On Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 7:42 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> ... Libraries "do" it, but our user interfaces ignore it (honestly, does
> anyone NOT think that the whole BT/NT relationship in LCSH is completely
> wasted in today's systems?). Google searches "work" best on proper nouns
> that are nearly unique. You cannot do concept searches, and you cannot see
> relationships between concepts. It's great for named people, organizations
> and products, but not great for anything else....
Conceptually, I like the idea of using the relationships in LCSH. However,
I don't hold out much hope that anyone will make hay out of that.
The percentage of things that have decent LCSH assigned to them is small
and shrinking for the simple reason that a fewer and fewer humans have to
manage more resources. Automation could help (getting the needed data from
publishers might be tricky), but the only benefit I can think of for using
LCSH for automated applications is to maximize relationships with older
materials -- possibly at the expense of the "findability" of the newer
LCSH is relatively flat, the rules for constructing headings are so
Byzantine that they stymie even experienced catalogers (which contributes
to inconsistent application in terms of quality, level of analysis, and
completeness), and its ability to express concepts at all is highly
variable as it is designed by a committee on an enumerative basis. Add to
this that concepts in records frequently must be expressed across multiple
headings and subheadings, any type of automated assignment is going to
result in really "dirty" relationships so I can't blame ILS designers for
limiting their use of LCSH primarily to controlled keyword access.