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BLI-223: Organising and Managing Information

BLI-223: Organising and Managing Information

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Assignment Code: BLI-223/AST/TMA/ Jul.2022/Jan.2023

Course Code: BLI-223

Assignment Name: Organising and Managing Information

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


I) Answer the following questions in not more than 500 words each. (4X10=40 Marks)


1. Describe the structure of Sears List of Subject Headings (SLSH) giving examples.

Ans) The Library of Congress Subject Headings are condensed into the Sears List of Subject Headings, which bears the name of its original compiler, Minnie Earl Sears, and is currently in its nineteenth edition. Small and medium-sized libraries had requested a list of subject headings, and Sears had created it in answer to their request.


The SLSH continues to be a living example of the ideas of subject cataloguing advanced by C. A. Cutter. Each edition aims to keep in mind contemporary needs and users' approaches to subject access. With the display of headings and their relationships using conventional abbreviations, such as NT, BT, RT, UF, USE, and SA, rather than the confusing x, xx, and "see also" for codified instructions, the SLSH underwent revision in its fifteenth edition.


Similar to LCSH, SLSH subject headings come in a range of formats, from simple single words to various types of complicated descriptive phrases of simple single concepts in two or more words to complex and compound subjects. The main principles of "Specific and Direct Entry," "Common Usage," and "Uniformity" serve as the foundation for SLSH. Topical headings, form headings, geographic headings, and proper names are the four different categories of subject headings in SLSH.


Types of Subject Headings


Topical Headings: Topical subject headings are words or phrases that describe everyday concepts that summarise the document's content.


Form Headings: The term "form" refers to how the content of the document is presented, such as in encyclopaedias, dictionaries, directories, gazetteers, etc. These headings are used as form subdivisions and assigned to certain documents. Additionally, as there are several publications produced on dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc., any form may also be a topic. These form heads are utilised as thematic headings in this circumstance. Other form titles include literary genres (such as Science fiction, children's plays, etc.) and minor literary forms (such as fiction, poetry, drama, essays, etc.).


Geographic Headings: Under the names of the places, SLSH requires that papers on geographical regions, nations, cities, etc. be used. The geographical headings United States, Ohio, and Chicago (III) are only offered as examples because the SLSH does not contain the whole list of locations. The qualifying states, provinces, and other geographic subdivisions' abbreviations are utilised as the geographic headings and subdivisions in SLSH.


Proper Names: The SLSH offers three main categories of name headings: personal names, corporate names, and uniform titles. When a personal name heading has a See reference from a different form, the inverted version is utilised. For example, the heading Clinton, Bill would require a See reference from "Clinton, William Jefferson." Corporate entity names are put as subjects right beneath the corporate name header, for example, Rockefeller Center.


Sacred texts, anonymous literary works, magazines, movies, radio shows, and television programmes are listed directly under the uniform title as a subject, for example, Beowulf or the movie Gone with the Wind. A name-title heading, which consists of the author's name followed by the title, is used to enter documents concerning a literary work with a known author, such as Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616. Hamlet. Since there are several name headings, the SLSH does not include them. The cataloguer is responsible for creating name headers after checking the recommended sources in the SLSH.


2. State the different types of Non-Book Material (NBM). Discuss the constraints in using them and problems in their cataloguing.

Ans) There are several different varieties of NBM, which are listed as follows:


Cartographic Materials

  1. Ariel Chart.

  2. Leaf.

  3. Ariel Remote Sensing image.

  4. Atlas.

  5. Celestial Globe.

  6. Chart.

  7. Globes.

  8. Map.

  9. Plan .

  10. Relief Model.

  11. Image from remote sensing.

  12. Image from space.

  13. Topographic illustrations.



  1. Item (for the gathering of manscripts)

  2. Box



  1. Score

  2. Condensed

  3. Minature Score

  4. Chorus Score


Sound Recordings

  1. Audio cartridge

  2. Audio cassette

  3. Audio disc.

  4. Film reel with a soundtrack.


Motion Pictures and Video Recordings

  1. Film Catridge.

  2. Cassette

  3. Video Cassette.

  4. Video Disc

  5. Video Reel


Graphic Material

  1. Art Original

  2. Art Print

  3. Art Reproduction

  4. Chart

  5. Film Strip

  6. Kit

  7. Photograph

  8. Picture

  9. Post Card

  10. Slide.

  11. Technical Drawing

  12. Transparency


Computer Files

  1. Data Files

  2. Program File

  3. Object Program


Three-Dimensional Artefacts and Realia

  1. Art Original

  2. Realia

  3. Game

  4. Diorama

  5. Model



  1. Aperture Card

  2. Microfiche

  3. Micro Film Cartridge Cassette Reel


Due to their unique nature, new media items frequently provide significant challenges in terms of organisation, cataloguing, and information retrieval. Consequently, the cataloguer may run into the following potential issues. 

