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Looking Deeper into Using FAST: Report on three projects using the FAST Authority File. Reported by Shannon L. Hoffman, Subject Authorities Librarian,

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Presentation on theme: "Looking Deeper into Using FAST: Report on three projects using the FAST Authority File. Reported by Shannon L. Hoffman, Subject Authorities Librarian,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Looking Deeper into Using FAST: Report on three projects using the FAST Authority File. Reported by Shannon L. Hoffman, Subject Authorities Librarian, Brigham Young University

2 Project 1: University of North Dakota (UND) digital project. by Shelby E. Harken, Head, Acquisitions/Bibliographic Control University of North Dakota

3 Project 1 (cont.) The University of North Dakota (UND) began its first digitization project in the fall of 2005 assigning metadata headings to a set of over 330 political cartoons using CONTENTdm. That was completed and now UND is working on University historical photos. Shelby Harken is a member of the Subcommittee to study FAST and participates in CORC. Since UND had no additional funding for staff, it was necessary to assign headings that meet standards but are easy and quick to assign. The decision was made to use FAST for subject headings.

4 Project 1 (cont.) At times FAST headings could not by found, so they tried to follow the principles behind FAST when using LCSH. At first it was slow because a list of headings had to be created in CONTENTdm. As we have become experienced, it has been going pretty well. Shelby creates NACO/SACO headings when necessary. The person who is doing the work is a library associate with a good deal of training and background doing complex and original cataloging in a number of formats, but no prior experience with a digitization project or FAST. Although some FAST headings dont seem as thorough as LCSH, generally UND finds them easy to search and easy to assign.

5 Project 2: FAST headings for Agriculture Material, by Jimmie Lundgren, Science and Social Science Cataloging Unit Head, George A. Smathers Libraries University of Florida.

6 Project 2: (cont.) This digital project involves reports in mimeographed series from a dozen agricultural experiment stations around Florida that are associated with the University of Florida. These reports had been in the library as bound volumes with a collective record for each bound volume. When digitized each report would require an individual record. The collective records would be use as the basic record to minimize data entry for the individual records. Students would be asked to add FAST heading to the individual records. These records would later be edited by cataloging staff. Two students on loan from the searching and processing unit started this project but were shortly called away.

7 Project 2 (cont.) They had completed only 25 records. Of these 25 records: –17 or 68% were very good –2 or 8% were OK –6 or 24% had something important missing. Two of these were bibliographies and should have had FAST headings to reflect this. However, Jimmie had not expected this, and had failed to explain to the students about the form/genre facet. The other 4 had significant topical aspects that were neglected. Jimmie did not see instances of inappropriate terms being assigned.

8 Project 2 (cont.) Jimmie had given each of the 2 students only brief introductions with the intention of following up with more instruction later. The later didn't get to happen. He feels that with just a little more instruction the quality would have been much better, but was surprised at how many records he considered "very good". Bright kids! Both students told Jimmie, they found it easy and interesting to assign the FAST headings. In his training, he talked about topics and geographic terms, but did not anticipate a need for form/genre or time facets for these reports. Neither student had any previous experience at assigning or evaluating LCSH terms. Jimmie did not give them a pick list, but he thinks in a subsequent application for a particular project he might want to do that. The students reported that the FAST Authority File was a little difficult to use.

9 Project 3: Assigning Subject Heading using the FAST Authority File, by Shannon Hoffman, Subject Authorities Librarian, Brigham Young University.

10 Project 3 (cont.) My project was a workshop where 20 library worker received 1 hour of training on subject analysis, how to apply subject headings and searching the FAST Authority file. They were then asked to assign subject headings to 7 bibliographic records. (This project included: MLS Professional, staff and students in Cataloging, Public Services and administration, also it covered the very knowledgeable to the never having use LCSH except as a patron)

11 Project 3: Statements about subject headings. Dates before 1000 are hard to understand should have A.D. add. (Example: Eruption of Vesuvius (Italy), 79. Is this 1979 or 1879 or what.) Juvenile works is too broad for databases for juvenile material. Since (date) seem to be hard to under it was suggested that maybe (after (date)) would be better understood and is more up-to-date term. The professional librarians in the project really felt that if we were going to facet the headings that there should be no subdivisions. They really felt strongly that we should be moving from pre-coordination to post-coordination.

12 Project 3: Comments on Web Page and Searching: They found: Liked the jump button. Liked the result button that returns you to the results page. Liked being able to use the back button the browser. Searching is difficult and confusing. –Example: United States Refine and sort buttons needs to be explained.

13 Project 3 My finding: FAST searching needs to be improved so that it can be easily and speedily searched. Training persons other then catalogers to assign headings from the FAST file does not seem to be the real problem. The real problem is training them to do subject analysis and specificity.

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