Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer – S01, E07

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

S01, E07 – I Robot, You Jane

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

Lots of library content in this one! I know it gets a kind of bad rap in the way that a lot of 90s shows that have a ‘cyber’ episode do. It’s cheesy and a bit dated–

Fritz: If you're not jacked in, you're not alive
that’s a lot Fritz, that’s an awful lot

But it’s the first episode with Jenny Calendar, so no skipping!

Okay so right off the bat, this is an episode all about books.

Moloch being trapped in a book
I see a lambda, a theta but also a thorn? What character set is this? Eagle eyed viewers will note the set repeats on the opposing page

We got a demon, Moloch, trapped in a book. You may’ve been expecting that this would lead to a student reading an ancient text they shouldn’t’ve been and releasing him and we all learn a lesson about seeking knowledge beyond our ability to control ala Michael Crichton.

But it isn’t!

Instead it’s your standard “tech is scary and maybe bad????” 90’s genre episode! See also X-Files’s Season 1 episode: Ghost in the Machine.

Right, so the Italian monks [are they monks?] trap Moloch inside the book with the ritual of Kayless

Same thing I said when I finally packed away my Ayn Rand for good

Can we just take a sec and appreciate that these monks [again, I assume] spent the time to illuminate the cover of their trap-book with that detailed Moloch etching? I imagine they’d thought of the plan to trap Moloch but one of ’em was all, “no no wait guys I want to decorate the cover with this sick scored relief of Moloch first. then we don’t even need a title page, everyone will just recognize the demon Moloch and definitely not open the book”

Book of Moloch with art on cover
It takes longer, but it’s important to enjoy what you do

Flash forward to the present day and you’ll never guess what shows up at the Sunnydale Library

Buffy: Oh great, a book.
Just what I wanted, thanks so much for coming to my birthday party!

Sure enough, the Moloch book has wended its way to Sunnydale and Giles seems very unconcerned.

Giles: Oh, i haven't gone through the new arrivals

Now it’s established later that Giles just didn’t realize that it’s the Book of Moloch but this raises some questions about his acquisitions. Does he have standing orders with various clued-in booksellers to send him rare tomes on certain subjects? Is there a YBP-type company out there providing shelf-ready books on demons and ancient prophecies?

Fritz sets the tone for the episode

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 4.15.46 PM
Fritz is ahead of the curve! E-readers won’t be introduced until 1998 and he’s already anticipating years of librarian in-fighting

Giles heads off with an easy punchline setup for Jenny, presumably to wander amongst D200 [History (General)Medieval historyLater medieval. 11th-15th centuries—General works] or 909.07 [History & geography–History–World history–General historical periods–Ca. 500-1450/1500]

Giles: I'll be back in the middle ages

With everyone gone Willow  is scanning with a sleek hand-held scanner.


Willow's scanning program

This is what causes all the problems, Moloch gets “scanned” into the computer and then also the internet!

But wait, *how*? First off Willow is clearly not scanning the whole page, but just the middle 3/4 of each page. Secondly, Giles tells us later that reading the book aloud releases Moloch — how does that translate to scanning? We’re not talking about OCR, or any kind of process which would allow the Moloch text to be processed as text. It’s images!

By this logic simply looking at the pages without reading would be equally sufficient to release Moloch, but Giles specifies reading aloud. I call foul!

Also, what exactly is this project? Willow [and Dave, played by Chad Lindberg who you can order custom messages from here: https://www.cameo.com/chad_lindberg — this isn’t related but I thought y’all should know that] are scanning books…for what? Is it just for them to get practice scanning books for their comp sci class? Is there a larger digitization project that the library is undertaking in conjunction with comp sci?

I have a lot of questions about this episode.

Anyway. Once Moloch is free and Willow is under his sway, he does a little sleuthing through the Sunnydale records and finds this: Born October 24th, 1980 in case you need to update her NAR.

Buffy's high school record

Buffy is determined to get to the bottom of the weirdness with the comp sci students and Willow but Giles is naturally no help in this area.