  1. The documents that will be catalogued may be more challenging to acquire information from than traditional documents with title pages.

  2. Information gathered from one NBM source may not match that gathered from another document source.

  3. With regard to the selection of the access point, or the determination of the heading, it can be more difficult to decide who will be in charge of the intellectual content of the document because they are less qualified in the case of books and serials.

  4. Information regarding the physical descriptions of various NBM types poses more of a challenge to the cataloguer than it does for traditional documents.

  5. Information cannot be obtained by using the naked eye since special tools are needed.


Comparing cataloguing of NBM to cataloguing of books presents a number of unique challenges. Specific issues with frequent variations in its physical forms and challenges locating the author equivalent have been brought up by Eric J. Hunter. Along with the two issues mentioned by Hunter, John Horner also covered a number of other potential issues in his book Special Cataloguing. The issues cited by Horner are as follows: 

  1. The documents might need to be used with equipment.

  2. The materials could be rarer, more expensive, and more brittle than typical book-form materials.

  3. To categorise the resources properly and swiftly, it could be necessary to possess specialised subject expertise as well as awareness of the pertinent regulations in catalogue code.

  4. It could be necessary to have specialised knowledge and physical form experience.

  5. Codes and thesauri, or special cataloguing tools, might be required.

  6. As a result of the diversity of the available material, it can be essential to put together one's own tools.


The full range of new media cannot be kept out of the libraries of the present and the future, notwithstanding these obstacles. The categorising of NBM has been made simple, understandable, and standardised with the release of AACR-2, Amendments, and AACR-2002.

Therefore, appropriate classification helps to facilitate their use in libraries.


3. Explain the need for notation in library classification. Discuss its qualities.

Ans) A system of symbols used in shorthand to represent subjects and the ordinal digits that divide them up is known as notation. An element of notational systems is a digit. These digits solely represent order and have an ordinal value. These numbers are neither cardinal nor numerical. To clarify, it means that the value of 2 will only come after the value of 1 in a notational system that consists of 1, 2, 3,..., 9 etc. A, B, and Z, on the other hand, denote that C is not greater than A or B but will fall between B and D. That notation just communicates the order and not the value or weight.


Need and Purpose of Notation

Every notion is given its proper place in a classification system in the Idea and Verbal planes; however, these terms cannot be used as index terms to the documents in a library. This primarily pertains to the following: 

  1. The verbal plane's subject names and words are too extensive to be written as labels. Therefore, we need concise symbols to represent subjects.

  2. Language-specific subject names vary, although a library has literature in numerous languages. Since Hindi refers to mathematics as "Ganit," where should a book on the subject be placed: under "G" or "M"?

  3. The names constantly changing. For instance, political economy was previously the name given to economics. The Ministry of Human Resources Development is now the name of the Education Ministry. Ceylon was previously the name of Sri Lanka.

  4. There would be a lot of issues if names were utilised to organise the materials. The subjects will become dispersed; for example, mathematics will fall under "M," while algebra, geometry, and trigonometry will fall under "G" and "T," respectively. Thus, a family will become scattered.


How will the systematic order of the topics in arrays and chains that were arrived at in the concept plane be preserved even if these names are labelled on the documents? Words can only be sorted alphabetically on their own. As a result, a number of ordinal symbols are allocated to the concepts and terms in order to maintain the chosen order of subjects and their subdivisions.


