SAC: ALA Annual Report 2022

ALA Core Subject Analysis Committee meetings, June 8-10, 2022

reported by Janelle West, MLA CMC Vocabularies Subcommittee Chair and liaison to SAC

The ALA Core Metadata and Collections Section Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) met virtually on June 8-10, 2022. 

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


National Library of Medicine, Barbara Bushman, liaison 

Written report: SAC22-AN-NLM 


  • Some staff back onsite, though building renovations require many to remain offsite. NLM remains closed to public visits
  • Tina Shrader appointed Head of the Cataloging & Metadata Management Section in April 2022
  • Focus of the 2022 winter edition of the NLM Classification was the evaluation of the 2022 MeSH vocabulary for inclusion in the Classification index. The winter edition included 14 new class numbers, 32 modified class numbers, 3 canceled class numbers, 1 new schedule header, 2 modified schedule headers, 2 deleted schedule headers, 37 new index headings, 80 modified index headings, and 1 deleted index heading
  • 2022 Summer edition to be published in late August 2022


Library of Congress Policy, Training, and Cooperative Programs Division (PTCP), Paul Frank, liaison 

Written report: SAC22-AN-LC


  • Panel discussions to explore the topic of faceted subject headings to take place July 18 & 19, 2022, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM (EDT)
  • LC is developing a project plan for addressing LCSH indigenous people changes. Broader general headings will likely be addressed first, then specific tribal and tribal group headings. Project will be underway by September 30, 2022
  • The Library of Congress will support the change of LCSH headings Slaves to Enslaved persons.
  • History notes (MARC Field 688) are being added to authority records for LCSH, LCGFT, LCDGT, LCMPT, and CYAC.
  • LCDGT moratorium ended on January 31, 2022, and the LCDGT Manual has been updated


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-LAC


  • Next updated version of Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) in June 2022
  • Review of CSH related to Indigenous Peoples: 115 of 556 modified; 318 added

PCC Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO), Veronica Ranieri, liaison 

Written report: SAC22-AN-SACO 


  • FAST Funnel was established to support development of FAST vocabularies. Any member of the FAST user community may use it
  • British Library will abandon subject indexing in LCSH and adopt FAST instead
  • OpCo meeting May 5-6, 2022: discussion centered around LCDGT and LCGFT, with SACO members encouraged to submit more proposals


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-CYAC


  • Hiring another CYAC librarian
  • Created and distributed ten C memos for CYAC cataloging
  • Testing CYAC records in BIBFRAME


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-CCDA


  • CC:DA did not have a midwinter meeting; details of annual meeting will be posted when it is scheduled
  • Amanda Ros is vacating the liaison role; anyone interested in filling the role is asked to contact her (


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-MAC

No report yet because the MARC Advisory Committee will not meet until after ALA


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-SSFV


    • Casey Mullin cycling off as chair but will remain on SSFV as the new liaison from the PCC Policy Committee
    • New chair as of July 1st will be Mingyan Li 
    • New publication titled Retrospective Implementation of Library of Congress Faceted Vocabularies: Best Practices for Librarians and Programmers is now available on the ALA Institutional Repository:
  • Existing facet-based task groups discharged and four new project-based task groups charged: Group 1: Genre/Form (creates LCGFT mappings for LCSH literary headings); Group 2: Demographic/Geographic (creates/refines LCSH mappings to 370/385/386 fields); Group 3: Genre/Form (LCGFT proposals for gaps in LCSH subdivision mappings); Group 4: Genre/Form (tests/refines LCSH subdivision mappings with OCLC)


Dewey Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) and OCLC-Dewey Decimal Classification, Danny Joudrey and Alex Kyrios, liaisons

Written report: SAC22-AN-DDC_EPC


  • Dewey changes related to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a major focus
  • EPC held virtual meeting June 7-9, 2022; discussions included potential revisions to the tables and changes to the schedules regarding problematic terms; elections held for EPC Chair and Vice-Chair


Library of Congress Dewey Program, Camilla Williams, liaison

Written report: SAC22-AN-DDC_LC


  • Were able to hire 2 librarians, so they now have 4 fulltime classifiers and 1 part-time classifier; they also have 3 volunteers–now fully staffed and on track to reach goals


Sears List of Subject Headings, Violet Fox, liaison

Written report: SAC22-AN-SEARS


  • Sears Edition 23 scheduled for publication in July 2022, with many notable heading replacements


OCLC, Robert Bremer, liaison 

Written report: SAC22-AN-OCLC


  • Retrospective controlling and subject enrichment of bibliographic records in WorldCat continues; 527 million to be processed, with about 60% complete; will finish in next few weeks
  • FAST Quick Start Guide issued in April 2022
  • Need feedback on Electronic books as a form/genre heading
    • Took informal poll of attendees on whether or not Electronic books should be retained as a useful genre/form heading; most responses indicated that it should not be retained


ACRL RBMS Controlled Vocabularies Editorial Group (CVEG), Jennifer Bradshaw, liaison

Written report: SAC22-AN-RBMS


  • This year’s focus was on reviewing the beta version of the thesaurus titled Controlled Vocabulary for Rare Materials Cataloging; reviewed new hierarchies and website display and functionality; public review has concluded, and feedback will be addressed
  • CVEG will accept proposals for new terms once the thesaurus goes live


