SAC: Core Midwinter Report 2022

Core Metadata and Collections Section Subject Analysis Committee 2022 Midwinter Meetings
Reported by: Rebecca Belford, MLA CMC Vocabularies Subcommittee Chair and MLA liaison to SAC

The Core Subject Analysis Committee met January 20-21, 2022, with approximately 80 attendees at each session. As usual, the first meeting was dedicated to liaison reports and the second to discussion. This meeting marked the debut of the Core Subject Analysis Committee Public Space on ALA Connect, where anyone can access liaison reports via the space’s “Library” tab. Individual reports are linked under each group/agenda item below; only highlights are included here.

Liaison Reports

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

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.03 LC-PTCP Liaison; see also full American Library Association 2022 LibLearnX Update for Library of Congress Staff (January 20, 2022) (pdf)

  • This was Paul Frank’s first report in the role of PTCP liaison, taking over from Janis Young, who is at a new position at LC.
  • LCDGT: In general, the editorial process will be through the advisory group (subject matter experts from nine external institutions and Veronica Ranieri at PTCP), not SACO.
  • PTCP has been working on RDA policy statements with ALA and independently on metadata guidance documentation that will reside outside the Toolkit. Original RDA was slow to address subject relationships; Official has gone further into subject relationships. The metadata guidance documentation (MGD) should be published by the end of January.
  • PTCP continuing to be fully on board with BIBFRAME. Pilot participants named the editor “Marva,” after [Henriette] Avram.
Library and Archives Canada (Annie Wolfe)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.04 LAC Liaison

  • CSH (Canadian Subject Headings) work continues for headings for Indigenous Peoples. So far: modified 113 CSH out of 405; added 167 CSH. 31 CSH requiring changes remain, and LAC is seeking more input from those communities to identify the right vocabulary to use.
  • The word “Canadian” as an adjective for literature is removed as not all authors consider themselves Canadian (Canadian literature (English) $x Indigenous authors is now Indigenous literature (English)).
  • In order to replace the LCSH heading “Indians of North America”, LAC created the heading First Nations for works on First Nations peoples and subjects. Geographical subdivisions can be added where appropriate. Next goal is to revise subject headings for the majority of First Nations communities and languages.
  • Other than CSH: adding English-language NARs to LC file; French-language NARs to PFAN, SACO, MARC work (translations of doc and code lists into French), RDA
ACRL RBMS Controlled Vocabularies Editorial Group (Jennifer Bradshaw)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.06 RBMS Liaison

  • This is the first meeting with an established liaison from RBMS CVEG.
  • CVEG has released a beta version of their thesaurus (Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Controlled Vocabulary for Rare Materials Cataloging) on They will be sending out a survey to get feedback. Q: Clarify decision not to duplicate terms present in other vocabs? A: Correct, the intent is to avoid overlapping general terms. Q: Will data identifiers stay the same (thinking Wikidata project)? A: Yes.
  • Prejudicial Materials Working Group, an on-going subgroup of CVEG, is examining the existing vocabulary for terminology with DEI implications and examining and expanding Literature of Prejudice hierarchy.
  • Ongoing work: new terms, revisions, scope notes, hope to focus on expanding beyond Western book history and traditions.
PCC Subject Authority Cooperative Program (Veronica Ranieri)

Written report: SAC22-MW/1.08 PCC-SACO Liaison

  • This was Veronica Ranieri’s (SACO Coordinator in-training) first SAC meeting as the SACO liaison, taking over from Paul Frank.
  • New SACO members: Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, both part of the SACO African American Funnel), and University of Ottawa (Canada Funnel)
  • The LCDGT submission moratorium has been lifted. See January 31 announcement, LCDGT Moratorium Ends (pdf). The LCDGT advisory group is reviewing the queue of 500 LCDGT proposals.
OCLC (Robert Bremer)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.09 OCLC Liaison

