Marie E. Whited
Lillian Goldman Library at Yale LawSchool
The ALA ALCTS/CCS Subject Analysis Committee and its subcommittees held meetings January 9-12 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans.
The Committee heard reports from various subcommittees and liaisons. Lynn El-Hoshy of LC's Cataloging and Support Office reported on developments in subject cataloging and on other items of interest. LC is planning for its biennial in 2000 and information is available at http://lcweb.loc.gov/bicentennial/. Cataloging Distribution Service will begin public testing of the web version of Cataloger's Desktop and Classification Plus this spring. Watch their home page for information. Barbara Tillett has a three year appointment to work on LC's integrated library system and Tom Yee will be Acting Chief of the Office. David Reser has joined the staff of the Office. The new address for reporting catalog discrepancies and cataloging policy questions is firstname.lastname@example.org and for the latest policy statements see the web site http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso.
Developments in subject heading policy include information about --History and the changes to the free floating chronological subdivisions for centuries that are documented in the 1997 no. 2 update to the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings. The use of the free floating chronological century subdivisions has been authorized under subdivisions such as --Economic conditions and --Social conditions. Jury nullification, Internet addiction, and Paparazzi are just a few of the new LC subject headings. Law of the sea has been established for public international law relating to jurisdiction over the oceans and exploitation of marine resources. Maritime law is now the heading for commercial topics relating to the sea. --Electronic information resources, a topical free floating subdivision, has been established for printed guides to digital materials.
Developments in classification include the publication of KZ and the new edition of J, which includes the old JX and the new JZ. JX contains references to K, KZ and JZ and this is the last time JX will be published. Jolande Goldberg's introduction to KZ/JZ is now available from CDS. The new form division tables for the civil law schedules are finished but will not be applied until the new editions of the impacted schedules are published. A new edition of H has been published incorporating changes to HJ public finance. These changes were made in consultation with the Law Library of Congress. Work has begun on revising H-HG and these revisions will be published in LC Classification: Additions & Changes.
The subcommittee reviewing the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Division of Bibliographic Control, Working Group of the Section on Classification and Indexing's document titled "Principles Underlying Subject Heading Languages" has been disbanded upon completion of its work. The IFLA document identifies nine construction principles and two application principles that should exist in each subject heading system. Eleven subject systems from ten countries are used to illustrate the principles with actual examples. It is evident that not all systems address all the principles and that the principles are widely scattered throughout the systems' literature. The subcommittee reported these findings and others to IFLA.
The Subcommittee to Promote Subject Relationships/Reference Structures is working on promoting the use of reference structures in on-line systems. Many systems display narrower terms and "used for" references. However, broader terms and related terms are not displayed. In addition to display, references should be identified and grouped clearly. In short, most systems do not take advantages of the wealth of information provided by subject reference systems.
The SAC Subcommittee on Form Headings/Subdivision Implementation continues to push for form access via 655 form headings and $v form subdivisions. Tom Yee, Acting Chief of CPSO, reported that planning for the LC integrated library system and competing priorities for LC staff members has meant that work is progressing slowly for form heading and subdivision implementation. Before the authority components can be implemented, the LC authority applications have to be updated. The implications of $v indexing are being gathered and studied. Form heading/subdivision implementation will be slow at best.
SAC is planning a panel on subject systems for the summer meeting in Washington, D.C. It will be a discussion of LCSH, DDC and Yahoo and is titled: "One Size Fits All Subject Access Systems: Tailoring General Schemes to Meet the Needs of Specific Communities of Searchers."
The two newest subcommittees deal with metadata and classification/subject analysis. An interesting report on classification and metadata can be found at http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/DESIRE/classification. Some of the issues to be studied are creation of metadata, definition, need for subject analysis, Dublin core, search engines, mapping, vocabulary, etc.