Giles: Things involving the computer fill me with a childlike terror
Wait’ll he finds out about the Beta Toolkit.

Buffy follows Fritz to a shady facility and when she and Xander and planning to go back and break in, Giles as to cover with some library science babble when Ms. Calendar walks in.

Giles: So the book will be listed by title as well as author
I mean he’s not wrong, title indexes are just as important as author indexes!

Jenny: You kids really dig the library, don't you?
Why, ALL kids dig the library! [new ALA poster idea]
Now just because I’m a librarian and also love Giles doesn’t mean I can’t hear any criticism of either.

Jenny totally has librarianship’s number right here

Jenny: oh you are a big snob. you think that knowledge

Jenny: should be kept in these carefully guarded repositories

Jenny: where only a handful of white guys can get at it

This is a #NoHateALA blog, and I’d like to think Giles would be on board with kicking out nazis.

At last Giles tells Jenny what the sitch is until to find out that she’s already hip to all things magical.

Giles: there's a demon on the internet
Giles discovers twitter

Moloch gets defeated, our heroes triumph and Giles and Jenny continue to bicker over the relative merits of books vs. tech.


Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer – S01, E06-07

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

S01, E06 – The Pack

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

The pack — another Xander episode and featuring a sexual assault attempt that gets kinda washed over.

First up, I appreciate this dedication to the detail that Xander is still working on trig. Astute viewers will remember that he was borrowing a trig book from the library in the pilot — continuity!

Xander: It's like a big blur, all these numbers and angles.
Not that he’s actually doing much better with it…


Later when Buffy and Willow have noticed that Xander is being Hyena-ish, Buffy has an idea where to turn for help:

Buffy: Gonna talk to the expert on weird.
BRB changing my business card


Giles makes a couple flippant jokes and leads to this exchange:

Buffy: get your books

Buffy: look stuff up

Giles: look under what?

Buffy: i don't know. that's your department

No, that’s my department!

I recommend [much like the mantis from last week’s post] QL737.C24 [Zoology—Chordates. Vertebrates—Mammals—Systematic divisions. By order and family, A-Z—Carnivora—Hyaenidae (Hyenas)], and the requisite folklore area:

GR730.H9 [Folklore—By subject—Nature—Animals, plants, and minerals—Animals. Animal lore—Special kinds of animals—Other mammals, A-Z] into the mix too. Do note that I made that cutter up though, I guess not enough works have been cataloged about hyenas in folklore yet!

Some good DDC spots to check will be: scientific works: 599.743 [Science–Natural history of plants and animals–Animals (Zoology)–Specific taxonomic groups of animals–Mammalia–Eutheria–Carnivora–Fissipedia–Feloidea–Hyaenidae] or folkloric works: 398.3699743 [Social sciences–Customs, etiquette & fokllore–Folklore–History and criticism of specific subjects of folklore–Real phenomena as subjects of folklore–Animals–Hyaenidae]

Okay so once everyone’s clear on what’s going with re: hyena possession, Xander gets locked in the this cage in the library.

Oh no, Hyena Xander can’t handle book return!

Let’s talk about this cage for a minute. Lots of libraries have special collections or other areas that have restricted access, but this is some intense security for a high school library!

It also has a bookdrop which is the weirdest part to me, because it’s not the exterior of the library! In order to access this bookdrop you’d already have to be in the library in the first place, which though that makes sense at the circulation desk bookdrops doesn’t make seem needed for a special collections cage.

We also have seen the front door of the library and there’s no bookdrop on there! So to sum up, the only bookdrop we’ve seen in the Sunnydale library requires the library to be open to access it and there’s not even one of those bins to catch the books. They just have to plummet 4 feet to the ground. Not great. Somebody call Demco.

Xander tries to grab Willow through the book drop
Oh, also they can try to grab you through the bookdrop, so watch out for that

Anyway. Wouldn’t you know it, the other hyena-posessed students come to rescue Xander and make quick work of the cage.




