Library of Congress Subject Heading Suggestion Blog-a-Thon

Do subject headings still matter? We say they do.

Does the Library of Congress always identify accessible and appropriately named headings and implement them in a timely manner? We say not always. All you have to do is spend one day behind a reference desk to see examples of biased, non-inclusive, and counterintuitive classifications that slow down, misdirect, or even obscure information from library users. As librarians and library workers, providing access to information is important-and classifying it in ways that are inclusive and intuitive strengthens our egalitarian mission.

Between now and Sunday, April 27, Radical Reference invites you to suggest subject headings and/or cross-references which will then be compiled and sent to the Library of Congress. You can either choose one previously suggested by Sandy Berman (pdf or spreadsheet) or propose your own.

This is a chance to positively impact the catalog of the de facto national library of the United States, which also impacts cataloging all over the world! Here's how...

The plan
Some time between now and Sunday, April 27 at 6pm Eastern:

  1. Select one or more subject headings or cross-references to suggest
  2. Provide material to support your suggestion (in the form of a link and excerpted text/image)
  3. Blog it somewhere (your own site; Radical Reference--if you're a registered and authenticated user on the site, you can create your own blog post, if not, just make it a comment to this post; an online file sharing service like Google Docs or Zoho)
  4. Tag it for rr_lcsh2008 and for:radical_reference. If you don't have a delicious account email me, and I'll tag it for you.
  5. If you are suggesting a subject heading not previously submitted to LC (e.g. not on Sandy's scorecard), also submit your proposal to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.
  6. For discussion and help, join the Meebo chat, embedded below, or search for the meebo room "RR LCSH party",which will be active on Sunday from 4-6 ET for sure, and other times, as staffed.
  7. If you are in the NYC area, you can come to the ABC No Rio Computer Center on Manhattan's Lower East Side for some in person collaboration.
  8. We will email a link to the tagged items to LC, print out a copy of each blog post and mail it to Sandy, and we're kinda hoping that the members of the RADCAT (radical cataloging) discussion list will consider entering some of the suggested headings properly into the proposal form

Example of a new subject heading request.

Example of a new cross-references request.

Join the meebo chat:

blog post

Thanks! I haven't had time to do the actual forms yet, but here's my blog post
(text URL):

SACO Manual

Here's a link to the SACO Manual that might help everyone understand what is needed for filling out the form. The examples are really great, I think those will be the most help. I know its catalog lingo heavy, but I think it will help everyone understand a little better what goes into these submissions.

'Car parks' as a see reference/UF term

Hi there, I'd like to suggest the term 'Car parks' as a UF/see reference for the subject heading 'Parking lots'. In Australia, Britain, New Zealand and probably other English-speaking places, people refer to them as car parks and not the US term, parking lots.

It's a good example of a term that is very much used in some English-speaking places but not others, and would be very helpful in catalogue-land as a see reference.

I also agree with Sandy Berman's list, presenting terms that realistically reflect the diversity out there.

Thanks, Kylie

subject changes/proposals

I don't have a blog and I don't know how to do delicious so I'm just going to list the changes and proposals I did today here. Some of these I've proposed before and heard nothing back, maybe this time ...

Organic foods - change from UF under Natural foods to NT
Bridges, Steel plate deck - allow geog. subdiv.
Effect of forest management on - allow use after plants
Eastern filbert blight - 4th time I've proposed this!
Generative organs - change to Sex organs
Generative organs, female - change to Female sex organs
Generative organs, male - change to Male sex organs

That's fine. Thanks, Lichen!

That's fine. Thanks, Lichen!

within areas of the SACO form

Cutting (Self-mutilation)

I also submitted it, through the SACO form.

headings list

As an anarchist librarian and a fiction cataloger who believes strongly in value-added cataloging (lots of subject headings, genre access, summaries, etc.) I’ve long been a fan of Sandy’s; this is a great idea.

