Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

Fall 2017

Citation

Colbert, J. L. (2017). Coming out of the controlled closet: A comparison of patron keywords for queer topics to Library of Congress Subject Headings. Library Philosophy and Practice.

Comments

This article details the results from the author's Master's thesis, with added context and analysis. This research was conducted while the author was a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Abstract

Subject access to homosexuality and other LGBT topics has a complicated history. Because language used for concepts can change depending on who you ask, controlling this vocabulary is a difficult task. The aim of this research is to show a discrepancy between keyword searches and Library of Congress Subject Headings when searching for queer topics, as well as to encourage other librarians to perform research in this area when updating or adding new subject headings. The results of this study show that differences in language do exist but mainly for concepts with difficult or multiple meanings or when doing searches from different disciplines.

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