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Genre/form update

SACO-At-Large 2009 ALA Annual Meeting
prepared by: Janis L. Young
Policy and Standards Division, Library of Congress
July 12, 2009

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Moving image project.

The moving image project is essentially complete, but one issue remains to be resolved: the disposition of the existing topical video recording headings. On May 15, 2009, the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) posted the Disposition of LCSH Video Recording Headings in the New Genre/Form Environment [PDF; 63 KB] discussion paper on this topic. PSD received eight comments from the library community by the deadline of June 15, and there was also a discussion of the issue on the form-genre listserve, which was monitored.

Most of those commenting to PSD indicated general agreement with the plan to cancel most of the existing video recording headings and make cross-references from them to the film heading. However, opinions were mixed with regard to the disposition of headings for "new media," such as podcasts, Internet videos, etc. The paper suggested that the best approach would be to create genre/form authority records for them and also allow them to remain in LCSH as topical headings. Some of the comments indicated confusion about how they would be used, especially since the majority of moving image genre/form headings are defined as being for either television programs or for films.

PSD will make a decision on this issue shortly, and the decision will be announced on the Genre/Form Headings at the Library of Congress Web site.

Radio program project.

The project has officially concluded and genre/form headings for sound recordings that are not radio programs or musical are now being accepted.

Cartography project.

A discussion paper entitled Proposed change to the structure of LCSH subdivisions used for cartographic materials [PDF; 48 KB] is available for comment and has been posted on the Genre/Form Headings at the Library of Congress Web site. The paper proposes simplifying subdivision structure by removing the adjective from most cartographic form subdivisions. The specific type of map represented by the bibliographic record would be brought out by the genre/form heading instead. The paper brings out some of the pros and cons of such an approach.

PSD has received a few comments so far, but hopes to hear from more interested parties before the deadline, August 10, 2009.

Music project.

In collaboration with the Music Library Association, the Library of Congress has begun the genre/form project for music. This project will be different from previous ones, in that the existing topical subject headings for music will not be copied into the genre/form thesaurus. Instead, the headings are being deconstructed into genre/form and medium of performance elements. MLA and LC are currently analyzing which terms belong to which element, and are talking about semantic relationships. The lists of terms are available through the LC Genre/Form Headings for Musical Works Web page, and MLA has created a music genre/form/medium public wiki.

Library of Congress Subject Headings 31st edition.

LCSH 31st edition has been enlarged to six volumes. The new, sixth volume, LCSH Supplementary Vocabularies, will include free-floating subdivisions, genre/form headings, and children's subject headings. LCSH 31 is available for $295 in North America and $345 outside North America. Copies may be ordered from the Cataloging Distribution Service Contact and Ordering Website. A limited number of LCSH, 30th edition (2007) are still available, at reduced prices: $195 in North America (33% off full price) and $245 (29% off full price) outside North America.

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