Okay, so maybe it wasn’t great security after all. In Sunnydale you’re going to want a library cage that can stand up to your average hyena rampage.

S01, E07 – Angel

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

A major episode! Season one is a little light in places, as many Seasons 1 are — but the biggest jam is finding out that Angel, mysterious and cryptic Angel, is a vampire.

Angel reveals his vamp-face
Um, spoiler alert

Okay before we get there though, Buffy is attacked by a pack of vampires later identified by Giles as The Three, and with Angel’s help, fights them off. Willow wants to know how Giles always seems to know about the vampires and monsters that have proper-noun status.

He’s got a good response ready:


Screen Shot 2018-08-11 at 3.43.23 PM
Hence the “i’m tired” mug

Quick point though — The Master lets Darla kill The Three for their failure which seems like a real misstep to me. Even if they didn’t succeed in killing Buffy the first time out, they might have better luck the second time? or the third? Killing them will never get Buffy for you, so way to come between yourself and your own goals, The Master.

Giles decides it’s time for weapons training [which naturally is done in the library] so we get a quick sign insert:

sign: library closed for filing, please come back tomorrow

No one seems upset by this or gets put out by it, but throughout the episode Buffy is studying for some pretty big tests, maybe midterms? If I were one of those non-scooby Sunnydale students, I’d be pretty miffed if the library suddenly closed during midterms.

So Giles and Buffy get down to that weapon’s training and LOOK where they get the weapons from!

Giles and Buffy in front of the library cage

It’s fixed! When did they fix it? The banker boxes are still in there but there’s suddenly a very large weapons closet that I assume that Giles doesn’t usually keep in there. Because otherwise holding Xander [and future baddies] in there is a REAL bad move. So I wonder where he normally stores the weapons?

In a very sitcommy misunderstanding, Darla bites Joyce Summers and Buffy thinks Angel did it. The gang rushes to the hospital to comfort Buffy and see Joyce which leads to this exchange:

Buffy: No mom, this is Giles

Joyce: the librarian from your school

Joyce: what's he doing here?
a QUITE reasonable question Joyce!

Remember all you school librarians out there. Even if one of your students is The Chosen One, with a Great and Important Destiny. Probably should try to act like you’re not taking too keen an interest in her personal life.

Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer – S01, E04-05

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

S01, E04 – Teacher’s Pet

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

So the new science teacher is a giant praying mantis. She gets a vague-ish name of “She-Mantis” a “Kleptes-Virgo” but there isn’t much more explanation other than “she’s a giant praying mantis”. Despite the cliff hanger ending, we never see her species again. [If you’ve read the comics lemme know if any more giant praying mantises show up!]

So naturally at some point Buffy will need to do some research to defeat this MOTW.

Buffy grimaces while asking
Buffy’s face is also mine contemplating a bug book

This is mostly a gag line, so Giles doesn’t say anything — but I will!

General works on mantises will be found at QL505.83 [Zoology—Invertebrates—Arthropoda—Insects—Mantodea (Mantids)—General works, treatises, and textbooks], but remember, Giles’ colleague also knew of her back in England, so you may also want to check:
QL505.865.A3-Z [Zoology—Invertebrates—Arthropoda—Insects—Mantodea (Mantids)—Geographical distribution—Europe—By region, country, or island, A-Z], and don’t forget to cutter for England!

Let’s add GR752.A-Z [Folklore—By subject—Nature—Animals, plants, and minerals—Animals. Animal lore—Special kinds of animals—Insects—Other insects, A-Z] into the mix too [cutter for ‘mantis’] because folklore works on mantises might be just the thing for this particular beastie.

