SAC: ALA Annual Report 2021

ALA Core Subject Analysis Committee meetings, July 22-23, 2021
reported by Rebecca Belford, MLA CMC Vocabularies Subcommittee Chair and liaison to SAC

The ALA Core Metadata and Collections Section Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) met virtually on July 22, 2021 and July 23, 2021.

The first meeting focused on questions and answers on pre-submitted written reports from liaisons and ex officio members:

Library of Congress Policy, Training, and Cooperative Programs Division (PTCP), Janis Young, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.3 (PDF) (Google Doc converted version if security warning)
Significant progress on multiples subject headings project (cancellation of subdivisions that automatically gives free-floating status to analogous subdivisions used under the same heading).
Video game titles (following Joint OLAC/SAC Task Force on Preferred Titles for Games): Titles of individual video games will be established in the name authority file and headings for video game franchises will be established as subjects in the form [title of franchise] video games, with the BT Video games. Q: What about board games? J. Young: These were included in the discussion. Similar to video games, the franchise will be established in LCSH (e.g. Monopoly games) and any individual editions may be established as titles in the name authority file.
Cancellation of 40 “N” Cutters in schedule based on “Negro”, now Cuttered for “Blacks” (e.g. PN1995.9.B585.N4 is now PN1995.9.B585 (Blacks/African Americans as a special topic in motion pictures). Area of the schedule that use “A” for African Americans unchanged. The revisions are listed in LC Classification approved list 2016.
Q: Tentative LCSH 2022 contains LCDGT terms that contain usage dates (e.g. Oceanians [dp2015060330] contains 655 “Established 2015. Used from 2015-2016. No longer valid for use. Use the heading Pacific Islanders.” Is this a new policy? Judith Canaan (LC) was in attendance and noted that LC will issue an announcement stating when LCDGT work will resume (target–October 2021) and noting major changes, including the use of history notes (part of the ANSI-NISO standard) to minimize BFM, and the formation of an editorial board for LCDGT.
Q: Any additional info on project to address how Native American Tribal Groups are cited, as mentioned in the June 2021 IFLA Newsletter? J. Canaan: This is being looked at across the Library.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Annie Wolfe, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.4
Q re Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) related to Indigenous Peoples (available for download on LAC CSH site): is LAC pushing changed headings out to LC when done? A. Wolfe: They have not been doing so, since they needed to work faster than the LC/ClassWeb process would allow. J. Young: Coordination welcome when they have time to send headings, please email.

Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA), Amanda Ros, SAC liaison to CC:DA

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.5
CC:DA’s Best Practices for Recording Faceted Chronological Data in Bibliographic Records Task Force proposed one substantial change to SSFV. They proposed using 046 $k instead of 046 $o to record creation dates for individual works within an aggregate.
SAC Chair Brian Stearns noted CC:DA’s Virtual Participation Task Force and stated that SAC is also exploring virtual participation and would like to reach out to CC:DA. A. Ros noted that CC:DA’s work on this predated both the pandemic and ALA removing business meetings from Midwinter, recognizing that double conference attendance was a hindrance to participation because of expenses.

MARC Advisory Committee (MAC), Adam Schiff, SAC representative to MAC

Written report: SAC21-AC1.6
No questions/discussions regarding written report (decisions at the MARC Advisory Committee meetings, June 28-30, 2021).

PCC Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO), Paul Frank, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.7 (PDF) (Google Doc converted version if security warning)
Highlights: Wikidata and FAST funnels are ready for launch, with a formal announcement coming August 2021. There has been discussion within the Wikidata group on identity management vs. separate items when name changes; consistent with other quandaries in Wikidata, there is no official guideline.

OCLC, Robert Bremer, liaison

OCLC is beginning retrospective processing to add equivalent subject and genre/form headings for MeSH, RVM [French], LCSH, LCGFT. For example, a record with LCSH Chemistry, physical and theoretical; will get the MeSH heading Chemistry, Physical. Newly added headings will be controlled. As part of this process, OCLC will also re-control existing headings for subjects and names.
Q: Does this apply to headings with subdivisions? Bryan Baldus (OCLC): Can’t control headings with subdivisions during this process
Q: After this sweep, will updating of changed headings in bibs be more consistent and prompt? A: That’s a separate process, but OCLC is working on improving the efficiency of updating changed headings in bibs. Changes should happen as changed headings are received.

Music Library Association (MLA), Rebecca Belford, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.9
No questions/discussions regarding written report. Attendees encouraged to take this opportunity to submit comments for next revision of LCGFT and LCMPT Best Practices.

Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), Sherman Clarke, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.10
Highlights: ARLIS may review art headings for LCGFT before final proposals go in. They are conducting an offensive headings study. ARLIS/NA held a Wikidata workshop at their April 2021 meeting.

Getty Vocabulary Program, Jonathan Ward, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.11
J. Ward unable to attend; no discussion of written report.

Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc. (OLAC), Scott Dutkiewicz, liaison

No questions/discussions; no written report. New liaison, following retirement of Rosemary Groenwald.

American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), Cate Kellett, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.13
AALL’s current liaisons to SAC, MAC, and CC:DA will be continuing their terms for an additional three-year; AALL is facing similar funding issues to ARLIS and CC:DA as already noted.

