When a cataloger has determined what an item to be cataloged is about and formulated that concept into words, the next step is to find the subject heading that expresses that concept. The first thing to be determined is whether or not there is already an existing heading in the List for that concept. If, for example, there is a book on lawsuits, the cataloger may think of the terms Lawsuits, Suing, and Suits. Upon consulting the List it becomes clear that those words are not headings but references to the established heading Litigation. Litigation is slightly broader than Suing but is more suitable as a subject heading because it includes the matter of defending oneself against lawsuits. In this case the cataloger enters the book into the catalog under the heading Litigation. A new heading is not necessary. Define alcoholism and discuss its types.
At other times the appropriate heading for a book is not a new heading but a new combination of an established heading and a subdivision. If, for example, there is a book on the use and abuse of alcohol on college campuses, the cataloger may first think of the term Drunkenness. In the Sears List, Drunkenness is an unpreferred term and a reference to two established headings: Alcoholism and Temperance. The scope note at Temperance reads: &ldquo,Use for materials on the virtue of temperance or on the temperance movement.&rdquo, The book is not about drunkenness in relation to either vice and virtue or the temperance movement, so that heading can be eliminated. Neither is the book really about alcoholism, but at the heading Alcoholism, there is a general reference that reads: &ldquo,SA [See also] classes of persons with the subdivision Alcohol use, e.g. Employees&mdash,Alcohol use, Youth&mdash,Alcohol use, etc., [to be added as needed].&rdquo, At this point the cataloger realizes that the appropriate Sears subject heading for the book at hand would be College students&mdash,Alcohol use. College students is already an established heading in the List, but it could be added if it were not.
The cataloger should always keep in mind that it is not only appropriate but also essential that types of things and examples of things not found in the List be established as headings and added to the List locally as needed. If there is a book on gloves, for example, and there is no heading in the Sears List for Gloves, the cataloger thinks of the concept or category of thing that would include gloves. Clothing comes to mind. At the heading Clothing and dress in the List there is a general reference: &ldquo,SA [See also] types of clothing articles and accessories [to be added as needed].&rdquo, The cataloger then establishes the heading Gloves and enters the book into the catalog under Gloves. It would be inappropriate to enter the book under the heading Clothing and dress simply because Clothing and dress is in the List and Gloves is not. It would mean that a user looking in the catalog under Gloves would find nothing. The general references in the List should reinforce the point that the List does not aim at completeness and must be expanded. Even where there is no general reference, narrower terms for types of things and examples and instances of things must be added as needed.
Define alcoholism and discuss its types
At times it is nearly impossible to determine what broader concept or category a new subject might be included under. This should not deter the cataloger from establishing any heading that is needed. Take, for example, the case of a book on thumb sucking, a common phenomenon among small children. The nearest terms in the List might be Child psychology, Child rearing, or Human behavior, but they are none too near. Nowhere is there a general reference instructing the cataloger to add headings for common childhood phenomena, and still the only appropriate heading for the book would be Thumb sucking. Under these circumstances, it would be appropriate to add the heading Thumb sucking to the List and enter the book into the catalog under that heading.