I have to say I only found out about this a couple days ago so most of these are not up to the level of a formal SACO request, and in fact are pretty shoddy, but I’ll put them here for what it’s worth. I’m sure most of the definitions could use some work. I also realize a lot of the references don’t contain the term in the title; I just haven’t had the time to quote the phrase from the jacket or interior of the book, etc. They also aren’t very “radical” but they do fill needs I’ve come to see over the last few years of cataloging. (Also, they aren’t submitted in a very Web 2.0-ish manner, but anyway…) Maybe somebody with more experience can beat this into shape.

Jon George

150 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Tombstone, Ariz., 1881
450 Shootout at the O.K. Corral
This should be established as a heading for a historical event, there’s enough material out there to justify it. Gunfights|zArizona|zTombstone just doesn’t cut it.
References: Tombstone (Motion picture : 1993)
Marks, P. And die in the West : the story of the O.K. Corral gunfight. 1989
West, P. O.K. : the corral, the Earps, and Doc Holliday : a novel. 2000

151 Northwoods
451 North Woods
451 Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
(actually I’m not fussy about Northwoods vs. North Woods, I just think the heading needs to be established, either way)
Definition: Here are entered works on the forested areas of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan (especially the Upper Peninsula), southern Ontario, and parts of New England.
Rationale: There are a number of works out there that treat the Northwoods as a distinct geographic entity rather than on a state-by-state/province basis. Entering your terms with geographic subdivisions for 4 different states/provinces isn’t very succinct. The term is also used in fiction as a way of specifying a particular setting without naming a state.
References: (“The North Woods of the United states is a broad region of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and the forested areas of New England. Part of the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province which is also found in southern Ontario…” (“The Laurentian Mixed Forest (LMF) traverses northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, southern Ontario, and the less mountainous portions of New England.”)
Mead, K. Dragonflies of the North Woods. 2003
Rada, Jim. Northwoods whitewater : a paddler’s guide to whitewater of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Michigan. 2006
Knauth, P. The north woods. 1972
Marffin, K. Waiting for the 400 : a Northwoods noir. 2003 (fiction)
Johnson, Lois Walfrid. Adventures of the northwoods (fictional children’s series)
Braun, Lilian Jackson. The cat who series (many of the volumes are set in Pickax in imaginary Moose County, “400 miles north of everywhere”. Braun studiously avoids naming a state, but the setting is definitely in the Northwoods)

150 Couriers
Definition: A person engaged to deliver mail, messages, or packages.
Rationale: LC has headings for Messengers, Bicycle messengers, Guerilla couriers, Diplomatic couriers, and Drug couriers, but the messenger aspect fails to accouont for the delivery of items, while the courier headings are too specific for general delivery of items. There are also headings for Express service and Delivery of goods, but the concept of a Courier as a class of persons would be better served by its own heading.
References: MacAlister, Katie. Aisling Grey, guardian series (protagonist is a courier. From book 1, You slay me. 2004, back cover: “My prior career as a courier began and ended when I traveled to Paris to deliver a six-hundred-year-old golden dragon statue…”) (fiction)
MacLarty, J. The courier. 2003 (from publisher description: “The Courier's Motto: the package always arrives unopened, undamaged, and in one piece.”) (fiction)
Howard, L. A game of chance. 2000 (female protagonist is a courier)
Gilbert, Tim. Tony’s guide to the courier industry. 2004

150 Free clinics
possible RT: street clinics
Definition: Medical facilities offering community health care on a free or very low cost basis.
References: (Wikipedia article) (Berkeley Free Clinic) (National Association of Free Clinics)
Roberts, G. Shantaram (protagonist runs a free clinic in Bombay) (novel)
Smith, D. Love needs care : a history of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic and its pioneer role in treating drug-abuse problems. 1971 (in LC)

150 Range war
NT: Johnson County War, 1892 (established LC heading)
Definition: A conflict over grazing rights, water rights, or land use, usually between competing farmers and/or ranchers.
Rationale: A common trope in Western fiction, currently there is no adequate heading to describe this. There’s an LC heading for Rangelands, but what do you do with it? Rangelands|xControl doesn’t seem that great. Land tenure seems off base also.
References: (Wikipedia article)
Open range (Motion picture : 2003)
Range war (Motion picture : 1939)
Kelton, E. Barbed wire. 1959. (novel pitting barbed-wire ranchers against open-range ranchers)
Nye, N. Single action. 2006 (novel of an Arizona Ranger caught in a range war)

