Both subdivisions “Fiction” and “Biography” have the UF 485 “Legends and stories”, which tells me someone somewhere recognized that in some peoples minds stories can be applied to both biographical stories as well as fictional stories. The 450 “Stories” on the Fiction authority record should remain, because it is a frequently used alternate term; however, just as there are now matching 450s on more than one authority record, so “stories” can mean more than just Fiction. Expanding the use of “…stories” does not create work for anyone. Current records that use it are still correct.
Having reviewed data for many different libraries, I can tell you it is already the practice in many libraries to use “…stories” for both fiction and non-fiction. When I was a child sitting at family gatherings I didn’t ask my uncles to tell a biographical event in my parent’s lives I asked for a story about them. My uncles were great story-tellers and all the stories I heard them tell were true-life events.
But if this is so, what will be the difference then between “Adventure stories” and “Adventure and adventurers”? There are a lot of resources and subheadings under the latter heading and it seems clear that it is for narratives (or stories) that are true. Currently, there is also the heading:
150 __ |a Adventure and adventurers |v Fiction
with the reference
450 __ |a Adventure stories
This seems to be incorrect since Adventure stories is a valid heading and therefore should be a 550. The difference would be fiction about true adventurers, e.g. fiction about Stanley going through Africa or Scott in the Antarctic, while Adventure stories would be pure fiction. Perhaps a scope note would be in order. [It was pointed out in another post by Sandra DeSio “Adventure and adventurers–Fiction is a children’s heading, while Adventure stories is a valid adult heading.” Thanks!]
If the meaning of Adventure stories is expanded, I foresee a lot of confusion as to when to assign one versus the other while now it seems clear. For the patrons, it would be most useful to clarify the meaning of the different subject headings instead of expanding the use of one heading to include another heading which would result in confusion for catalogers and users. For example, if Adventure stories includes true narratives, then why shouldn’t it be subdivided geographically? Then there is no difference from “Adventure and adventurers” and it is no longer possible to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction except through the fixed field.
I think it is useful to be able to have the subject headings make the distinction between the two concepts (true vs. fiction), but it needs to be made clear to everyone.