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Overview of Subject Headings

  • Cataloging
  • Webinar
  • 2 CE Hours


Libraries use various systems to keep materials organized for our community members. Clear and consistent subject headings play a huge role in users easily finding what they need—both on the shelf and in your online catalog. Whether you’re managing records on the back end or assisting patrons on the front line, a better understanding of where and how subject headings are assigned can help you help your community. 

Attendees of this session will have the opportunity to… 

  • Learn key vocabulary for understanding subject analysis 
  • Review the most popular subject heading systems and their challenges 
  • Examine the differences between subjects, genres, and forms 
  • Explore examples of various types of subject categories in MARC – and why correct coding matters for successful searching 

Who Should Attend

Individuals responsible for editing and maintaining catalog data, staff members tasked with assisting patrons to find materials, and anyone with an interest in the topic.


Tim Keller Head of Discovery and Metadata Services

Tim Keller is the Head of Discovery and Metadata Services at Oberlin College and Conservatory, after spending two years as the Head of Cataloging and Metadata at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Tim earned his MLIS from Kent State University in 2009, and also holds a second MS in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (User Experience Design). In addition to cataloging and making information discoverable, Tim serves as the Subject Headings Working Group Leader under the Cataloging Ethics Steering Committee.