150 Matchmakers
450 Match makers
Definition: Here are entered works about individuals who arrange or promote marriages or romantic relationships, whether formally (such as being employed for that purpose) or informally (“fixing up” a friend with a date; scheming behind-the-scenes to get a couple to fall in love, etc.)
Rationale: Again, a common concept in fiction. Current headings such as Mate selection are not specific enough. Marriage brokerage is archaic, doesn’t bring out the class of persons, and doesn’t cover relationships that aren’t necessarily marriage-oriented. Dating services has a 450 Matchmaking services, but doesn’t convey the class of persons concept, nor does it cover the often informal matchmakers/matchmaking that goes on. Frankly, I could go for a 150 Matchmaking also.
References: Web. 3rd.: Matchmaker (“one that arranges a match ; one that brings about a marriage or is given to bringing about marriages esp. by scheming”)
Matchmaker (Motion picture : 1997)
Alexander, M. Matchmaker’s marriage. 2003 (novel)
Oke, J. Matchmakers. 1997 (novel)
Daniels, S. Matchbook : the diary of a modern-day matchmaker. 2005
Clopton, D. Mule Hollow matchmakers series (fiction)

150 Supersoldiers
450 Super soldiers
450 Super-soldiers
450 Enhanced soldiers
Definition: Here are entered works on soldiers who operate beyond normal human physical limits, augmented through genetic engineering, cybernetics, drugs or other chemical, biological, scientific or technological methods, or equipped with psychic or paranormal powers. (Technology that is not an integral part of the soldiers mind or body does not make one a supersoldier.)
Rationale: A common theme in science fiction and military fiction with no adequate term to describe it.
References: (Wikipedia article)
Universal soldier (Motion picture : 1992)
Soldier (Motion picture : 1998)
Kirby, J. Jack Kirby’s O.M.A.C. 2008 (forthcoming. Compilation of the 1970s comic book series about a “One Man Army Corps” supersoldier)
Cannell, S. Runaway heart. 2003 (novel about genetically engineered animal-soldiers)

150 Superheroes
RT: Heroes
And while we’re looking at “Super” headings, can we please split Superheroes off from regular heroes? LC has Superhero films, GSAFD has Superhero comic books, strips, etc., why can’t we have Superheroes? They are distinct enough as a class from regular heroes and should be separated as a concept.

150 Town marshals
BT: Peace officers
Definition: Peace officers of cities and towns in the American Old West not large enough to support an entire police force.
Rationale: The town marshal is a common character in Western films and novels. If this heading cannot be established, there should at least be a 450 under Peace officers. Town marshals get confused a lot with the United States marshals heading, a federal service. That heading could use a scope note to distinguish it from local marshals.
References: (Wikipedia article section)
Dodge City (Motion picture, 1939)
Parker, R. Appaloosa. 2005 (novel about a city marshal)
Hogan, R. Marshal of Babylon. 1971 (novel about a town marshal)
Var. films and books (biographies or novels) about Wyatt Earp, who was a town marshal in Dodge City. (but also a Deputy U.S. marshal for a time, so it’s kind of confusing) Including: Wyatt Earp (Motion picture : 1994) and
Lake, S. Wyatt Earp : frontier marshal. 1994

150 Houseguests
(or House guests or Guests)
Rationale: needed as a class of persons. The LC heading Entertaining which has a 450 Houseguests, Entertaining, is inadequate.
References: Web. 3rd. Houseguest (“a guest staying overnight or longer”)
Berger, T. The houseguest. 1988 (novel)
Rossi, A. The houseguest. 2000
Houseguest (Motion picture : 1995)

150 Space pirates
Rationale: a common concept in science fiction, should be separated out from regular heading Pirates, just as Space ships are differentiated from Ships.
References: Treasure planet (Motion picture : 2002) (Treasure Island set in outer space)
The pirate planet (episode of the Doctor Who science fiction television series, 1978)
Chalker, J. Pirates of the thunder. 1987 (science fiction novel)
Carver, J. Eternity’s end. 2000 (science fiction novel)

150 Space ship captains
450 Spaceship captains
Rationale: Again, a common class of persons in science fiction. Should be distinguished from the nautical heading Ship captains.

