The Significance of Organisation and Classification

“Where is it? I can’t find it.”

How often have you heard a response that goes like this? “You need to learn to put things in its place. You should learn to organise things better.”

Ignoring these truthful observations, I run helter-skelter, ransacking the whole house raging about not being able to find the object I am desperately looking for. Little do we realise how significant organisation and classification is in our daily lives.

When we go shopping, we do not run between the aisles in an insane fashion searching for the items we need to purchase. We know exactly where to look for as the supermarket, no matter what it is called, has classified the items and organised these in a way that customers can easily access these. If we are familiar with our surroundings, we locate the items we need effortlessly. If it is our first venture, the labelling, the display boards etc., make it possible for us to locate the items within no time. Such are the wonders of organisation and classification.  

No matter what field it is structural organisation is mandatory and cannot be overlooked.

An unexpected turn of the Wheel of Fortune transported me from classrooms in schools to a school library where I had to spend most of the time organising and classifying books and other multimedia resources in an order for borrowers’ easy access. Contrary to the expectations of conspirators, I developed a liking for the job which influenced me to enrol for a librarianship qualification at Curtin University.

One of the assignments I had to do revolved around the topic of organisation and classification. The variety of information I had used to complete the task broadened my perspective of the different sort of documents organised by different organisations.While we are familiar with the collections at a Public Library such as eBooks, print books, websites, CDs, DVDs, textbooks, reference, computers, audio books etc., I was unfamiliar about the varied and diverse collections maintained by the State Archives. The collections ranged from correspondence records, registries of births, deaths and marriages, electoral rolls, census collector books to shipping free passenger records of both bounty and assisted immigrants and convict records. Besides this, State Archives also collected records of Professions and occupations and online collections such as family ancestry, history etc.

It was also interesting to note that while the mining company  had collections of survey data, dangerous goods and explosives, mining equipment, tools and applications, rock and soil, construction project contracts  besides digital collections, the Department of Premier and Cabinet collected and stored cabinet documents classified as Official: Sensitive, Protected, Top Secret and secret.Art Museums, as we know, collect paintings, artefacts, sculptures, ceramics, paper art etc., besides print books, catalogues and other records. Aquariums, on the other hand, comprise collections of photos, plants, fish, water animals, accessories, filtration systems, cleaning supplies, records and books.

The difference between the various types of documents kept in a software company and a church is vast. While the former collects project, system, process and user documentation which consists of end users and system admin documentation, the church c ollects papal documents, pastoral letters, Encyclical Epistola, constitution liturgies, catholic council documents, decrees and general directory. Bowling club also maintains different types of documents’ collections such as constitutions, by laws, code of conduct, sponsors, electronic and digital collections and other records of bowling accessories and items.  It does not come as a surprise to us that a History Museum contains collections of photographs, videos, monuments, souvenirs, archives, models, both print, digital and human resources.

In order to maintain an accurate record of documents or collections, every organisation requires human resources and one cannot overlook this collection called the staff. 

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