Not getting all the BFM in library catalogs is a problem all of us have or have had.  You can search OCLC records and find numerous obsolete subject headings that have never been updated.  But that isn't a reason, in my opinion, to have two simultaneously authorized headings for the same concept.  Libraries can clean up headings in a variety of ways, over a short or long period of time, manually, using automation, or with an authority vendor service.  Or never, that's their choice (or it may be forced upon by lack of staffing or funding.)  What is an authority vendor to do to records submitted to it that contain terms that are authorized but aren't supposed to be used any longer?  Leave them or flip them to the other term?

The Oceanians vs. Pacific Islanders example isn't perhaps the most offensive one possible by this new policy.  Consider the (hypothetical) situation of a term like Negroes being in LCDGT and having been used for a long time in records.  Then, we create a new LCDGT authority for African Americans, but keep the authority record for Negroes as a valid term for a certain time period of use.  We are told to use African Americans as the preferred term going forward from a certain date.  Surely that would raise a lot of concerns with keeping the obsolete term in some bibliographic or authority records describing the creators of works or as an other characteristic/attribute of persons.  Authority systems would validate the earlier term because there is authority record that says it is valid for use.

I don't think this is the route we should be going down.

Adam Schiff

Adam L. Schiff
Principal Cataloger
University of Washington Libraries
(206) 543-8409
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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Ed Jones <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: LCDGT Announcement
 

I expect the LC practice is simply a pragmatic one applicable only in cases where a change of preferred term entails a large amount of LC bibliographic file maintenance. If so, then the existence of two preferred terms for any given concept will always be temporary, persisting only until the related BFM is completed. (At least thatís how I read the LC announcement.)

Ed

 

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Adam L Schiff
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 5:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [PCCLIST] 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.



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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:

 

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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:

 

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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

 


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