150 Chaperones
Class of persons.
Rationale: Appears as a character in historical romances and school fiction.
References: Web. 3rd. chaperon or chaperone (“a person (as a matron) who accompanies one or more young unmarried women in public or in mixed company for propriety …” ; “an older person who accompanies young people esp. in attendance at a dance, party, or other social gathering to ensure proper behavior” ; “one delegated to ensure proper behavior”)
Cornick, N. The chaperone bride. 2003
Chesney, M. The constant companion. 1980 (novel w/protagonist as chaperone)
Laurens, S. A gentleman’s honor. 2003 (novel w/protagonist as chaperone)
Emery, C. Father-daughter disaster. 1997 (children’s chapter book where protagonist’s father volunteers to chaperone at the school dance)

150 [Attending a new school]
Not sure about the terminology to use, but this is a common theme in children’s/YA fiction, where a character attends a new school. Often as a result of moving, so the heading Moving, Household might be in the record also, but that doesn’t bring the school aspect in. I don’t think the heading “First day of school” works, because this often concerns kids who have already attended school elsewhere; it’s the fact that this is a new school that needs to be emphasized. The heading Transfer students might work if a scope note was added, although I’m used to thinking of transfer students as college students rather than elementary-through-high-school.

150 Financial analysts
Rationale: Class of persons showing up in fiction and drama not adequately covered by existing headings. Differs from the LC heading Business analysts (people who analyze a business’s needs, not the investment aspects) LC has heading Investment analysis, which doesn’t get at the class of persons. I suppose Investment analysts would be a reasonable alternative term.
References: (Wikipedia article) (Chartered Financial Analyst institute) (definition from Internet investment glossary)
Shelby, P. By dawn’s early light. 2002 (novel. Protagonist is a financial analyst)
Ludlum, R. The Bancroft strategy. 2006 (novel. Female protagonist is a hedge fun analyst)

150 Wereanimals
(or, possibly: Were-animals)
450 Therianthropy
NT: Werewolves
NT: Leopard men
Definition: Here are entered works on humans able to transform themselves into animal or partially animal forms.
Rationale: In fantasy/horror fiction there is a long tradition of humans transforming into other creatures besides werewolves. The explosion in the last few years of the paranormal romance genre has especially seen this concept take off. Currently there is no succinct way to express this notion. LC has Leopard men 450 Wereleopards but this and Werewolves do not take into account the full spectrum of were-animals. The heading Metamorphosis|xFolklore isn’t really appropriate for fictional treatment, and Metamorphosis itself is a little vague.
References: (Wikipedia article)
Cat people (Motion picture : 1942) (woman transforms into a black panther)
Vincent, R. Stray. 2007 (novel about a werecat)
Liu, M. Tiger eye. 2005 (novel about a weretiger)
Singh, N. Visions of heat. 2007 (novel about a werejaguar)
Notes: I’m not sure if terms like Shapechangers/Shape-changers, Shapeshifters/Shape-shifters should be included her or not.

150 [Alien invasion]
I don’t know about the exact term, but it seems to me there should be one for this common science fiction concept where Earth gets invaded by extraterrestrials.
References: Wells, H.G. War of the worlds.
Independence Day (Motion picture : 1996)

LC uses Planets|xEnvironmental engineering with a 450 Terraforming
I would prefer Terraforming because it can encompass more than just planets: moons, planets, and asteroids, for instance.
Reference: Niven, L. Building Harlequin’s moon. 2005 (science fiction novel about terraforming a moon)

Identity (Philosophical concept) and Identity (Psychology)
LC needs scope notes under these to explain what they are and how they should be used for interdisciplinary works and fiction. I have no idea what is meant by Identity (Philosophical concept). In fiction there are hundreds of works concerned with psychological identity: my self-concept, what am I all about; but also hundreds of works about formal external identity: amnesiacs who literally don’t know who they are, their name, profession etc., and often in mysteries dead people the police are trying to discover the external identity of. Should these two kinds of identity be represented by different headings, or not? And which one/ones? The existing headings have been inconsistently applied to works of fiction.

