The ALCTS/CaMMS/SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies (SSFV) facilitates the implementation and use of faceted vocabularies in library metadata. SSFV accomplishes its goals through development of best practices and training materials for catalogers/metadata creators, as well as strategies and mechanisms for retrospective application of faceted terms in legacy metadata. SSFV collaborates with other standards bodies such as the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, along with specialized communities of practice such as those focused on cataloging/metadata for music, audiovisual, law and cartographic resources. Where warranted, SSFV leads or participates in the development of new faceted vocabularies and/or the expansion/refinement of existing vocabularies. Lastly, SSFV is concerned with the optimization of faceted library metadata for user discovery of library resources, and seeks opportunities to lobby developers of discovery systems for improvements to search, display and indexing thereof.
“Faceted vocabularies” are defined as the constellation of vocabularies, term lists and other structured metadata that collectively and respectively describe distinct attributes of library resources. These attributes include, but are not limited to, genre/form, musical medium of performance, creator/contributor characteristics, geographic place (e.g., setting and place of origin of work), and chronology (e.g., setting and time period of creation of work). Each term in a faceted vocabulary describes a single concept, and multiple terms are assigned to bring out multiple concepts. Prominent faceted vocabularies currently in use, on which SSFV focuses its efforts, include Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT), Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus (LCMPT), and Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT). Faceted access to geographic and chronological aspects of resources is accomplished through specialized encoding of this metadata, and may or may not involve deployment of separate vocabularies per se. SSFV is concerned, at a minimum, with all of the above bibliographic facets.
The universe of faceted library metadata also includes composite vocabularies such as Faceted Application of Subject Terminology(FAST) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), which are whole systems built of constituent faceted vocabularies. SSFV monitors and seeks alignment with these systems, but does not currently collaborate actively with their developers.
Subcommittees & Task Forces
The Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies was established in 2018.