module last semester required me to construct a classification system for the corporate knowledge of an imaginary establishment. This is sometimes known as a corporate taxonomy, and it’s really a way of organising all the different kinds of information needed to perform the functions of a particular organisation or department. The taxonomy should also provide a way to present and disseminate relevant information to those who interact with it, whether they are internal staff or members of the public. For the purposes of this assessment, we could either invent a fictitious organisation or use an existing one as a guide. This is where I got excited…! I had chosen the scenario of a cultural establishment open to the public, and thought that a museum would make a good example…

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Year one review

I can't bear to look! OK, I can...
I can’t bear to look! OK, I can…

*drumroll*

Yes, results are finally in and I’m relieved to say that I’ve passed the first year! I could exit now with a graduate certificate, but I’m opting to carry on to the next year for the diploma, and then hopefully onto the final year for the full masters. That means that in September it’s going to start all over again, but hopefully this time with a bit more knowledge and experience under my belt.

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Two worlds?

Sometimes it’s easy to see libraries, archives, museums etc., and by extension library and information studies, as somewhat of an outdated concept. Many feel that they are part of a previous, analogue age in which everything was physical, with very few computers involved in day to day processes, and as such are irrelevant to today’s electronic, virtual data world. This feeling is sometimes expressed in less than diplomatic terms. When I was first researching information studies with a view to starting this course, I came across this article from Forbes. The bold headline, proclaiming contemptuously “No. 1 Worst Master’s Degree For Jobs: Library and Information Science” isn’t exactly the kind of thing a budding information professional wants to see. Yet, when you dig deeper, the actual reasons for this pessimism turn out to be the fact that a) librarians work in libraries (umm…) and b) information professionals ‘only’ earn “$57,600 mid-career”. Well, I think we can all safely say that we didn’t decide to do this to get rich!

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