150 Fear of spiders
450 Arachnophobia
Arachnophobia (Motion picture : 1990) (lead character is deathly afraid of spiders)

150 Floating casinos
Reference: Barry, D. Tricky business. 2002. (novel, setting is a floating casino)

150 Magic carpets
(or Flying carpets)
A common object in fantasy and folkore.
References: Brisson, P. Magic carpet. 1991 (children’s story about a magic carpet)
Trez, D. Maila and the flying carpet. 1969 (children’s story about a flying carpet)

150 Christmas presents
BT: Gifts
Ross, K. Christmas presents kids can make. 2001 (and a million other Christmas craft books and kids’ books) I’d even live with Christmas gifts.

150 Suicide missions
Definition: Military, insurgent, spy, or law enforcement missions, or covert operations undertaken by an individual or a small band of people where the chances of survival and success are slim to nil.
References: Guns of Navarone (Motion picture : 1961)

150 Jilted persons
Rationale: A common character in romance novels is the person, often a woman, who has been left at the altar, had a broken engagement, or been dumped by a significant other. This event affects the person throughout the novel, whether materially or psychologically. The LC heading Rejection (Psychology) isn’t the best, IMHO.
References: Web 3rd. jilt (2nd) (“to cast off or reject (as a lover))
Lyons, T. A surprise for Abigail. 2004 (novel. Jilted by her intended, the title character moves to a new town and vows never to fall in love again)

150 Hangmen
BT: Executions and executioners
Rationale: a class of persons found in Western novels, among other places.
Web. 3rd. hangman (“one who hangs another, esp. a public executioner”)
Estleman, L. The master executioner. 2001 (Western about a hangman)
Lovesy, P. The secret hangman. 2007 (mystery novel about a serial murderer who hangs people)

150 Wedding planners
450 Wedding consultants
LC has Weddings|xPlanning but nothing for this class of persons.
References: Wedding planner (Motion picture : 2001)
Rice, L. Summer light. 2001 (novel, protagonist is a wedding planner)
Goulet, C. FabJob guide to becoming a wedding planner. 2003 (vocational advice book for wedding planners) (Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants)

150 Alcohol smuggling
450 Bootlegging (Alcohol)
450 Rumrunning/Rum-running/Rum running
Rationale: A number of materials out there about the transportation of alcohol either during the era of national Prohibition or into areas where alcohol is locally prohibited.
LC heading Smuggling isn’t specific enough. LC heading Distilling, Illicit doesn’t cover the transportation part.
References: (Wikipedia article)
Fireball 500 (Motion picture : 1966) (lead character is a race car driver running moonshine)
Smokey and the Bandit (Motion picture : 1977) (trucker trying to bring a prohibited brand of beer into the state)
Allen, E. The black ships : rumrunners of prohibition. 1979 (nonfiction)
Garlock, D. High on a hill. 2002 (novel about a bootlegger’s daughter)
Lisle, J. Black duck. 2006 (YA novel about smuggling during Prohibition)

150 Vendetta
The 450, Feuds, is the more commonly used term, especially in fiction. I would really like to see this changed to Feuds. LC has the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, so I’m not sure why they also insist on Vendetta.

150 Guides (Persons)
LC has Hunting guides, Fishing guides, Mountaineering guides, and Tour guides, but historical fiction often has a more generalized guide who shows people the lay of the land, whether formally hired or not. Tour guide is very anachronistic in this context and doesn’t seem to fit the idea of a wilderness guide.

150 Children of politicians
LC has Children of presidents, but this doesn’t cover treatment of all the other types of political people. [Legislators]|xFamily relationships etc. is sort of a bulky way to phrase this. In fiction, especially, children of various types of politicians are always getting into trouble and kidnapped, for instance. Since the focus is on the child with that status, and not the relationships themselves, it makes more sense to establish a class of persons.

