Unlimited Opportunities for Enhanced Access to Resources: The Library of Congress’ Faceted Vocabularies

YOUNG, Janis L. (2016) Unlimited Opportunities for Enhanced Access to Resources: The Library of Congress’ Faceted Vocabularies. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session S12 - Classification and indexing. In: Subject Access: Unlimited Opportunities, 11-12 August 2016, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2074
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Language: English (Original)

Abstract

Unlimited Opportunities for Enhanced Access to Resources: The Library of Congress’ Faceted Vocabularies

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is the most widely used subject vocabulary in the world. It includes headings that represent every discipline, as well as headings describing the genres and forms of resources, the characteristics of their creators and their intended audiences, and, in the case of musical works, their mediums of performance. The benefits of LCSH’s comprehensiveness are offset, though, by inconsistently formulated headings that inhibit both intellectual understanding and algorithmic manipulation. In 2007, the Library of Congress began to develop three vocabularies that will enhance retrieval by providing direct access to non-topical aspects of resources: Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials, the Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music, and Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms. This paper discusses why the exclusive use of LCSH is insufficient for today’s resource discovery needs. It will then describe the scope and structure of each of the three new vocabularies, and conclude by showing how the new vocabularies will provide enhanced access to library materials when used alongside LCSH or another subject vocabulary.

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