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The Royal Library of Alexandria is estimated to have had over half a million documents and house about 100 scholars, according to this article. This would suggest a fairly decentralized archiving system, perhaps with every section having its own system of record keeping.
According to the relevant Wikipedia entry, the library also engaged in textual criticism, which implies further detailed record-keeping.
Apart from that I couldn't find any other insights into how the collection was organized. What do we know about the indexing system used by the Library? To clarify: the title refers to the organization of the manuscripts, not the structural organization of the Library itself.
In the Wikipedia article you have copied there is a reference to the Pinakes.
Searching I have found and article on this website Library Philosophy and Practice (LPP) that explains the organization of the books, manuscripts,… of this vast library. I copy some fragments:
About Zenodotus, the first librarian
Zenodotus, the Great Library's first librarian, introduced a rudimentary organization system whereby texts were assigned to different rooms based on their subject matter. Zenodotus first inventoried the Library's holdings, which he then organized into three major categories. [… ] Within each of these divisions, Zenodotus organized the works alphabetically by the first letter of the name of their author [… ] Library staff under Zenodotus attached a small dangling tag to the end of each scroll, which contained information on each work's author, title, and subject so that materials could be easily returned to the area in which they had been classified
About Callimachus of Cyrene.
Callimachus produced the pinakes [… ] Callimachus listed works alphabetically by author and genre. He did what modern librarians would call “adding metadata” -- writing a short biographical note on each author, which prefaced that author's entry within his catalogue. [… ] In addition, Callimachus noted the first words of the work, and the total number of lines in the document. Later librarians were to make marginal notations in the pinakes, which provided even more information on the nature of the catalogued document [… ] By consulting the pinakes, a library patron could find out if the library contained a work by a particular author, how it was categorized, and where it might be found.
While the pinakes is very similar to what modern librarians would refer to as a library catalogue, it did not cover the entirety of the holdings of the Great Library. It dealt only with the largest and most often used portion of the collection. However, Zenodotus' organizational principle did cover the entire Library.
According to biblicalarchaeology.org gives more details about the "meta-data" done by Callimachus.
The Pinakes identified each volume by its title, then recorded the name and birthplace of the author, the name of the author's father and teachers, the place and nature of the author's education, any nickname or pseudonym applied to the author, a short biography (including a list of the author's works and a comment on their authenticity), the first line of the work specified, a brief digest of the volume, the source from which the book was acquired (such as the city where it was bought or the ship or traveler from which it was confiscated), the name of the former owner, the name of the scholar who edited or corrected the text, whether the book contained a single work or numerous distinct works, and the total number of lines in each work.
Strabo, who was in Egypt from 24 to 19 BC and gave us detailed accounts of the Museum, claims the inspiration for the Library's organization - at least initially - was Aristotle (emphasis mine):
From Scepsis came the Socratic philosophers Erastus and Coriscus and Neleus the son of Coriscus, this last a man who not only was a pupil of Aristotle and Theophrastus, but also inherited the library of Theophrastus, which included that of Aristotle. At any rate, Aristotle bequeathed his own library to Theophrastus, to whom he also left his school; and he is the first man, so far as I know, to have collected books and to have taught the kings in Egypt how to arrange a library.
Source: Strab. 13.1.54.
The story seems likely; Aristotle was the father of taxonomy and his personal library was one of the earliest acquisitions of the Library. The early librarians probably modeled their own approaches upon Aristotle's. However, we don't have any details on how Aristotle organized his library, and to what degree the early librarians adopted his methods.
What we do know, is that Zenodotus of Ephesus, the first librarian according to the Suda, arranged books in different rooms according to their subject matter. Then, within each room, he arranged the books alphabetically (by their author's name). His system may seem rudimentary by today's standards, but for the time it was revolutionary. In fact, it's the earliest known instance of alphabetic organization.
Callimachus of Cyrene furthered Zenodotus system in his magnum opus, the Tables of people who distinguished themselves in all branches of learning. Pinakes, as the work is better known, is a bio-bibliographical survey of the more significant Greek writings, divided in 120 books. According to Wikipedia:
Callimachus' system divided works into six genres and five sections of prose. These were rhetoric, law, epic, tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, history, medicine, mathematics, natural science and miscellanies. Each category was alphabetized by author.
Unfortunately only a few fragments of the Pinakes survive, but from those fragments we know they included biographical data, including the author's other works, and general notes for each work (e.g. its extend). Callimachus' Pinakes were the key to the vast collection of Library, and were constantly updated by subsequent librarians and grammarians, as the collection grew.
- The Pínakes of Callimachus, Francis J. Witty
- The Other Pinakes and Reference Works of Callimachus, Francis J. Witty
1 Πίνακες των εν πάση παιδεία διαλαμψάντων.
Types of Organizational Structures
An organizational structure defines how jobs and tasks are formally divided, grouped and coordinated. The type of organizational structure would depend upon the type of organization itself and its philosophy of operations. Basically the structure can be mechanistic or organic in nature or a combination of thereof. However, most organizational structures are still designed along mechanistic or classical lines.
Key Elements for Proper Organizational Structure
- Work Specialization: To what degree are articles subdivided into separate jobs?
- Departmentalization: On what basis jobs will be grouped?
- Chain of Command: To whom will individuals and groups report?
- Span of Control: Up to how many individuals can a manager efficiently direct?
- Centralization vs Decentralization: Who will be the sole maker of decisions?
- Formalization: To what degree will there be rules and regulations to direct employees and managers?
Some of the most common organization structures are:
8 Types of Organisational Structures: their Advantages and Disadvantages
All managers must bear that there are two organisations they must deal with-one formal and the other informal.
The formal organisation in usually delineated by an organisational chart and job descriptions. The official reporting relationships are clearly known to every manager.
Alongside the formal organisation exists are informal organisation which is a set of evolving relationships and patterns of human interaction within an organisation that are not officially prescribed.
Formal organisational structures are categorised as:
(i) Line organisational structure.
(ii) Staff or functional authority organisational structure.
(iii) Line and staff organisational structure.
(iv) Committee organisational structure.
(v) Divisional organisational structure.
(vi) Project organisational structure.
(vii) Matrix organisational structure and
(viii) Hybrid organisational structure.
These organisational structures are briefly described in the following paragraphs:
1. Line Organisational Structure:
A line organisation has only direct, vertical relationships between different levels in the firm. There are only line departments-departments directly involved in accomplishing the primary goal of the organisation. For example, in a typical firm, line departments include production and marketing. In a line organisation authority follows the chain of command.
Exhibit 10.3 illustrates a single line organisational structure.
Has only direct vertical relationships between different levels in the firm.
1. Tends to simplify and clarify authority, responsibility and accountability relationships
2. Promotes fast decision making
1. Neglects specialists in planning
Some of the advantages of a pure line organisation are:
(i) A line structure tends to simplify and clarify responsibility, authority and accountability relationships. The levels of responsibility and authority are likely to be precise and understandable.
(ii) A line structure promotes fast decision making and flexibility.
(iii) Because line organisations are usually small, managements and employees have greater closeness.
However, there are some disadvantages also. They are:
(i) As the firm grows larger, line organisation becomes more ineffective.
(ii) Improved speed and flexibility may not offset the lack of specialized knowledge.
(iii) Managers may have to become experts in too many fields.
(iv) There is a tendency to become overly dependent on the few key people who an perform numerous jobs.
2. Staff or Functional Authority Organisational Structure
The jobs or positions in an organisation can be categorized as:
(i) Line position:
a position in the direct chain of command that is responsible for the achievement of an organisation’s goals and
(ii) Staff position:
A position intended to provide expertise, advice and support for the line positions.
The line officers or managers have the direct authority (known as line authority) to be exercised by them to achieve the organisational goals. The staff officers or managers have staff authority (i.e., authority to advice the line) over the line. This is also known as functional authority.
An organisation where staff departments have authority over line personnel in narrow areas of specialization is known as functional authority organisation. Exhibit 10.4 illustrates a staff or functional authority organisational structure.
In the line organisation, the line managers cannot be experts in all the functions they are required to perform. But in the functional authority organisation, staff personnel who are specialists in some fields are given functional authority (The right of staff specialists to issue orders in their own names in designated areas).
The principle of unity of command is violated when functional authority exists i.e., a worker or a group of workers may have to receive instructions or orders from the line supervisor as well as the staff specialist which may result in confusion and the conflicting orders from multiple sources may lead to increased ineffectiveness. Some staff specialists may exert direct authority over the line personnel, rather than exert advice authority (for example, quality control inspector may direct the worker as well as advise in matters related to quality).
While this type of organisational structure overcomes the disadvantages of a pure line organisaional structure, it has some major disadvantages:
They are: (i) the potential conflicts resulting from violation of principle of unity of command and (ii) the tendency to keep authority centralized at higher levels in the organisation.
3. Line and Staff Organisational Structure:
Most large organisations belong to this type of organisational structure. These organisations have direct, vertical relationships between different levels and also specialists responsible for advising and assisting line managers. Such organisations have both line and staff departments. Staff departments provide line people with advice and assistance in specialized areas (for example, quality control advising production department).
Exhibit 10.5 illustrates the line and staff organisational chart. The line functions are production and marketing whereas the staff functions include personnel, quality control, research and development, finance, accounting etc. The staff authority of functional authority organisational structure is replaced by staff responsibility so that the principle of unity of command is not violated.
Three types of specialized staffs can be identified:
Some staffs perform only one of these functions but some may perform two or all the three functions. The primary advantage is the use of expertise of staff specialists by the line personnel. The span of control of line managers can be increased because they are relieved of many functions which the staff people perform to assist the line.
(i) Even through a line and staff structure allows higher flexibility and specialization it may create conflict between line and staff personnel.
(ii) Line managers may not like staff personnel telling them what to do and how to do it even though they recognize the specialists’ knowledge and expertise.
(iii) Some staff people have difficulty adjusting to the role, especially when line managers are reluctant to accept advice.
(iv) Staff people may resent their lack of authority and this may cause line and staff conflict.
1. Line and staff have direct vertical relationship between different levels.
2. Staff specialists are responsible for advising and assisting line managers/officers in specialized areas.
3. These types of specialized staff are (a) Advisory, (b) Service, (c) Control e.g.,
Management information system, Operation Research and Quantitative Techniques, Industrial Engineering, Planning etc
Maintenance, Purchase, Stores, Finance, Marketing.
Quality control, Cost control, Auditing etc. Advantages’
(i) Use of expertise of staff specialists.
(ii) Span of control can be increased
(iii) Relieves line authorities of routine and specialized decisions.
(iv) No need for all round executives.
(i) Conflict between line and staff may still arise.
(ii) Staff officers may resent their lack of authority.
(iii) Co-ordination between line and staff may become difficult.
Committee Organisational Structure Features:
(a) Formed for managing certain problems/situations
(b) Are temporary decisions.
1. Committee decisions are better than individual decisions
2. Better interaction between committee members leads to better co-ordination of activities
3. Committee members can be motivated to participate in group decision making.
4. Group discussion may lead to creative thinking.
1. Committees may delay decisions, consume more time and hence more expensive.
2. Group action may lead to compromise and indecision.
3. ‘Buck passing’ may result.
4. Divisional Organisational Structure:
In this type of structure, the organisation can have different basis on which departments are formed. They are:
Exhibit 10.6 illustrates organisational structures formed based on the above basis of departmentation.
5. Project Organisational Structure:
The line, line and staff and functional authority organisational structures facilitate establishment and distribution of authority for vertical coordination and control rather than horizontal relationships. In some projects (complex activity consisting of a number of interdependent and independent activities) work process may flow horizontally, diagonally, upwards and downwards. The direction of work flow depends on the distribution of talents and abilities in the organisation and the need to apply them to the problem that exists. The cope up with such situations, project organisations and matrix organisations have emerged.
