Like Nailing Jell-O to a Wall: The Maintenance of Library of Congress Subject Headings – November 15, 2016

Have you ever wanted to know how Library of Congress Subject Headings is maintained? Has the recent media spotlight on LCSH caused you to wonder about culturally or politically sensitive subject headings? If so, please join the New York Technical Services Librarians for a presentation by Janis L. Young, a senior cataloging policy specialist at the Library of Congress, whose job is to keep LCSH up to date.

After a brief non-technical discussion of LC’s procedures for adding and revising headings, Ms. Young will relate anecdotes that illustrate the pleasures and challenges of maintaining the most widely used subject vocabulary in the world. Some of those challenges are due to internal factors, such as decisions and policies that were made decades ago but continue to have an impact today. Others are external to LCSH itself, including the perpetual evolution of the English language and the constantly shifting political and cultural climate, both of which progress at breakneck speed in today’s fast-paced digital environment.

About the Presenter

Janis L. Young is a senior cataloging policy specialist in the Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division (PSD). She maintains LC subject headings and classification numbers and is the editor of both the Subject Headings Manual and the Classification and Shelflisting Manual. She is also the coordinator of LC’s projects to develop genre/form, medium of performance, and demographic group terms. Ms. Young serves as LC’s liaison to several ALA committees and is a past member of the Standing Committee of IFLA’s Classification and Indexing Section, and has written articles for the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences and Cataloging & Classification Quarterly.

Location

The New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Margaret Liebman Berger Forum, Room 227 476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street), New York, NY 10018

Date

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 5:00 – 7:45 PM (Refreshments: 5:00-6:00 PM; Program: 6:00-7:45 PM)

To Attend

Registration is required.

About John Pell

John Pell is an assistant professor and librarian at Hunter College in New York City.

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