Report of the
AALL Representative to the American Library Association
Association for Library Collection and Technical Services
Cataloging and Classification Section
Subject Analysis Committee (SAC)
Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 2010
Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., June 2010
Fordham Law School Library
ymandelstam [at] law.fordham.edu
The Subject Analysis Committee studies problems and recommends improvements in patterns, methods, and tools for the subject analysis, organization, and retrieval of information resources, and provides liaison for those areas of interest between CCS and other ALA and non-ALA organizations that have an interest in and concern for these activities.
Following is a summary of SAC activities and highlights from the Library of Congress (LC) reports.
SAC/LC Free-floating Subdivision Review
After reviewing a proposal presented by Janis Young, the LC liaison to SAC, a decision was made at Midwinter to create a joint SAC/LC task group for reviewing Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) free-floating subdivisions. The project was divided into three phases: identifying categories of subdivisions in the Subject Headings Manual (SHM) memo H1095; arranging all the free-floating subdivisions in H1095 into the categories developed in phase one; and evaluating all the free-floating subdivisions. The group will submit recommendations to the LC Policy and Standards Division (PSD) for cancelling obsolete subdivisions, combining nearly synonymous subdivisions, revising or rewording subdivisions, and establishing new pattern headings. Phases one and two were completed by June 2010 and phase three is scheduled to begin shortly after ALA Annual.
SAC Faceting Task Force
As the use of the term "faceting" is proliferating and becoming less precise, the new task force will look at how the term is defined and will explore the faceting concept in the current environment as it relates to subject terminology.
LCGFT Pre-Conference Proposal for ALA Annual 2011
In coordination with PSD, the SAC chair had submitted a proposal to the ALCTS Program Committee for a pre-conference workshop on the application and development of the new Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT) for ALA Annual 2011.
Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation
A small working group within the subcommittee is reviewing LCSH form subdivision in 185 authority records and is evaluating which heading could be used as genre/form terms and which 185 subdivisions may be cancelled or modified. The group will send its recommendations to members of the subcommittee for review. Once passed, the recommendations will be reviewed by PSD and if approved, the list of genre/form terms will go back to the working group for the creation of scope notes and cross references.
The subcommittee is also working on evaluating the pros and cons of various possible treatments of information related to genre/form terms such as place, ethnicity, language, and intended audience. When done, the subcommittee will submit its recommendations to PSD.
The subcommittee's proposal to MARBI to establish a MARC 21 source code for LC's genre/form thesaurus was approved. In May 2010, LC announced the new code "lcgft", along with a new name for the term list: "Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials".
Subcommittee on FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology)
FAST–a subject vocabulary derived from LCSH–was developed by OCLC in cooperation with the Library of Congress. The subcommittee on FAST continued to explore issues related to FAST implementation.
The book FAST: Faceted Application of Subject Terminology: Principles and Application by Lois Chan and Ed O'Neill is being published by Libraries Unlimited and is expected to be released in July. Other FAST developments include the addition of many references, geographic coordinates, functionality enabling user contributions, and improvement of the conversion of LCSH to FAST.
The FAST database is available at http://fast.oclc.org. The full FAST authority file can be licensed for non-commercial use.
Highlights from reports submitted by Janis Young, the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division.
The full LC at ALA report is available at http://www.loc.gov/ala.
- New Editions of LC Classification Schedules. The new editions of two schedules are now available: P-PA: Philology and Linguistics (General), Greek Language and Literature, Latin Language and Literature (2010 edition); and PL-PM: Languages of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania; Hyperborean, Indian, and Artificial Languages (2010 edition).
- Library of Congress Subject Headings, 32nd edition (2010). The 32nd edition of LCSH is now available continues to feature a sixth volume entitled Supplementary Vocabularies. It includes free-floating subdivisions, genre/form headings, and children's subject headings. Supplementary Vocabularies is also sold as a stand-alone item.
- Other Publications Available for Purchase. Free-Floating Subdivisions: An Alphabetical Index, 22nd edition; Subject Headings Manual, Update No. 1 (2010); Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, 2010 Updates.
- Authorities & Vocabularies. The vision for the Authorities & Vocabularies service (http://id.loc.gov), which went live in April 2009, is focused on the automatic generation of metadata for digital documents, digital tables of contents, and digital summaries. The service will provide code lists, subject headings, and other terminologies, which can be used to automatically provide codes, suggest subject headings and alternate terminology from various lists, and enrich searching. The Authorities & Vocabularies service is free and open to the public for searching, downloading, and linking to any of the data contained in the service.
- Pre- vs. Post-Coordination in LCSH. PSD has completed a review of the status of the initiatives and projects outlined in the 2007 report on pre- versus post-coordination of LCSH. The status review, entitled "The Policy and Standards Division's Progress on the Recommendations made in ‘Library of Congress Subject Headings: Pre- vs. Post-Coordination and Related Issues'" was approved by the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate (ABA) managers in May and is available to the public through LC's web site at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/pre_vs_postupdate.pdf.