  • Work continues on retrospective controlling and subject enrichment process (RVM/LCSH); prepared to run 10 million record test, then run the whole process in February
  • Completed “Illegal aliens” LCHS and CSH flips in WorldCat, and FAST flips almost completed. They are using a macro to account for class of persons subdivisions. Additional, manual cleanup included including 3000+ cases where “Aliens” erroneously used for extraterrestrials, ‘made up’ subdivisions, and other corrections. Catalogers are encouraged to correct remaining errors as encountered. There is also a “search and destroy” list for future corrections to batch uploads.
Music Library Association (MLA) (Rebecca Belford)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.10 MLA Liaison

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

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.11 ARLIS-NA Liaison]

  • DEI as an initialism added to AAT.
  • Working with PTCP re Primitive subject headings.
  • Continuing to work on exhibition publications.
Getty Vocabulary Program (Jonathan Ward)

(no report)

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

(no report)

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

Written report: SAC22-MW/1.14 AALL Liaison

National Library of Medicine (NLM) (Barbara Bushman)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.15 NLM Liaison

  • Alma: LCNAMES (LCNAF) file in the Alma Community zone (CZ) is now updated on daily basis; MeSH update schedule in the CZ will now match NLM’s update schedule.
  • Entire MeSH file update with field 024 with MeSH RDF URI, uploaded to CZ December 2021.
  • Changes to update US OMB (?) terms formerly in pattern X Ancestry Group.
  • NLM has a member on LCDGT advisory group.
FAST Policy and Outreach Committee (Heidy Berthoud)

Written report: SAC22-MW/1.16 FPOC Liaison

  • FAST funnel has been meeting; not broadly publicized yet.
  • Q: If topical headings get proposed do they automatically get proposed to LCSH? A: No. Eventually what is available in FAST and in LCSH may differ.
Sears List of Subject Headings (Violet Fox)
  • Grey House publishing acquired Sears List of Subject Headings in 2018. 23rd edition scheduled to be published in July 2022; Violet Fox, editor. Q: Key changes? A: current terminology re race, gender, disabilities, minor updates.
Library of Congress Children’s and Young Adults’ Cataloging Program (CYAC) (Stacey Devine)

Written report: SAC22-MW/1.18 CYAC Liaison

  • Loading Children’s Subject Headings to ClassWeb and, with awareness that evaluation and cleanup still needed. Adopted the model of tentative and approved lists.
  • Completed BFM for Illegal aliens; working on updating DEI terminology.
  • Public documentation work continues; see
Library of Congress Dewey Program (Camilla Williams)

Written report: SAC22-MW/1.19 LC Dewey Liaison

Dewey Decimal Classification and OCLC Dewey Services (Michele Zwierski)
  • There was a discussion among meeting attendees about staffing cuts.
  • Daniel Joudrey requested that SAC remind ALA that ALA still needs to appoint a member to EPC (Editorial Policy Committee).
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) (Judy Jeng)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.21 IFLA Liaison]

  • ISBD consolidated available February 2022.

SAC member reports

Chair of the SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies (Casey Mullin)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.22 SSFV

  • Best Practices for Recording Faceted Chronological Data in Bibliographic Records, version 1.0 approved by SAC on June 11, 2021. Posted on the ALA IR on October 4, 2021. Already slightly out of date with indicator changes to MARC 046
  • LCGFT testing with OCLC
  • SSFV is proud to announce the completion of the first version of a new resource entitled Retrospective Implementation of Library of Congress Faceted Vocabularies: Best Practices for Librarians and Programmers. It will serve as a clearinghouse of BPs for generating data, will highlight known general difficulties. It is a modular approach for input/output data types, e.g. form subdivisions, MARC fixed fields, so content can be made available as it becomes ready. SSFV requests SAC’s approval of this approach to releasing it as an integrating resource.
  • The Retrospective Implementation of Library of Congress Faceted Vocabularies BPs returned as a scheduled agenda item under business the following day:
    • Discussion focused on how best to make the summary document and modules available. Questions raised included archiving/versioning, how to get this in front of as wide and audience as possible, and technical questions of location (similar to question of ‘clearinghouse’ model for subject headings).
    • SAC approved the release of the summary document for comment. [Update: draft widely distributed for comment Feb-7-10, 2022 with comments requested by end of February. C. Mullin will attend the MLA Vocabularies Subcommittee business meeting February 23 to answer any questions.]
SAC liaison to the Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA) (Amanda Ros)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.05 SAC Liaison to CCDA]

