[Library Media] Race-based subject headings

georgeweight at integrity.com georgeweight at integrity.com
Fri Mar 10 11:13:21 MST 2017


Adding "inurl" can be useful, but also can limit the list way down from
useful info on the subject. I suspect it eliminates doing text searches.

One of the difficulties I see with key word searches is that, if the
engine doesn't find exactly what it thinks you want (aka read your mind),
It will display the key word or words in any random order. What you really
need may be 10,000+ items down the list. Synonyms and "like phrase"
searchs can help. But it all takes time.

I used to watch Hugh Nibley use the old card catalog at BYU. While
students were struggling with key words on the new computerized catalog
list, he would have what he needed on a notepad, go to the stacks, and be
to the circulation desk before the students could print a hard copy of
their list!

In some ways, we haven't improved over the old methods. Has Google or any
other common search engine  developed an algorithm that allows the use of
subject headings instead of key words? If they have, I haven't discovered
it.

George Weight
Still kickin' UELMA past president


> 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
>     >>> library-media at lists.uen.org
>     >>> To unsubscribe visit: https://lists.uen.org/mailman/
>     >>> listinfo/library-media
>     >>>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >
>     >
>     > --
>     > 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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