National Library of Medicine, Barbara Bushman, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.14 (PDF) (Google Doc converted version if security warning)
B. Bushman unable to attend; no discussion of written report.

FAST Policy and Outreach Committee, Heidy Berthoud, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.15
Highlights: The FAST SACO Funnel is up and running! Janet Ashton (British Library) is the coordinator; the group has met several times already. They have a fall 2021 go-live date and will send out announcements.

Sears List of Subject Headings

No current liaison; SAC Chair has been sending periodic invitations.

Library of Congress Children’s and Young Adults’ Cataloging Program (CYAC), Stacey Devine, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.17
Highlights: All Children’s subject headings that are in use have been loaded as authority records (from cards). They are working on a major documentation project of their procedures in each area. The set of documentation will be available at Library of Congress Children’s Subject Headings (CYAC) and Children’s Subject Headings Manual. The first completed manual section, C750, Summaries, is completed and available online.

Library of Congress Dewey Program, Caroline Saccucci, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.18
C. Saccucci introduced Camilla Williams (newly appointed to position as CIP and Dewey Section Head), who will be the LC Dewey liaison to SAC at future meetings.

Dewey Decimal Classification and OCLC Dewey Services, Michele Zwierski, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.19
Reminder: Dewey team at OCLC still seeking an ALA nominee for service on the EPC.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Judy Jeng, liaison

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.20
Highlights: Draft IFLA Guidelines for Professional Library and Information Science (LIS) Education Programmes was open for comments through March 2021.

SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies (SSFV), Casey Mullin, SSFV Chair

Written report: SAC21-AC/1.21
Highlights: Recording from last week’s business meeting available on request. There are openings on the subcommittee; applications welcome (Core membership required).

Report from the SAC Chair, Brian Stearns

Liaisons: Welcome to Scott Dutkiewicz, OLAC’s new liaison. Sears List, still no liaison even with SAC reaching out periodically. RBMS has been invited and are interested; liaison TBD.

ALA-SAC-LC conversations: Update from April meeting of SAC voting members ALA’s PR/government relations staff, continuing discussion of Illegal aliens heading. ALA staff present at that meeting have been meeting with congressional staff, who have in turn been meeting with LC. Staff believe that the most productive approach is not to draw attention to the issue. Following the resolutions regarding these headings that Council did not pass at the Annual ALA Council meetings, B. Stearns contacted LC. encouraging them to make at least some information public–timeline, background, etc.

Administrative: SAC votes on the two resolutions were first use of electronic voting. B. Stearns is completing a second and final one-year term as Chair. One tentative commitment received. Recommended a change from co-chairs to a Chair and Vice chair, which would account for a scenario where there is no second person, and to facilitate clear delegation and divisions of responsibilities where there are two people. Vacancy situation clarified during new business: when a committee has no chair, it is up to the section (Core Metadata and Collections, in this case) to determine how to proceed.

New business

There was significant discussion about internal procedures for scheduling of future SAC meetings and additional procedural questions. Core staff member Jenny Levine clarified that liaisons do not need to be members of ALA or Core, and to email directly with roster updates. Liaisons may not simultaneously serve as voting SAC members. SAC member Rose Krause will be leading a SAC working group on structure, which will make recommendations for meetings, communications, and virtual participation. Amanda Ros noted that CC:DA’s focus is communication methods and meetings.

Discussion of SAC work on LC projects:
1. Tentative lists: J. Young encouraged SAC to continue sending feedback. Both subject expertise and additional review of technicalities are appreciated. Citations or analogies to other headings are always helpful to include when possible.

Q: Where does List feedback go? Libby Dechman and Janis Young, who alternate serving as email contacts, both review all comments. Any big discussions go to editorial meeting; combined comments, with names, are shared with the editorial group ahead of the meeting, but aren’t widely dispersed. FYI, monthly editorial meetings are held each Friday before the third Monday at 9:30 Eastern and are open to guests (if interested, email J. Young ahead); agendas will be shared with interested parties ahead. Typical agenda items include any proposals that are DEI-related, culturally sensitive, in complicated hierarchies, controversial, or needing further scope note refinement even after review. If you are interested in hearing discussion about a particular proposal, include that information when you contact about attendance so that it is certain to appear on the agenda. J. Cannan noted that LC is hoping to increase publicity for list review meetings.

2. Multiples: LC has already committed to completing this work (with or without SAC), and the SAC work so far has been quite helpful. SAC works through a spreadsheet with specific multiple heading with all the uses in OCLC, determines if the heading found in OCLC is valid and fits the scope of that particular multiple, and, if it does, an authority record will be created. The new subdivisions are a quick review at LC that saves time over having to create all headings from scratch. J. Young is happy to send more spreadsheets! SAC member Candy Riley is helping coordinate and will post a description and renewed call for volunteers.

3. Author Cutters: This project began as a work-from-home project for LC staff. LC has completed their assignments (getting through half 20th century authors in PR) and the project is on hiatus. SAC should finish their current assignment. J. Young will notify SAC when LC is caught up and reissue a call for volunteers. SAC members confirmed they will resume work if/when this project resumes.