Chowdhury – Chapter 6

I found this chapter pretty interesting, especially considering last week’s class on radical cataloging. Chowdhury describes how systems like LCSH choose subject headings based on stability and user needs among other things, but as we heard from last week’s guest speakers there tends to be some sort of bias going along with these subject heading decisions.

As we’ve been discussing, LCSH and other subject heading lists are vitally important to organizing in a library system but there are also lots of instances where this system that attempts to be universal can exclude certain groups or subjects in its attempt to be general enough to be able to include everything. For example, I feel like LCSH should be used as more of a guideline so that libraries can adjust them for their specific user groups (something a lot of places already do) and they should be way more open about changing subject headings when enough users ask for it. I know that’s a double edged sword and ‘saying’ and ‘doing’ would be two different things, with the latter being much more complicated.


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