I Wanna Give My Friends All the Gifts: A Vendor Sorting System

Picture of an assortment of business cards on a table with text.

An integrated system for organizing craft vendor information, created for LIBR 509 with Dr. Julia Bullard in the MLIS core.

As the title suggests, this integrated system was designed to help me purchase gifts for friends based on information on vendors that I have collected over the years. It is created with a relational database in mind and is designed to grow with more vendor interactions, but is not tied to any particular program or website. If I manage to find the time to implement this system, it would likely be created in Notion as the platform is free for students.

While this system is not explicitly tied to career goals, it is a good "capstone" project that exemplifies the systems I have learned in this course and how they can work together. It engages the skills used in the various Create assignments (especially classification and content schema), and draws on core themes of systems being made for navigation. A deeper reflection on my learning in this course can be found here.

Receiving Feedback

Overall, feedback I received showed most appreciation for the clarity of the content schemes. Some did suggest that I could have elaborated more on data format, which I admit is a weakness in making this system program agnostic. That said, there were other considerations offered by my peers:

"Are the terms in the isolates proposed as a type of controlled vocabulary? How would an entry look like in the system? Would you consider additional aesthetics? Could the medium facet work as a hierarchical classification under certain products?" Peer Reviewer #2
Additionally, Peer Reviewer #3 expressed that maintenance of the system be made more explicit, especially regarding regular updates of the entries.
As a form of revision, I think it would be interesting to re-write this assignment not as an explanation of the system but more as an instruction guide, as if someone else had commissioned me to create a system for this business cards.

Giving Feedback

Feedback for this week focused on whether the systems created served the stated users of those systems. For example, I asked Review Recipient #1 whether a field of a content schema were for internal organizational use or front-facing customer use. In other cases, I also encouraged peers to be more explicit about how different aspects would integrate with one another.

iSchool Graduate Competencies

Below is a self-identified list of competencies that this activity engages as it aligns with the iSchool MLIS Graduate Competencies:

3. Organize and manage information to facilitate access, reflection, and use in a range of contexts

4. Employ information systems and current technologies to address real-world situations, informed by social and cultural perspectives

7. Demonstrate effective collaboration, decision-making and leadership in team settings

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Learning Significance

  1. This assignment, and this course as a whole, has been really important to me with regards to thinking about my learning in a way that respects my individuality and interests. I think that a system dedicated to local artists created for giving gifts also encapsulates the larger themes of this ePortfolio in creating things that help the communities I am a part of thrive and creating value for the people in my life.