It’s great to see how FAST headings are used in Cornell’s library catalog. The actual implementation (beginning from 2014- ?) must have been arduous and complicated. I am surprised that your institution has even done a large-scale retrospective project by converting all LCSHs (in older records, wherever possible) to FAST headings. Could you divulge a bit more about the process?
1) Did you do the entire conversion locally or did you re-import bib records from OCLC (older records, but newly “enhanced” with FAST headings)?
2) How did you deal with “left overs”—subject terms that are either “Invalid/See reference” (“Central banks” [--> Banks and banking, Centro], “Epistemology” [--> Knowledge, Theory of], Gender studies [--> Gender mainstreaming) or simply resist “slice ‘n dice” process (valid LSCH [e.g., terms from NAF], but not/not yet in FAST vocabulary, such as “Eyes on the prize (Television program)”)?
3) What happens if you encounter bibs with solely FAST headings (singletons, such as “Philosophy,” “Ethics,” “Space and time”, etc., don’t count; only consider such text strings: “Philosophy—History—Bibliography,” “Art, Modern—20th century—Exhibitions”, “Homer.--Odyssey—Concordances,” etc.), AND you need to re-construct new sets of LCSH headings to support “the traditional browse index on the LCSH string”?
Thank you for mentioning this, Mark. That’s exactly what we have done with our discovery layer here at Cornell: FAST in the facets area on the left hand, LCSH in the record view. We’re very happy with our implementation of FAST.
I don’t know how many complications in our implementation people want to hear about. One thing I always like to emphasize is, we have not taken away the traditional browse index on the LCSH string. Users who want to do that still can; users who want to slice ‘n dice using facets now have that tool.
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Another approach to FAST is to have these appear only in the facet area of the discovery system (e.g., the left side of the search results view) for filtering purposes. In the full bib record view, display only the LCSH or what have you. But I’m not aware of anybody who’s implemented their system in this way—or if this is a good use of FAST.
Mark K. Ehlert Alma: NA02
Cataloging and Metadata Primo: MT NA01
University of St. Thomas
"Experience is by industry achieved // And perfected by
the swift course of time"--Shakespeare, "Two Gentlemen of
Verona," Act I, Scene iii