Library of Congress Subject Headings

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Information about Library of Congress Subject Headings

Published on August 12, 2007

Author: roycekitts

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A presentation given on the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings Presented by Deborah Karlsson Royce Kitts Marlene Lerner Cadie Maas Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? A Classifying Method Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings

What is it?

A Classifying Method

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? A Classifying Method A Search Tool Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings

What is it?

A Classifying Method

A Search Tool

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? A Classifying Method A Search Tool The Standard for Subject Analysis Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings

What is it?

A Classifying Method

A Search Tool

The Standard for Subject Analysis

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? A Classifying Method A Search Tool The Standard for Subject Analysis The Red Books Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings

What is it?

A Classifying Method

A Search Tool

The Standard for Subject Analysis

The Red Books

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? A Classifying Method A Search Tool The Standard for Subject Analysis The Red Books Constantly Updated Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings

What is it?

A Classifying Method

A Search Tool

The Standard for Subject Analysis

The Red Books

Constantly Updated

Library of Congress Subject Headings What is it? A Classifying Method A Search Tool The Standard for Subject Analysis The Red Books Constantly Updated $295 in North America for the 2007 30th Edition, Five Volume Subscription Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings

What is it?

A Classifying Method

A Search Tool

The Standard for Subject Analysis

The Red Books

Constantly Updated

$295 in North America for the 2007 30th Edition, Five Volume Subscription

Who? When? Why? How? and Where? The basis for and development of the Library of Congress Subject Headings: Very significant, less significant, and unfortunate contributions were made in the creation of the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Who? When? Why? How? and Where?

The basis for and development of the Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Very significant, less significant, and

unfortunate contributions were made in the

creation of the Library of Congress Subject

Headings.

The major contributors were: Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The major contributors were: Thomas Jefferson 6487 volumes for $23,950 Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The major contributors were:

Thomas Jefferson

6487 volumes for $23,950

The major contributors were: Thomas Jefferson 6487 volumes for $23,950 Francis Bacon The Advancement of Learning memory, reason, and imagination Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The major contributors were:

Thomas Jefferson

6487 volumes for $23,950

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning

memory, reason, and imagination

The major contributors were: Thomas Jefferson 6487 volumes for $23,950 Francis Bacon The Advancement of Learning memory, reason, and imagination George Watterson Alphabetized by title within Jefferson’s main divisions Stole Jefferson’s handwritten detailed inventory and catalog Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The major contributors were:

Thomas Jefferson

6487 volumes for $23,950

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning

memory, reason, and imagination

George Watterson

Alphabetized by title within Jefferson’s main divisions

Stole Jefferson’s handwritten detailed inventory and catalog

(Contributors continued) Nicholas P. Trist The Trist Catalog – a best attempt to recreate Jefferson’s Schema Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

(Contributors continued)

Nicholas P. Trist

The Trist Catalog – a best attempt to

recreate Jefferson’s Schema

(Contributors continued) Nicholas P. Trist The Trist Catalog – a best attempt to recreate Jefferson’s Schema Charles A. Cutter Rules for a Dictionary Catalog Direct entry, the use of natural language, and cross-reference Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

(Contributors continued)

Nicholas P. Trist

The Trist Catalog – a best attempt to

recreate Jefferson’s Schema

Charles A. Cutter

Rules for a Dictionary Catalog

Direct entry, the use of natural language,

and cross-reference

(Contributors continued) Nicholas P. Trist The Trist Catalog – a best attempt to recreate Jefferson’s Schema Charles A. Cutter Rules for a Dictionary Catalog Direct entry, the use of natural language, and cross-reference J.C.M. Hanson Modified Cutter’s dictionary entries American Library Association List of Subject Headings for Use in Dictionary Catalog and LC Catalog Card Distribution Service Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

(Contributors continued)

Nicholas P. Trist

The Trist Catalog – a best attempt to

recreate Jefferson’s Schema

Charles A. Cutter

Rules for a Dictionary Catalog

Direct entry, the use of natural language,

and cross-reference

J.C.M. Hanson

Modified Cutter’s dictionary entries

American Library Association

List of Subject Headings for Use in

Dictionary Catalog and

LC Catalog Card Distribution Service

Function of the Library of Congress Subject Headings As a Controlled Vocabulary for: Subject indexing of the Library of Congress collection Use in subject cataloging and indexing by other libraries or indexing agencies Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Term Relationships: Equivalence Relationships Hierarchical Relationships Associative Relationships Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Term Relationships:

Equivalence Relationships

Hierarchical Relationships

Associative Relationships

Equivalence Relationships Use (U) UF Drive (Golf) Use Golf-Drive Used For (UF) Art, French UF French Art Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Hierarchical Relationships Broader Term (BT) Apes BT Primates Narrower Term (NT) Fuel NT Liquid Fuels Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Associative Relationships Related Term (RT) Ships RT Boats and boating Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