A project organisation is a temporary organisation designed to achieve specific results by using teams of specialists from different functional areas in the organisation. The project team focuses all its energies, resources and results on the assigned project. Once the project has been completed, the team members from various cross functional departments may go back to their previous positions or may be assigned to a new project. Some of the examples of projects are: research and development projects, product development, construction of a new plant, housing complex, shopping complex, bridge etc.
Exhibit 10.7 illustrates a project organisational structure.
Temporary organisation designed to achieve specific results by using teams of specialists from different functional areas in the organisation.
Importance of Project Organisational Structure:
Project organisational structure is most valuable when:
(i) Work is defined by a specific goal and target date for completion.
(ii) Work is unique and unfamiliar to the organisation.
(iii) Work is complex having independent activities and specialized skills are necessary for accomplishment.
(iv) Work is critical in terms of possible gains or losses.
(v) Work is not repetitive in nature.
Characteristics of project organisation:
1. Personnel are assigned to a project from the existing permanent organisation and are under the direction and control of the project manager.
2. The project manager specifies what effort is needed and when work will be performed whereas the concerned department manager executes the work using his resources.
3. The project manager gets the needed support from production, quality control, engineering etc. for completion of the project.
4. The authority over the project team members is shared by project manager and the respective functional managers in the permanent organisation.
5. The services of the specialists (project team members) are temporarily loaned to the project manager till the completion of the project.
6. There may be conflict between the project manager and the departmental manager on the issue of exercising authority over team members.
7. Since authority relationships are overlapping with possibilities of conflicts, informal relationships between project manager and departmental managers (functional managers) become more important than formal prescription of authority.
8. Full and free communication is essential among those working on the project.
6. Matrix Organisational Structure:
It is a permanent organisation designed to achieve specific results by using teams of specialists from different functional areas in the organisation. The matrix organisation is illustrated in Exhibit 10.8.
Superimposes a horizontal set of divisions and reporting relationships onto a hierarchical functional structure
1. Decentralised decision making.
2. Strong product/project co-ordination.
3. Improved environmental monitoring.
4. Fast response to change.
5. Flexible use of resources.
6. Efficient use of support systems.
1. High administration cost.
2. Potential confusion over authority and responsibility.
3. High prospects of conflict.
4. Overemphasis on group decision making.
5. Excessive focus on internal relations.
This type of organisation is often used when the firm has to be highly responsive to a rapidly changing external environment.
In matrix structures, there are functional managers and product (or project or business group) managers. Functional manager are in charge of specialized resources such as production, quality control, inventories, scheduling and marketing. Product or business group managers are incharge of one or more products and are authorized to prepare product strategies or business group strategies and call on the various functional managers for the necessary resources.
The problem with this structure is the negative effects of dual authority similar to that of project organisation. The functional managers may lose some of their authority because product managers are given the budgets to purchase internal resources. In a matrix organisation, the product or business group managers and functional managers have somewhat equal power. There is possibility of conflict and frustration but the opportunity for prompt and efficient accomplishment is quite high.
7. Hybrid Organisational Structure:
Exhibit 10.9 (a) illustrates the hybrid organisational structure.
Exhibit 10.9 (b) illustrates a combination structure
1. Alignment of corporate and divisional goals.
2. Functional expertise and efficiency.
3. Adaptability and flexibility in divisions.
1. Conflicts between corporate departments and units.
2. Excessive administration overhead.
3. Slow response to exceptional situations.
Used in organisations that face considerable environmental uncertainty that can be met through a divisional structure and that also required functional expertise or efficiency
This type of structure is used by multinational companies operating in the global environment, for example, International Business Machines USA. This kind of structure depends on factors such as degree of international orientation and commitment. Multinational corporations may have their corporate offices in the country of origin and their international divisions established in various countries reporting to the CEO or president at the headquarters. The international divisions or foreign subsidiaries may be grouped into regions such as North America, Asia, Europe etc. and again each region may be subdivided into countries within each region.
While the focus is on international geographic structures, companies may also choose functional or process or product departmentation in addition to geographic pattern while at the head quarter’s the departmentation may be based on function.
The Informal Organisation:
An informal organisation is the set of evolving relationships and patterns of human interaction within an organisation which are not officially presented. Alongside the formal organisation, an informal organisation structure exists which consists of informal relationships created not by officially designated managers but by organisational members at every level. Since managers cannot avoid these informal relationships, they must be trained to cope with it
The informal organisation has the following characteristics
(i) Its members are joined together to satisfy their personal needs (needs for affiliation, friendship etc.)
(ii) It is continuously changing:
The informal organisation is dynamic.
(iii) It involves members from various organisational levels.
(iv) It is affected by relationship outside the firm.
(v) It has a pecking order: certain people are assigned greater importance than others by the informal group.
Even though an informal organisational structure does not have its own formal organisational chart, it has its own chain of command:
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is the list of headings produced from the subject authority file maintained by the United States Library of Congress for use in bibliographic records. It is popularly known by its abbreviation as LCSH and is sometimes used interchangeably with the phrase subject authority file. LCSH is a controlled vocabulary. A single word or phrase is chosen to represent each concept that is included, and synonyms are provided as see-references to that heading. It also indicates relationships between and among headings. It is not a true thesaurus, though, because for historical reasons it does not completely conform to the international standard on thesaurus construction. LCSH comprises the complete alphabetic list of terms to be used as controlled vocabulary for subject concepts by the catalogers of the Library of Congress and other libraries to provide such controlled subject access to surrogate records. LCSH has been used in cataloging since 1898 at the Library of Congress in assigning subject headings to facilitate subject access to the resources in its library catalog.
LCSH is a multidisciplinary vocabulary that includes headings in all subjects, from science to religion, to history, social science, education, literature, and philosophy. It also includes headings for geographic features, ethnic groups, historical events, building names, etc. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is the most widely used subject vocabulary in the world. It is the model for many other vocabularies in English and other languages and has been translated into numerous languages. The strongest aspect of LCSH is that it represents subject headings of the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States, one of the richest of national libraries of the world. The administrative and managerial machinery of LC has made it possible for LCSH to stand out as an undisputed leader. LCSH is also used as indexing vocabulary in a number of published bibliographies.
The subject authority database from which the headings in this edition were drawn indicates that the file contains approximately 24,390 personal name headings of which 23,272 represent family names, 10,034 corporate headings, 6 meeting or conference headings, 481 uniform titles, 242,511 topical subject headings, and 61,885 geographic subject headings. There are 764 general USE references, 4,351 general see also references, 299,751 references from one usable heading to another, and 362,646 references from unused terms to used headings.
The creation and revision of subject headings is a continuous process. Approximately 5,000 new headings, including headings with subdivisions, are added to LCSH each year. Proposals for new headings and revisions to existing ones are submitted by catalogers at the Library of Congress and by participants in the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO). More information on SACO may be found at <URL http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc>. Approved proposals become part of the online authority file of subject headings at the Library of Congress, from which various publications are created.
Five services provide information about new and revised headings. First, a distribution service supplies the subject headings in the MARC 21 authorities format via Internet FTP on a weekly basis to supplement the master database file of subject authority records. Second, L.C. Subject Headings Monthly Lists are a timely source of information about new and changed subject headings, class numbers, references and scope notes. The lists are posted monthly to the World Wide Web at http://www.loc.gov/aba/cataloging/subject/weeklylists. Third, Classification Web provides World Wide Web access to Library of Congress Subject Headings and Library of Congress Classification to subscribers. Fourth, subject authority records are included in the Library’s Web authorities service and may be searched and viewed at http://authorities.loc.gov. Fifth, subject authorities are freely available for searching and download through the Library’s Linked Data Service at http://id.loc.gov.
- LCSH Use With Auxiliary Aids
- LCSH History
- Component of Entries in LCSH
- Class Numbers
- Scope Notes
- The Equivalence Relationship: USE References
- The Hierarchical Relationship: Broader Terms and Narrower Terms
- The Associative Relationship: Related Terms
- General References
- Categories of Subdivisions
- Topical Subdivisions
- Form Subdivisions
- Chronological Subdivisions
- Geographic Subdivisions
- Geographic Subdivision and Place Names Divided by Topic
- Free-floating Subdivisions
LCSH USE WITH AUXILIARY AIDS
LCSH 40 should be used with several auxiliary aids. Most important of these is the Subject Headings Manual (2008 edition), which is available through Cataloger’s Desktop, a subscription-based online documentation service. The instruction sheets comprising the Manual may also be freely downloaded from LC’s web site at http://www.loc.gov/aba/publications/FreeSHM/freeshm.html.
The Manual contains the same instructions used by subject catalogers at the Library of Congress in their daily work. Although some of the instructions describe internal Library of Congress procedures, most of them are essential for those who wish to understand and to apply Library of Congress subject headings correctly. Reference will be made to the Manual when additional information on a topic is described there.
Headings for names of persons, corporate bodies, jurisdictions, uniform titles, and other headings traditionally thought to be capable of authorship may be assigned as subject headings. Authority records for these headings reside in an online file of name headings at the Library of Congress. These records may be searched and viewed through the Library’s Web authorities service at http://authorities.loc.gov and in Classification Web. These records are also distributed via FTP, and they must be consulted for the authorized form of name headings. When name headings have been printed in LCSH, they have usually been borrowed from the name authority file. The full reference structure and additional authority information will appear only in the name authority file.
Questions on the publications or their content should be referred to:
Policy and Standards Division Library of Congress 101 Independence Avenue, S.E. Washington, D.C. 20540 Email: [email protected]
Like its predecessors, this edition of LCSH continues to be an accumulation of the subject headings established at the Library of Congress since 1898. In 1897 after the Library had been moved from the U.S. Capitol into its resplendent new building, it became apparent that a new subject catalog was necessary to reflect more specifically the vast array of subjects of the books contained in the Library’s rapidly growing collections. The Library decided that a dictionary catalog instead of an alphabetic-classed or a classed catalog should be adopted to complement the new classification system that would replace Thomas Jefferson’s system. Using the List of Subject Headings for Use in Dictionary Catalogs (A.L.A. list), prepared by a committee of the American Library Association and published in 1895, as a base text, blank leaves that trebled the size of the original volume were added and the copies were bound in flexible leather. The A.L.A. list, several other lists of subject headings, and many reference books were consulted as sources for new subject headings. New subjects also arose in the daily cataloging done at the Library. By the spring of 1898 decisions were made and preliminary arrangements were in place. Actual work on the new subject catalog began simultaneously with the printing of the first author cards in July 1898.
The first edition of the Library of Congress list, called Subject Headings Used in the Dictionary Catalogues of the Library of Congress, was printed in parts between 1909 and 1914. Supplementary lists were issued as required, followed by a second edition in 1919. Later editions were published at irregular intervals. The title was changed to Library of Congress Subject Headings when the eighth edition was published in 1975.
Since the inception of the list, headings have been created as needed when works were cataloged for the collections of the Library of Congress. Because the list has expanded over time, it reflects the varied philosophies of the hundreds of catalogers who have contributed headings. Inconsistencies in formulation of headings can usually be explained by the policies in force at the varying dates of their creation.
COMPONENTS OF ENTRIES IN LCSH
Headings are listed in boldface type, e.g., Alphabet, Life on other planets, Nuclear physics. A heading may be followed by the legend (May Subd Geog), which shows that the heading may be subdivided by places according to the rules in the Manual, and by class numbers. Scope notes giving guidance in the meaning or application of a heading may follow in separate paragraphs. References associated with the headings are then listed in groups, followed by subdivisions of the subject headings, which may have any or all of the above-named elements. Each of these components is described below.
Subject headings may consist of one word or several. A one-word heading is usually a noun, Viscosity, Dogs, or Schools, for example. Concepts are normally named in the singular and objects in the plural, though exceptions may be found.
Two-word headings usually contain an adjective and a noun. These may appear in normal word order, as with Nuclear physics, Local taxation, and Pumping machinery, or in inverted form. Inversion is common with adjectives describing language or nationality, such as Lullabies, Urdu Songs, French Art, American and Drawing, Australian. Other types of headings may also be inverted in order to bring the noun into the initial position, such as Love, Maternal and Injections, Intramuscular. The current policy is to use normal word order for topical headings except for headings with language, nationality, or ethnic adjectives, headings qualified by time period, such as Art, Medieval, headings qualified by artistic style, headings with the adjective Fossil, and certain music headings.