- LCSH Validation Records. As of June 2010, there are more than 45,000 subject validation records. These records were generated from LCSH subject heading strings used in bibliographic records, for which no authority records had previously been created. The objective of this project is to enable more machine-validation of subject headings assigned in bibliographic records.
- Reclass of LAW 7 Titles. Work on the retrospective conversion project to assign K schedule classification to previously unclassified legal documents continued within the Law Section of the U.S. Publisher and Liaison Division. As of the end of April, 10,271 items had been reclassed this fiscal year.
- Subject Headings for Cooking and Cookbooks. On the June 2, 2010 Tentative Weekly List, PSD approved revisions to approximately 800 subject headings for cooking and cookbooks, to replace the word "Cookery" with "Cooking" (e.g. Cooking, Cooking (Butter), Cooking for the sick, Aztec cooking, Cooking, American--Southwestern style). In approximately 500 additional authority records, the reference structure for a heading was revised but not the heading itself (e.g., Brunches, Comfort food, and Tortillas had the broader term Cookery); in such cases the revisions were made offlist. A new topical subject heading Cookbooks and a genre/form heading Cookbooks have also been approved, and are available for use.
- Subdivisions for Video Recordings. The subdivisions –Video catalogs, --Video recordings for foreign speakers, –Video recordings for French, [Spanish, etc.] speakers, and –Film and video adaptations were revised or cancelled on March 3, 2010. This marked the final phase in the cancellation of headings and subdivisions for video recording forms and genres in LCSH in accordance with the decision announced on November 6, 2009 in the paper entitled "Decision Regarding the Final Disposition of LCSH Headings for Video Recordings.
- Subject Heading Projects. Since the Midwinter Meeting, PSD has undertaken several short-term projects to update subject headings and references, to bring them into alignment with current standards as defined by the Subject Headings Manual, or to modify outdated language. Some examples are as follows:
- The project to revise headings qualified by religion (e.g., Monasteries, Lutheran) into direct order has been completed.
- All shopping centers that were established in LCSH have now been established in the name authority file, pursuant to PSD's 2009 ruling to move them into SHM H 405 Group 1.
- A question from a cataloger led PSD to realize that the heading Frankenstein (Fictitious character) was being improperly used for both Dr. Frankenstein and for Frankenstein's monster. The headings Frankenstein (Fictitious character) and Frankenstein (Fictitious character) in literature have been cancelled and replaced by two different headings, Frankenstein, Victor (Fictitious character) and Frankenstein's monster (Fictitious character). The bibliographic records have also been corrected.
- The Folger Shakespeare Library is working on a project to establish every Shakespearean character through the SACO program. PSD has determined that characters with non-unique names (e.g., Clown, Bianca) should be represented by a single heading; in effect, the headings will be undifferentiated names.
- PSD has also approved proposals to establish headings for two events currently in the news. LCSH now includes the headings Eyjafjallajökull Volcano (Iceland) and Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill, 2010. The former was a SACO proposal made by the University of Washington and the latter proposal originated in PSD.
- Genre/Form Thesaurus to be Separated from LCSH. The genre/form thesaurus is now entitled, Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT). This title will appear in print for the first time in the Supplemental Vocabularies volume of the 32nd edition of LCSH. A separate MARC source code "lcgft" has been assigned to distinguish headings in LCGFT from LCSH headings. The authority records will be revised as follows:
- Byte 11 of the fixed field (008/11) will be coded "z" ("other")
- The 040$f will be coded lcgft
Additionally, LCCNs with the distinctive prefix "gf" will be used as record control numbers. The authority records will be revised to reflect these changes within the next few months, and PSD will provide at least six weeks' notice before making these changes.
PSD is also beginning work on a separate, self-contained, manual for genre/form terms and is investigating the possibility of extracting LCGFT from Supplementary Vocabularies and publishing it separately.
- Moving Image and Sound Recordings Projects. The moving image and sound recording headings have moved out of the development stage and are now being maintained.
- Cartography Project. Approximately 65 cartographic genre/form headings were approved in mid-May and the subdivisions used for maps will be revised in late summer, with LC implementation to occur soon thereafter, but no earlier than August 1, 2010. PSD will announce the firm implementation date as soon as it becomes available.
- Law Project. The American Association of Law Libraries continues to work with PSD to revise its report, "Genre/Form Terms for Law Materials." Online proposals for the headings will be created in mid-2010, with formal approval to follow. In addition, LC's Hebraica Cataloging Section is conferring with the Jewish Theological Seminary and other interested groups to develop a list of headings for Jewish law. LC will implement law genre/form headings submitted by AALL in the beginning of 2011.
- Music Project. PSD is collaborating closely with the Music Library Association to deconstruct existing topical headings into their constituent genres/forms, carriers, and mediums of performance, so that those elements can be separately coded and searched.
- Religion Project. The American Theological Libraries Association (ATLA) is partnering with PSD to develop genre/form headings for religion. Janis Young, LC's genre/form coordinator, moderated a round table presentation on genre/form headings at the ATLA conference in June 2010.