Some good DDC spots to check will be: scientific works: 595.727 [Science–Natural history of plants and animals–Animals (Zoology)–Specific taxonomic groups of animals–Arthropoda–Insecta–Apterygota; Orthoptera and related orders–Orthoptera and related orders–Mantodea] or folkloric works: 398.3692727 [Social sciences–Customs, etiquette & fokllore–Folklore–History and criticism of specific subjects of folklore–Real phenomena as subjects of folklore–Animals–Mantodea]

So finally, we’re sure it’s a mantis, and Buffy has a plan to take it down — bat sonar! But wherever do we get audio recordings of bat sonar? Buffy can’t just pull up a youtube vid and blast it at the mantis, after all. Never fear, the never before seen and never to be seen again vid library is here!

In the vid library

there are not books but its dark and musty
I can assure you as a Professional Vid Librarian ™ that mustiness is bad for vids, better make a note when they start smelling vinegary, Giles

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 3.01.27 PM

Needless to say, the vid library is a smashing success and Giles manages to transfer some audio onto a hand-held tape recorder for Buffy. She ventures off to face the mantis and smashes on that play button:

Giles [through tape]: Extremely important to file

Giles: not simply alphabetically

Womp womp. Sounds like Giles was recording some filing instructions? But for whom? Are there unseen student employees at the Sunnydale High library? Maybe he’s working on a paper and just getting his thoughts in order. And what’s the second half of this? [it gets cut off by Buffy flipping to the other sound which had the bat sounds] Maybe “it’s extremely important to file not simply alphabetically…but also by subject matter” “…but also by mystical rune” “…but also by sexy cover of Behind Blue Eyes”

This, not “hey whatever happened to the egg she left behind” is the REAL unanswered question of the episode.

S01, E05 – Never Kill A Boy On The First Date

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

One thing that makes BtVS so great is that they don’t forget about the Big Bad or the myth-arc or whatever you want to call it. Even in MOTW episodes, they take pains to check in with The Master monologuing in his church, or Angel snarking with Dru and Spike. There are long strings of X-Files MOTW in which the show (and Mulder and Scully) act like there’s no imminent alien invasion or Mulder’s sister wasn’t just replaced by a bee-clone. [Or whatever was going on with her]

Anyway — before we check in with The Master we get a cut that I really like

Giles: Yes, I best consult my books
Giles gonna Giles

Then we slam cut to The Master’s DUSTY-ass book

The Master's dusty-ass book
This would be better as a gif, but i don’t know how to make one from a hulu video

See the show is pretty consistent on knowledge being power. You study, do your research, learn about what you’re going to face, and you’ll succeed. Heck it was the secondary thesis of the previous episode [after, sex is bad] Sure there’s a lot about friendship, practicing fighting technique, being magically strong, etc. but Giles and his book-learning ethic is a constant edge on Buffy’s side.

That’s why I like this cut, The Master reads too! He’s got Buffy’s strength and Giles’ appreciation of old tomes, which makes him a more formidable adversary. Though he really should take better care of a rare book like that. Being kept in his dank church can’t be good, preservation-wise.

Into the library comes boy of the week Owen, and Giles has some real bad customer service:

Giles: What do you want? Owen: A book.
Way to create a life-long library user, Rupert

He’s specifically looking some Emily Dickinson, though doesn’t say which work. Giles unhelpfully waves him:

Giles: Poetry

But I’m here to provide a little more information. In LCC Emily Dickinson’s works can be found at PS1541 and in Dewey at 811.4.

Later, Owen is picking up Buffy for a date and she and Giles need to do a quick play-acting to explain why he’s at her house at night.

Buffy: Yes, but I will return those overdue books by tomorrow

Giles: No, you're not getting off that easily.
Excuse me I need to go write a fic now where Giles is very cross with me that I haven’t returned my books. The phrase ‘No, you’re not getting off that easily’ is sure to come up

This presumably further cements for Owen that librarians are cold and unforgiving and libraries aren’t welcoming places. Not repping us so well, Giles.

Giles rushes off to guard the morgue while Buffy’s on her date. Willow is concerned for Giles’ safety.

Xander: he's going to be all right. He's like Super-Librarian.
Note the hyphen! It’s like Spider-Man not like Superman.


Xander: everyone forgets, willow, that knowledge is the ultimate weapon.
My thesis is proven!

Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer – S01, E02-03

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

S01, E02 – The Harvest

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

In this ep we get our first look at “Giles doesn’t get computers, and Willow does get computers”

personal space, Giles!!

This will be a long-running trait for both of them until ‘computers’ is replaced by ‘magic’ in terms of Willow-skills. I’m not sure Giles will ever come around to computers though…

Later, Principal Flutie catches the Buffster sneaking off campus for some slayage and the following exchange occurs

But Flutie knows that ‘sending teens to get a book from the store’ is not a sensible collection development policy. So he doesn’t fall for it.

S01, E03 – The Witch

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

Alright so there’s a witch on the loose — how can we find her with library science? Violate patron privacy of course!

No Willow, don’t!

There’s a lot going on in this scene:

  1. Amy didn’t actually end up being the one who borrowed the books, it’s just a gag for showing Xander perving on semi-nude engravings.
  2. Would Giles [who knows magic is real and dangerous] really put spell books into the circulating collection?
  3. Willow next states that Xander *currently* has several witchy books checked out — why not have him earlier in the episode drop some witch knowledge and act smug before the reveal on why he’d really borrowed those books
  4. When Willow later hacks morgue records, Giles makes a big show of “I didn’t see this, I wasn’t here” but when Willow violates patron privacy he doesn’t make a peep!
  5. Most importantly: do not store borrowing history [though that wouldn’t help in this case as he currently has them out] but check with your systems librarian and see if your ILS is storing patron’s history. If you don’t have it, they can’t subpoena it.

Once the Scoobies know that Amy’s the witch and Buffy gets hit by the bloodstone vengeance spell, Giles lays down what the next step is to reverse her magic.

all this being British has given me a headache

So I’m a big believer in the power of books, and I know Giles is too, to an even greater degree. But why do they actually need the book? We’re going to see magic a lot more in coming seasons but this is the only time anyone ever says that you need the specific book that the witch used to cast the spell to undo it.

Do you also need the exact item she used? I mean Giles knows the name of the spell “Bloodstone Vengeance”, surely the counter spell to that shows up in more than one book.

Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer

The library at Sunnydale High

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

At my new student orientation for Simmons College of Library and Information Sciences, Professor Mary Wilkins Jordan cracked that all library students loved three things: cats, knitting, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At that point (May, 2013) I loved cats, I’d knitted several scarves and hats, and sure enough, I dug Buffy. I didn’t watch it when it was on — I was probably too sexist in 1997 [at the awful age of 13] to be interested in a show with a woman lead.

It was actually a librarian who turned me onto the show years and years after it had aired. While working at libraries, and before I began my MLS [this was 2011] I found myself dating a librarian who loved Buffy, and I was happy to watch it with her and finally suss out what drew people to this show.

I ended up finishing the show on my own, and then watched it again a few years later, this time incorporating Angel into the rewatch.

I’m not ride-or-die, and I’ve found plenty to criticize, e.g. Xander is every terrible thought/impulse I had in my worst Nice Guy(tm) years but never really gets called on it by the show or characters, but I enjoy it enough to want to rewatch it with Anna.

That brings us to now where we’re watching it. I thought it’d be fun to notice the library science moments in the show and scribble about ’em! I’m not doing detailed recaps or analyses, rather I’ll be directing you to Jenny Trout’s blog posts for that — but I may occasionally note something I find particularly…noteworthy.

So, hop aboard! Catch something I missed? Have a comment, question, criticism? Hit me up here or on twitter: @Oponions

Also, special shout out to The Toast and Daniel Mallory Ortberg for this post on Giles’ curriculum.

S01, E01 – Welcome to the Hellmouth

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

Executive producers: Sandy Gallin Gail Berman
Before we finish the opening credits we get our first library shout out! I mean I assume you all read the names diagonally like I do…


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Willow lets the audience know early on that the library is going to be an important base for the Scoobies. Her comment ‘where the books live’ is disappointing, apparently we’ve been fighting to be recognized as more than just a book repository for an awfully long time.

