Posting to Autocat
On 11/08/2012 16:10, Marian Veld wrote:
On Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 1:18 AM, Hal Cain wrote:
… we are ethically obliged to take user preferences seriously (the users are those whom we serve, we don’t work simply for our own benefit), but on the other hand we have an obligation (to the user) to be as consistent as possible.
But which user? The needs of the scholarly user, the needs of the undergraduate, the needs of the knowledgeable amateur, the needs of the illiterate, the needs of children….? I could go on and on. Each of these constituencies is most likely served by a library that uses LCSH. How can LCSH meet the needs of all these users? I’m not sure it’s even possible, but we certainly should be discussing it.
Today, with the possibility of a URI in the place of the actual text, there is room for far more flexibility in the label, or how that URI is displayed. So, in the case of Adventure stories, the URI would be http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85001072 and the 450s could actual serve as variant labels. It could display something like:
“Adventure stories, or, Adventure and adventurers–Fiction, or, Adventure and adventurers–Juvenile fiction, or Adventure fiction”
This is similar to the name headings as used in the old catalog at the Bodleian Library by Thomas Hyde, and I discussed it in a posting here http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2011/09/re-objection-to-authors-birth-year.html. We just don’t need to use Latin!
With the power of today’s computer systems, there is no reason why one form of a heading must be chosen. There no longer needs to be a single authorized form since displays can do much more. The very purposes of the 1xx and the 4xx need to be reconsidered today since they could allow for greater utility for everyone: from librarians to the public.