There’s a Subject Heading for That?!: Subject Heading of the Week

09 Oct

Ever found a subject heading to scratch your head over, or laugh about, or ponder its creation? That is the reason behind this new feature on my blog, titled “There’s a Subject Heading for That?!” We all come across them, whether in use as a patron or in practice as a librarian, especially us catalogers. Really, subject headings are one of the best (and worst) parts of being a cataloger. Mainly I love sub. heads, but there are days, and headings, that perplex and stump. Some times they bring together a topic succinctly in one heading and some times there is no amount of post-coordination that can corral what an item is about. Hope you enjoy this new segment!

“Bullying in the workplace”

Came across this subject heading this week, and while it’s very useful, it made me a little sad to find it. It’s a sub. head. because enough people wrote works about it, and its prevention, to necessitate it’s own 650. However, this one doesn’t surprise me. There are 43 items in the LC catalog with it, and several geographically subdivided items.  What’s more, I searched “work environment” for the same item and it turns out that “bullying in the workplace” is a narrower term–guess I should have seen that coming–along with other interesting terms. Included are, of course, “sex in the workplace”, “gossip…” and “dress code…” but some that stood out were “personal internet use…”, “conflicts of generations…” and “sex role…”. “Naps (sleep)…” and “music…” also have their own terms. It’s an interesting mix of narrower terms, to be sure, and I didn’t list them all here so check it out on LC Authority File. The one term that seems missing that feels like it should be included in this list is a subject heading for sexual harassment or harassment in general. Oddly enough, it merits it’s own subject heading with no broader nor narrower terms–only giving a see also note for “sex role in the workplace” and specifying in its scope note that it is used for office as well as general harassment. Seems odd, then, that bullying gets it’s own narrower term, separating it from the rest of bullying. How is that distinction different from harassment in the workplace? Alas, the complexities of subject headings!

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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


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