Cordy gets on in on the action as well, though this does raise questions about Sunnydale High’s library textbook policies. Are they on two-hour reserve? Can they leave the library room? Does Giles get frustrated every semester because teachers forget to let him know what textbooks they’ll be using and then suddenly get swamped with all their requests?

Pushed by both Cordelia and the plot, Buffy makes her way to the library where it gets a great reveal shot

The library at Sunnydale High
Take a good look! we’ll be spending an awful lot of time here


Noah Wyle, eat your heart out


Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 6.24.57 PM 1
hey check it out–Xander went to the library and actually got Theories in Trigonometry, just like Will suggested! [Presumably from QA531, or 516.24]

Buffy and Giles have a bunch of expository speeches on both the premise of the show and her backstory, but that’s about it for hot hot library content in the first episode.

Elements in the Population

The tweet inspiration for this post comes from @marccold :

The phrase ‘Elements in the population’ appears throughout LC. Geographic regions tend to be discussed according to their history, broken down by period, then local history and description which will usually include enthography and there you’ll bump into today’s topic: Elements in the population.

What does that mean? Well it’s a tidy way of saying, “the people who aren’t the reggos.”

There are the Hungariansand then there’s the DB919.2.A-Z if you know what I mean

I’m sure that the intent behind these ‘elements’ demarcations is the usual “if the resource doesn’t take pains to indicate the people its excluding, then treat it as though it’s talking about everybody.” This is the standard line which enforces white supremacy (and the male-as-default, heteronomativity, etc.) Even if your book ‘happens’ to be only about white americans, as long as it doesn’t say in text that it’s excluding all POC from it’s scope, class it as though it’s just about ‘Americans in general’.

This is another method of othering populations. For examples, let’s turn to the one I use most often:


Israel is roughly 75% Jewish, 25% non-Jewish (mostly Arab) *

Here’s some of the breakdown of the ‘Elements in the population’
Arabs. Palestinian Arabs—Arabs in Israel
DS113.7        General works
DS113.72      Druzes
DS113.74      Lebanese
DS113.75      Bedouins

Then we get to the rest which is an odd mix of Nationality Jews and unmarked Nationalities. What I mean by that can be seen from some of the listing:

DS113.8.A35     Algerian Jews

DS113.8.A4       Americans

DS113.8.A74     Armenians

DS113.8.B44     Belarusian Jews

DS113.8.B7       British

DS113.8.B84     Bulgarians

DS113.8.C35     Canadian Jews

What if you’re a British Jew? What about the Belarusians in Israel who aren’t Jewish? NO CLUE.

Just kidding. I checked LCs catalog, and all of the books from DS113.8.B7 are about British Jews in Israel ex.

So I have no idea why it’s ‘British’ and not ‘British Jews’…

If you check the whole listing, you may notice that there is no way to specify ‘Jews in Israel’. I remind you that Jews are given heading status with the DS101-151 section itself, equating Israel with the Jews. For this reason, there is no way to talk about Jews as a class of people in Israel. According to LC, if a resource is about the Israeli population, it is already about the Jews unless otherwise specified.

So the next time you come across an LC section subdividing the population into ‘elements’, ask yourself who isn’t there. Ask yourself who is considered the ‘regular’ population.

* While there are most definitely Jews who live in, or are descended from those who lived in, Arab nations, the idea of a ‘Jewish Arab’ is contentious and many Jews who could be called ‘Arab Jews’ such as Yemenite or Iraqi Jews, usually do not as it seems (to them) to diminish the notion of Jewish-as-ethnicity. Some do identify as Arabian Jews, such as Ella Shohat and Ammiel Alcalay and I completely respect anyone’s decision to identify as a Jewish Arab or not. I only added this footnote to clarify for those readers who may wonder at the distinction in the CIA factbook percentages. Israel’s census treats these as two mutually distinct classes.

