Category Archives: Subject Headings

SAA Open Session at WLIC 2021: Subject to Change: How to deal with changes in subject information? – Presentations

Documentations from the virtual WLIC 2021 conference is not freely accessible  until after one year.

Did you not attend the session? The Bibliography Section blog has published a report about the session.

The presentations are freely available on-line:

Subject to flexibility: Theory and history of knowledge organisation systems / Hollie White, School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry
Curtin University, Perth Australia

Transparency & Change in Knowledge Organization / Violet Fox

Using Linked Data to Mitigate Colonial Subject Bias / F. Tim Knight

SAA Open Session at WLIC 2021: Subject to Change: How to deal with changes in subject information?

Do not miss our Open session at WLIC 2021 about what we do or should do about changes in subject information!

These links only work if you  access to the LWIC 2021 conference. It is possible to register after the conference, but we want everyone to be able to access the presentations. Go to the next blog post to get links.

Book August 18 at 7:15 – 8:30 pm CEST.

Subject to Change: How to deal with changes in subject information?






ALA Annual 2018

It’s been about a month since ALA Annual 2018, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, but it’s never too late for a subject-related update! As the CIP and Dewey Program Manager at the Library of Congress, it is both my pleasure and my responsibility to attend many subject-related meetings and programs. The OCLC Dewey Update Breakfast met at 7:00 AM on Saturday morning, as it does every ALA, with an interesting set of presentations on what’s new with the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Alex Kyrios, OCLC Dewey editor, updated the attendees on changes to the DDC based on Dewey Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) exhibits from electronic meetings EPC-140A and EPC-140B; notable topics included vegan cooking, electronic games, and child rearing, among several others. (Exhibits are proposal documents prepared by OCLC Dewey editors that provide narrative about the proposed changes, usually followed by sample hierarchies with the proposed new notation and/or notes and excerpts from the Relative Index for context; this helps EPC members understand the proposed changes and how those changes would affect the overall DDC.) Alex discussed some new features in WebDewey, such as the link to the DDC 23 Manual in WebDewey and the long-awaited ability for users, like me, to contribute built numbers for editorial vetting. (Now I’ll need to go looking for all the numbers I have built in the 400s to contribute them.) Finally, I gave a talk on the long-standing collaborations between OCLC editors and LC Dewey classifiers. This may come as a surprise to many of you, but the OCLC Dewey editors sit next to the LC classifiers at the Library of Congress, and we meet on a monthly basis to discuss trends, exhibits, and other issues related to the DDC and its application.

As the LC Dewey Liaison to the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services/Cataloging and Metadata Management Section/Subject Analysis Committee, or ALCTS/CaMMS/SAC, or even more simply SAC (read: “sack”) for short, I submit a formal written report and then speak briefly at the meeting on what’s new in the LC Dewey Program. My report is part of a trio of Dewey-related reports: the ALA representative to the EPC gives a report on recent EPC decisions; the OCLC Dewey representative gives DDC and WebDewey updates; and the LC Dewey liaison reports on LC Dewey news. At this meeting, members of various subject-related communities, such as the American Association of Law Libraries, the Art Libraries of North America, and the Music Library Association, give their reports. SAC has also reports from its own subgroups, the SAC Research and Presentation Working Group and the SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies. There is, of course, the report from the IFLA Liaison to SAC, SAA’s own George Prager. Finally, the LC Liaison from the Policy and Standards Division (PSD), Janis L. Young, gives her written and oral report to the committee.

Janis announced at the ALA Annual 2018 SAC meeting that PSD will cancel “multiple” subdivisions from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) beginning in fall 2018. “Multiple” subdivisions are a special type of subdivision that automatically gives free-floating status to analogous subdivisions used under the same heading. In the example Computers—Religious aspects—Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.], the multiple subdivision is —Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.]. This policy change results from the need to provide unique identifiers for each valid subject string to facilitate linked data. Please contact Janis Young with any questions about this change. Of particular interest to law librarians may be that the Library of Congress Classification schedules KIM-KIP: Indigenous Law: Central America, including a comparative class for Central America and the countries Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, are now available in Classification Web. Finally, one of my favorite parts of Janis’ reports lists the new and revised subject headings for inclusion in LCSH. This year we have Alcohol trafficking, Gene editing, Centaur objects, Fried chicken, and Generation Z.

These were some of the many subject-related highlights from ALA Annual 2018. I look forward to seeing you in Kuala Lumpur!

Best wishes,
Caroline Saccucci
Library of Congress




WLIC 2016 C&I Open Session August 16

The Classification & Indexing Section will host the Open Session “Reclaiming subject access to indigenous knowledge”  on  Tuesday August 16. The Open Session will be chaired by John DeSantis and Maja Žumer.

  1. Classifying and Indexing Philippine Indigenous Materials with Emphasis on the Codillera
    Cristina B. Villanueva, University of the Philippines Baguio, Philippines
    Paper in English
  2. Of Places and Names:Working with Northern Canadian Communities to Enhance Subject Access to Digital Cultural Resources
    Sharon Farnel, University of Alberta Libraries, Canada
    Ali Shiri, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada
    Dinesh Rathi, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada
    Cathy Cockney, Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Canada
    Sandy Campbell, University of Alberta Libraries, University of Alberta, Canada
    Robyn Stobbs, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada
    Paper in English
  3. Modifications to the Library of Congress Subject Headings for use by Manitoba archives
    Christine Bone, University of Manitoba Libraries, Canada
    Paper in English
  4. The Moral Imperative of Subject Access to Indigenous Knowledge: Considerations and Alternative Paths
    Heather Moulaison Sandy, iSchool at the University of Missouri, United States
    Jenny Bossaller, iSchool at the University of Missouri, United States
    Paper in English

We hope to translate the papers to other major languages and will publish them as soon as possible at the WLIC 2016 web.  To come to our Open Session , just search for “Session 151”.

Aliens will become Noncitizens (LCSH)

All over the world people leave their homes due to politics, war or economical problems.  Library of Congress has revised the subject headings Aliens and Illegal aliens. The message below is from the American Library Association (ALA), Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS), Subject Analysis Committee (SAC).

From: [] On Behalf Of Young, Janis
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2016 8:51 AM
To: pcclist;;; TGMED
Subject: [camms-sac] LC to cancel subject heading “Illegal aliens”

[This message has been distributed to multiple groups, please excuse any duplication.  Feel free to forward it to any other interested groups or individuals.]

In response to constituent requests, the Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress, which maintains Library of Congress Subject Headings, has investigated the possibility of cancelling or revising the heading Illegal aliens. PSD also explored the possibility of revising the broader term Aliens. It concluded that the meaning of Aliens is often misunderstood and should be revised to Noncitizens, and that the phrase illegal aliens has become pejorative. The heading Illegal aliens will therefore be cancelled and replaced by two headings, Noncitizens and Unauthorized immigration, which may be assigned together to describe resources about people who illegally reside in a country.

Other headings that include the word aliens or the phrase illegal aliens (e.g., Church work with aliens; Children of illegal aliens) will also be revised. All of the revisions will appear on a Tentative List and be approved no earlier than May 2016; the revision of existing bibliographic records will commence shortly thereafter.

For background on the history and purpose of the headings Aliens and Illegal aliens, the rationale for the revisions to LCSH, and a description of the scope of the project, please see the full announcement on the LC website at

Questions or comments on these revisions may be directed to Libby Dechman ( in the Policy and Standards Division.

Janis L. Young

Policy and Standards Division

Library of Congress