Antiracism in the catalog: An analysis of records

Elizabeth Hobart


As people seek to learn more about race, bookstores have begun selling out of books on antiracism. These titles are, of course, also available in libraries, but can be difficult to locate in the catalog. Patrons will be able to find them through known title searches, but the catalog should go beyond this.

The first user task in the “Library Reference Model” is to find, defined as “to bring together information about one or more resources of interest by searching on any relevant criteria.” Ideally, a patron should be able to search terms such as racism or antiracism in the library’s catalog and find a comprehensive list of titles on the topic or start with a known title and find other, related works. However, catalog records often fall short due to lack of appropriate keywords or subject headings. When a patron is ready to move beyond recommended reading lists and discover new books, will the library catalog aid in discovery?

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