Subject Headings and Exclusions

2 weeks 6 days ago #1462 by maureen
Hi all! We are fine tuning our subject headings to match what patrons ask for and offer subheadings of popular categories. We recently added Christian fiction.

When new patrons used to ask for Christian fiction, we could offer Religious fiction (all religions), Amish fiction, Romance- Christian, and Cozy Mysteries. It wasn't exact, and the options didn't appeal to everyone (even though the books overlap). Once we added a Christian fiction heading, however, it wasn't clear to me how to make it work, because I thought of it as under the 'umbrella' of Religious Fiction. I was stuck thinking, "how will the patrons get them, if we didn't leave some out to be selected..."

It wasn't until Katherina (KLAS) told me to think of it like concentric circles, rather than an umbrella, and it would work if the RAs simply added an exclusion for Religious Fiction, for those patrons wanting strictly Christian fiction. It would work!
  • I wonder how many other headings we have that would simply work better by combining them with exclusions, if this is old news I apologize, but if it helps someone, the better!
  • Anyone have any other ideas like this?
  • I also wonder if blending these headings and exclusions will be more important as time goes on...

Please Log in to join the conversation.

2 weeks 5 days ago #1467 by patrick20k
I think you might have your circles slightly backwards. If all the Christian fiction has both subject headings (Religious fiction and Christian fiction, since Christianity is also a religion), and you give patrons who want Christian fiction an exclusion for Religious fiction, they won't get anything!

  • If a patron only wants Christian fiction, give them a preference for Christian fiction, not for Religious fiction. They will only receive the books specifically marked as Christian fiction.
  • If a patron only wants other religions, give them a preference for Religious fiction, and an exclusion for Christian fiction. They will receive books marked as Religious fiction, but none that are also marked as Christian fiction.
  • If a patron wants religious fiction and is fine with Christian or other religions, just give them a preference for Religious fiction. If a Christian fiction book is missing the Religious fiction heading, they won't get it--but all the Christian fiction should have the more general heading as well. 
Remember, Nightly subject selection is very literal. It doesn't know or care that the Religious fiction and Christian fiction subjects are thematically related and have a lot of overlapping content.

So to put it more generally, if one of your circles is entirely within the larger category (such as Christian fiction being a subset of Religious fiction, or Historical Mysteries being a subset of Mystery & Detective), just give the patron the most specific subject that matches what they want. If they want everything except the specific subject, give them an exclusion for it. But if you give them a preference for the specific category and an exclusion for the bigger category, there won't be anything left.

On the other hand, if there is some overlap but one isn't completely within the other (such as Historical Romance and Romantic Suspense--some historicals are suspenseful, and some suspenses are historical, but plenty are only one or the other) then you can always give a patron a preference for one and an exclusion for the other, and know that there will still be titles left in the circle.

I hope that helps clear things up!

Please Log in to join the conversation.

2 weeks 5 days ago - 2 weeks 5 days ago #1468 by maureen
Yes, I did not explain it clearly in my message, I was trying to condense it and thought I expressed the main points correctly. Thank you for clarifying it for me.

Here is more of what Katherina said: "The big outside circle is Religious fiction. In it are lots of little circles and one of those little circles is Christian fiction. A patron in that little Chr fic circle will only get books from that little circle. A patron in the Rel fic circle will get books from any and all of the little circles."

And yes, Dina added Religious fiction to the CHRF heading as well.
Last edit: 2 weeks 5 days ago by maureen. Reason: replace text

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.103 seconds

KLAS Users - Keystone Systems, Inc. logo

Keystone Systems, Inc.
8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612