FAST for Cataloging and Discovery

Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) was designed as a lightweight derivative of Library of Congress Subject Headings that would be easy to learn and work well with faceted discovery systems. It has recently drawn renewed interest following OCLC’s announcement that it would add FAST headings globally to WorldCat. This e-forum looks at possible uses of FAST and how libraries may go about implementing it.

Topics may include the following:

  • Who is using FAST, or thinking of doing so? What kinds of collections is it being used to describe? Is the work being done by traditionally trained catalogers, or by others as well?
  • What training and implementation issues have arisen for FAST users? What do you need to get started? Does FAST live up to its promise of being comprehensive and easy to apply?
  • What does FAST mean for discovery systems? What efforts have been made to implement it in faceted interfaces? How would you evaluate its impact on catalog users?
  • How could FAST influence the way we do authority control? What would a linked data implementation of FAST look like?

Find a summary of the discussion in ALCTS News.


Jennifer D. Miller is the Assistant Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services and the Metadata Coordinator at Rice University. She received her MSLIS and a Certificate in Special Collections from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is active in ALCTS, currently serving as the Vice-Chair of the Metadata Interest Group.

Chew Chiat Naun has been Director of Cataloging & Metadata Services at Cornell University since May this year. He is a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and held cataloguing positions there and at the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota. He has been active in ALCTS and PCC.


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