Minding User Desires: Updating the Universal Library Catalogue and Library Space Using Google Statistics for Data Mining

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This paper examines the possibility of using google statistics to mine data for updating the library catalogue and design of the library as a diverse community space. This paper also examines the possibility of using library member-generated data to improve the library catalogue, collection, and space. This paper is expanded from Research Methods coursework at the Faculty of Information in 2015, is theoretical, and uses surveillance studies and cultural studies theory as frameworks.

To read the paper in pdf format click here: Rotem Anna Data Mining Project Proposal 2015

“This data mining research, if implemented, will help answer the questions: should (and can) Google search statistics be used to tailor the “universal” library catalog to better meet public library users’ search needs and desires, and if so, how will this process work? Current universal cataloging does not meet the diverse search desires and needs of library members. The universal catalogue assumes that people of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds classify, categorize, and experience the world similarly. The universal catalogue has also historically failed to consider the bias of the present. The present is always changing. We are always immersed in the bias and ideologies of the present—however, this is not considered in attempts at universal library cataloging. These systems are not easily adaptable, even though our categories of classification are always changing and have never been universal. This proposal is for a data mining research project that examines trends in Google user searches and correlates these statistics with trends in library member searches, in order to examine and potentially critique the effectiveness of universal library cataloging systems, such as DDC and LCC subject headings. This project does not aim to discredit the usefulness of an attempt at universal cataloging, but instead aims to assist those interested in librarianship to think critically about whom these information organization systems are now designed for.”