[Library Media] Race-based subject headings

Harris, Laurel Laurel.Harris at canyonsdistrict.org
Fri Mar 10 10:33:53 MST 2017


Maybe you have used this trick but in case you haven’t I’m sharing it.  I use inurl:(followed by what I want in the URL)  This seems to eliminate the .com sites.  So for example
"History of horses" inurl:gov 
I get the history of horses from .gov sites

On 3/10/17, 5:22 AM, "library-media on behalf of georgeweight at integrity.com" <library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org on behalf of georgeweight at integrity.com> wrote:

    The "subject" (no pun intended) of Google/Amazon et. al. algorithms and
    keywords--it's a separate issue, perhaps. But does anyone else find
    keyword searches to be extremely limited besides me? Juan Lee approached
    the subject in an earlier comment--but here's a bit of a historical note:
    When we first started using the web to access information for history
    papers years ago, my students found nearly immediate access to
    authoritative university web sites with great information and reference
    sources. But within a relatively short period of time, commercial sites
    climbed on board the web. Then all we'd get, due in part to so-called
    "meta keys", were listings trying to sell something.
    Since that time, I've found it difficult to bypass millions of irrelevant
    listings when doing general keyword searches--even with "advanced" or
    "boolean" methods. (Even those have been "masterminded" to the point of
    uselessness.)
    Seems like the webmasters out there that are "techies" vastly outnumber
    those with any sort of cataloging, information handling, and information
    retrieval training!
    
    George Weight
    Retired LM Teacher and past president (distant) of UELMA
    
    BTW: A word of gratitude for WorldCat and others who DO have some
    expertise. What would we do without them? (From what I can find, Google
    does have a team of developers with some interest in addressing this
    issue. I don't know what their focus is--commercial, academic, other?)
    
