Hi Maurine!

I use the follow articles/books during different parts of the semester and for different classes to discuss ethical issues in descriptive and subject cataloging:

Billey, A., E. Drabinski, & K. R. Roberto. (2014). What's gender got to do with it? A critique of RDA 9.7. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 52(4), pp. 412-421.

Bair, S. (2005). Toward a code of ethics for cataloging. Technical Services Quarterly 23(1), pp. 13-26.

Hoffman, G. (2009). Meeting users' needs in cataloging: What is the right thing to do? Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 47(7), pp. 631-641. 

Bade, D. (2008). The perfect record: Platonic ideal, rhetorical strategy, or nonsense? Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 46(1), 109-133.

Olson, H. (2002). The power to name: Locating the limits of subject representation in libraries. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 

Berman, S. (1993). Prejudices and antipathies: A tract on the LC subject heads concerning people. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. Available at: 

Lubetzky, S. (1972, Feb.) Politics and romance in subject cataloging. Book review of Sanford Berman’s Prejudices and antipathies. Library Journal 97(4), pp. 658-659.

Kinney, D.W. (2009). The classification of music moving image materials: Historical perspectives, problems, and practical solutions. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 47(1), pp. 2-22.

Higgins, C. (2012). Library of Congress Classification: Teddy Roosevelt’s world in numbers? Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 50(4), pp. 249-262.

Kwaśnik, B.H. & Rubin, V.L. (2003). Stretching conceptual structures in classifications across languages and cultures. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 37(1/2), pp. 33-47.

I hope that helps!


Karen Snow, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Dominican University
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL  60305
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708-524-6077 (office)
708-524-6657 (fax)

From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of McCourry, Maurine [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 7:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [eduCAT] Reading for Ethics

The topic of literature to address ethical issues in cataloging has been addressed here before, but not for several years, as far as I can tell.  As a part of the ALISE Technical Services Education Special Interest Group session at the meeting in Boston in January, I plan to present some ideas for a core reading list for introducing ethics in beginning courses in knowledge organization.  My guiding research question is:  What literature in LIS can best introduce the ethical dilemmas and issues encountered by cataloging and metadata professionals in modern library and other information settings?  I have a few ideas of my own, but would love to get your thoughts.  Are there particular articles or book chapters that you find most useful in addressing topics such as ethical practices in the establishment and use of classification systems, thesauri, and subject headings, best practices for the use of cataloging codes to serve diverse groups, and the development of user-focused interfaces to catalog and other organized metadata?  I'm specifically looking for literature that can introduce these issues to masters-level students.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!  In the presentation, I will be sure and acknowledge the list for any citations I add as a result of this query.

Maurine McCourry, Ph.D.
Instructor, GSLIS
Dominican University
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