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Peer Review

How to Read a Call Number

by Lora Lennertz Jetton , , Necia Parker-Gibson


Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 3.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Nov 20, 2012 by Library and Information Services
Overview: Demonstrates basic principles of the Library of Congress call number system in order to locate books.This is a 3 minute video on how to find books using the Library of Congress Call Numbers, including an overview of what the parts of the call number mean.
Type of Material: Video Tutorial
Recommended Uses: This tutorial would be appropriate for any student seeking to find books in an academic library using the LC Classification System.
Technical Requirements: Adobe Flash Player is required.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To develop an understanding of how books are arranged using the Library of Congress call number system. In addition, the elements making up a LC call number are explained.
Target Student Population: This tutorial would be appropriate for high school, or college students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.25 stars
Strengths: This tutorial does a good job of presenting the subject matter in a short, targeted manner. While the subject matter can be complex, the tutorial is short enough that it can be viewed multiple times if some aspects aren't clear. The variety and appropriateness of the imagery help to keep one’s attention.
Concerns: The tutorial might benefit from an interactive element, such as a quiz that could be completed after viewing to reinforce the subject learned. The organization and pace of the tutorial didn’t enhance learning. Also, common areas of confusion when reading an LC call number should have been given additional time and enhanced with more complete examples.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The tutorial does a good job of explaining the subject visually and placing the subject, call numbers, into their context within the library. The principles covered are sound, and presented in a succinct manner.
Concerns: This tutorial does a commendable job of presenting its subject in a straightforward manner. Someone unfamiliar with the Library of Congress classification system will have a hard time grasping the concepts. The tutorial moves too fast. In addition, the content could have been organized better to enhance retention. A stronger contrast should have been made at the start between the Dewey Decimal system, which many people know, and LC classification. Not excessive details, but broad principles that help set the stage. In reading a call number, the principles could have been strengthened by taking a series of books and showing how to put them in appropriate call number order. The one example provided went too fast and didn’t sufficiently highlight differences between similar call numbers.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The tutorial moves quickly through its subject in an well-organized manner. It has many visual aids to help the student understand the subject and includes optional closed captions. Designed to be visually appealing.
Concerns: No interactivity. More like a video than a tutorial. No practice or testing components.

Other Issues and Comments: A very targeted and effective tutorial.