    >I have thoroughly enjoyed this interchange. I think it's good for us to
    > reflect on just why there are cataloging rules. We may not think they
    > apply
    > to our particular school or library, however, our library is not the only
    > library our users will interface with. There needs to be continuity and
    > consistency, so users can easily navigate libraries world-wide.
    >
    > ~lanelll rabner
    >
    > On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 11:55 AM, Juan Lee <jtlee at utah.gov> wrote:
    >
    >> This is a fascinating discussion, so I would like to add a couple of
    >> thoughts:
    >>
    >> - Subject headings are invaluable "wayfinding" tools in the context of
    >> limited ILS search capabilities. Until ILS companies invest in
    >> developing
    >> better search tools that approximate Google or Amazon algorithms,
    >> subject
    >> headings are essential.
    >>
    >> - With millions of hyphenated-Americans in the world, I find the ability
    >> to search for the term "X-American" very helpful to identify items that
    >> are
    >> specific and culturally relevant to my patron.
    >>
    >> ~Juan Lee
    >>
    >> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >>
    >> *Juan Tomás Lee*, Library Consultant
    >> Utah *State Library* Division
    >> 250 N 1950 W Suite A
    >> Salt Lake City, UT 84116
    >> 801-715-6769 <(801)%20715-6769>  |  800-662-9150 <(800)%20662-9150>  |
    >> jtlee at utah.gov
    >>
    >> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >>
    >>
    >> On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 11:03 AM, Lanell Rabner <lanell.rabner at nebo.edu>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> I think this discussion is a good reminder as to why we add subject
    >>> headings in the first place. I'm a fanatic about subject headings, and
    >>> lots
    >>> of them, as these are the entry points to our records. Without them,
    >>> our
    >>> users can't find what they need. We can teach our students to initiate
    >>> a
    >>> search using keywords, but then for a more in-depth examination of a
    >>> topic,
    >>> the subject heading is where we go. And, I love it when the keywords
    >>> show
    >>> up in the subject headings!
    >>>
    >>> ~lanell rabner
    >>> Librarian
    >>> Springville High School
    >>>
    >>> On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 9:52 AM, Whiting, Joshua <
    >>> jwhiting at graniteschools.org> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> My two cents, I agree with Heather. I think those kinds of subject
    >>>> headings could be useful for patrons finding books related to their
    >>>> own
    >>>> culture and experience, and also for finding books on another culture
    >>>> they
    >>>> are interested in learning about or have been assigned to study. If I
    >>>> remember correctly we had a question come up on this very listserv in
    >>>> which
    >>>> a librarian was looking for picture books with regular non-historical
    >>>> stories that just happened to feature African-American characters. I
    >>>> thought it was an extremely valid request in that it supported the
    >>>> whole
    >>>> “mirrors and windows” concept of readers seeing themselves in
    >>>> books and
    >>>> also seeing people different than themselves. Books about historical
    >>>> figures and the civil rights movement are important, but sometimes
    >>>> kids
    >>>> might benefit from seeing other kids who look like them just playing
    >>>> in the
    >>>> snow or talking to magical animals, too. So the subject headings could
    >>>> be
    >>>> useful for the librarian in trying to find these kinds of books for
    >>>> students, and in doing collection development. If you search for
    >>>> something
    >>>> and nothing or almost nothing comes up, it could indicate you have
    >>>> some
    >>>> collection development to do in that area to improve the diversity of
    >>>> your
    >>>> collection.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> I see no problems with having these in your catalog, except the
    >>>> following cases:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> 1.       If it were the only subject heading for a title. In this
    >>>> case,
    >>>> I would say don’t remove it, but instead add some additional
    >>>> relevant
    >>>> subject headings for that book.
    >>>>
    >>>> 2.       If it is an old subject heading using outdated or possibly
    >>>> offensive language, you should probably modernize it or remove it.
    >>>>
    >>>> 3.       If there is a subject heading like “Women Artists” or
    >>>> “African
    >>>> American Inventors” I would want to make sure there was also one on
    >>>> the
    >>>> record that is just “Artists” or “Inventors” so that the
    >>>> book/person is not
    >>>> inadvertently filtered out from searches for all artists or inventors.
    >>>> I
    >>>> would still leave the more specific one so that patrons can search
    >>>> that way
    >>>> as well.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> I think if someone in your community were using these headings as a
    >>>> way
    >>>> to find groups of books to sideline/challenge/weed, that’s not the
    >>>> fault of
    >>>> the subject headings and you probably have bigger issues to deal with
    >>>> in
    >>>> terms of educating your community about readers’ rights, open access
    >>>> to
    >>>> information, diversity, etc.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> *Josh Whiting*
    >>>>
    >>>> Library Media | Educational Technology Dept. | Granite School District
    >>>>
    >>>> Phone: 385-646-7128 <(385)%20646-7128> | Email:
    >>>> jwhiting at graniteschools.org | Twitter: @jdwhiting
    >>>> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__twitter.com_jdwhiting&d=DwIFaQ&c=fGrSkuu3YyS91PacIZP0XfO0GRH7JgL5znLEO6-CQG0&r=q6fnDblPbeZ8g4Iz_0Gzgs9xcCzHgVYKnLut0UaqLFa8_b8yJOGSOZrd28ZOqyp5&m=bdlxSM0X89PNzTL3vum4fU-BGxdAqk7qGq4kPVteWxE&s=Hd7-RIfy3FIzu3yXUYulrCS_hHqZuEHtnW1NS0jxLis&e= >
    >>>>
