Introduction to Sears Subject Headings I

An ALCTS Webcast.

Do you use bibliographic records with Sears Subject Headings either in technical services or references services and want to better understand the headings? Did you miss studying Sears in library school and want to broaden your subject understanding? Sears Subject Headings are widely used in bibliographic records in small public and school libraries, especially for children and youth.

View this one-hour webcast to understand how Sears organizes subject categories and hierarchical subject subdivisions. Get tips on using Sears in your own library. Even if you’ve never taken a cataloging class, this webinar will introduce you to the principles of the Sears, including natural language use and direct order of topics. The subject structure and four types of headings are covered: topical, form, geographic, and proper names. You’ll understand why Sears Subject Headings are used as a model “for the creation of headings as needed.”

This session is meant to be followed by the webcast session Introduction to Sears Subject Headings II.

Who Should Attend

These webcast will be of interest to anyone interested in learning more about subject cataloging with a focus on the Sears List as opposed to LCSH. No expertise is needed. School librarians, special librarians with general materials in their collections, public librarians, and anyone who just wants to know more about subject headings and cataloging will benefit from these two webcasts.


Sara Rofofsky Marcus is the Electronic Resources/Web Librarian at Queensborough Community College. In 2009 she received a Samuel Lazerow Fellowship for research on Sears subject headings and she is currently completing this research. In 2009/2010 she also received the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) grant to study the Sears List. She has taught cataloging and classification at Queens College and Rutgers University and has cataloged and automated libraries using both LCSH and Sears.


How to Register

No registration required. Access the webcast now.




For questions or comments related to the webcasts, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or