For instance, in botany, the positioning of various plant parts determined in the concept plane is:

  1. Plant

  2. Root I,3

  3. Stem I,4

  4. Leaf I,5

  5. Flower I,6

  6. Fruit I,7

  7. Seed I,8


According to the principle of spatial contiguity, we move incrementally from bottom to top in the arrangement above. The "Later in Time" principle is also followed by this order. To keep track of each subdivision's layout and use it mechanically in the future, we have given each one a number. Class numbers are a group of symbols that are not only concise but also aid in properly shelving or arranging documents. These class-numbered papers can easily be removed, viewed, and then put back where they belong. A self-evident order is provided via notation. It is much simpler to arrange documents using these shorthand symbols than it is to utilise subject names.


4. What is a post coordinate indexing system? Discuss its difference with a pre coordinate indexing systems.

Ans) To describe the contents of the documents better accurately, all indexing systems adhere to the idea coordinating procedure. As we saw with pre-coordinate indexing, component concepts are coordinated using the syntactical conventions of the specified indexing language in accordance with the order of significance or citation order. However, the rigidity of the citation sequence seems to be insufficient to accommodate the various techniques used by each user. Pre-coordinate indexing's ability to accommodate multiple entries by rotating or cycling the component terms only partially accounts for all conceivable permutations, leaving many potential approach points unexplored.


As a result, the searcher is forced to adhere to the rigid citation order that the provided indexing language specifies. Alternative indexing techniques, in which the component ideas of a subject are retained independently and uncoordinated by the indexer, have been developed in response to the challenges mentioned above resulting from the preordination of words with the rigidity of citation order. In this case, the user has coordinated concepts and terms at the moment of searching.


Since the search words can be coordinated almost in any combination or order to obtain records of information about the documents as desired by the users, post-coordinate indexing systems allow for a wider degree of search manipulation. Post-coordinate Indexing or simply Coordinate Indexing Systems are the indexing systems built on this fundamental tenet. Numerous post-coordinate indexing methods, such Uniterm and Optical Coincidence Card, were created based on this fundamental idea. The Uniterm system, created by Mortimer Taube, is regarded as the most well-liked post-coordinate indexing model out of all the various kinds of post coordinate indexing systems.


Pre-Coordinate Indexing versus Post-Coordinate Indexing


Document subjects are often complex. There are complex and compound subjects that deal with several different concepts. When a document contains multiple concepts, the sequence in which we reference the concepts and how they relate to one another become crucial. Coordinate indexing is a property of both pre- and post-coordinate indexing systems; however, the coordination is carried out at two different times. The points of distinction between the two systems are provided in the following table:


II) Answer the following questions in not more than 250 words each. ( 6X5=30 Marks)


1. Explain the features and advantages of OPACs.

Ans) The features of OPACs are as follows:


Searching Capabilities: Be it simple or advanced search, OPAC has it all. Whether it is a Boolean search, phrase search, or truncation, OPAC enhances the search capabilities. Browsing search by author, title, subject, and type of publication is also provided.


User Assistance: On their search interfaces, they provide the user with on-screen assistance. Instructional help is always provided. The catalogs not only list the items the library has, but also indicate whether they are currently checked out or available right away.


Search Limit: The search limit is a crucial component of a successful and meaningful search. By specifying the publication year and its kind, the OPAC makes this information available. The ability to sort papers by author, title, and structure is another feature.


Bibliographic Display: The OPAC system includes options to limit the number of records per display and to modify the display screen. They also include a structured library entry format that allows for the display of catalog card forms.


Search Strategy: With the help of this function, it is possible to create a search statement that will efficiently find more relevant information in a shorter length of time. The user can employ a variety of strategy tools available in the OPAC.


Easy To Use: OPAC is an interactive and user-friendly information system. You can access it at any time and from any location thanks to its connection to a document-searching circulation system. It provides rapid access points for searching material by author, title, etc.


Advantages of OPACs:

  1. The web based cataloguing software is highly interactive, easy-to-navigate, and simple-to-understand or user-friendly in nature.

  2. The library OPAC system provides easy & remote access to a vast number of library materials across world-wide libraries.

  3. Patrons get the option to perform an in-depth search for required files.

  4. The library material can be updated from time-to-time and speedily.

  5. The library patrons’ time gets saved as they don’t need to move from one place to another in order to find books.

  6. The library management system can be accessed regardless of whether the library is open or not.


2. State the associative relationships in a thesaurus. Illustrate any five such relationships by giving examples.

Ans) Associative relationship: Associative relationship refers to associations between terms that are neither equivalent nor hierarchical but are conceptually or semantically linked to the point where the connection is made explicit in the thesaurus for the possibility that it may suggest additional terms to be used in indexing or retrieval. The acronym RT stands for the associative relationship found in thesauri.