  • Comments on revised transliteration table revisions for Armenian, Japanese, Macedonian
  • Active task forces: virtual participation, procedures review, RDA Beta toolkit training investigation
SAC liaison to the MARC Advisory Committee (MAC) (Adam Schiff)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.07 MARC Advisory Committee Liaison

  • Of note: discussion paper (2022-DP05) on subject relationship in authority records. The MAC meetings were held after SAC; please see the written liaisons report as well as the report from the MLA liaison to MAC.
Chair of SAC (Rocki Strader)

Written report: SAC22-MW 1.23 Report of the Chair


GNCRT/SAC collaboration (Deborah Tomaras)

Update from the joint SAC-ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table’s Metadata and Cataloging Committee (GNCRT) working group on subject headings guidance for comics and comic characters, tasked with revisions to H1430. They will be meeting with the PCC in February.

Follow up on “Illegal aliens” (Violet Fox)

V. Fox reviewed the work of the SAC Working Group on Alternatives to LCSH “Illegal aliens” and SAC actions 2019-2021.

Working group: After discussion, SAC voted to dissolve the working group as having completed its charge of providing guidance on proposing and implementing alternatives for local headings for Illegal aliens headings, specifically.

Clearinghouse: During discussions and listening sessions related to the Illegal aliens work, the cataloging community expressed a desire for a clearinghouse of information on what it takes to make local changes to headings, from a technical perspective (regardless of any specific heading in question) and a place to see and share work among multiple institutions. Discussion followed on means of implementing such a clearinghouse and what relationship–if any–it would have with ALA, Core, or SAC.

  • ALA’s Google Drive folder: Technical/administrative permission limitations may limit or prevent easy upload of documents or code by cataloging community at large; ALA may not be an ideal host. ALA Connect as alternative?
  • There is a tension between SAC auspices and nimbleness of resources. If separated from SAC, clearinghouse could be described as something that “arose from SAC work” but is not the “SAC Clearinghouse.” SAC would always be available as a resource.
  • Helpful for clearinghouse (wherever based) to have clear information on who to contact if they want to contribute.
  • Motivation for volunteering if not part of SAC?
  • Q: Is the point to prompt change at LC? A: Goal of clearinghouse and original working group is to help libraries identify and implement local alternatives. LC is aware that LCSH contains obsolete headings in need of change, but things do not tend to move quickly.
  • R. Strader thanked V. Fox and the group, and noted that OhioLINK used their document as guidance.
Committee work with LC (Candy Riley)
  • Janis Young submitted a written update summarizing SAC’s continuation to the multiples and literary authors work (SAC22-MW 2.2 LC-SAC Work UPDATE). Q: Is SAC’s role on Multiples done? No more work left within committee. A (V. Ranieri): Project is not complete at LC. Likely to send additional assignments to SAC if willing. (Yes.) Q: Will the joint project with SAC for literary authors be resuming? A: Likely yes; on pause with staffing changes.
  • V. Ranieri encourage SAC to continue submitting comments on the LC tentative lists, to the generic email address,
SAC virtual participation (Candy Riley/Margaret Joyce/Rose Krause)
  • Small group has been exploring meeting frequency options. Core will provide support for support in-person or virtual meetings, but not hybrid. Preferred Core times for virtual meetings are February, June, and October. Discussion will move to email/Connect.
Committee’s online presence
  • Reminder/announcement of public Connect space. Meeting documents and liaison reports should/will be posted to both sites for now.
  • Discussion of what is appropriate to post to the public site when (working drafts, minutes, etc.) will move to email/Connect.