OUR Cataloging Policy requires that Subject Headings use a Subject Authority, which "enables copy cataloging...avoids mandating local control...ensures continuity...facilitates lifelong searching ability...[and] supports library/media center growth" (Intner & Weihs, 2015, pp. 89-90). We follow the tenet that "care must be exercised in selecting the words and phrases used as subject headings so that synonyms are not included and the meaning of the terms is clear and understandable by the people who use them" (p. 90). OUR students, teachers, and volunteers are familiar with what subject heading are and how to use them.
With this in mind, we follow Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Copy cataloging using Connect and INFOhio Workflows should find these subject headings. Whether using copy or original cataloging, the standard is to include at least three (3) subject headings. The Library of Congress Subject Headings can also be searched directly at this link: http://authorities.loc.gov/
Subject headings are used not only in our library catalog but in our instruction as well. This follows the idea that "on a display record, these subject headings ensure the patron can find other 'like' materials. It also is a good information literacy skill to teach students and teachers that if they stumble on an item that 'fits the bill' for them. They can look at the subject headings and use this same search term in electronic databases to locate more information" (Harper, 2017). OUR librarians can also consider continued professional development and networking opportunities to enhance subject heading policy and practice, but this current policy, when followed, meets OUR expectations for high quality cataloging and library experiences.
Reference Harper, M. (2017). Subject headings [PowerPoint presentation]. Retrieved from Blackboard Learn. Intner, S. S., & Weihs, J. (2015). Standard cataloging for school and public libraries (5th ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.