    >>>> Web: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__graniteschools.org_edtech&d=DwIFaQ&c=fGrSkuu3YyS91PacIZP0XfO0GRH7JgL5znLEO6-CQG0&r=q6fnDblPbeZ8g4Iz_0Gzgs9xcCzHgVYKnLut0UaqLFa8_b8yJOGSOZrd28ZOqyp5&m=bdlxSM0X89PNzTL3vum4fU-BGxdAqk7qGq4kPVteWxE&s=VeamhxZ5fYv5A_wo-0L8Ws-kFTkX7UuIHhYa6x0gfOs&e=  | https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__granitemedia.org&d=DwIFaQ&c=fGrSkuu3YyS91PacIZP0XfO0GRH7JgL5znLEO6-CQG0&r=q6fnDblPbeZ8g4Iz_0Gzgs9xcCzHgVYKnLut0UaqLFa8_b8yJOGSOZrd28ZOqyp5&m=bdlxSM0X89PNzTL3vum4fU-BGxdAqk7qGq4kPVteWxE&s=KrLIb0TrH5lC68G4BFZ5u3ksQ7Vl4dSUqCF86HyBo2k&e= 
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> *From:* library-media [mailto:library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org] *On
    >>>> Behalf Of *Heather Novotny
    >>>> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 8, 2017 8:50 AM
    >>>> *To:* Joseph Nielsen <Joseph.Nielsen at slcschools.org>; Cindy Mitchell <
    >>>> cindy.mitchell at jordandistrict.org>; library-media at lists.uen.org
    >>>>
    >>>> *Subject:* Re: [Library Media] Race-based subject headings
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Interesting point about the subject headings!
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> I just showed students how to click on the subject headings in a
    >>>> work's
    >>>> bibliographic record to find further materials. I love this as a
    >>>> backdoor
    >>>> to understanding indexing in a library catalog, and it works with any
    >>>> catalog. The 5th graders were totally geeked up, and a bunch of them
    >>>> went
    >>>> to the City & County library catalogs to try it immediately.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> The strength of subject indexing is that, unlike keyword searching, it
    >>>> can return more relevant results. We all learn keyword searching just
    >>>> by
    >>>> doing it, but subject indexing has got to be taught.
    >>>>
    >>>> Regarding removing descriptors that reference ethnicity, not sure I
    >>>> agree with that. What is the purpose of it? If Korean kids can find
    >>>> books
    >>>> about kids like them, that's a good thing, right?
    >>>>
    >>>> Heather Novotny
    >>>>
    >>>> Librarian
    >>>>
    >>>> The McGillis School
    >>>>
    >>>> 668 South 1300 East Salt Lake City, UT 84102
    >>>>
    >>>> hnovotny at mcgillisschool.org
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> *From: *Joseph Nielsen <Joseph.Nielsen at slcschools.org>
    >>>> *To: *Cindy Mitchell <cindy.mitchell at jordandistrict.org>, "
    >>>> library-media at lists.uen.org" <library-media at lists.uen.org>
    >>>> *Sent: *3/8/2017 8:21 AM
    >>>> *Subject: *Re: [Library Media] Race-based subject headings
    >>>>
    >>>> I cringe at it too, but maybe not for the same reason. I’m seeing
    >>>> more
    >>>> reviews now which specifically point out the ethnicity of the
    >>>> characters –
    >>>> particularly if they are involved in some type of cross-ethnic
    >>>> relationship. I suspect it is because of the rising trend in trying to
    >>>> make
    >>>> our collections more ethnically diverse. But I think a good story
    >>>> should
    >>>> stand on the merits of the story – not the multi-ethnicity of the
    >>>> characters. Where such information is relevantly essential – or
    >>>> essentially
    >>>> relevant - to the story line, then by all means put it in the review
    >>>> and
    >>>> tell the reader. But otherwise let the story speak for itself. Readers
    >>>> will
    >>>> picture the characters like themselves, identify with them and develop
    >>>> their own internal movie. And that is part of what makes reading so
    >>>> special.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Joseph R. Nielsen
    >>>>
    >>>> Library Technology Teacher
    >>>>
    >>>> Hawthorne Elementary School
    >>>>
    >>>> Salt Lake City School District
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> *From:* library-media [mailto:library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org
    >>>> <library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org>] *On Behalf Of *Cindy Mitchell
    >>>> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:41 AM
    >>>> *To:* library-media at lists.uen.org
    >>>> *Subject:* [Library Media] Race-based subject headings
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> I have been editing a lot of MARC records lately and whenever I see
    >>>> "African American" or "Korean American" and other such subject
    >>>> headings
    >>>> they make me cringe.  I am thinking of deleting them all together.
    >>>> Especially because the information is usually available in the summary
    >>>> of
    >>>> the book and who sees the subject headings any more except for us?
    >>>> I'd
    >>>> appreciate some thoughts on this.
    >>>>
    >>>> FYI - I have already eliminated the "Girls", "Teenagers", and "Boys"
    >>>> subject headings!
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> --
    >>>>
    >>>> Cindy Mitchell
    >>>>
    >>>> South Jordan Middle School
    >>>>
    >>>> 10245 S 2700 W
    >>>>
    >>>> South Jordan UT 84095
    >>>>
    >>>> 801-412-2900 <(801)%20412-2900>
    >>>>
    >>>> fax: 801-412-2930 <(801)%20412-2930>
    >>>>
    >>>> Scanned By Microsoft EOP
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
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    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> --
    >>> Lanell Rabner, MLS
    >>> Librarian
    >>> Springville High School
    >>> 1205 E. 900 S.
    >>> Springville, UT 84663
    >>> lanell.rabner at nebo.edu
    >>> 801.489.2870 <(801)%20489-2870>
    >>>
    >>> _______________________________________________
    >>> library-media mailing list
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    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > --
    > Lanell Rabner, MLS
    > Librarian
    > Springville High School
    > 1205 E. 900 S.
    > Springville, UT 84663
    > lanell.rabner at nebo.edu
    > 801.489.2870
    > _______________________________________________
    > library-media mailing list
    > library-media at lists.uen.org
    > To unsubscribe visit: https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/library-media
    
    
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