It has been forever since I’ve had the chance to blog here. We’re in the middle of a major weeding/ database cleanup project at work. It’s quite overwhelming sometimes. It has made me realize two things: that I’m going to have to do this all over again when I am in a school library (the descriptions, especially) and that I am not sure who subject headings are for.
If they’re for librarians, then they’re fine as they are. But if they’re for the average library patron to find a book about a specific subject, then they fall quite short. Of course, as soon as I started this entry, I couldn’t think of any of my examples… oh, I got one– if I wanted to find a book about spending summer with dad and his new girlfriend, it would be very difficult to figure out what search term to use. I don’t know– I don’t know enough about library patron behavior or the true purpose of subject headings to really say for certain. I know that I believe subject headings should exist not only to help librarians sort and categorize books, but to help patrons FIND books.
What would be very, very cool is if there were a safe way to allow patrons to “tag” books in a way that is combined with the OPAC so that other patrons can search for specific tags or specific tag combinations.