Although the original intent was that subject headings would follow a dictionary plan instead of an alphabetic-classed plan, the list reflects a reluctance to disperse related entries. Many headings were originally constructed in a manner that placed the name of a class first through the use of subdivisions, through inversion, or through parenthetical qualification. Examples of these are: Photography—Studios and dark rooms Geology, Stratigraphic—Cenozoic Railroads— Timetables Vacation schools, Religious Art, Byzantine Cooking (Fish) and Trials (Forgery). These headings and many similar ones continue to exist in the list today.
Names of geographic features have traditionally been inverted in order to place a significant word in the initial position instead of the generic word. For example, Lake Erie is formulated as Erie, Lake so that the distinguishing part of the name, Erie, appears first.
When more than two words are used in a heading, the heading may include conjunctions and prepositional phrases. Headings with the word and may express a reciprocal relationship, as in Technology and civilization, or they may combine two headings so similar that they are often treated together in one work, as with Bolts and nuts. Headings with prepositional phrases may be inverted, as in Criminal justice, Administration of, or in normal word order, as in Photography of birds, Occupational therapy for children, and Prediction of scholastic success. The Library has changed some headings with inverted prepositional phrases into headings with subdivisions or phrase headings on a case-by-case basis.
REFERENCES: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HEADINGS
LCSH contains cross-references constructed at different times according to different philosophies. Some references from specific to general topics remain as a legacy past practices. For many years cross-references were made to subjects “likely to be of interest to the user” who consulted a subject heading. In 1985 new rules for making references were put in place. As a result more attention is being paid to hierarchical relationships, and superfluous or inaccurate references are deleted from the list when found. These rules are described fully in the Manual.
The Equivalence Relationship: USE References
USE references are made from an unauthorized or non- preferred term to an authorized or preferred heading. Under the heading referred to, the code UF (Used For) precedes the term not used. The codes USE and UF function as reciprocals.
UF Cars (Automobiles)
The word USE and the code UF appear only in front of the first reference if several references are present.
UF Food, Raw [Former heading]
A reference that is an earlier form of a heading is followed by the legend [Former heading].
UF Data bases [Former heading]
USE references are made from synonyms, variant spellings, variant forms of expression, alternate constructions of headings, and earlier forms of headings. USE references are also made when it has been decided that words should not be used as a heading even if the heading and the unused words are not truly synonymous. Headings having more than one word frequently have USE references from the words not chosen as the entry element. USE references are not normally made in this list from abbreviations, unless they are in widespread use, nor are they generally made from foreign language equivalents of topics.
USE references are often omitted if they would begin with the same word as a broader term needed for hierarchy. That is,
UF Lighting, Exterior
The Hierarchical Relationship: Broader Terms and Narrower Terms
Subject headings are linked to other subject headings through cross-references now expressed as Broader Terms (BT) and Narrower Terms (NT). The code BT precedes a subject heading representing, according to current policy, the class of which the heading is a member. The code NT precedes a subject heading representing, in most cases, a member of the class represented by the heading under which the NT appears. The codes BT and NT function as reciprocals. A heading appearing as a BT must be matched by the reversed relationship as an NT, as demonstrated by the following example:
NT Exterior lighting
A heading is normally linked to the one immediately next to it in the subject heading hierarchy. Since the referenced headings are linked in turn to other headings, references for distant relationships are no longer made. References leading to two or more levels in a hierarchy reflect an obsolete practice.
Making hierarchical relationships explicit creates a system in which superordination and subordination are clearly stated. Headings created after 1984 should follow these principles. Headings established before 1985 are reviewed on a gradual basis. Their references are being changed to conform to current rules. Until this review is completed, the list will contain references that do not reflect hierarchy.
The making of hierarchical references creates the ability to systematically find headings that are more general or more specific than the heading being consulted. No matter the level at which one enters the hierarchy, one can follow either BTs or NTs to find the broadest or most specific heading available. The following headings illustrate this:
NT Motor vehicles
BT Motor vehicles
NT Dump trucks
By following the NTs it is apparent that the most specific heading is Dump trucks. By following the BTs it is apparent that the broadest heading is Transportation.
In the past, many hierarchical references were omitted when the narrower heading began with the same word as the broader heading. For example, the heading Schools of architecture does not contain the BT Schools. It was believed that alphabetic proximity eliminated the need for a hierarchical cross reference to a heading filing immediately adjacent. Broader headings are gradually being added if required by hierarchical principles regardless of alphabetic proximity.
The Associative Relationship: Related Terms
The associative relationship, expressed by the code RT meaning Related Term, links two headings that are associated in some manner other than by hierarchy. For example,
According to current policy few headings will be linked by associative references until the hierarchy in the list has been thoroughly reviewed.
The application of Library of Congress subject headings requires extensive use of subject subdivisions as a means of combining a number of different concepts into a single subject heading. Complex topics may be represented by subject headings followed by subdivisions. Some subdivisions are printed in LCSH but a greater number of subdivisions may be assigned according to rules specified in the Manual. Only a fraction of all possible heading-and-subdivision combinations are listed in LCSH.
In order to facilitate reading the list, initial parts of a heading with subdivision are suppressed in printing. Instead, subdivisions appear in the list following a long dash, without repetition of the heading. For example,
was produced from a machine-readable record with the words Massachusetts—Antiquities. If two subdivisions are used, the main heading and the first subdivision are replaced by two long dashes:
— —Colonial period, ca. 1600
— —New Plymouth, 1620
These are carried in subject authority records as Massachusetts—History—Colonial period, ca. 1600 and Massachusetts—History—New Plymouth, 1620. When a heading has many subdivisions that are further subdivided, such as United States—History, the dashes help to align the subdivisions properly.
Categories of Subdivisions
Four categories of subdivisions are generally recognized: topical, form, chronological, and geographic. Each category is described separately below, and examples may be found in LCSH. Instructions for assigning them appear in various sections of the Manual.
Topical subdivisions are used under main headings or other subdivisions to limit the concept expressed by the heading to a special subtopic, e.g., Corn—Harvesting, Automobiles— Motors—Carburetors, and Women—Employment. Many topical subdivisions are omitted from the printed list. The rules for their application are found in the Manual and in general references printed under the generic headings in LCSH.
Form subdivisions are used to indicate the form in which the material on a subject is organized and presented (e.g., congresses, dictionaries, periodicals) and as such are added as the last element to any heading. Form subdivisions represent what a work is rather than what it is about. They can generally be used under any topic, and therefore are seldom printed in LCSH. Nevertheless, a few instances occur in the list, usually because they were established and printed before 1974 when they became free-floating, e.g.,
Massachusetts—History—Colonial period, ca. 1600– 1775—Juvenile literature
Most form subdivisions are indicated in the list by a general see also reference under the heading representing the form as a whole, e.g.,
SA subdivision Periodicals under specific subjects, e.g., Engineering—Periodicals United States— History—Periodicals
Guidance on the use of many specific form subdivisions, such as —Abstracts, —Catalogs, —Dictionaries, —Digests, — Handbooks, manuals, etc., —Pictorial works, —Tables, and others, is given in the Manual.
Chronological subdivisions are used to limit a heading or heading-and-subdivision to a particular time period. Under names of countries and other jurisdictions or regions are printed specific topical subdivisions and the chronological subdivisions that may be used with them. The date subdivisions given under United States—Economic conditions, United States—History, and United States—Politics and government are illustrative.
When topical headings contain chronological subdivisions not preceded by the subdivision —History, the subdivisions are usually established and printed in LCSH, e.g.,
Philosophy, Frenchth century
The designation (May Subd Geog) after a subject heading or subdivision indicates that a geographic location may follow the heading or subdivision. The designation (Not Subd Geog) after a subject heading or subdivision indicates that a decision has been made not to divide a particular heading by geographic location. Omission of either designation normally means that the heading has not yet been reviewed to determine whether geographic subdivision is possible or desirable geographic location should not therefore be used.
Instructions for subdivision by place may occur under an individual heading in a scope note, but a full description of the rules is given in the Manual. Generally, if the geographic entity is the name of a country or is larger than a single country, the established name is placed immediately after the heading or subdivision that has the code (May Subd Geog). Labor supply (May Subd Geog) means that place follows the subject, as in Labor supply—France. If the geographic entity is the name of a region or geographic feature within a country, the name of a state or province, or the name of a city, then the name of the country it is in generally precedes the name of the smaller geographic locality. The result of this practice is to gather most of the localities as further subdivisions under the name of the country, as with Labor supply—France—Paris.
The major exception to interposing the name of the country is that three countries — the United States, Great Britain, and Canada — do not serve as gathering devices for smaller jurisdictions or geographic entities. The names of states, constituent countries, and provinces, respectively, instead of the country name, serve as gathering devices for the smaller jurisdictions or geographic areas. Additional exceptions to the general rule stated above are described in the Manual.
If a heading contains both a geographic subdivision and topical or form subdivisions, the location of the geographic subdivision depends on which elements can be subdivided by place. As a general rule, place follows the last element that can be divided by place. Following this rule for the heading from LCSH with subdivisions below
Construction industry (May Subd Geog)
— —Law and legislation (May Subd Geog)
—Government policy (May Subd Geog)
will result in these combinations:
Construction industry—Finance—Law and legislation— Italy
Construction industry—Government policy—Italy
Construction industry—Italy—Mathematical models
Few geographic subdivisions are printed in LCSH. For example, the heading Petroleum waste is followed by the code (May Subd Geog), but no instances of geographic subdivision are printed. In this case, the specific rules for geographic subdivision in the Manual must be consulted in order to construct a subject heading with geographic subdivision correctly. Those geographic subdivisions that are printed are usually required so that references to narrower headings may lead from the topic in a special place to an instance of that topic. For example, many geographic subdivisions are printed under the heading Rivers (May Subd Geog) so that references may lead to the names of individual rivers.
Geographic Subdivision and Place Names Divided by Topic
The expression of geographic place in relation to a topic is handled in two different ways in LCSH. Topical subject headings can be subdivided by place, as in Labor supply— France, or geographic headings may be subdivided by topic, as in Massachusetts—History. Since a general rule does not exist that explains under which circumstances one method is preferred to the other, it is best to rely on instructions under the specific subject headings to determine which method is used. If a subject heading contains the designation (May Subd Geog), a geographic place is brought out by subdivision. For example, Labor supply (May Subd Geog) means that place will follow the subject, as in Labor supply—France. If, however, the heading lacks the instruction or specifically states (Not Subd Geog) and there is a general reference to a specific subdivision under names of places, then the specific geographic area precedes the topic. For example,
SA subdivision History under names of countries, cities, etc., and individual corporate bodies, uniform titles of sacred works, classes of persons, ethnic groups and topical headings
authorizes the construction of the combination Massachusetts— History.
The use of subdivisions under names of places is more problematic because it is necessary to refer to the Manual for a complete listing of these subdivisions. No single place name lists all of the available subdivisions. The subdivisions under the headings France, Great Britain, and United States in LCSH are representative of some of the subdivisions that may be used. However, date subdivisions that represent historical periods must be established uniquely under each place name.
Until 1974, subject catalogers normally established specific heading-and-subdivision combinations for printing in LCSH. In 1974 it was decided that many subdivisions of subject headings would in the future be constructed according to rules instead of according to specific authorization, and the term free- floating subdivision was coined. Because authority records have seldom been prepared for these combinations since 1974, the resulting combinations infrequently appear in LCSH. Therefore, those subdivisions that do appear are either remnants from earlier days or subdivisions needed so that narrower headings or previously used headings can be shown.