A General Works B Philosophy, Psychology, Religion C Auxiliary Sciences of History D History (General) and History of Europe E History: America F History: America G Geography, Anthropology, Recreation H Social Sciences J Political Science K Law L Education M Music and Books on Music N Fine Arts P Language and Literature Q Science R Medicine S Agriculture T Technology U Military Science V Naval Science Z Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources (General) Notice that there is no "I" or "O." This is because it is too easy to confuse those letters with the numbers one and zero. Overview of the Library of Congress Classification System Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

“ The reader is the focus in all cataloging principles and practice. All other considerations, such as convenience and the desire to arrange entries in some logical order are secondary to the basic rule that the heading in word and structure should be that which the reader will seek in the catalog if we can know or presume under what heading the reader will look.” David Judson Haykin Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Pros : Uniformity Quick and easy to update Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Pros :

Uniformity

Quick and easy to update

Uniformity: The widespread use and acceptance of the Library of Congress Subject Headings facilitates the uniform access and retrieval of items in any library in the world using the same search strategy and LCSH thesaurus, if the correct headings have been applied to the item by the library . Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Quick and Easy to update (online version) Subject Authority Cooperative (SACO), established in 1992. “The Subject Authority Cooperative was established to provide a means for libraries to submit subject headings and classification numbers to the Library of Congress via the program for Cooperative Cataloging.” Through an application process, librarians can join SACO and submit newly developing subject headings as the need arises. Library of Congress Subject Headings Weekly List Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Cons Difficult to use and understand for both librarians and patrons Syntax! - LCSH has a history of lacking an appropriate response to controversial or ethnic changes. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Cons

Difficult to use and understand for both librarians and patrons

Syntax!

- LCSH has a history of lacking an appropriate response to controversial or ethnic changes.

Do Librarians Understand LCSH? In a recent study, librarians were given texts and illustrations and asked to name the concepts in the stimuli. The concepts identified by the librarians were then compared with the subjects listed in LCSH. Study participants matched only 25% of the time. There is little agreement between the names people use to identify concepts and the names recommended by LCSH. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Librarians understanding, contd. 100 books were assigned 202 subject headings. When studying the texts, researchers found that only 24.5% of the subject headings given actually represented the text. When polled 137 reference librarians and 135 technical services librarians, only 52% on average reported a correct understanding to the LCSH given. “the most successful users are those without subject experience, but with knowledge of the structure and content of the catalog.” Catalogers are more likely to have a firm grasp on understanding LCSH. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Do users understand LCSH? Study of adults and children at a public library. Given a list of LCSH and asked what they thought those books would be about. Children under 10 found the questionnaire impossible to complete. Only 31% of children and 36% of adults reported correct meanings according to LCSH. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Art, Modern – California – Los Angeles – 20th Century – Exhibitions User responses: California 20th Century Art different places The new art Art in California in the 20th Century LCSH defined as: Exhibitions of 20th Century Los Angeles Modern Art. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Art, Modern – California – Los Angeles – 20th Century – Exhibitions

User responses:

California 20th Century

Art different places

The new art

Art in California in the 20th Century

LCSH defined as:

Exhibitions of 20th Century Los Angeles Modern Art.

Syntax Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Syntax Changing subdivision order can dramatically change the subject meaning. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Syntax Changing subdivision order can dramatically change the subject meaning. Art, modern – 20th Century – Public opinion Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Syntax Changing subdivision order can dramatically change the subject meaning. Art, modern – 20th Century – Public opinion Public opinion of 20th Century Modern Art Vs. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Syntax Changing subdivision order can dramatically change the subject meaning. Art, modern – 20th Century – Public opinion Public opinion of 20th Century Modern Art Vs. Art, modern – Public opinion – 20th Century Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Syntax Changing subdivision order can dramatically change the subject meaning. Art, modern – 20th Century – Public opinion Public opinion of 20th Century Modern Art Vs. Art, modern – Public opinion – 20th Century 20th century public opinion of modern art Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject headings have historically lacked a timely response to evolving terminology. As late as 1994, LC was using the term “Afro-American.” The term feminism was not listed in the LCSH Red Books until the 1980 ed. Subject headings for materials on gay, lesbian and trans-gendered persons is often lacking and misleading. Evaluation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject headings have historically lacked a timely response to evolving terminology.

As late as 1994, LC was using the term “Afro-American.”

The term feminism was not listed in the LCSH Red Books until the 1980 ed.

Subject headings for materials on gay, lesbian and trans-gendered persons is often lacking and misleading.

