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Survey on Faceted Terms in Bibliographic Records


In 2014 the Alliance Primo Genre/Form Task Group submitted a report to the SILS Catalog Working Group. The Cataloging Standing Group is following up on that task group”s recommendation for training and documentation on faceted terms in bibliographic records. To help us understand the current level of use and understanding of faceted terms among Alliance members we are asking the cataloging representative for each institution, to fill out this survey for their institution. We will use the results of this survey to help us determine where to focus our efforts first.


In recent years certain non-topical concepts that traditionally have been integrated into the Library of Congress Subject Headings have been separated out into their own distinct MARC fields and authorized term lists. These concepts include the form and genre of an item, medium of performance for musical works, audience characteristics, and creator/contributor characteristics. Since they are encoded in separate MARC fields, these attributes can be used as facets to refine search results in library catalogs.


The development of the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT) began in 2007 with form and genre headings for moving image materials. Since then, this list of terms has expanded to include terms for artistic and visual works, cartographic materials, ‘general’ materials (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias), law materials, literature, music, non-musical sound recordings, and religious materials. Work on medium performance termsfor music began in 2009 and the initial term list was approved in 2014. The list of terms for demographic groups was begun in 2013 and an initial list was approved in 2015. Other lists of terms, such as Art and Architecture Thesaurus and Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama, Etc.have been in existence much longer.


New fields were added to MARC21 to accommodate these terms. For example, field 382 Medium of Performance was added in 2010, and fields 385 Audience Characteristics and 386 Creator/Contributor Characteristics were both added in 2013.


In their 2014 report the Alliance Primo Genre/Form Task Group recommended that genre/form terms have their own Primo index separate from subject headings. This has been accomplished and any Alliance library can now choose to include facets for genre, creator demographic group, audience, music medium of performance, and others. If you are unfamiliar with how these fields might be used as facets in the catalog, you can see some examples in the WWU Premium sandbox WWU view, Primo premium sandbox.  A keyword search on ‘piano’ allows you to see how WWU”s choices of faceting work (check out Genre;  Music: number of performers;  Country of production to name a few). Please be aware that facets can be renamed to match the needs of the institution and they may not match the corresponding name of the MARC fields as defined in MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data.  It is possible your institution”s Primo installation is not currently showing these fields as facet options.


Because the greatest value of these facets lies in accurate and robust data, the Alliance Primo Genre/Form Task Group recommended providing training and documentation. Furthermore, these facets in Primo will not achieve optimal value for discovery until there is more comprehensive coverage across the bibliographic records in Alma. Therefore, the task group also suggested that cleanup work on the master records in OCLC WorldCat that correspond to the bibliographic records in our Alma Network Zone would be beneficial.


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