As always — check out the full approved list

There are a lot of newly approved terms for various native folks of the US and Canada particularly familial relationships

Aging in mass media   (Not Subd Geog)

Still from Benjamin Button

Alaska Native basket makers   (May Subd Geog)

Four Alaskan women making baskets
Photo from: Old Indian Photos


Amazonis Planitia (Mars)

cannabis seeds called 'Wonder Woman'
Photo from: Buy Dutch Seeds

(note that I know that this is not what Amazonis Planitia is)

Asian American cooking   (May Subd Geog)

Joyce Chen (center) holds large Chinese radishes picked by middle-school students in Beijing, China, in 1972.
Photo from: NPR

At sign

Photo from: Eco Inerti S.r.l


Portrait of Rush, the Canadian Rock Band
Photo from: Used Wigs

Choctaw teenagers   (May Subd Geog)

anti-smoking teens
Photo from Choctaw Nation

Elephants—War use   (May Subd Geog)


Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant (from Adventure Time)
Photo from We Listening to Wu-Tang

Drug use and traffic accidents   (May Subd Geog)

Cheech driving a car, smoking an over-sized blunt
Photo from: Auto Guide



Enterprise (Imaginary space vehicle)   (Not Subd Geog)

Several different iterations of the star ship Enterprise
Photo from: SciFi English



Halloween television programs   (May Subd Geog)

Still from 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' special
Photo from: Wear the Cheese

Inuit infants   (May Subd Geog)

Young Inuit
Photo from: Polarwelten Gallery


Pregnant students   (May Subd Geog)

Promotional still from 'Pregnancy Pact'
Photo from: J-14

Spectacular, The, in motion pictures   (Not Subd Geog)

Women arranged around a fountain in a Busby Berkeley film
Photo from: Quotation of

Whales as pets   (May Subd Geog)

Art of a child riding a whale
Photo from: Deviant Art



A Nota Bene, an Explanation, or a Disclaimer

My work on this blog, such as it is, is not intended to be of High Academic Level, and it sure as shit isn’t intended to be published. What I’m primarily doing here is challenging myself to work through the thoughts that fly through my head in my day-to-day cataloging life, “oh hey I should expound on that, so that I better understand my own thoughts on it”. I guess what I mean to clarify is that I don’t imagine myself as saying all new things and forging into new territory with every post. I have a long bibliography of radical cataloging books/articles to read. Many of these, I imagine, and some of them, I know, are filled with exactly the same ideas that I’m working through. So why re-invent the wheel?

Why indeed? Why not throw away the whole wheel and start from scratch? Begin again, re-examining why, who, what, and how we catalog. There are people doing that, incredibly talented and smart people. I’m more of a back-of-the-room kind of guy. I want to critically examine the systems I know and the systems I use, but I have no visions to replace that system, or even to do away with systems altogether.

So that’s what I’m doing here, I’m not a leader (and DEFINITELY not an emerging leader), I’m going to learn, I’m going to make mistakes, and I’m going to try do better, both for myself, and those who are not me.

Guess the movie

Okay I’m testing out a new ‘humorous’ type of post. I mean it amuses me to make these kinds of “let’s see how ludicrously specific I can get with LCSH, and even occasionally with made up headings, but I’ll try to follow form and protocol. *

  1. It’s good practice
  2. It shows me a wider variety of headings that I may otherwise not see
  3. Did I mention it’s fun?


650 _ 0 Dinosaurs $x Sexing.

650 _ 0 Dinosaurs $x Genetic engineering.

650 _ 0 Dinosaurs $x Cloning.

650 _ 0 Dinosaurs $x Housing–Safety measures.

650 _ 0 Dinosaurs $xEffect of human beings on.

650 _ 0 Dilophosaurus $x Venom.

650 _ 0 Triceratops $x Feces.

650 _ 0 Triceratops $x Diseases–Diagnosis.

650 _ 0 Tyrannosaurus rex $x Effect of off-road vehicles on.

650 _ 0 Tyrannosaurus rex $x Feeding and feeds–Recipes.

650 _ 0 Tyrannosaurus rex $x Speed.

650 _ 0 Velociraptor $x Psychology.

650 _ 0 Velociraptor $x Feeding and feeds–Recipes

650 _ 0 Herding behavior in animals.

650 _ 0 Birds $x Evolution.

650 _ 0 Scientists $x Attitudes.

650 _ 0 Chaotic behavior in systems.

650 _ 0 Hybris (The Greek word).

610 2 7 InGen $x Officials and employees–Accidents. $2 naf**

610 2 7 InGen $x Finance. $2 naf

651 _ 7 Isla Nublar $xBuildings, structures, etc.

