Class Reflection – Post Coordinate / Thesauri

More time dedicated to Mary Dykstra seems like a little bit of overkill, but what the heck. It was good to spend time talking about what really constitutes a thesaurus and the difference between LCSH and standard thesauri. Although LCSH is not a standard thesaurus (or even a nonstandard thesaurus), it’s easy to see how it could be confused in some regards. It’s also worth noting that even though standard thesaurus notation has been applied to LCSH in a nonconforming manner, the coding has improved subject access, at the very least, for many librarians. Although we can spend endless time debating the advantages and disadvantages of natural language vs. controlled vocabulary, there is no doubt that, as experts in librarianship, we already have experience with a controlled vocabulary that has begun to include the LCSH. It’s true that LCSH and its thesaural notation may have little use to a layman. To us as librarians, however, even a tool as flawed as LCSH can be rich resource.

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