Library of Congress Accepts Demographic Group Term Proposals, Publishes Draft Demographic Group Terms Manual
As part of its ongoing effort to provide effective access to library materials, the Library of Congress is developing a new vocabulary, entitled Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT). This vocabulary is to be used to describe the creators of, and contributors to, resources, and also the intended audiences of resources.
The development of the pilot vocabulary is being undertaken in phases. Phases 1 and 2 of the pilot each consisted of approximately 400 proposals. Those 800 proposals, now approved, were made by specialists in the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) of the Library of Congress and were chiefly intended to test theories on policies, highlight specific areas of concern (e.g., conflict situations; hierarchies), provide useful examples, and serve as the basis for future development. PSD believes that the vocabulary is now robust enough to support limited use, and that it is time to test the policies in a production environment. PSD is now ready to move into Phase 3 of the pilot.
Draft Demographic Group Terms Manual
To support use of the LCDGT, PSD has published the draft Demographic Group Terms Manual that may be freely accessed in PDF form at http://www.loc.gov/aba/publications/FreeLCDGT/freelcdgt.html. The Manual consists of 35 instruction sheets that provide guidelines and instructions for assigning demographic group terms and proposing new ones, as well as for proposing revisions to existing terms. It will be incorporated into Cataloger’s Desktop, LC’s subscription-based online documentation service, in late 2016. Comments on the draft may be directed to Janis L. Young at [email protected] through May 31, 2016.
The policies for proposing demographic group terms need to be tested, and PSD is therefore now accepting proposals for terms that are needed for new cataloging only. Due to PSD staffing and workload considerations, proposals that appear to be made as part of retrospective projects, or other projects to establish terms that are not needed for current cataloging, will not be considered.
Catalogers in SACO institutions should make proposals through the Subject Proposal System (https://classificationweb.net/Menu/subject.html). Use the menu options that appear under the legend “Demographic Group Terms” to make the proposals. Email [email protected] when proposals are ready for review, following the normal procedure.
To encourage broad implementation of LCDGT, PSD has also created a survey to enable catalogers who do not work at LC or in a SACO institution to contribute proposals, and it is available at http://surveymonkey.com/r/LCDGTproposals. The survey requests the same information that the Proposal System does, but in a simplified format. PSD staff will make the formal proposals. The survey will be available during Phase 3 of the pilot, which is scheduled to end on May 31, 2016.
All proposals – whether made through the Subject Proposal System or the survey mechanism – should follow the guidelines and instructions for making proposals that are contained in the draft Demographic Group Terms Manual. Proposals will be published and approved on future Tentative Lists according to the standard practice.
The Library of Congress’ Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, which catalogs most of the textual works acquired for the Library’s general collections, has not yet determined when it will implement the demographic group terms.
Questions and comments about LCDGT and the draft Manual should be directed Janis L. Young at [email protected].