Tuesday, October 28, 2003

LC Subject Headings

The latest issue of the Cataloging Service Bulletin has these major subject heading changes
  • Australian aborigines becomes Aboriginal Australians
  • The geographic qualifier Nfld. becomes N.L.
A change affecting many fewer records but most likely more libraries, is the change from Libraries and readers to Public services (Libraries) and from Library catalogs and readers to Library catalogs and users There is a change in meaning in these headings that I'm not sure I feel comfortable with. A reader is an active participant, a verb. A user has a bad undertone. Saying "She's just a user" isn't a compliment. This is a shift in meaning, not expression. Are we moving towards a business attitude rather than public service attitude? I hope not. The Public services (Libraries) heading seems not to have that attitude. Library catalogs and users, does.

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