While the benefit of subject heading standardization is of great importance, what good is it really, if both librarians and patrons have a difficult time using it. A better, more flexible system is needed. Evaluation Conclusion Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Is LCSH the devil? You decide. Future Note: One of the biggest problems with categorizing things in advance is that it forces the categorizers to take on two jobs that have historically been quite hard: mind reading, and fortune telling. It forces categorizers to guess what their users are thinking, and to make predictions about the future. Future Note: Once you expand your time scale to include the actual life of the categorization scheme itself, you recognize that the distinction between temporary and permanent is awfully vague. There isn't in fact a condition of any label that can or cannot survive any kind of long-term examination. 666 Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Future Current failings: Christocentric bias Gender bias racial bias strange out of date wordings “ water closet” instead of “toilet” “beauty training” instead of “cosmetology” Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Future

Current failings:

Christocentric bias

Gender bias

racial bias

strange out of date wordings

“ water closet” instead of “toilet” “beauty training” instead of “cosmetology”

Steps to correct this: LOC committee that oversees subject heading management. The charge of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control : Present findings on how bibliographic control and other descriptive practices can effectively support management of and access to library materials in the evolving information and technology environment. Recommend ways in which the library community can collectively move toward achieving this vision. Advise the Library of Congress on its role and priorities. Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Diagrams of the digital future as seen by the Library of Congress: Basic Order Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Diagrams of the digital future as seen by the Library of Congress: Second Order Categorization Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The future of LCSH according to LOC Diagrams of the digital future as seen by the Library of Congress: Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The Real Future- The digital future “ People have been freaking out about the virtuality of data for decades, and you'd think we'd have internalized the obvious truth: there is no shelf. In the digital world, there is no physical constraint that's forcing this kind of organization on us any longer. We can do without it, and you'd think we'd have learned that lesson by now.” ~Sandy Berman Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Problems with LCSH in the OPAC digital environment LCSH is not compatible in syntax with most other controlled vocabularies LCSH is not amenable to search engines outside of the OPAC environment Complex subject heading strings in bibliographic or metadata records are costly to maintain LCSH does not lend itself to automatic indexing or authority control The use of LCSH requires highly trained personnel Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

What is FAST? F aceted A pplication of S ubject T erminology FAST A Joint Research and Development Project by OCLC and the Library of Congress A rich controlled vocabulary based on the terminology of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) A simplified application syntax Why? Phenomenal growth of electronic resources Emergence of numerous metadata schemes Need for a new approach to subject access Lack of skilled subject catalogers Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Principles of FAST A faceted approach by categorizing headings according to their functions Retains the richness of the LCSH vocabulary in a simpler application syntax Provides a tiered approach to allow different levels of subject representation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Principles of FAST A faceted approach by categorizing headings according to their functions Retains the richness of the LCSH vocabulary in a simpler application syntax Provides a tiered approach to allow different levels of subject representation Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

“Politics and government” as a subdivision in LCSH is changed to “Political science” in FAST “Appropriations and expenditures” as a subdivision in LCSH is changed to “Expenditures, Public” in FAST “Exhibitions” as a subdivision in LCSH is changed to “Exhibition catalogs” in FAST “Columbia River Watershed” and “Pacific Coast (U.S.)” were translated to FAST with “United States” as a geographic heading “Library” as a subdivision in LCSH is changed to “Libraries” in FAST “Study and teaching (Higher)” as a subdivision in LCSH is changed to “Higher education” in FAST Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

What is the current state of the FAST project? “ FAST is currently available as a beta version with approximate 1.5 million authority records.” Will FAST replace LCSH? “ FAST is intended to supplement LCSH particularly in applications other than traditional cataloging.  FAST relies on the LCSH vocabulary and relies on the continuation of LCSH.  LCSH headings can be algorithmically converted to FAST headings and FAST headings can coexist with LCSH in bibliographic records.”   -Email correspondence with Dr. Ed O’Neill OCLC FAST chair Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

The future of LCSH Will be around for a long time to come encouraged by contract between OCLC and LOC for the creation of Library of Congress subject headings, in which the work on the part of the LOC is paid for by OCLC and then sold to libraries across the country. Probably will allow for more flexible approach to subject heading change. In response to library/customer demand will become more adaptive in the changing of subject headers, and other subject heading maintenance. Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas

Library of Congress Subject Headings Karlsson Kitts Lerner Maas References Chan, M. (1998, August). Still robust at 100: A century of LC Subject HeadingsIn The library of Congress. Retrieved July 17, 2007, from  http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9808/lcsh-100.html Conaway, J. (2000). America’s library: The story of the Library of Congress 1800-2000. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press. Darrow, Shelia L. (1994). Women’s studies and Library of Congress subject headings: an examination of Library of Congress’ responsiveness to new emerging fields of research. Unpublished master’s thesis, Kent State University School of Library Science, Kent, Ohio. Drabenstott, K., & Simcox, S. (1999). Do Libarians Understand the subject headings in library catalogs?. Reference & User Services Quarterly , 38 ( 4 ), 369-387. Drabenstott, K., & Simcox, S. (1999). End User Understanding of Subject Headings in Library Catalogs. Library Resources & Technical Services , 43 ( 3 ), 140-160. (2007, May 30) Retrieved July 7, 2007, from http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/saco/saco.html Fischer, A. (1999, December). A blueprint of his mind: Reconstructing the Jefferson collection. American Libraries, 30(11), 58-60. Tendler, A. (2001). The rules have changed: Library of Congress subject headings for art and architecture. Art Documentation , 20 ( 1 ), 24-29. Washington, Dorothy A. (1994). Are the standards adequate for organizing African-American studies resources? Unpublished work, Schomberg Center for Research on Black Culture, New York, New York.

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