Subject heading strings, made up of established headings and free-floating subdivision combinations, are assembled in building-block fashion by the cataloger at the time of assigning subject headings to a work being cataloged. Most subdivisions are accessible in LCSH itself either through a general see also (SA) reference under the heading that is the same as a subdivision (for example, Abstracts), or through a general USE reference (for example, Ability testing). In addition, guidelines for the use of many subdivisions appear in the notes and references under the corresponding generic headings or references in the text of LCSH. In addition, catalogers should refer to various lists and instruction sheets in the Manual in order to combine elements correctly. For a complete list of the free-floating subdivisions in use as of January 2018, as well as guidelines for their use, see the section “Free-floating Subdivisions” in this 40th edition of LCSH.
In 1974 the principle of free-floating subdivisions controlled by pattern headings was officially incorporated into LCSH. Standardized sets of topical and form subdivisions were developed for use under particular categories of subject headings or name headings used as subjects. To avoid repeating these subdivisions under all possible headings, only one or a few representative headings from each category are printed in LCSH with a set of the subdivisions appropriate for use under other headings belonging to the category. Such headings are called pattern headings for the respective categories.
Because many subdivisions now authorized as free- floating by a pattern heading were printed in LCSH before 1974, they still appear in numerous instances under individual headings belonging to a category. Some headings incorporating subdivisions controlled by pattern headings are needed to provide the reference structure for other headings.
General free-floating subdivisions are not usually printed in LCSH under pattern headings. However, some general free floating topical and form subdivisions are listed under pattern headings if they represent an important topic or type of material pertinent to the category, or if they are cited as examples in general see also references.
Any subdivision established under a pattern heading is usable, if appropriate and no conflict exists, under any other heading belonging to its category. Within these specified limits, it is a free-floating subdivision.
For example, a set of subdivisions has been developed for organs and regions of the body. Typical headings belonging to this category include Alimentary canal, Autonomic ganglia, Renal artery, Toes, etc. There are two pattern headings for parts of the body: Foot and Heart. The subdivisions established under either of these headings may be used as free-floating subdivisions under any heading belonging to the category if it is appropriate. To illustrate, the heading Joints—Biopsy is not printed in LCSH. It is nonetheless a valid heading because the subdivision —Biopsy appears under Heart.
Additional information on pattern headings is found in the Manual. Types of headings included in the categories are described there. Lists of the subdivisions that can be used under other headings belonging to the category are also provided. When new subdivisions are added to the pattern headings, the subdivisions are printed under the pattern headings in LCSH.
The table of pattern headings is arranged alphabetically by category of headings covered by pattern headings the specific headings under which the subdivisions will appear in LCSH are listed in the right-hand column.
CATEGORIES OF HEADINGS INCLUDED IN THE LIST
LCSH is primarily a listing of topical subject headings. Ever since the first edition, names of persons and names of corporate bodies (jurisdictions, companies, etc.) have been omitted from the list unless needed as patterns or examples, or unless a subdivision must be printed. In addition, the list in the past omitted some of the topical headings established and assigned as subject headings to bibliographic records by the Library of Congress. Although certain categories of headings were established and applied to works cataloged, they were omitted from the printed list in order to save space.
In 1976 the decision was made to print the following types of formerly omitted headings: names of sacred books names of families, dynasties, and royal houses gods legendary and fictitious characters works of art biological names and chemicals. Headings in these categories appear in the list if they were established after 1976. In 1976 the Library also began to print several other categories of formerly omitted headings: geographic regions and features city sections archaeological sites extinct cities structures buildings roads parks and reserves plazas streets and other proper names not usually capable of authorship. The list also contains an artificial structure called a “multiple,” of which Subject headings— Aeronautics, [Education, Latin America, Law, etc.] and Civil rights—Religious aspects—Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.] are examples. These multiple subdivisions are intended to indicate that analogous subdivisions may be used as needed without a specific authority record. That is, under the heading Civil rights—Religious aspects the name of any religion may be assigned as a further subdivision.
CATEGORIES OF HEADINGS OMITTED FROM THE LIST
Four categories of headings are omitted from the list: headings that appear in the Name Authority File, free-floating phrase headings, certain music headings, and machine-generated validation records.
Headings Residing in the Name Authority File
Personal names, corporate bodies, names of jurisdictions, names of meetings, conferences, and other organized events, such as competitions and sports events, and uniform titles are omitted from the subject headings list unless used as a pattern or example, or unless a subdivision or special instruction must be printed.
In 2013 the decision was made to discontinue establishing several types of headings in LCSH: names of individual fictitious characters, legendary characters, and mythological figures names of individual deities and individually named animals. The headings are now established in the name authority file, and existing subject headings are gradually being cancelled in favor of the name authority records. To find the established forms of headings that do not appear in LCSH consult the online file of name authority records. For more information, consult the Manual.
Free-floating Phrase Headings
These headings are not established by subject catalogers but are composed and applied as needed
without the creation of an authority record. These headings are:
[Name of city] Metropolitan Area ([Geographic qualifier])
[Name of city] Region ([Geographic qualifier])
[Name of city] Suburban Area ([Geographic qualifier])
[Name of river] Region ([Geographic qualifier])
[Name of geographic feature] Region ([Geographic qualifier])
Establishing and Printing Certain Music Headings
Machine-generated validation records
Filing rules that provide for efficient arrangement of bibliographic entries by computer have been followed. These rules (Library of Congress Filing Rules, 1980) are also used in other Library of Congress computer-generated bibliographic products.
The basic principle is to file a heading strictly as expressed in its written form, word by word. A word is defined as consisting of one or more letters or numerals set off by spaces or marks of significant punctuation, such as the hyphen. Therefore, abbreviations, acronyms, and initials without interior punctuation (e.g., Dr., ALGOL, IBM) are filed as words. Initials separated by punctuation are filed as separate words at the beginning of their alphabetic group.
Numbers that are expressed in digits, both Arabic and Roman, precede alphabetic characters and are arranged in increasing numeric value.
In a chronological file, dates are arranged according to proper chronology. The word “To” is treated as if it were 0 (zero). In a chronological progression the shortest period is filed first. Period subdivisions are arranged chronologically even when the dates do not appear first. If two spans begin with the same date, the shorter time period files first:
Children (International law)
Children (Roman law)
Following is an example of LCSH heading “Hotels” from Library of Congress Linked Data Service:
Please refer to our article Cataloging Examples which will include examples of LCSH headings in a catalog record.
LCSH ASSIGNING AND CONSTRUCTING
1. General rule (how-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to the work being cataloged)
2. Cataloging treatment (how-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) corresponding to the cataloging treatment of the work)
3. Number of headings (what is the number of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) required in a catalog record)
4. Specificity (in assigning Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
5. Depth of indexing (how-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) that most closely correspond to the overall coverage of the work)
6. General topic and subtopic principle vs. specific case (how-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) if a work discusses a general topic with emphasis on a particular subtopic, or presents a principle and illustrates the principle with a specific case or example)
7. Two or three related headings (how-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) if a heading exists, or can be established, that represents the two or three topics discussed in a work)
8. Rule of three (when it is appropriate to assign up-to three Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
9. Rule of four (when it is appropriate to assign up-to four Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
10. Multi-element topics (How-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) if a work discusses a complex or compound topic for which a single heading neither exists nor can be practically constructed or established)
11. Additional aspects (How-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) with important additional aspects, such as limitation to a specific place or time, focus on specific named entities, and presentation in a particular form)
12. Concepts in titles (How-to assign Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to bring out concepts in titles and subtitles)
13. Additional headings (How-to assign additional Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) which are required because of the complex nature of certain topics, or special practices that have been developed for particular topics)
14. Objectivity (Principle to avoid assigning Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) that label topics or express personal value judgments regarding topics or materials)
15. Constructing headings (Examples of different types of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
LCSH TWENTY-PERCENT RULE
- “Multiple” Subdivisions to be Cancelled from Library of Congress Subject Headings [November 7, 2018] - In order to better support linked-data initiatives, the Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division will cancel “multiple” subdivisions from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) beginning in December 2018. A multiple subdivision is a special type of subdivision that automatically gives free-floating status to analogous subdivisions used under the same heading. In the example Computers—Religious aspects—Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.], the multiple subdivision is —Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.]. Staff in PSD will cancel the multiple subdivisions from LCSH and create individual authority records for each valid, complete, heading string that was created based on a multiple subdivision. PSD wishes to be as comprehensive as possible when making authority records based on heading strings used in bibliographic records OCLC Research will assist in this effort by providing to PSD lists of the headings used in bibliographic records in OCLC. To know more see main article: “Multiple” Subdivisions to be Cancelled from Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Cancellation of multiple subdivisions in LCSH [July 17, 2020]
- Cancellation of multiple subdivisions used after [name of person]–Characters in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
- Cancellation of the multiple subdivisions –Religious aspects—Baptists, [Catholic Church, etc.] and –Religious aspects—Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.]
- To know more see main article: Cancellation of multiple subdivisions in LCSH
LCSH AUTHORITY CONTROL
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) - Subject Authority Record
LCSH Quiz -- List of questions, answers, and quizzes on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) from Library and Information Science Questions Answers Quizzes. Please visit this collection and locate questions given below under the heading "Unit V - Information and Knowledge Organization and Management" where you will also find their URLs having answers and further explanations.
- Complete Cutter's "objects" of the catalog. Fill in the Blanks. To enable a person to ________ a resource of which the ________, title, or ________ is known. To show what the library has by a given ________, on a given ________, or in a given ________ of literature.
- Metadata can be defined as [Fill in the Blanks. Metadata can be defined as ______ about ______. In libraries, the creation of metadata is often referred to as ______. It is a subset of ______ organization.]
- Metadata is structured information that describes resources [True or False]
- What are the two primary methods of subject access?
- Using a controlled vocabulary is the same as using natural language. [True or False]
- What are the purposes of a controlled vocabulary? (Select all that apply.) [A) To allow for consistent retrieval of resources. B) To allow for comprehensive searching of a catalog. C) To allow user-supplied tags that are specific to the user that applies them. D) To allow for the control of synonyms. E) To link terms that are related to each other, for ease of retrieval. F) To repeat all the nouns that appear in the titles of every resource.]
- Keywords and social tagging are [Fill-In-The-Blank: Keywords and social tagging are ______ approaches to access. They provide ______ collocation for resources.]
- A simple term list (a "pick list") _____ semantic relationships among terms [(A) does not show (B) shows]
LCSH TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Here we are providing a list of tools and resources for the use of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).
Five services provide information about new and revised headings. First, a distribution service supplies the subject headings in the MARC 21 authorities format via Internet FTP on a weekly basis to supplement the master database file of subject authority records. Second, L.C. Subject Headings Monthly Lists are a timely source of information about new and changed subject headings, class numbers, references and scope notes. The lists are posted monthly to the World Wide Web at http://www.loc.gov/aba/cataloging/subject/weeklylists. Third, Classification Web provides World Wide Web access to Library of Congress Subject Headings and Library of Congress Classification to subscribers. Fourth, subject authority records are included in the Library’s Web authorities service and may be searched and viewed at http://authorities.loc.gov. Fifth, subject authorities are freely available for searching and download through the Library’s Linked Data Service at http://id.loc.gov.
Videos on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) from the article Library and Information Science Videos. These videos are in the form of a playlist created in the YouTube channel of Librarianship Studies & Information Technology. Just click on the top-left side of the video player to get the list of videos in the playlist from where you can choose the desired video to watch.
EXAMPLES OF SOME CONTROVERSIAL LCSH HEADINGS
“Illegal aliens” is a controversial LCSH heading that is used for undocumented immigrant persons who are not citizens of the country in which they reside.