As a general rule, within the shared common frames of reference among the thesaurus users, whenever one term is used, the other should always be implied. one or more of the following

a) The connections between terms in the same category.

b) The connections between terms from various categories.

  1. Genus-Species Relationship serves as the foundation for the scientific taxonomic system and connects genus and species. For instance, Hierarchical relationship indicator examples include: Wildlife - BT Animals, Vertebrates-NT Mammals

  2. Whole-Part Relationship encompasses circumstances in which, independent of context, one notion is fundamentally included in another, allowing the words to be organised into logical hierarchies and being viewed as a totality. For instance: NT for the central nervous system Cord of the spine, cord-BT the brain and spinal cord.

  3. A common term used to indicate a general category of objects or occurrences is known as an instance, and an individual instance of that category—often a given name—is known as an instance relationship. Examples include: Mountainous areas- NT Himalayas, BT, and Himalayas mountainous areas.

  4. Some notions have a polyhierarchical relationship when they logically fit into more than one category. The term pianos is placed in subordinate positions in the example below based on its generic relationship to two more general terms. Pianos would be an NT to both stringed instruments and wind instruments.

  5. The relationship between preferred and non-preferred phrases in which each term is taken to relate to the same concept is known as an equivalence (or preferential) relationship. One of these is chosen as the preferred term when the same concept can be conveyed by two or more terms. Any "equivalent" entry term should be cross-referenced to the preferred term.


3. Enumerate the different types of metadata explaining their purposes.

Ans) NISO distinguishes 3 types of metadata: descriptive, structural, and administrative. Descriptive metadata is typically used for discovery and identification, as information to search and locate an object, such as title, authors, subjects, keywords, and publisher. Structural metadata describes how the components of an object are organized. An example of structural metadata would be how pages are ordered to form chapters of a book.


Finally, administrative metadata gives information to help manage the source. Administrative metadata refers to the technical information, such as file type, or when and how the file was created. Two sub-types of administrative metadata are rights management metadata and preservation metadata. Rights management metadata explains intellectual property rights, while preservation metadata contains information to preserve and save a resource.


Statistical data repositories have their own requirements for metadata in order to describe not only the source and quality of the data but also what statistical processes were used to create the data, which is of particular importance to the statistical community in order to both validate and improve the process of statistical data production.


Type of metadata beginning to be more developed is accessibility metadata. Accessibility metadata is not a new concept to libraries; however, advances in universal design have raised its profile. Projects like Cloud4All and GPII identified the lack of common terminologies and models to describe the needs and preferences of users and information that fits those needs as a major gap in providing universal access solutions. Those types of information are accessibility metadata. has incorporated several accessibility properties based on IMS Global Access for All Information Model Data Element Specification.


The Wiki page accessibility lists several properties and their values. While the efforts to describe and standardize the varied accessibility needs of information seekers are beginning to become more robust, their adoption into established metadata schemas has not been as developed. For example, while Dublin Core's "audience" and MARC 21's "reading level" could be used to identify resources suitable for users with dyslexia and DC's "format" could be used to identify resources available in braille, audio, or large print formats, there is more work to be done.


4. Explain the steps of Chain indexing with an example.

Ans) The following steps are to be followed in chain indexing for deriving different types of subject headings:


Construction of the Class Number of the Subject of the Document- Sort the topic of the document using your selected classification method. The class number created using a notational classification method will serve as the foundation for implementing the chain procedure rules for generating subject headers.

Example: Researches on Child Psychology in India


Representation of the Class Number in the form of a Chain- Represent the class number as a chain with each link being made up of the class number and its vocal translation.

Example: Class no.: 155.4072054 [according to DDC, 22nd Edition]


Determination of Links- Find many types of links, including sought-after, undesired, false, and missing links (ML).

Example: 100 Philosophy, Parapsychology and Occultism [USL], and Occultism [USL]


Preparation of Specific Subject Heading- Using a procedure known as reverse rendering or backward rendering, create a specific subject heading for the specific subject entry by starting with the last sought link and progressing upward by taking the necessary and sufficient sought connections. Break the chain into various parts at the point(s) signifying space, time, and form in the class number if the subject contains a space isolate, time isolate, or form isolate.