600 1 7 Hammond, John, $d 1913-1997?, $xNatural history collections. $2 naf

600 1 7 Murphy, Lex, $x Knowledge $x UNIX (Computer file). $2 naf

600 1 7 Sattler, Ellie, $x Knowledge $x Inheritance and succession $z Earth (Planet). $2 naf

600 1 7 Malcolm, Ian, $c (Mathematician), $x Relations with women. $2 naf

600 1 7 Malcolm, Ian, $c (Mathematician), $x Divorce. $2 naf

600 1 7 Nedry, Dennis, $d -1993, $x Death and burial. $2 naf

600 1 7 Dodgson, Lewis, $x Finance, Personal. $2 naf


*With the caveat that I will be FLAGRANTLY violating the rule in the SHM 1610 not to subdivide fictional characters by the free-floaters in H1110

**if it’s unlinked, then assume it’s the Netanel authority file





The answer: 110 2 _ Jurassic Park (Agency : Isla Nublar)

The Default + My First LCSH Proposal

Much more astute people than I have written about societal defaults in perceptions of people. ‘Regular’ is white person, ‘other’ is POC; ‘normal’ is men, ‘special’ is women.

Here’s an older post on the topic of male as default and below is a tweet from just the other day.

Our friend LCSH is no different. There are subject headings such as:

Flight attendants, which have an NT of Gay flight attendants. I see two possible unstated assumptions here —

  1. Flight attendants are ‘normally’ not gay and thus we need to mark those that are as distinct from the ‘normal’ version
  2. There is a preponderance of work about Gay flight attendants as a specific group which must need have their own headings to most accurately describe those works

[This occurs throughout LCSH and at a future point I will address it more broadly (I really need to start writing down what I’ve said I will examine at a future point…thus ensuring I do!)]

The former assumption is shitty, and re-affirms ‘difference’ as abnormality and other. The latter assumption bears examination, so let’s head to WorldCat and see what we see.

As a subject, WorldCat returns 2,027 hits for ‘Flight attendant’, and 10  for ‘Gay flight attendant’. These are those 10 –

  1. My best man — a novel, doesn’t use the actual heading, but it was published before the heading was created in 2007
  2. Fly to him  — a novel, doesn’t use the actual heading
  3. Jeff’s way — a biography of a flight attendant killed on American Airlines 11, on 9/11. This is the book which prompted the creation of the heading as seen in the 670 field of the heading itself. 
  4. Gracias por volar conmigo — a biography of Fernando Peña, who created a popular character Milagros Lopez while he was a flight attendant (and continued performing in the role later in life), it uses the heading.
  5. Stewardess boy — a novel, doesn’t use the actual heading, though it may be apt
  6. Manhood up in the air : gender, sexuality, corporate culture, and the law in twentieth century America – a PhD thesis which doesn’t use the heading, but would be a good fit; as an aside, it seems really interesting!
  7. Another version of 6
  8. Poster and Broadside Collection of Tamiment Institute Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, [ca. 1904-1991] — 2000 posters in an archive, false positive from two different unrelated headings
  9. Technology and gay identity: the case of the pre-Second World War male flight attendant — a journal article, doesn’t use the heading (or any headings) but would be a good fit
  10. Another version of 9

I also hopped over to LC’s catalog to see what’s cooking over there — they have a decent number of hits containing Flight attendant (LC’s interface breaks them into facets so adding them up would be tedious as hell) and a grand total of zero for Gay flight attendant. That’s right, the very book that they cite as the impetus for the heading — they don’t have it. Sorry Jeff.

So what have we learned? Are there enough works specifically on Gay flight attendants to justify the heading? Sure! But then, I’m much more comfortable than LC is on creating more faceted intersectional headings. Heck, here’s four more books which don’t use the heading, but could!

Steward and the Wolf by Laurent Jarr

Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants By Philip James Tiemeyer

The Impact of Work on Gay Male Identity Among Male Flight Attendants by Kay V. Adams

Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant by Owen Beddall

The real question here, the whole dang point is: Does having an NT heading like this mean that ‘Flight attendants’ should only be applied if the resource is not about gay flight attendants? Should it also have an NT of ‘Heterosexual flight attendants’, ‘Lesbian flight attendants’, ‘Bisexual flight attendants’, ‘Flexual flight attendants’, etc. There’s certainly literary warrant for all — don’t make me go digging, but I’ll find those books.


One of the few place I could find LC actually stating something on this kind of “what does this heading really mean” question, is:

Heterosexual mothers (May Subd Geog)
Here are entered works on mothers that emphasize their heterosexuality, usually in contrast to lesbians as mothers. General works on mothers without regard to their sexuality are entered under Mothers.