For many years, the Library of Congress categorized many of its books under a controversial subject heading: “Illegal aliens.”⁴
Screenshots of the heading Illegal aliens in LCSH from the Library of Congress Website
LCSH heading - Illegal aliens [Source: Library of Congress Authorities] LCSH heading - Illegal aliens [Source: Library of Congress Linked Data Service]
In 2013, Dartmouth undergraduate and former undocumented immigrant, Melissa Padilla, came across the current LCSH “Illegal aliens” while doing research. Angered, Padilla stated the term is essentially used to “criminalize the choices our parents made in order to provide us with better lives,” and is meant to demean Mexican immigrants specifically. Padilla brought up the issue with Dartmouth students at a meeting of the Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality and Dreamers, which, with the help of Dartmouth librarians, submitted a formal request to LC in 2014 to replace the term “Illegal aliens” with “Undocumented immigrants.” In February 2015, LC publicly responded that it would not change the heading. Following discussions in ALA including within the Subject Analysis Committee (SAC), Social Responsibilities Roundtable, and REFORMA, ALA formulated a resolution asking LC to reconsider the original request, arguing that “aliens” and “Illegal aliens” are pejorative terms.⁸
In 2016, the Library of Congress announced that it would reconsider the usage of “Aliens” and its related terms in the Library of Congress Subject Headings, following a student-led movement to change the pejorative term “Illegal Aliens.” Yet, three years on, these terms remain in the LCSH.⁵
On March 22, 2016, the library made a momentous decision, announcing that it was canceling the subject heading “Illegal aliens” in favor of “Noncitizens” and “Unauthorized immigration.”
However, the decision was overturned a few months later, when the House of Representatives ordered the library to continue using the term “illegal alien.” They said they decided this in order to duplicate the language of federal laws written by Congress.
This was the first time Congress ever intervened over a Library of Congress subject heading change. Even though many librarians and the American Library Association opposed Congress’s decision, “Illegal aliens” remains the authorized subject heading today.
Cataloging and classification are critical to any library. Without them, finding materials would be impossible. However, there are biases that can result in patrons not getting the materials they need.
Change the Subject - a Documentary
Change the Subject shares the story of a group of college students, who from their first days at Dartmouth College, were committed to advancing and promoting the rights and dignity of undocumented peoples. In partnership with staff at Dartmouth, these students – now alumni – produced a film to capture their singular effort at confronting an instance of anti-immigrant sentiment in their library catalog. Their advocacy took them all the way from Baker-Berry Library to the halls of Congress, showing how an instance of campus activism entered the national spotlight, and how a cataloging term became a flashpoint in the immigration debate on Capitol Hill.
Runtime: 54 minutes
Country: United States
Change the Subject - Trailer
Hawaii State Public Library System
After statehood in 1959, the Hawaii State Legislature created the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS), the only statewide system in the United States, with the Hawaii State Library building as its flagship branch. The Hawaii State Public Library System is an independent State agency that reports directly to the Board of Education. The duties of the board of education are described in Hawaii Revised Statue §312-1. The State Librarian is appointed by the Board of Education and responsible for the operation, planning, programming, and budgeting of all public libraries within the State.
Hawaii State Public Library funding
The Hawaii State Public Library System depends on (4) sources of funding:
- State General Funds (GF)
- State Construction and Improvement Project (CIP) Funds
- Special Funds
- Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Funds
State General Funds
State General Funds are allocated each year by the Legislature and Governor. This funding is used for staffing, equipment, utilities, security, and other basic operations.
Construction and Improvement Project Funds
State CIP Funds are used to implement facility projects that relate to the health and safety of the community, and also new building projects. Funding is also used to support ADA, energy efficiency, retro-commissioning building requirements
Special Funds are made up of HSPLS fines and fees. The funding is used to purchase collections for all public libraries.
Federal Library Services and Technology Act
LSTA is funding that is provided through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to every state through a formula. Hawaii receives about $1.2 million each year. The funding is used for technology, internet connectivity, and digital resources to ensure access to resources on all six (6) islands is equitable.
HSPLS also depends on the immense commitment and support of volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to raise funding to support library programs and services across Hawaii. The Friends of the Library of Hawaii (FLH) was established in 1879 and “is a nonprofit organization whose primary objective is to maintain free public libraries in the State of Hawaii, to promote extension of library services throughout the State of Hawaii and to increase the facilities of the public library system of Hawaii by securing materials beyond the command of the ordinary library budget. Other objectives are to focus attention on libraries and to encourage and accept, by bequest or gift, donations of books, manuscripts, money, and other appropriate material that can enrich the cultural opportunities available to the people of Hawaii. The Friends of the Library of Hawaii is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization approved by Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.”
Additionally, there are local friends’ groups that support individual branches. They may be an affiliate of FLH or their own 501c(3).
If we were to pick the brightest gems from the treasure trove of material and intangible heritage kept in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is no way we could leave out the illuminated Jewish codex known around the world as the Sarajevo Haggadah. The haggadah (Hebrew for story, account) is a collection of religious rules and traditions arranged into the order of the Seder observed on Passover, the holiday celebrating the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Haggadot were especially important during the ceremonial family dinner – the Seder, when all household members and guests, book in hand, read or followed the accounts of the journey to freedom and everything else that was connected, in a ceremonial sense, with that well-known Old Testament story. The tradition of reading from a haggadah in the family circle lead to the production of a relatively large number of such books. The Sarajevo Haggadah, because of its aesthetic value and historical significance, is foremost among them.
The Sarajevo Haggadah comprises 142 leaves of parchment, 16.5 cm x 22.8 cm in size, made out of extraordinarily thin, bleached calf skin. The first 34 leaves feature 69 illuminated miniatures showing the Creation of the World, slavery in Egypt, coming out of Egypt under Moses' leadership, and beyond, all the way to the succession of Joshua, son of Nun. The last four miniatures are an exception, in that they are not biblical in character. The next 50 leaves contain the text of the Haggadah, written on both the recto and the verso in Hebrew, in the mediaeval, Spanish-type square script. The last part of the book is a subsequently added poetic/ceremonial appendix containing poems by some of the most famous Hebrew poets from the golden era of Hebrew literature (10th–13th century): Yehudah HaLevi, Yitzhak ben Yehudah ibn Ghiyyath HaLevi, Salomon ibn Gabirol, Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra, and others.
The discovery of the Sarajevo Haggadah in 1894 piqued the interest of art historians of the day, because the Haggadah is a rare piece of evidence proving that Jews, in spite of a strict scriptural prohibition (You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness, Exodus 20:4), engaged in highly artistic figural representation of humans and animals. Based on stylistic analysis of the illuminations and miniatures contained in its pages, it was determined that the book was made in mediaeval Spain, in the former kingdom of Aragon, most likely in Barcelona, around 1350. It may have been a present for the wedding of members of two prominent families, Shoshan and Elazar, because their coats of arms – a shield with a rosette/rose (shoshan in Hebrew) and a wing (elazar in Hebrew) – are featured on the page showing the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona.
According to a note from the book itself, it changed owners after the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, but we do not know the names of the original or the new owner. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the book was in the north of Italy, as confirmed by two short notes on its pages. A note entered in 1609 says that the book does not contain anything directed against the Church, probably the result of a content check by the Roman Inquisition. The circumstances under which it made its way into Bosnia, as well as when that happened, are unknown.
It leaves a reliable trace in history again in 1894, when the National Museum purchased it from the Sarajevan Sephardic family Koen for the sum of 150 crowns. It was then sent to Vienna for analysis, and was returned after a few years of vicissitudes.
In keeping with its destiny, the Sarajevo Haggadah could not find peace even in the museum collection. In the first days following the occupation of Sarajevo by the German forces in 1941, German authorities demanded that Jozo Petrović, the director of the Museum at the time, hand over the famous leather-bound codex. Petrović, aided by the curator Derviš Korkut, took enormous risks, dodged the demand, and arranged for the Haggadah to be stowed somewhere safe. According to reliable accounts, it was hidden in a mosque in one of the Muslim villages on Mt Bjelašnica, where it stayed until the end of World War II. Another attempt to steal it was made in the 1950s this time, too, the employees of the Museum prevented the theft.
Most recently, and hopefully for the last time, this valuable tome was endangered at the beginning of the siege of Sarajevo in 1992, when the National Museum found itself on the first line of defence. The museum took heavy shelling then, from which it has still not recovered.
Today, for the first time in its rich, tumultuous history, the Sarajevo Haggadah is accessible to the general public it is kept in an especially secure space, under strictly defined environmental conditions, and is displayed on special occasions.
These facts about the Sarajevo Haggadah – both those inferred through research and analysis as well as those known to us from the notes on its pages and through traditional stories that have followed this book for decades – make it a priceless resource for studying the cultural history of a nation in century-long pursuit of homeland. The Sarajevo Haggadah is physical proof of the openness of a society in which fear of the Other has never been an incurable disease.
Mirsad Sijarić, DSc
Acting Director of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Explanation and prediction: building a unified theory of librarianship, concept and review *.
AS INSPIRATION FOR DEVELOPING A comprehensive, unified, explanatory theory of librarianship, the author makes an analogy to the unification of the fundamental forces of nature, beginning with the Copernican revolution, followed by the discoveries of Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, and the unification of electro-magnetism, light, the weak force, the electroweak force, the strong force, and the ultimate goal to include gravity, space, time, and relativity into a single grand unified theory. While the analogy may be naive and debatable, the linking of disparate domains suggests a process for linking the broad and classical functions of librarianship into a framework for a unified theory. The unified theory might consist of functions stemming from the world of publishing: Selection and deselection, acquisitions, the structure of knowledge and classification, storage and preservation, the library collection, and circulation. The author reviews recent Library and Information Science (LIS) research of the type that could contribute to development of unified theory. Dependent and independent variables are identified when apparent, with particular emphasis on the importance of units of analysis to theory. The recent literature is dominated throughout the framework by studies involving library circulation or its surrogates.
When Copernicus showed that the known planets orbited the sun, not the earth, he began a centuries-long process of linking the fundamental forces of nature. His revolutionary theory changed the course of astronomy because it explained the movements of the planets far better than the orthodox Ptolemaic system did. It was advocated by Galileo, augmented by Kepler's discovery of elliptical orbits, explained by Newton's laws of gravity, and ultimately refined by Einstein's general theory of relativity. (1)
The genius of the Copernican-Galilean-Keplerian-Newtonian achievement, or "celestial mechanics," as it is now called, is in its extraordinary ability to explain and predict. The movements of the planets, moons, comets, and other bodies can be explained in terms of gravitational force and the conic sections of classical geometry--the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola--and their exact positions relative to each other can be predicted with great accuracy.
Similarly, the power to explain and predict also improved with the nineteenth-century reconciliation of electricity and magnetism by Michael Faraday, with light by James Clerk Maxwell, and more recently with the fundamental "weak" force, to form the "electroweak" theory. Current efforts are aimed at reconciliation of the "electroweak" force with the "strong" force and, ultimately, with gravity and general relativity to form a "super unified" theory incorporating all of the fundamental forces of nature (Ferris, 1991). Hannaford (1980), in his discussion of libraries and scientific knowledge, refers to this as the hierarchical picture of explanation, "General relativity explains special relativity explains Newtonian mechanics explains observations of planetary motions" (p. 577).
PHENOMENA OF LIBRARIANSHIP
What is the implication of these great achievements for libraries--apart from being repositories for the precious documents describing them? As scholars and social scientists in our own much humbler yet somewhat pretentious sphere, can we formulate theories to explain the various interacting forces of librarianship that would enable us to predict those phenomena? The answer is "perhaps," because such application is mostly by analogy, and the analogy is more inspirational than emulative. After all, library science is not natural science. Human behavior, far more complex than planetary motions, can never be described or predicted with the precision of celestial mechanics. But we should like to try, even though our theories may never be elegant or exact.
For this discussion, an informal and simple (some would say simplistic) definition of theory can be used: A set of variables that may explain and predict another variable. A unified theory is simply one that reconciles or incorporates other theories. For a more formal definition of theory in the context of librarianship, refer to the taxonomy of theory by Grover & Glazier (1986) and their broader update of the taxonomy in this issue (Glazier & Grover, 2002).
