I was interested to read the following in Susan Gibbons' The academic library and the Net Gen student.

As gaming becomes a more mainstream pastime and an important element in popular culture, academic libraries should begin to develop collections of books and journals about gaming. To find some recent monographs, search OCLC's Worldcat using subject headings such as "Internet games-social aspects" and "Computer games-psychological aspects." [p. 38]

Click for some results:

Internet games -- social aspects

Computer games -- psychological aspects

Some things that occur ....

First, we do not see subject headings or class numbers often used in that way in text, despite their pervasiveness in our library catalogs. Second, it will become increasingly clear that they apply only to a part of the library collection as we more and more pull together access across the whole collection. And third, how much more should we do with them? Wouldn't it be nice to have a selection of tags, or authors, or publishers, which are related to these headings in various ways? We are not making them work very hard ....

Comments: 1

Sep 04, 2007
Peter Murray

It strikes me that LC subject headings are not good access points across various forms of media, and that they present a considerable usability problem. The two subject headings are 32 characters and 39 characters long. With many ILS interfaces today, one typo and the user is -- at best -- thrown into a browse screen (with their selected heading hopefully nearby). At worst the user gets a "no hits found" error. Either way, I wonder what could be done to improve the usability of subject headings. Does LCSH have a standard identifier scheme that could be used instead?