Use of local subject headings

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Local decisions may be made for the use of subject headings in situations where the resources cannot be easily found using available searches by Collection, Shelf Location, Material Type, etc., and no other appropriate heading exists. These headings must be approved before being used in Polaris

  • The SHARE Executive Council has authorized SHARE Bibliographic Services staff to approve local subject headings with review by the SHARE Bibliographic and Cataloging Standards Committee.
  • Libraries may submit a request for a local subject heading through the SHARE help desk.


MARC Coding

Local headings may be included in bibliographic records in two ways:

  • An existing LC subject heading being used in a non-standard way according to LC guidelines. Coded in MARC tag 65X with subfield 2 local.
  • A locally devised heading created when no LC, MESH, gsafd, or lcgft heading exists. Coded in MARC tag 690.


Guidelines for local subject headings

  • A local subject heading will not be approved if an appropriate LC, MESH, gsafd, or lcgft heading is available.
  • A local subject heading will not be approved that is intended solely to identify an individual library’s collection of a particular format (i.e., a library’s collection of DVDs).
  • A local subject heading may be approved for a special collection if an existing Collection code or Shelf Location does not suffice.


Procedures for the use of local subject headings

  • Add approved local subject headings as appropriate to records when they are brought in to Polaris. Do not add them to master records in OCLC.
  • Delete MARC tag 690 from other libraries out of OCLC records before exporting the record to Polaris.
  • A list of approved subject headings will be posted on the SHARE website and will be updated as headings are approved.

Currently approved local subject headings