LC is saying that the resource has to specify that it’s about heterosexual parents, if it’s a general resource about parents even if all the parents mentioned or presented as examples are heterosexual — then you place it under ‘Mothers’. Again, for the folks in the back, if you write a book called, “Barbara Bush, Virginia Clinton Kelley, and Dorothy Walker Bush: Mothers” — unless you specifically mention their being heterosexual in the contents, the heading couldn’t be applied — you’d apply the heading ‘Mothers.’* As though this book somehow encompasses all aspects and versions of motherhood and not straight, white, cis, America, motherhood.

This long and rambly post is all a lead-up to say, that I have submitted my first LCSH proposal! I filled out their form (which is VERY hard to write in!) and found good sources for “Cisgender people” a term currently not in the LCSH, as they have very few, and poor at that, terms for gender whatsoever.

More to come on Marked-Others in LCSH, and I will update this post when/if my proposal moves along in the process.


*Before you come parping at me, YES I know that you’d actually apply ” Mothers of presidents–United States”

Violet (Cat)

Joining such illustrious peers as Wasabi (Cat)Hamish McHamish (Cat)Little Draggin’ Bear (Cat), and our First Cat: Socks (Cat), 1989-2009 — let’s all say hello to VIOLET

046 __ $f 2011-03-14 $2 edtf

100 0_ $a Violet $c (Cat)

368 __ $c Cats $c American shorthair cat $c Pets $2 lcsh

370 __ $a Massachusetts $c United States $e Jamaica Plain (Boston, Mass.) $e Somerville (Mass.) $e Culpeper (Va.) $e Washington (D.C.) $2 naf

372 __ $a Sleep $a Dinners and dining $2 lcsh

373 __ $a Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals $2 naf $s 2013 $t 2013

375 __ $a Females $2 lcsh

400 1_ $a Ganin, Violet $c (Cat)

400 1_ $a Marquardt, Violet $c (Cat)

670 __ $a Communication with Violet, August 10, 2019 $b (meow; meow meow; meow)

(h/t to @jordanclaire for the idea)

THE TROUBLE WITH DS101-151 – Example

Okay, so following on the last post — y’all get the fundamental problem now with the DS101-151 section, here’s an example of that in action:



 History of Asia—Israel (Palestine). The Jews—Special topics—Jewish diaspora—By region or country—Other regions or countries, A-Z

In simplest terms, this single number is assigned to works on Jews not in Israel. (Yes, the Americas are in the Es and Fs, and three countries [Germany, Poland, and Russia] were moved from the DS135s to DS134.2-DS134.93.)

At my place of work for instance, we have over 7000 resources in that single number, DS135, sure they’re arranged A-Z and cuttered by country, but placing a book there irks me — every time.

Because in so doing I’m saying that this book is about the Jewish diaspora, that every Jew living in the Czech Republic, Australia, and Uganda is really just waiting for Eretz Yisrael to call them home, and that doesn’t jibe with me, neither as a cataloger, nor as a Jew.

For the former, when I’m cataloging a book about Jews in Prague in the 19th century, going about their business and lives — why on earth am I saying that they’re in a diaspora? A book about Prague Jews in the 19th century and their feelings as diaspora Jews – sure! But it shouldn’t be the default.

I understand that it’s a term used to mean “outside of Israel”, it’s not that I don’t ‘get it’. But to me it implies two things:

  1. That all works about Jews who happen to be outside of Israel are somehow about that outside of Israel-ness.
  2. That Israel is the Jewish homeland, and have an inherent right to it

As a final note, it’s interesting to me that LC has figured out that you can talk about Jews in other countries more neutrally.


Latin America. Spanish America—Mexico—Elements in the population, A-Z—Jews


British America—Canada—Elements in the population—Jews


Would that they’d extend this logic to the other countries.

The Trouble with DS101-151


Today, I’m going to try to briefly explain an overall issue I have with DS101-151, and in the coming months I’m certain I’ll have many many more posts about that section, digging into more specific areas, or nuances. This is for three reasons, which I feel a need to disclose:

  1. I’m an Israeli-born American
  2.  I’m Jewish
  3. I catalog materials in that subject area a tremendous amount

So — what we’re looking at is the following:

DS101-151 Israel (Palestine). The Jews

The D class is where History (excepting that of the Americas) is placed, and DS is given for the history of Asia. Let’s take a look at some of the other sectional divisions in the DS class.

DS101-151       Israel (Palestine). The Jews
DS153-154.9    Jordan. Transjordan

DS155-156       Asia Minor
DS161-199       Armenia
DS201-248       Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia
DS251-326       Iran (Persia)
DS327-329.4    Central Asia
DS331-349.9    Southern Asia. Indian Ocean Region
DS350-375       Afghanistan
DS376-392.2    Pakistan
DS393-396.9    Bangladesh. East Pakistan
DS401-486.8    India (Bharat)
DS488-490       Sri Lanka
DS491-492.9    Bhutan
DS493-495.8    Nepal

The divisions are primarily countries, with some regions thrown in as well. What isn’t present in any other provision though, is a country/region equated with an ethnic group.