150 Marriages of convenience
Rationale: a common concept in romance novels, especially historical romances.
Web. 3rd. marriage of convienence (“a marriage contracted rather for the advantages (as keeping an estate in a family, acquiring social position) arising out of it than because of mutual affection”)
References: Hiatt, B. Runaway heiress. 2005
Jeffries, S. Married to the Viscount. 2004
Quinn, J. Brighter than the sun. 1997

150 Sheriffs
I would like a scope note clarifying the use of this for Sheriff’s deputies, or, failing that, the establishment of Sheriff’s deputies as a heading in its own right. A lot of main figures in mystery novels tend to be sheriff’s deputies rather than full-fledged sheriffs. I think people are going to identify them and look for them under some kind of Sheriff… heading rather than Police or Peace officer headings.

150 Finishing schools
References: (Wikipedia article)
Web. 3rd. finishing school (“a private school that prepares young women for social life (as by emphasizing cultural accomplishments and social graces) rather than for a vocational or professional career”)
Martinez, M. The finishing school. 2006 (novel)
Godwin, G. The finishing school. 1985 (novel)
Bray, L. A great and terrible beauty. 2004 (YA novel, protagonist attends finishing school)

150 Interracial romance(s)
Of the established headings, Interracial marriage is too narrow while Interracial dating seems anachronistic and somewhat juvenile for romance novels, especially historical ones or westerns, that feature interracial romance.

150 May-December romance(s)
References: (Wikipedia article of films that would possibly benefit from this heading)

150 Prisoners|xTransportation
LC has a heading “Prisoners, Transportation of” which refers to the idea of transportation as punishment, for instance England shipping convicts out to Australia. However, there is a body of film and literature concerned with law enforcement transferring a prisoner from one place to another safely. Both these headings would need scope notes to clarify their uses.
References: 3:10 to Yuma (Motion picture : 1957)
3:10 to Yuma (Motion picture : 2007)
S.W.A.T. (Motion picture : 2003)
Kelton, E. Texas vendetta. 2004 (Western novel)

150 Small town life
LC has separate headings for Country life and Suburban life, but puts urban areas together regardless of size in City and town life. There is a vast body of work out there, especially in Christian fiction and Cozy mysteries, where series and settings revolve around life in small towns. I use City and town life, but I suspect this is not very clear to the public. The recent LC heading of Small cities with a 450 Small towns is, I think, not very well thought out. In the U.S. “town” is often used to designate an unincorporated municipality but is also used for incorporated municipalities of varying sizes, so I understand there is some confusion around the term. However, I think the average person has a concept of a “small town” as an entity somewhere between a village and a city. Since so many fiction authors describe their settings as small towns, we need a term to encompass that idea even if it doesn’t fit certain statistical definitions.
References: Plowden, D. Small town America. 1994 (nonfiction)
Clayton, J. Small town bound. 1996 (nonfiction)
Spencer, L. Small town girl. 1997 (novel about a woman who returns to the small town where she grew up)

150 Gunfighters
150 Women gunfighters
Definition: Here are entered works about persons in the Old West (whether outlaws, members of law enforcement, or others) who have gained renown for their skill with a gun)
Rationale: very common them in Westerns, Western films, and Western history. LC has a heading for Gunfights, it should have one for gunfighters. The LC heading Shooters of firearms is stilted and too broad.
References: Web. 3rd. gunfighter (“one noted for taking part in gunfights or for his skill in gunfighting”) (Wikipedia article)
The gunfighters. Time-Life books. 1974 (nonfiction)
Horan, J. The gunfighters : the authentic wild West (nonfiction)
Drake, J. The gunfighter’s apprentice. 2006
The gunfighter (Motion picture : 1950)
The shootist (Motion picture : 1976)



UF Eco-activism
Ecological activism
BT Environmentalism
RT Ecoactivist

You know since "Ecoterrorism" is allowed.

Will Potter utilizes this term to describe activists in the environmental movement in his new book, "Green is the New Red."

Ecoterrorism (May Subd Geog)
UF Eco-extremism
BT Environmentalism

~Kim Riot

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