Consider some of the traditional areas of concern to librarianship: Publishing, acquisitions, storage, preservation, classification and organization of knowledge, and collections and circulation. While not necessarily complete, few question these as basic to the profession. Most recently, Curran (2001) has reconfirmed them as those aspects of information that library and information scientists are most concerned with, adding origin, dissemination, properties, retrieval, and interpretation of information. No doubt, this list could be even further refined or expanded. Curran offers many questions pertaining to each area, the answers and alternatives to which the profession should continue to seek. His questions (how, who, what) are all valid when attempting to describe activities. We, those in the Library and Information Science (LIS) profession, should like to have a more precise, perhaps mathematical understanding of how these areas are interconnected, and how the activities or outcomes of each may be explained or predicted in terms of inputs from others. While recognizing that Curran and others may prefer the more detailed outline or one altogether different, this paper is confined to the more limited one. However, whatever the framework, it is important to note that there is a sense of flow or connectivity from one domain to another, just as there is in everyday practical processing and use of library materials.
Within the context of these activities, but beyond their mere description, what do we mean by "explanation" and "prediction?" What do we want to explain and what is there to predict in librarianship, and why should we want to predict it? One definition of explanation--a much more complex concept than can be explored here--is simply accounting for one phenomenon in terms of others. A good explanation is one that provides understanding. More specifically, it is one that, given a set of conditions, enables us to predict another with reasonable or satisfying confidence.
In every area--acquisitions, storage, preservation, classification of knowledge, collections, reference work, and so on--there is something that varies and is dependent on something else, so that we should be interested in building theories that would enable us to explain and predict those things that vary in each area. Intuitively, we know that each area is, to some extent, dependent on some other, either directly, in a linear flow, beginning to end, or in a more complex multidimensional way, in which communication, or the workflow, may take many paths.
Consider some typical activities in each of the functional areas listed above--how they might be explained by some other area, how specific theories could be built for each area, and then finally how they might ultimately be integrated into a unified theory. Figure 1, modeled after a diagram, "Explaining the Forces of Nature," published in the New York Times (Broad, 1984), and reproduced in McGrath (1995b, see note 1), shows these traditional areas of librarianship with hypothetical connections (dotted lines) between them to indicate relationships not firmly established in any explanatory or predictive sense.
To some extent, librarians want to know what societal factors contribute to the variability of publishing each year: Demand, world events, economic conditions, and so on. Knowledge of those factors is necessary to construct a theory of publishing. (2) Though such a theory is of interest for understanding the bigger picture, librarians accept information from the world of publishing as input to their considerations--the population of books, journals, and other materials, or portion thereof, to be acquired. Whereas publishing is the output of societal motivation and conditions, it is input to a theory of acquisitions.
Publishing is a necessary condition for acquisitions to take place. Collection-building cannot occur unless there are published items to collect. (3) The question, therefore, is "What are the conditions and criteria for selecting or not selecting specific books to add to the collection?" All of these conditions and criteria may be quantified in such a way that their affect on the number of items selected can be tested.
A proposed theory of collection building should consider--that is, should test--variables associated with publishing, selection, and censorship, as well as a host of other variables, including the education and knowledge of the selectors, the academic environment, nature of the community, size of the budget, and the required subject areas. The theory would include only those variables that significantly contribute to the variation of selection and collection building--that is, only those variables that hold up under testing. Even then, it is still a theory, because it is in the nature of science that an old theory can be modified, overthrown, or displaced, and that is certainly true in our context.
The classification scheme used by the library is a major property of the collection. The scheme reflects the librarians' perceptions of how knowledge is organized or structured. The idea of structure comes closest to our cosmological analogy: Just as there have been many theories on how astronomical bodies relate to one another in an organized system, so also have there been many classification systems. And just as some of those cosmological theories, such as the Ptolemaic system, failed in their ability to predict, so have our classification systems failed to optimize accessibility. Just as the Ptolemaic system was taken on authority for fourteen centuries or more until Copernicus put it to a test, so have librarians taken most classification systems on authority and rarely, if ever, put them to the test of predictability. Human systems can never be deterministic in the sense that, for example, orbiting bodies depend on the force of gravity. Because society is mutable, no classification theory can ever be enduring. Nevertheless, we can still look for structure in knowledge. And even though structure may not be permanent, principles are permanent and are reason enough to look for more enduring structure. Buckland, in defining theory, says that "structure is theory" (1988, p. 37). From that, it follows that classification and the structure of knowledge is necessary for the development of a unified library theory.
The structure of knowledge is due in no small part to what is published. For any given library, it may depend on the portion of published knowledge acquired. It may also be due to other variables in the local environment--including demand, the nature of the community, and the library's users.
Storage and preservation are major functional concerns of every library. Storage problems involve available square footage, linear stack space, stack maintenance, retrieval and reshelving of materials, scheduling and training of stack personnel, shelf-reading, inventory, and much else. Preservation comprises the condition of materials, environmental questions, humidity, chemicals, temperature, lighting, acidity of paper, dust, protection against fire and moisture, and so on. All of these variables can be quantified, controlled, or otherwise described and are important properties of the library collection.
Now we can see that a description of the library's collection must include everything discussed up to this point: Publishing, acquisitions (which entails selection), the classification scheme (based on some perceived structure of knowledge), and the problems of storage and preservation. How these components fit together to make a theory of collections seems obvious and trivial, but what may seem obvious may be merely a reflection of what we actually do in practice, the current way of doing things--which may not necessarily be the best way. After all, the Ptolemaic system, which Copernicus and Galileo showed to be wrong, was able to predict planetary positions with some success. Perhaps some components, such as classification, may be based on a coherent theory, but unless the theory includes all components it is not complete. Ideally, all of the variables and all of the components must be described, quantified, tested, and retested as a complete system before we should be satisfied. Hannaford (1980), equating "theoretical" and "scientific," believes that collection development can be scientific. In two earlier papers, McGrath discussed the theory of collections in terms of the relationship between circulation and collections and the units in which data could be collected (McGrath, 1980), and in terms of the relationship between parts of collections, who uses them, and between other collections (McGrath, 1985).
Let us now look at circulation, perhaps the ultimate first and last reason for the very existence of the modern library. Success of the library depends on its circulation. (4) Conversely, circulation depends on the library and its collection, classification, and organization of materials.
The high volume of circulation requires that library administrators maintain appropriate records, reshelve returned books promptly, keep bookshelves orderly, and so on. But library circulation varies from hour to hour and day to day. The library administrator would like to be able to anticipate (to predict) this variation in order to allocate sufficient funds to pay shelvers and to schedule them when needed. If the conditions or variables that make circulation fluctuate were known, the administrator could provide better service. What makes circulation fluctuate? We do not know until we can test the variables we think may be correlated with circulation--that is, by formulating a theory of circulation and then testing it.
Circulation may be dependent on variables both internal and external to the library. In either case, we should like to know what they are. If internal, then we would need to examine all functional areas, such as acquisitions and cataloging, for conditions that might make circulation fluctuate. If external, then circulation becomes part of a larger sociological theory.
GRAND UNIFIED LIBRARY THEORY
In a very broad and nonspecific framework, this essay outlines one possible approach to the development of a grand unified library theory in which the library is an integrated system where outcomes are describable in terms of measurable relationships, regularities, and laws. The work required to uncover these relationships--the work of intellectual design and computation--might be prodigious and challenging, but the computations should be relatively trivial once the design is formulated.
The unified theory is sketched only in the broadest and briefest outline. There is much not addressed--the psychology of users and librarians, attitudinal studies, organizational behavior, interaction with other disciplines, scientometrics and informetrics, individual scholarly productivity, citation analysis, LIS education, welfare and status of librarians (including tenure, salaries, and prestige), and so on. To some critics, the most glaring omission might be inattention to the digital revolution. To this author, however, while the production of electronic databases, the World Wide Web, and the Internet is technology, their use can be described in terms of traditional library functions.
At a more mundane level, the need for bridging domains, whether it is called unified theory or something else, is recognized by the familiar sardonic complaint in libraries that acquisitions librarians do not talk with catalogers, who do not talk with reference librarians, who do not talk with circulation librarians, and so on. "No one talks with anybody," yet the need for reconciliation, cooperation, and system integration is obvious and incontrovertible. A unified theory might provide the basis and incentive both for understanding and quantifying the flow of materials between the domains and for establishing firmer communication as well.
Modern mathematical and computational tools, far more powerful than the pencil and paper used by Copernicus and Kepler three centuries and more ago, can measure the relationship between output or dependent variables and input or independent variables. Probabilistic statistical tools, such as canonical correlation, discriminant analysis, path analysis, the general linear model, multiple regression, and analysis of variance, are routinely used for testing and building theories in many scientific domains. The general idea of these tools is that they allow us to account for the variance in the dependent variables in terms of the variance of independent variables.
Other methods may be used to describe the inevitable cyclic nature of information access. After all, the Laws of Newton and Kepler were derived from pure and accurate description of orbital motion and were held to be precise and deterministic. Mathematical tools, such as time series and spectral analysis--fundamental to the understanding of celestial signals and orbital mechanics--can be applied to these cycles (McGrath, 1996a).
Building a theory, of course, entails much more than application of quantitative methods. An understanding of the entire process is essential. Scriven (1968) provides just such an understanding in an essay on the concerns of science: Observation, description, definition, classification, measurement, experimentation, generalization, explanation, prediction, evaluation, and control of the environment. McGrath (1986) showed how these concerns might apply to research in LIS as a coherent and continuous process.
A REVIEW OF RECENT EXPLANATORY RESEARCH THAT COULD CONTRIBUTE TO A UNIFIED THEORY
Theory in LIS is something more than just an esoteric and abstract realm out of touch with the practical problems of day-to-day professional work, as may be inferred from the extensive review by Pettigrew & McKechnie (2001). They found that of 1,160 articles in six LIS journals for the years 1993 to 1998, 397 discussed or employed theory while characterizing "the vast majority of information science" since 1950 as "atheoretical." Earlier surveys reached similar conclusions (Peritz, 1980). Nevertheless, these reviews show that, despite the failure of much research to address theory, there is considerable recognition among grass-roots researchers that theory would help to strengthen our understanding of LIS relationships.
Following is a brief review of recent papers that exemplify the sort that can contribute to theory in each of the traditional categories outlined above. The journals are replete with studies of library and information activity, but relatively little--as Pettigrew & McKechnie and others have found--cast in theory, and less that lend themselves to theory building. No attempt was made here to review all of the literature that might otherwise be considered relevant. In particular, the vast literature on digital libraries and online retrieval is left to other reviewers (e.g., see Bar-Ilan & Peritz, 2002).
There is much literature on the philosophy of LIS containing provocative and stimulating ideas that always seem on the verge of offering testable theories or of challenging empirical researchers to operationalize abstract themes. One such piece is the comprehensive and thoughtful treatise oh metalibrarianship by Nitecki (1993), a tour de force, in which he explores not only the interdisciplinary character of librarianship, but the "relationships between the essential, minimal and basic elements in the communication of any recorded data, information, or knowledge" (Part 1, p. 2). In Chapter 11, "Tile Theory of Metalibrarianship," Nitecki explores theory, metatheory, methodology, evolution of concepts, the "multiplicity of metalibrary relations," and other ideas detailing a relational approach to librarianship.
A paper by Zwadlo (1997) similarly challenges LIS to apply "philosophical" ideas to "useful things." Many more such papers can be found in both Nitecki's and Zwadlo's citations, as well as in others. However, as interesting as it might be, unless the philosophy of librarianship tells us how to develop an explanatory theory of librarianship, it has limited value to this review.
Criteria for inclusion in this review are papers published (approximately) within the last ten years that include (1) the use of quantitative methods, such as multiple regression and the analysis of variance, that enable researchers to test independent variables that might account for variance in dependent variables or (2) correlation methods applied to two or more variables for which dependence or independence may or may not be identified by the researcher but which are potentially one or the other or (3) studies that do not necessarily apply quantitative methods, but express a research hypothesis or objective or model that may ultimately be tested by quantitative methods and thus have the potential for building theory.
