September 2008


We’re leaving for Scotland tomorrow morning, so the coming week there will be no posts. We in this case are FAW’s boyfriend and FAW.

When we come back, I hope to have the most amazing pictures!

Currently, our library is considering reclassifying and updating the collection on psychology and HCI. But which classification to use? What are the salient parts for the people now, and which might they be alter? How to leave space for future work, and where? Our library uses a system similar to the Library of Congress, in that it uses letters as its first classification, rather than numbers.

So, do we need a capital for this category, or could we go with a two-letter classification as the main category? Currently, psychology is a three-letter category and HCI isn’t a category at all, with the results that the books go any which way. While this isn’t a big problem when searching online through the catalogue, it does make it rather difficult to browse through books in the neighbourhood to see if there’s anything interesting nearby.

I couldn’t resist temptation and volunteered to help make a set-up for the new categories, together with my supervisor. If this sounds as though my supervisor made me, well, please, drop the idea. We are both rather passionate on the topic of information sharing, and I at least go down to the library at least once a month. The front-row librarians all know me an a first-name base, because I’ve asked questions and made some well-received suggestions for improving the library.

So now, I get to look into already existing classifications and see what they are made of. It’s rather interesting really. Did you know that industrial psychology in the LoC classification belongs to the subclass of social sciences, commerce, while pretty much everything else belongs under subclass psychology? The next thing to delve into is the Dewey Decimal Classification. Monday we’re having a meeting to discuss our ideas and the books we would love to see in the library.

Which classification does your library use? Are you happy with it? And which books do you consider essential for psychology and/or HCI?

Last monday I attended a tutorial on research methods. Tutorials really work best when there’s an atmosphere of trust, when you can ask those questions that have sat in the back of your brain for a while and you would like somebody else to come and play too. One of my questions was answered without me realizing that it had been a question. For a while I’ve been reading a book about making ideas stick, but I didn’t make it very far in.

Now, one of the tutorial givers was quoting from the book and sort of reviewing at the same time, which was rather interesting! Considering everything he said, it will definitely spur my reading the entire book, to keep the ideas fresh in my mind. Actually, the most interesting part for me wasn’t so much the research methods in themselves, but how you write about them. One of the most important things mentioned was: nibble away at your writing. If you don’t write every day, how do you expect to become a good writer? Becoming good is about making mistakes, about writing bent sentences and reviewing and critiquing your writing. This reflected very much my reasons for starting up this blog in the first place, except that I only publish something every friday.

That doesn’t mean that I only write on friday, merely that I like to edit and re-edit and think twice before commiting myself to publish here. Ironically, attending conferences tends to compel me to write and think so hard that it can get difficult to write something coherent. Some more ideas and impression will find their way to the forefront, including lessons learned on organizing poster sessions for symposia.