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-AALL


  • AALL Annual Meeting to be held in person for the first time in three years, July 16-19, 2022, in Denver, Colorado. Committees will meet virtually beforehand
  • Kellett commented that it is good to see problematic subject headings as a common theme across reports


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


No report for this meeting


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-ARLIS_NA


  • Seconded C. Kellett’s enthusiasm about the work going on to address problematic subject headings
  • Working group formed to look at problematic art subject headings; form to propose changes is available online
  • ARLIS/NA met in person in April 2022, with several programs related to DEI issues
  • Next conference face to face in Mexico City, 2023


Music Library Association (MLA), Janelle West, liaison

Written report: SAC22-AN-MLA

  • Overview of the work of the task groups
  • Working on a survey to explore usage of LC vocabularies in the community of music library users and workers
    • R. Strader pointed out that survey instruments relevant to SAC, such as the LCSH survey, may be distributed on the committee’s public space


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

Written report: SAC22-AN-IFLA


  • IFLA will hold an in-person conference in July in Dublin, Ireland; Subject Analysis and Access Section to hold open session on “Semantic shifts and the knowledge organization systems (KOS)” on July 27


FAST Policy and Outreach Committee, Rocki Strader for liaison, Heidy Berthoud

Written report: SAC22-AN-FAST


  • In May the British Library announced their intention to begin using FAST for all current cataloging, beginning August 2022
  • FAST funnel: a SACO funnel to expedite submission of FAST proposals
    • Question regarding whether this means that FAST will be separate from LCSH going forward: referred to H. Berthoud, but A. Kyrios indicated an understanding that LC has discussed the idea of diverging but decided not to, so they won’t be branching off and making FAST headings with no LCSH equivalent
  • FAST Quick Start Guide: live as of March 2022


Getty Vocabulary Program, Jonathan Ward, liaison 



Old Business

  • GNCRT/SAC collaboration (Deborah Tomaras) (see report): LC was amenable to the proposal to revise Subject Headings Manual Instruction H 1430, pertaining to comics and comic characters; revision finalized May 27, 2022, but with the removal of all text and examples that specifically mentioned manga; a separate report crafted by the GNCRT Metadata and Cataloging Committee seeks to address this by advocating for the inclusion of “Manga” as a term in the LCGFT and LCSH vocabularies
  • Follow-up from online discussion: Non-LC representation for vetting subject proposals (Violet Fox) (see report): In April 2022, SAC voted to form a working group to make a statement encouraging the LC Policy, Training, and Cooperative Program (PTCP) Division to create a group with non-LC representation to review LCSH and LCC proposals; a general call for members resulted in a 27-member working group with two co-chairs (Violet Fox and Jamie Carlstone), as well as an eight-person advisory group to provide feedback
  • Old/New business—Deprofessionalization of classification and cataloging work (Rocki Strader): Topic was brought up at the end of the January meeting; added to agenda to kickstart discussion around whether there should be a small group working on it or some other approach; opened for audience discussion
    • Discussion: It may be that libraries’ trend toward moving to FAST and other systems that make training easier may become a pretext for further deprofessionalization; beyond training aspects, it is difficult to convince some institutions that cataloging requires a masters degree in library science when paraprofessionals can do the work, though sometimes record quality suffers when the expertise is lacking; increased reliance on shelf ready and vendor records can be a factor as well; also getting harder to find professional catalogers
    • Consensus: It is a problem that needs to be addressed, possibly with a SAC statement, perhaps in collaboration with another group
  • Virtual participation follow-up (Candy Riley): SAC is looking for comments/feedback on virtual participation; in particular, how well participants think business was handled virtually


New Business

  • Absence of “Manga” in LCGFT and LCSH (Deborah Tomaras): Regarding a report advocating for the inclusion of Manga in LCGFT & LCSH, the idea has already been rejected by LC many times, so hopes are low it will make a difference, but it might help if SAC would be willing to review and endorse the position; SAC voted to endorse the position, and SAC members will work on an endorsement statement to send to the list by end-of-day
  • DEI representative to Core (Rocki Strader): Core is seeking a SAC member to act as a conduit between Core and SAC and to serve on the Core Diversity Committee; Iman Dagher volunteered
  • Sherman Clarke announced that the PCC wishes for member institutions to decrease reliance on the LC suite of vocabularies, particularly in light of the Illegal aliens fiasco


Report of the SAC Chair, Rocki Strader

Written report: SAC22-AN-chair


  • SAC approval of proposal to expand on the “special provisions” to LC’s Subject Heading Manual instruction H1430; proposal forwarded to the Library of Congress
  • SAC approval of SSFV’s new resource, “Retrospective Implementation of Library of Congress Faceted Vocabularies: Best Practices for Librarians and Programmers”
  • SAC approval of working group to address a suggestion to encourage LC to install an editorial board with non-LC members for reviewing LCSH and LC classification proposals
  • SAC chair sent message of support in response to the Services to Refugees, Immigrants, and Displaced Persons (SRIDP) Sub-Committee of the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services Advisory Committee call for collaborators to address the “Illegal immigration” subject term that has been used as a partial substitution for “Illegal aliens”