An enormous number of studies have been devoted to frequency distributions of single variables. While these are always highly mathematical and interesting and theoretical, and while there are examples even among the papers in this issue of Library Trends (e.g., Rousseau), their authors are mostly concerned with the ability of a frequency distribution to forecast itself. These distributions are theoretical in that researchers attempt to fit a model to actual data. They are often highly successful and accurate, but are limited in their application to explanatory theory. The relationships between them and other variables are rarely analyzed. Other than to note their importance when considering normality and homogeneity of variance, important properties of distributions used in parametric testing, they contribute very little to the explanatory relationships of concern to this review. With a few exceptions, that genre is not included among the studies reviewed herein.
Many other interesting studies, some that used an explanatory approach with dependent and independent variables, were excluded from this review because they were outside of its main thread or failed to find significant relationships. Attitudinal studies, user satisfaction studies, and psychological studies in general were excluded, as were studies on librarians' status,job satisfaction, and salaries. Thus, there is a bias toward what libraries, librarians, and users do instead of what they think or feel.
Papers about citation theory, except where citations correlated with other relevant variables, have been excluded. The literature of citation theory focuses primarily on the communication relationships among scholars and scientists or between and among disciplines--highly interesting but of indirect interest here.
There may well be studies that could have been included--papers published in the seventies, eighties, and earlier, for example. However, the purpose of this paper is not to provide an exhaustive review of all possible relevant papers or a history of theory development, but rather to provide examples of recent papers that might help to build theory.
The following studies, then, are illustrative of types that have the potential for building a comprehensive, grand theory. One could call these studies "normal" science after Kuhn (1962)--filling in the gaps of existing theory--except that existing theory is much more elemental or primitive, and LIS has far to go to build good explanatory theory.
Dependent Variables, Independent Variables, and Units of Analysis
When apparent, the author has tried to list the dependent variable, significant independent variables, and the units of analysis (the things described by variables) for each paper reviewed. Whereas the meaning and importance of dependent and independent variables in theory is understood by most researchers, the importance of units of analysis in research design is not always appreciated. Understanding the unit of analysis is crucial in building theory (McGrath, 1996b). The difference between variables and units of analysis can be quite confusing. A variable at one level, for example, might be a unit of analysis at another level. In some studies, the units of analysis were not always specified by their authors and had to be inferred.
Saxton (1997), using meta-analysis to evaluate consistency of findings and standards for reporting findings across independent studies--in this case, correlations with accuracy of reference service--makes several important observations, one of which is also critical to the development of theory. "Studies cannot be compared," he says, "if they use different units of analysis (for example, libraries, librarians, reference transactions)" (p. 282). McGrath (1996b) also makes this argument but adds that, in the development of a unified theory, different units of analysis can be related to each other at different levels. For example, number of libraries can be a variable in a study where country is the unit of analysis, whereas in another study, number of books held by a library may be a variable, while library would be the unit of analysis.
For each study, where identifiable, the independent variables are italicized, the dependent variables are in uppercase and, when not otherwise indicated, the units of analysis are followed by the abbreviation "u.a." in parentheses. Thus, in a study using demographic variables to predict the number of books checked out by users of a library, independent variables are, for example, age, sex, marital status, educational level the dependent variable is NUMBER OF BOOKS CHECKED OUT and the units of analysis are library users (u.a.).
It has been said that, as pharmacies are the dispensers of the drug industry's productivity, so are libraries the dispensers of the publishing industry and scholarly output. Such a limited perspective interferes, perhaps, with our ability to perceive the whole world of knowledge and to understand how best to use it. Much research can be found on the commercial and marketing aspects of publishing, but other than pricing and availability, relatively little--in the explanatory sense--on the interaction with libraries. Not reviewed here are the multitudinous studies on factors affecting the productivity of individual faculty, scientists, and scholars in general.
Petersen (1992), using multiple regression to find the most significant correlates of journal (u.a.) PRICES, found that for-profit publishers, those originating in Europe, and the journal's impact factor were the best determinants.
Chressanthis & Chressanthis (1994), also using regression analysis, found that the exchange rate between countries, the existence of illustrations, the number of pages, a composite of citation measures, journal age, economies of scale created by higher circulation, and the existence of "nonprofit motivation of publishers" all have an effect on journal (u.a.) PRICES.
Kishida and Matsui (1997) developed a regression model in which they found that population and the number of people attaining a university education best explained THE NUMBER OF MONOGRAPHS PUBLISHED in each country (u.a.).
Quandt (1996) used an iterative simulation model to describe the evolution of library subscriptions in which cancellations inevitably cause publishers to raise their prices. Though not about the determinants of price nor the number of subscriptions, his article may be helpful in designing such a study in two respects: One in which price and profit are predictors of THE NUMBER OF LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTIONS to journals (u.a.) and another in which cost and importance to libraries are predictors of library (u.a.) decisions to SUBSCRIBE OR NOT. Thus, his article is an example of bridging more than one level of our theoretical context: Publishing and acquisitions.
Acquisitions (Book and Journal Selection)
Whereas several studies on the predictors of price as a dependent variable were cited in the section on publishing above, price becomes an independent (determining) variable when considering the purchase or deselection of books and journals. For example, McCain (1992) found that price, as well as mathematical content and cocitation rate, were significant predictors of THE NUMBER OF LIBRARIES HOLDING economics journals (u.a.). Longevity and cocitation rate were significant predictors in genetics.
Shaw (1991) found a significant correlation between the number of reviews of BOOKS and the number of libraries holding them. Likewise, Serebnick (1992) found a significant relationship between the number of reviews of book titles (u.a.) and THE NUMBER OF LIBRARIES HOLDING THEM. Similarly, in a sampling of books (u.a.) reviewed in Choice magazine, Calhoun (1998) found a positive correlation between the number of reviewed books appearing in vendor approval plans and those books subsequently purchased by libraries. Either of these could be regarded as the dependent variable, but were not so indicated in the study.
Kreider (1999) found a significant correlation between local citation frequency and the global citation frequency of journals (u.a.) appearing in Journal Citation Reports (JCR), suggesting that libraries should consider JCR data when evaluating their journal collections. Either local or global citation frequency could be regarded as the dependent variable, depending on purpose.
Tsay (1998) found significant correlations between frequency of journal use and citation frequency and between frequency of use and impact factor for some medical disciplines (u.a.) but not for others. To comment, since Tsay did not indicate which comes first, circulation or citation (that is, which is dependent and which independent), librarians could use published citation data to predict CIRCULATION when selecting and, conversely, circulation to predict CITATION when deselecting holdings.
Crotts (1999) "develops" a model for allocating monograph budgets to SUBJECT AREAS based on circulation. Budget allocation for subject areas is an issue for which there is voluminous literature and many reviews going back to the seventies and eighties and earlier. His paper is cited simply to document the continued interest in and timelessness of a classic model, as an example of bridging the two domains (collection development and circulation), and as continued potential for further development of theory. His design was not conceptualized in terms of dependent or independent variables, although it is reasonable to regard CIRCULATION as the dependent variable and subject areas (u.a.) as the units of analysis. For earlier contribution of circulation to theory and collection development, see McGrath (1980, 1985).
Classification and Organization of Knowledge
Few recent explanatory studies on classification and organization of knowledge were found. This does not necessarily suggest a research oversight, because there is a great deal of literature, including whole journals, devoted to classification and organization of knowledge. Nevertheless, there does seem to be a gap in the explanatory literature of classification.
Satija (2000) provides numerous definitions--one of Scriven's (1968) concerns--about classification concepts that would be necessary when operationalizing hypotheses in an explanatory design.
Leazer & Smiraglia (1999) perform a qualitative analysis of "bibliographic families," families of related works in the library catalog, intended to produce an explanation of some pattern [a dependent variable?]. Cataloger-generated maps of these families, they conclude, are inadequate to explain the pattern, and user behavior studies are needed to determine which maps are preferable. Smiraglia discusses the need for explanatory studies in this issue of Library Trends.
Losee (1993), in a study on the influence of classification and location on circulation, used a regression approach to predict the AVERAGE NUMBER OF BOOKS a patron (u.a.) circulates from the relative location of books, relationships among the number of areas in which books are found (measured by the number of stops a patron makes when browsing), and the distances across a cluster. Patrons made more stops than books found at a stop.
Rodman (2000) discusses the connection between call numbers and browsability on the shelf, or in an online catalog, when call numbers are not changed to fit into shelf list sequence. Though not an explanatory study, it does suggest a design in which "number of screens between like items" in an online catalog could be regressed against the NUMBER OF HITS during a search session (u.a.) or time period (u.a.).
Storage, Preservation, and Collection Management
Storage, preservation, and collection management are crucial components of a comprehensive theory, obviously because existence of a library collection (whether hard copy or digital) is a necessary condition for its use or circulation.
As a means for identifying low-demand titles (u.a.) for remote storage, Silverstein & Shieber (1996) looked at individual titles (u.a.) to see HOW MANY TIMES THEY CIRCULATED (0, 1, 2, . , n times circulated). They concluded that "past use [is still] the best single predictor of future use" (p. 289). Though theirs was a frequency distribution study, not intended as explanatory, their data might be submitted to explanatory methods, such as analysis of variance. Independent variables were categorical: Last use, Library of Congress classification, publication date, language, and country.
For a similar purpose, Hayes (1992) fit an exponential J-curve equation to book (u.a.) circulation frequency data, and developed a cost-allocation model to levels of access and storage. The units of analysis were books (u.a.). The dependent variable was, variously, CIRCULATION and IN-HOUSE USE. As with Silverstein & Shieber, his study was not intended to be explanatory.
Lee (1993) addresses the problem of storage space, citing past research on remote storage, weeding, and rarely used material as possible solutions. As an aid to determine the most economic approach to storage, Lee proposes a model that incorporates both prediction of DEMAND and cost analysis into a single model.
Two surveys of book deterioration (Bennett, 1992 O'Neill & Boomgaarden, 1995) were not in themselves explanatory studies but may be helpful in defining variables such as the brittleness and acidity of book paper (u.a.) and other conditions that may be helpful in eventual correlation with other components of a unified theory.
What the library collection contains and how it is organized and used is an essential component of a unified theory (McGrath, 1985).
Exon & Punch (1997), replicating a 1981 study, tested the assumption of self-sufficient library collections by performing a correlation analysis between collection size of a library (u.a.) and interlibrary loan requests of other libraries. From the strong positive correlation found, they conclude that self-sufficiency is a fallacy. This can be interpreted to mean that libraries need each other and that their interdependence may be incorporated into the larger theory. In an explanatory study, NUMBER OF INTERLIBRARY LOAN REQUESTS could be the dependent variable.
Circulation (Includes Catalog Access, Online Access, and Reference Service)
Circulation and usage may be the most studied function in libraries. The literature is voluminous, going back many decades, and has been extensively reviewed by many authors. These reviews can readily be found in the literature.
A perennial question is whether in-house use can be employed as a measure of circulation--that is, books officially charged out. The unit of analysis may be some unit of time, such as day, week, or month or some other unit, such as subject or discipline or type of material, such as book or journal.
Blecic (1999), investigating journal (u.a.) use in a medical library, found a significant correlation between in-house use of journals and their circulation, as well as between those two variables and journal (u.a.) citation by faculty. Similarly Walter & Darling (1996) showed an apparent correspondence between circulation of journals (u.a.), in-house use, interlibrary loan, and frequency of publication.
Lochstet & Lehman (1999) correlated reference question counts with door counts in which the units of analysis were weeks (u.a.). One would expect to find as high a correlation between these two variables (either of which could be dependent on the other), as one would expect between circulation and in-house use. There was indeed a very high correlation, 0.96, suggesting, at worst, a meaningless comparison or, at best, an error somewhere. At the very least, what is apparent is that virtually all gross counts of library use--whether in-house, official checkouts, reference counts, or door counts--are necessarily highly correlated, because the same users who are counted as they walk through the door (turnstile counts), are counted again when they ask reference questions, and still again when they check out books.5 What is needed to build theory are correlation studies between library use and variables that are truly independent of use. Circulation, in-house, and other measures of use are not independent of each other.
