Monthly Archives: March 2012

There’s a Subject Heading for That!?!: ecofeminism

The Midwest went directly from a mild winter to a pleasant summer! The weather is great, even though it is abnormal. But sugar maple trees aren’t running, meaning no maple syrup this year–very sad indeed, except for the fact that we still have one unopened jar of my dad’s homemade syrup from a previous year still safely tucked in the pantry; if syrup times get really desperate, I might put it up for bids on eBay in the fall and of course provide you lucky readers the link! 🙂

While enjoying this beautiful weather on the porch in Ann Arbor, and some times the balcony in Wooster, I found an interesting heading that conveys much with just its name: ecofeminism. This came up during a search for environmental topics and though it wasn’t needed for any of my items, this sub. head. really intrigued me.

With its name, it invokes women, feminism, ecology, nature, the environment, and saving the planet. Could there be a more perfect term for Mother Nature? Very apt. There is a Wikipedia page that explains the basics of the movement.

Here’s the LC Authority File for ecofeminism (with a 953 cut off by the screenshot):

The 680 really says it all! This seems to be a really dynamic and fruitful subject heading for a precise topic. Yea! It’s always fun to find these types. I love it when a sub. head. is summed up in itself and conveys exactly what it is about.

“Ecofeminism” reminds me of Julia Butterfly Hill’s book The Legacy of Luna about her time spent sitting in a tall redwood nicknamed Luna in order to prevent loggers from cutting it down. The story is wonderful, if you haven’t read it. However, this one does not work as a sub. head. for that book but I made the connection because of the Search Also for it:

In the LC catalog, there are currently 94 items with the sub. head. “ecofeminism,” and several more with further qualifiers, mostly locations, if you too have become interested in this topic.

Now, to put down my laptop, slide on my sunglasses, and retreat to the porch with a book! Hope that you are enjoying the marvelous weather, too–unless you happen to be in the West, which I hear is chilly this year.

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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There’s a subject heading for that!?!: telematics

Tele-what? Yes, “telematics” is the subject heading of inquiry this week.

When I stumbled across this one the other day, like Link opening a dungeon treasure chest, I knew it was exactly what I needed to finish my record, which is oddly similar to finishing a level in Zelda–on a quest to find those perfect subject headings and gather all the information needed to complete the record.

Here’s a screenshot of the LC Authority File for “telematics”:

Basically, “telematics” encompasses the use of computers for communication and the exchange of information. The book in hand at the time dealt with computer use in classes (i.e. computer-assisted instruction), email, blogs, SMS, and other information technology in education. While “internet in education” and “telecommunication in education” provide a good base, “telematics” helped bring out more detail as to what the book was about. There are 61 items in the LC catalog with the plain subject heading and many more with geographical subdivisions. And even some with the “law and legislation” subdivision that sound intriguing.

Cataloging involves lots of learning and demands curiosity and questioning in order to ensure that the most accurate and best sub. head. are used for an item. The book’s title involved the phrase “computer-mediated communication” which to me sounded like jargon so I didn’t search it in the authority file. Instead, my browsing the LC catalog allowed me to find “telematics” and discover that “computer-mediated communication” is a 450 for “telematics”!

However, this is another sub. head. that feels like it was made for librarians by fellow librarians. What patron would ever type “telematics” in the catalog or even know to click on it in a record? Do people really know what it means when they see it? I didn’t. Perhaps that is where the reference librarians enter the picture, in one aspect, to navigate the catalog and its records in order to help patrons find just what they are looking for and other related items of interest, too.

Even though catalogers hand-pick subject headings, it would be much more helpful to have headings that make sense even to us from first glance. Many already are self-explanitory but in cases such as “telematics”, clarity could improve not only the subject heading but also it’s use. But at the end of the day, we have to make do the best we can with what we have. I was just glad to find that 450 in “telematics”.


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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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