Signalized intersections (May Subd Geog)

I saw a tweet by Mikki Kendall which sparked a seed of a beginning of a maybe ginormous project.

As you may remember from my first post — I began this blog as a response to feeling frustrated cataloging a book. The author was writing from his perspective of several intersecting identities, yet LC did not allow, neither in subject headings nor in classification, for me to account for them.

So having been reminded that I’d meant to explore the limits of those intersections — here goes something:

Social usages. Etiquette—General works—American—Special topics

BJ1857.A-Z      Other special topics, A-Z
BJ1857.A37      African Americans
BJ1857.B7        Boys
BJ1857.C5       Children
BJ1857.E8        Escort service
BJ1857.F3        Family
BJ1857.G5       Girls

BJ1857.N8       Nurses
BJ1857.S5       Sick, The
BJ1857.S75     Students
BJ1857.Y58     Young adults
BJ1857.Y6       Young women

Here you have several given sets of people for whom one could conceivably write an “American etiquette guide.” Let me save you the trouble, the only book in LC’s catalog (in three incarnations) for Escort service is Gentlemen for rent, by Ted Peckham, here’s a link to a New Yorker review of it.

Let’s say you’re holding a resource that’s an etiquette guide for African American girls, where would you class it?

Why Netanel, I can hear you (LC) say, surely no such resource could exist, otherwise we would’ve made a provision for it!

Link to just such materials

If a resource is targeted at young women, but they are also students, what then?

Example resource

More to come…

N.B. That subject heading in the title is a little joke — there is no heading for intersectionality, despite the preponderance of works which are about it. Perhaps that should be my next LCSH suggestion

Primer on Intersectionality

More from Mikki Kendall

Shipping Corporate Bodies

Before you get excited…it’s not that kind of shipping.

Dean and Castiel sleeping
I wish it WERE that kind of shipping

Per a question from MARCinaColdClimate about those new LCSH from last post

“Why are imaginary corps (like the Enterprise) 150s & imaginary persons (like Biggles) 100s?”

There are really two things at work here, and we’ll tackle them one at a time.

  1. LC’s ideas about Corporate bodies
  2. LC’s ideas about fictional or imaginary characters/objects

Today, we’re doing Corporate bodies, call the board of directors and alert the CEO.

I think I have a pretty good sense of what a ‘Corporate body’ is, a group of people treated as singular entity for the sake of creation/ownership/production. Why, I interact with corporate bodies every day! I’m typing this on my Apple computer, listening to Dream Theater and drinking Tropicana orange juice. Well surprise! LC has a very different idea of what a corporate body is than I did.

LC’s Corporate body definition (under RDA) begins much the same as mine did

Corporate body, as used in this chapter, refers to an organization or group of persons and/or organizations that is identified by a particular name and that acts, or may act, as a unit.

But then you get this part:

Consider ad hoc events (such as athletic contests, exhibitions, expeditions, fairs, and festivals) and vessels (e.g., ships and spacecraft) to be corporate bodies.

What?! See in ye olden LC times, there was a little off hand concept called “the Division of the World.” Essentially, the world was divided into names and subjects, headings for the two were constructed differently and they were placed into two different authority files. Decisions were made as to what is treated as a subject (and if so what kind: topical/geographical/temporal/form) and what is treated as a name (and if so what kind: personal/corporate/meeting/title)

These groupings still exist, so let’s have a look at some of the other ‘Corporate bodies’ from Subject Heading Memo 405

  • Airplanes, Named
  • Armories
  • Concentration Camps
  • Fish Hatcheries
  • Helplines
  • Morgues
  • Projects, Plans, etc.
  • Ships

So there’s your “why is a ship a 110 rather than a 150” They are because they’ve always been that way. A terrible answer, I know! But at least you’ve got some decent sources that show that LC does indeed treat ships as corporate bodies, check the authority files for Apollo 11Santa María and the Challenger and you’ll find them in a 110.

Now, as to why imaginary ships are a 150, but imaginary people are a 100? Stay tuned for that…


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


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”