One such study, in the public library context, is that by Yilmaz (1998), who regressed CIRCULATION against age, sex, marital status, educational level, occupation, income level and "geographic past," as well as social status and social role, in three socioeconomic strata. Regardless of whether these variables were significant or not, they appear to be truly independent. Users (u.a.) were the units of analysis.
Cooper & Chen (2001) used a logistic regression approach to predict "relevance" of a catalog search session (u.a.), where relevance was defined as a discrete result--that is, WHETHER OR NOT A USER SAVES, PRINTS, MAILS, OR DOWNLOADS A CITATION. The prediction is based on "the time spent performing tasks during the session, and the counts, relative frequencies, and proportions of actions taken during the session," which the authors call "surrogates for user behavior" (p. 826). The unit of analysis was search session (u.a.) rather than individual user (u.a.) because, presumably, individual users made repeated searches.
Most of the variables cited in this review were measured irrespective of their change over time. That is, they were measured at points in time, whether minute, day, week, or year. A complete theory of librarianship should, of course, consider change over time. Time adds another dimension to the structure of explanatory theory.
Two kinds of past-future use studies are (1) probabilistic frequency distribution studies, which count the number of times a thing happens and where low-frequency is usually more common than high frequency, and (2) forecasting studies in which the units of analysis are sequences of points in time, a univariate framework different from correlation studies, which are usually multivariate, and in which the units of analysis are taken as snapshots in time.
Kasukabe (1990), using multiple regression to study public library use in Tokyo, found that per capita collection (presumably holdings), population of community per thousand librarians, day time population, and proportion of administrative workers were all predictors of PER CAPITA CIRCULATION but differed at different points in time (u.a.). Since "per capita" appears to be a component in each of their variables, one suspects that the significant correlations were due to the colinearity thus introduced.
In two papers McGrath (1995a, 1996a) examined circulation per day (u.a.) over a period of several years. In one paper (1996a), he first converted daily circulation in a university library from the time domain to the frequency domain using spectral analysis, and was able to show at least two distinct and pronounced frequencies: A 122-day semester period and a 7-day period. (6)
In the other paper (1995a), he argued that circulation per day (u.a.) could be modeled using a combination of three sources: (a) Correlative predictor variables, (b) Normal cyclic influences (time or frequency domains), and (c) A complex or recursive process (from chaos theory) in which some part of circulation is due to previous circulation--for example, when the references in a borrowed book are later borrowed.
Naylor & Walsh (1994) fitted a time series equation to weekly (u.a.) pickup data (books picked up off tables for shelving). Decroos et al (1997) also submitted two years of daily (u.a.) circulation data to spectral analysis. They "clearly detected" semester and weekly periodicity. These time and spectral papers suggest that they should be considered when building theory.
Kishida & Sato (1991) used the same approach as Kasukabe above, but without looking at the time component. Library collection (holdings) per capita, annual per capita acquisitions, number of libraries in each community (u.a.), proportion of professional occupations, and daytime population were all submitted to regression analysis as predictors of PER CAPITA BOOK CIRCULATION, but again it is not clear what effect the per capita component has.(7) The explanatory (r-square) coefficients are very high, suggesting colinearity (self-correlation) due to the per capita component in each variable. Nevertheless, theirs is an interesting approach to the prediction of circulation in a public library context.
Table 1 recapitulates the dependent variables and units of analysis for each study reviewed in each broad domain. Not shown, for lack of space, are independent variables, which, when significant, explain the dependent variable in terms of percentage of variance accounted for using a coefficient, such as R-square or some other statistic. Two important properties of the literature are apparent. First, the table clearly shows the dominant role of circulation or its surrogates at nearly every level, with the possible exception of classification, for which there appears to be a gap in recent explanatory literature. Second, it is clear that a variable at one level can be a unit of analysis at another. Under COLLECTIONS, for example, LIBRARIES (Exon & Punch, 1997) are a unit of analysis whereas under ACQUISITIONS, number of libraries is a variable (McCain, 1992 Shaw, 1991). Under STORAGE AND PRESERVATION, BOOKS are the unit of analysis (Bennett, 1992 O'Neill & Boomgaarden, 1995) whereas under CIRCULATION number of books checked out is a variable (Yilmaz, 1998). Otherwise, the distinction between variables and units of analysis at the various levels is not always clear or straightforward. If these two important properties are indeed essential to explanatory theory, as this author believes they are, then theorists have much work to do to sort them out.
The achievements of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Einstein, and others in the reconciliation of natural forces and development of grand unified theory are cited as inspiration for attempting to build a grand unified theory in a humbler sphere, librarianship. Though some may say the vision is naive or grandiose, the effort to describe the interrelationships of traditional functions of librarianship (i.e., selection, acquisitions, storage and retrieval, classification, collections, and circulation) as integrated and interdependent is an important and worthwhile effort.
Quantitative methods, which can relate the variability of outputs to the variability of inputs, can be used to test the variables of publishing and selection to the variables of acquisitions. The variables of acquisitions, in turn, are important input to storage and preservation which, in combination with the classification scheme, defines the dynamic and static nature of the collection, a necessary condition for its circulation and use. All functions would be tied together in a grand integrated, coherent, and logical scheme in which one functional level explains one level and is explained by another.
To illustrate the potential contribution of recent research to a unified theory, literature for the period 1990 to 2001 was reviewed. Included were studies that used explanatory and predictive statistical methods to explore relationships between variables within and between the broad areas outlined above. These studies do not in themselves constitute broad theory, although, individually, they can be said to posit theory at the narrow level, because when one tests a hypothesis (i.e., computes a correlation) one is also testing theory. One need only connect these hypotheses, these mini-theories, from one level to another.
The review uncovered explanatory studies in nearly every level, with the possible exception of classification, while studies in circulation and use of the library were clearly dominant. A recapitulation showed that a variable at one level may be a unit of analysis at another, a property of explanatory research crucial to the development of theory, which has been either ignored or unrecognized in LIS literature.
It remains for researchers to tie the various levels together more formally--or to find an empirical basis for alternative levels. In a carefully designed study, a theorist might construct a broad scheme in which variables and units of analysis at each level are inevitably and necessarily embraced and follow from the highest level. To a very limited extent, the review suggests that explanatory and predictive relationships do exist and that they can be useful in constructing a comprehensive unified theory of librarianship.
* The first half of this paper is based in part on material extracted, shortened, and revised from a paper originally published in Poland in a collection of essays on libraries and democracy (McGrath, 1995b).
(1.) Nicolaus Copernicus, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica Johannes Kepler, Astronomia Nova Johannes Kepler, Epitome Astronomiae Copernicae Johannes Kepler, Harmonices Mundi Galileo, Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems and Albert Einstein (1926), Relativity: The Special and General Theory, trans. Robert Lawson, New York: Crown Publishers.
(2.) "Publishing" refers to the production of books,journals, and printed or stored knowledge.
(3.) We can also define "publications" to mean any collectible information format.
(4.) "Circulation" is broadly defined to include not only borrowing, but also use inside the library and interlibrary loans, as well as any other type of use.
(5.) This author failed to recognize that simple fact in a study thirty years ago (McGrath, 1971).
(6.) It can be shown that any uniformly cyclic data, such as library circulation, can be graphed either as waves or as closed, elliptical orbits--curves intrinsic to celestial mechanics and a dramatic analogue to the Copernicus-Kepler-Newton context discussed at the beginning of this paper.
(7.) "Community" (u.a.) appears to be defined as town or city.
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William E. McGrath, P.O. Box 534, Westford, MA 01886
WILLIAM E. McGRATH is Professor Emeritus, Department of Information and Library Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo,. Prior to teaching at SUNY-Buffalo, he was Dean of Libraries, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Director of Libraries, University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana) Head Librarian, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and Science Librarian, University of New Hampshire. He has published many papers in library and information science including several on theory and explanation.
University Library Network/Systems Environment
The issues on which we will be working for some time include redefining reference and user assistance services to move them away from the user-at-the-desk paradigm. We also need to reset the balance of user services responsibilities in the library to provide more time to educate users in the effective use of information technology. If we are successful, we will have more knowledgeable, self-sufficient users and thus will reduce the grinding demand for individual ad hoc reference services. Over time, we will reallocate professional lines from traditional reference and collection development services to user education support and network services. None of the changes we have discussed and are engaged in implementing will be successful without a vigorous and sustained commitment to staff training and development. Library and computing staff are our most precious resource, the foundation on which we can restructure our organizations.
Files, Concurrency, and Thread Safety
Because file-related operations involve interacting with the hard disk and are therefore slow compared to most other operations, most of the file-related interfaces in iOS and macOS are designed with concurrency in mind. Several technologies incorporate asynchronous operation into their design and most others can execute safely from a dispatch queue or secondary thread. Table 1-4 lists some of the key technologies discussed in this document and whether they are safe to use from specific threads or any thread. For specific information about the capabilities of any interface, see the reference documentation for that interface.
For most tasks, it is safe to use the default NSFileManager object simultaneously from multiple background threads. The only exception to this rule is tasks that interact with the file manager’s delegate. When using a file manager object with a delegate, it is recommended that you create a unique instance of the NSFileManager class and use your delegate with that instance. You should then use your unique instance from one thread at a time.
GCD itself is safe to use from any thread. However, you are still responsible for writing your blocks in a way that is thread safe.
Most of the Foundation objects you use to read and write file data can be used from any single thread but should not be used from multiple threads simultaneously.
Because they are part of your user interface, you should always present and manipulate the Open and Save panels from your app’s main thread.
The POSIX routines for manipulating files are generally designed to operate safely from any thread. For details, see the corresponding man pages.
The immutable objects you use to specify paths are safe to use from any thread. Because they are immutable, you can also refer to them from multiple threads simultaneously. Of course, the mutable versions of these objects should be used from only one thread at a time.
Enumerator objects are safe to use from any single thread but should not be used from multiple threads simultaneously.
Even if you use an thread-safe interface for manipulating a file, problems can still arise when multiple threads or multiple processes attempt to act on the same file. Although there are safeguards to prevent multiple clients from modifying a file at the same time, those safeguards do not always guarantee exclusive access to the file at all times. (Nor should you attempt to prevent other processes from accessing shared files.) To make sure your code knows about changes made to shared files, use file coordinators to manage access to those files. For more information about file coordinators, see The Role of File Coordinators and Presenters
Other Use Cases of Breakdown Structure
Typical use of breakdown structure as a project management tool includes Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Resource Breakdown Structure, Risk Breakdown Structure and Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS), or sometimes known as Organization Chart.
Resource Breakdown Structure
Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a project management tool that provides a hierarchical decomposition of resources, either structured by resource category, types or by IT/business function that has resource needs.
Here is a Resource Breakdown Structure example:
Risk Breakdown Structure
Risks are everything in any IT project. The existence of risk causes negative impact on project schedule, costs and quality. In project management, Project Manager is responsible for managing risks and to ensure that the project will be delivered on time, within project and up to the standard user expected. One of the popular risk management tool is the Risk Breakdown Structure.
Risk breakdown Structure is the hierarchical decomposition of risks, starting from the root node element that represents the project, and going down to the various risk categories, and then finer level risks.
Besides presenting project risks in a Risk Breakdown Structure, it is possible to combine the use of Color Legend in representing the impact of risk. Take a look at the Risk Breakdown Structure example below, a legend of Impact with five items has been setup, representing the five levels of impacts that risks may have on the project with five distinct color code.
Here is a Risk Breakdown Structure example:
Organizational Breakdown Structure
Organizational Breakdown Structure, or sometimes known as Organization Chart, is a widely used project management tool for representing project organization. It typically begins with the project sponsor, and with all key stakeholders included. In presenting the organization structure, consider the organization or group that is requesting the project and the level of their sponsorship and authority.