Again, I’m Israeli, and I’m Jewish. It’s no secret that many Jews are Israeli and many Israelis are Jews. In fact, I would probably not be shocking anyone, least of all the Library of Congress if I acknowledged that there is a relationship between Jewry and Israel. What that relationship is not however, is the biconditional equivalent one set up in the DS101-151 section.

It is from this fundamental categorical placement, that flows many, if not all, my problems with this section, and I will return to it many times in the future.

N.B. Before folks come parping at me about how there are ways to discuss Jews and Jewry outside of Israel, I know, we’ll get there

Disability in the Library of Congress Classification Scheme – Part 2

Biography is a special case of classification. There are dedicated memos about classifying biographies in the subject headings manual as well as the classification and shelflisting manual (F 275, G 320).

A reading of these instructions will show that biographies can’t be placed wherever one would like, there has to be a provision provided for it in the schedule.

Turning again to the HVs, the first such instruction encountered under ‘People with disabilities’ is at HV1552.3

Biography (Collective)
Including persons involved with rehabilitation or education of and services to people with disabilities
For individual biography, see the specific class of people with disabilities

The specific classes provided are as follows:

Developmentally disabled

Including works on the deaf and blind

Deaf. Hearing impaired
Including deaf-mutes

Terminally ill. Incurables

People with mental disabilities

People with physical disabilities

Of these six, biography provisions are given for people with blindness (and those of exceptional pupils), deafness, and terminal illnesses.

Biographies for people with mental disabilities are directed to RC569.7-574*, and biographies for people with physical disabilities are also directed to see the condition itself in the R [Medicine] class.

So to sum up: when classifying a book about someone with disabilities, depending on the disability your options are to class it as a biography under a class of people needing ‘Protection, assistance, relief’ — or to place it alongside all medical works on the same condition. As disabled activists advocate for decreasing the medicalized view, we do a disservice with these two options.

*While there is a provision at HV3006.A39.A-Z for Biography, individual, A-Z, checking LC’s catalog reveals a total of 7 books with that classification. That indicates to me that the preferred area is RC569.7-574.

Disability in the Library of Congress Classification scheme – Part 1

The impetus for this blog was that I was cataloging a book, Exile and pride by Eli Clare, and found myself quite dissatisfied with several aspects of the master record.

Leaving aside the misgendering subject headings for the moment, as that’s another post for another day, I spent some time looking at the way LC’s classification scheme treats disabilities and disabled folks.

First, a note about LC’s notion of classes of people: from the subject headings manual H 1100:

classes of persons, including age and sex groups; social, economic, and political categories of persons; types of afflicted persons; members of particular religions; employees and occupational groups; etc. Examples: Youth; Women; Fathers; Poor; Political prisoners; People with mental disabilities; Liver–Cancer–Patients; Catholics; Hare Krishnas; Fire fighters; Judges; Darts players; High technology industries–Employees.

LC treats classes of people from different perspectives: if you’re looking for works on the legal treatment of a particular class, you’ll find that in the Ks, an anthropologic treatment of that class in the Gs, a religious treatment in the Bs, etc.

The H class, being the social sciences, struck me as the natural place for a resource by a disability rights activist, and indeed I found:

Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology–Protection, assistance and relief–Special classes

HV1551-3024 People with disabilities

Notice that people with disabilities is explicitly placed under ‘Protection, assistance and relief–Special classes’, a span from HV697 to HV3024.

By placing people with disabilities here, they are co-located with other classes of people who happen to be in need of ‘Protection, assistance and relief’

A screenshot from the HV classification outline with 'HV697-4959 Protection, assistance and relief ' highlighted in red and 'HV1551-3024 People with disabilities Including blind, deaf, people with physical and mental disabilities' indicated by a red arrow

for instance:

HV1442-1448 Women
HV1449 Gay men. Lesbians
HV3025-3163 Mariners

Each of these areas is designated for that class of person as someone in need not general placement of works about that class of person as a person.

A work on any of the previous three groups as classes themselves not in need of protection could be classed in a number of places, e.g.:

HQ1155 Women. Feminism—History—Modern—21st century
HQ75.25 Sexual minorities—Homosexuality. Lesbianism—General works
HD8039.S4-.S42 Labor. Work. Working class—By industry or trade, A-Z—Seamen.
Sailors. Merchant mariners

People with disabilities have no such other number, they are only classed as a special class of people in need of protection, assistance and relief.

Next: Part 2 – the biography subdivision.

Hello world!

Welcome to the new blog of Netanel Ganin — Cataloger to the stars.

This will be a place where I will write things that are a bit longer than 140 characters about metadata/cataloging/librarianship and whatever else pops into my head.

Stay tuned.