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I agree with Adam on all the points he makes.

No doubt people will explain how as-yet-unseen linked data principles will solve all of this, but it doesn't work in the current environment. The authorities system we use is based on the principle that a concept or entity has one and only one authorized access point, and an authorized access point represents one and only one concept or entity. Jettisoning that principle is a recipe for confusion and for our users missing relevant information because they think they're already seen everything grouped around the unique authorized access point, as Adam pointed out.

When I teach library database use I explain this (controlled vocabulary, the principles outlined in the previous paragraph) to our users and point out that this means they only have to discover the single controlled vocabulary term to find everything related to that term, and I also point out that if we didn't have this system they would have to think of all the synonyms they could for the term that a cataloger might have dreamed up and then do a search on each one. The former is known as "user convenience"; the latter "cataloger convenience." It seems that the proposed method is cataloger, not user, convenience, and isn't what we should be about.

I am also concerned that LCGFT is being used as an experimental guinea pig for this new "principle" and the real goal is to apply it to LCSH (and why not the NAF while we're at it?)

A separate concern I have is with what appears to be the implementation of a very large committee to approve changes to LCGFT, which could well produce an even slower process than already exists. Although almost anything is better than the moratorium that has been in place too long.

Bob

Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Librarian
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
(801)422-5568

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Adam L Schiff
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 6:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: LCDGT Announcement

While it is exciting to finally know that the moratorium on LCDGT will be lifted soon, and backlogged proposals will be processed and decided upon, I have some serious qualms about the model for former terms that LC is using, and I don't believe that it is in accordance with ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (R2010).  The standard is at https://groups.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php/12591/z39-19-2005r2010.pdf.

Section 6.2.3 of ANSI/NISO says:

A History Note is used to track the development of terms over time. These notes provide important guidance for researchers who are interested in a topic covering many decades. It is especially important to indicate when and how a term has changed over time. If appropriate, the history note may also include the date discontinued, the term that succeeded the term, and/or the term that preceded it. History Notes are frequently marked by the abbreviation HN.


[cid:[log in to unmask]]
Assuming from this example that Venetian windows was once an authorized term, the example shows it as a Used For term.  This is further substantiated by 11.3.1.2:

11.3.1.2 Modification of Existing Terms


Indexers and searchers should be able to propose modifications to existing terms or their relationships, explaining the rationale and supplying supporting documentation for the proposed changes. Like candidate term nominations, such proposals may be communicated electronically or via printed forms. Such proposed changes should be considered by the controlled vocabulary editor and board, using the criteria for term selection in sections 6 and 7. If a term is modified, the date of the change should be recorded in the history note (see section 6.2.3), and a USE reference should be made from the old form to the new form. If the controlled vocabulary is used in an indexing system, the date on which an old term was last assigned should be included in the history note. If the relationships are modified, a record of the old ones should be maintained in the history note as well.

(I have highlighted the most important sentence above).

Based on my reading of the ANSI/NISO standard, I don't think these existing LCDGT terms follow it:

[cid:[log in to unmask]]
[cid:[log in to unmask]]
Having two separate authorized terms for the same concept does seem to me a violation of ANSI/NISO.  My reading of the standard would result in Oceanians being a UF on Pacific Islanders, and there could also be history note in that record stating when the change from earlier form Oceanians was made.

I also don't think it serves users in a faceted retrieval system to be presented with multiple boxes to select for the same concept:

[cid:[log in to unmask]]

Each group should be distinct.  If a user sees a box for an earlier form and misses another box further down the list for a later form, they will miss retrieving items that they would have wanted to see.

Adam L. Schiff
Principal Cataloger
University of Washington Libraries
(206) 543-8409
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

________________________________
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> on behalf of Cannan, Judith <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2021 1:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: LCDGT


PCC members,



I am pleased to announce that on October 1, 2021, LC will start a new model for the LC Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT).  I have shared this message with SAC and I will be sending it to SACO.  This announcement will also be posted on LC website and the PCC website.



Judith Cannan

Chief, PTCP