Example: Research, Child psychology, India.


Preparation of Subject Reference Headings- From each of the top requested links, get the subject reference header for the subject reference. This procedure keeps on until every phrase in the higher requested links has been used and is indexed.

Example: Research, Child psychology, Child psychology, Psychology


Preparation of Cross References- Create cross references for each synonym, alternative phrase, and heading that is used in the particular and subject reference headers. India, research, and child psychology are examples.

Example: India, Research, Child psychology


Preparation of Index Entries- Create topic reference heading entries or "see also" references under each subject reference heading that point to the relevant subject heading.

Example: Research, Child psychology, India 152.4072054


Alphabetisation- Combining subject-specific entries, subject references, and "see" references, they should be arranged in a single alphabetical order.


5. Describe the major purpose of standardization in cataloguing. Describe different sections of ISO 2709 and their features.

Ans) To achieve uniformity in cataloguing practises, standardisation is required. Examples of standardisation include cataloguing regulations. These aid in the recognition, communication, and display of bibliographic components in catalogue entries. For computer processing, formats have been provided to codify and present bibliographic elements. The standardisation aids in choosing the factors to take into account when describing a bibliographic resource. Additionally, it includes capitalization and punctuation standardisation as well as their format and presentational sequence. An illustration of such a standard is AACR2.


Standardizing bibliographic descriptions aims to make practises and procedures compatible with a strategy for growth toward universal bibliographic control, which is a necessary step before granting everyone access to publications. Through the involvement of numerous national and international organisations, the use of computers in the creation of bibliographic databases has increased optimism for the creation of a global bibliographic system.


ISO – 2709


Bibliographical data is crucial for the research community, especially in the fields of science and technology, when it comes to information retrieval. However, there are some issues that come up when exchanging bibliographical information, particularly when doing so over magnetic tape or CD-ROM. Numerous international organisations have made progress toward standardising bibliographic exchange formats, including UNESCO/PGI, UNISIST, ICSU-AB, IFLA, and ISO. The International Standard Organization (ISO) provides a set of codes that the standardisation process adheres to.


Standardization's main objective it to:

  1. Allow for the transfer of bibliographic data between networks of libraries and abstracting and indexing services.

  2. A bibliographic agency the freedom to edit bibliographic data obtained from both libraries and abstracting and indexing services.

  3. Provide a list of essential data items that can serve as the foundation for a format for an agency's own bibliographic database and aid in the creation of customised systems.


6. Explain the Canons of Array with an example.

Ans) A long row of objects of equal rank arranged in a specific sequence is called an array. For instance, an array is made up of all of a father's children. In a similar vein, the earth's continents are arranged in an array. India's states are arranged in an array, while each state's district towns are arranged in another array.


For their formation, Ranganathan has recommended the following Canons:

  1. Canon of Exhaustiveness

  2. Canon of Exclusiveness

  3. Canon of Helpful Sequence

  4. Canon of Consistent Sequence


Exhaustiveness refers to the need that an array include every member who qualifies. Check out the following collection of males by colour:

  1. Whites

  2. Blacks

  3. Brown


This colour palette is not all-inclusive because it leaves off hues like pale yellow, fair, and wheatish.


As a result, every element should be included while creating an array; otherwise, the classification will not be complete. Contrarily, exclusivity states that an entity should only be a part of one array; in other words, a member should not be a part of two groups at once. Dogs, for instance, should either be classified as mammals or as pets, not both, as doing so will lead to what is known as cross classification. Cross categorization, however, is a blessing in computerised databases and OPACs since it adds access points and raises the likelihood of retrieval.


Entities must be ordered in a way that is logical, predictable, and beneficial, according to the principle of helpful sequence. For instance, all of a father's children could be sorted according to age. Another illustration is the ability to organise every student in a class alphabetically by name or according to merit. The systematic and advantageous arrangement of things in an array can be accomplished in a variety of ways.


Last but not least, consistent sequence denotes that if a group of entities appear in various locations, their order should be the same everywhere. For instance, the phrases male, female, and child are used in psychology, education, and even law core classes. In all of these classes, they ought to be taught in the same order.

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