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ALA Core SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies publishes "Retrospective Implementation of Faceted Vocabularies"

  • 1.  ALA Core SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies publishes "Retrospective Implementation of Faceted Vocabularies"

    Posted May 11, 2022 10:20 AM

    The ALA Core SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies (SSFV) is proud to announce the publication of a new resource entitled Retrospective Implementation of Library of Congress Faceted Vocabularies: Best Practices for Librarians and Programmers. It is now available on the ALA Institutional Repository: http://hdl.handle.net/11213/17998. This first published version incorporates feedback received during the public review period earlier this year. SSFV is grateful for this engagement by the broader community, and welcomes continued feedback on an ongoing basis. Please direct your questions and feedback to Casey Mullin, SSFV Chair (caseymullin1@outlook.com). 


    This resource (several years in the making) describes a set of best practices for implementers wishing to apply LC faceted vocabularies--using purpose-built fields in the MARC 21 bibliographic format--retrospectively to library catalogs, utilizing automated and semi-automated processes. It is also intended to serve as an ever-growing hub of information for all matters related to retrospective implementation of LC faceted vocabularies, including efforts undertaken by specialist communities of practice, library consortia/cooperatives, library systems vendors, etc. Lastly, it articulates a "roadmap" for ongoing work by SSFV and allied communities of practice.

    This integrating resource is modular in nature and subject to dynamic, ongoing updates. Early versions of these best practices will be incomplete. At the time of this initial release, some modules have been developed by SSFV or other entities, whereas other modules remain to be developed (and are represented by a placeholder in the summary document). The following modules are available to implementers now:

    • Genre/Form: mapping MARC fixed field codes to 655 and 385 fields
    • Genre/Form: mapping LCSH form subdivisions (and select topical subdivisions) to 655, 385, 386 fields
    • Genre/Form: mapping LCSH music form headings to 655 fields (not SSFV's own work, but a brief description of and links to the Music Library Association's work)
    • Medium of Performance: mapping LCSH music form headings to 382 fields (not SSFV's own work, but a brief description of and links to MLA's work)

    Two appendices contain links to resources for current implementation of faceted vocabularies, and a bibliography of literature on display and indexing of faceted data, respectively.


    SSFV anticipates updating and re-releasing the summary document periodically. However, the modules themselves are even more dynamic and subject to frequent updates, particularly as the LC vocabularies continue to grow and evolve. Implementers are advised to take into account the "last updated" date on each module when consulting that module; this date may be later than the "last updated" date on the summary document. 

    Thank you!

    Mingyan Li
    Metadata Librarian
    University of Illinois at Chicago