Posts Tagged ‘preferred terms’

Illegal Aliens : Part 2

Written by Joan on February 17, 2022. Posted in Blog

February 17, 2022

Change in our processing for the Illegal aliens subject heading

In November 2021, the Library of Congress replaced the heading Illegal aliens with two headings: Noncitizens and Illegal immigration.  The headings Women illegal aliensChildren of illegal aliens, and Illegal alien children were replaced in the same way.  While this was an action many in the library community had eagerly anticipated, this change has created discrepancies between the resulting split headings and the original heading subdivisions.

Fixing a fix

Illegal aliens (a “class of persons” subject heading) now gets split into Noncitizens (class of persons) and Illegal immigration (topical subject heading).  Any original subdivisions remain with the split headings. For Noncitizens, that’s fine!   Any subdivision appropriate for classes of persons is still valid when added to Noncitizens, as Noncitizens is a class of persons.

It’s possible, however, that Illegal immigration could be paired with subdivisions only valid for classes of persons. This is also possible when splitting Children of illegal aliens, Illegal alien children, and Women illegal aliens.

So these incoming headings:

Illegal aliens $x Employment $z United States.
Illegal alien children $x Medical care $z United States.
Women illegal aliens $x Abuse of $x Prevention.

Would have become these headings:

Noncitizens $x Employment $z United States.
Noncitizen children $x Medical care $z United States.
Women noncitizens $x Abuse of $x Prevention.
Illegal immigration $x Employment $z United States.
Illegal immigration $x Medical care $z United States.
Illegal immigration $x Abuse of $x Prevention.

The subdivisions Employment, Medical care, and Abuse of can be used under classes of persons, but not under topical headings like Illegal immigration.  To prevent incorrect heading construction, our processing will remove the entire heading and not just the invalid subdivision when Illegal immigration is paired with an invalid subdivision.  This will be our standard processing for replacing these specific split terms. 

So now a bib record with these incoming headings:

Illegal aliens $x Employment $z United States.
Illegal alien children $x Medical care $z United States.
Women illegal aliens $x Abuse of $x Prevention.

 Will only get only these split headings:

Noncitizens $x Employment $z United States.
Noncitizen children $x Medical care $z United States.
Women noncitizens $x Abuse of $x Prevention.

Lists… always lists

We have a list of the subdivisions that are only for people, and are therefore invalid with Illegal immigration.  Now our processing looks at the split term and determines if the subdivision is appropriate for use under topical headings.

If the incoming split term has subdivisions appropriate for use under topical headings, the heading Illegal immigration will be created with these subdivisions.

Not a destination, but a journey

The use of access points in library catalogs that are meaningful, inclusive and relevant to your specific community in this point in time is an ever-evolving process.  Current terminology to describe resources is increasingly important, as the vast amount of metadata continues to grow at a rapid pace.  This makes the use of authority control even more important than ever.  Is your library keeping pace?

If you have questions about problematic access points in your catalog, contact us at [email protected] or at 800-531-7678.  We are here to help!

Written by Candy Riley, MLIS, Manager of Metadata Services and Joan Chapa, MLS, Director of Marketing and Sales.

 

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