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What types of materials are cataloged by the CYAC Program?
Any children's or young adult work of fiction published in the United States, regardless of language that is received via the CIP Program or the Copyright Office is eligible for CYAC Program cataloging. The Program has full cataloging responsibility for juvenile belles lettres (works of fiction) received from these sources. Nonfiction and foreign language material for children considered out of scope for the CYAC program is cataloged by other Library of Congress Sections within the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate.
What exactly do you mean by ‘belles lettres’?
According to the preferred dictionary, Merriam-Webster, ‘belles lettres’ is defined as “literature that is an end in itself and not merely informative; specifically: light, entertaining, and often sophisticated literature.”
It is a French term literally translated to "fine letters" or "beautiful writing." It is literature that is meant to entertain.
LC records don’t match the verso of the title page in my book. Isn’t there a verification process?
The CYAC Program creates cataloging data based on electronic galleys from the publisher before publication of the book. The data is later verified against a published copy of the book and adjusted as necessary. This process is called CIP Verification.
How do you catalog children’s and young adult’s books based on electronic galleys before publication if you have no illustrations?
Many resources are available that can help in cataloging even when the illustrations that make children’s material what it is are not available. Sometimes the publisher is contacted directly for clarification. The World Wide Web is also mined for information on authors’ personal or corporate websites and even their previous works are consulted when available.
If the CIP data lists the call number as 2010, but then the book gets published and has a copyright date in 2011-- will LC go back and change the date in the call number?
Yes. During the process of CIP verification, in which we match the published book against the CIP data in our Voyager database, we update all the dates in the bibliographic record to match the actual date of the publication. We update the date in the 008/07-10, in the 260 $c, and in the call number.
The summaries on the title page verso I’ve read have helped me a lot. How do you get them just right?
We try to keep it simple. We follow easy guidelines. For example, no contractions are ever used. The rest of the guidelines can be found on our Summaries page.
I love your summaries. How can I use them to promote books in my library?
Summaries can be used to create book trailers, as part of a book talk, or in book club discussions. If you or some one you know have found other uses for the summaries, please share them with us!
What do I do with a retold folktale?
Retellings of traditional folktales, both a single tale published by itself and collections of tales, are classed in the LC Classification Schedule PZ folklore number and given folklore headings. An exception to this is Native American tales (this includes all of the Americas and Inuit) which are classed in LC Classification Schedule E.
What do you mean this item is nonfiction? It has talking dinosaurs that are wearing lab coats.
Information is often presented in nontraditional ways for young readers. Just because there are talking dinosaurs wearing lab coats doesn't automatically mean a book is fiction. If there is no real plot or storyline and the book's primary purpose is to impart information about a subject (perhaps simple lab experiments), it probably should be treated as nonfiction. Ask yourself: Does it tell a story or does it deliver information?
What happens with books whose text consists of a poem?
If a story for young people is in verse the heading Stories in rhyme is added as the first subject heading and it is classed in PZ8.3. True poetry is not classed in PZ. Novels in verse for older readers are classed in PZ7.5. These are often in free verse.
Graphic novels in my library are in constant circulation. How do I help my young readers, all of varying ages and maturity levels, get their hands on age-appropriate graphic novels?
Looking at the LC classification number is a good start. More "mature" teen graphic novels (upper high school level) are classed with adult graphic novels in PN6700-6790. Many such works are rated as "Ages 16+." The call number PZ7.7 is used on graphic novels intended for readers up through age 15.
Some records have Children’s Subject Headings but no summary. Is this correct?
Yes, because of resource considerations a summary is not always added. Even for some publications from the CIP Program, the summary is omitted. For example, if a record has a contents note, or if a summary is provided by the publisher, no LC-provided summary is required. As of 2005, summaries are not provided for nonfiction children’s material.
Are there written instructions covering the treatment of juvenile materials?
Instructions and guidelines for recognizing, cataloging, and classifying materials whose primary audience is juvenile can be found in Subject Headings Manual (SHM) instruction sheet H 1690 and in Classification and Shelflisting Manual (CSM) instruction sheet F 615. These instruction sheets are available through Cataloger’s Desktop.
My young patrons are always looking for books about athletes and they often want to read about specific sports players such as gymnasts and baseball players. I always have trouble helping them find them. What should I do?
As a rule, when the story is about a young athlete we use the heading for the sport. Also, we don't use specific headings such as vaulting or shortstop. We simply use GYMNASTICS or BASEBALL.
I’m looking for books about a specific character. What headings does the program use for characters?
Generally, we do not add Children’s Subject Headings for fictitious characters, whether it's Harry Potter, Junie B. Jones, or Aquaman.
How do you determine which of the thousands of subject headings to use?
We ask ourselves: If you could have one book on the subject would this be your book? We are careful not to index the item but to identify the main topics of the work and provide subject access for those. Then we ask ourselves: If a child wanted a book about the subject, would he/she be happy with this book?
How do you choose subject headings when there is overlap among the topics?
We have to focus on main topics. For example, mystery and detective stories often involve a theft, so theft is often inherent in the heading Mystery and detective stories. Or when a young adult novel focuses exclusively on flirting, we would add the heading Flirting--Fiction, but if the characters are experiencing dating for the first time, the heading that we normally use instead of Flirting--Fiction is Dating (Social customs)--Fiction.
How are Children’s Subject Headings used differently than LCSH on Toy & Movable material?
LC does not generally use both a specific heading and a general heading such as Lift-the-flap books with Toy and movable books, as is done in CYAC cataloging. Also, CYAC does not use the subdivision --Specimens.
There are so many books with imaginary characters, but both the Imaginary playmates and the Fantasy subject headings are hardly ever seen on records. Why is this?
Welcome to the world of children's literature. Real woolly mammoths, as well as dragons, elephants, and dinosaurs appear all the time in children's books. Most of these characters can't exist but in children's literature real (even extinct) animals appear regularly and we don't add the heading Imaginary playmates to those books. CYAC decided years ago NOT to put Fantasy on most types of books, even though they may be clearly fantastic. CYAC based this decision on the fact that every other book we catalog would need the Fantasy and Imaginary playmates headings, as our literature regularly features visiting dinosaurs, magical tree houses, and anteaters wearing suspenders.
Generally, we restrict the use of the heading Fantasy to novels set in fantastic worlds, or alternate worlds. The heading IS used on high fantasy.
Why do I sometimes see the same subject heading in a record, once with – Juvenile fiction and once with –Fiction?
Instructions and guidelines for recognizing, cataloging, and classifying works of fiction can be found in Subject Headings Manual H 1790 (Literature: Fiction). This instruction sheet is available through Cataloger’s Desktop in the Subject Headings Manual. Here, you will see that individual works of biographical or historical fiction and realistic animal stories are assigned LC headings as well as CYAC headings. In addition, collections are assigned LC headings for the form or genre of the collection (such as Fairy tales or Children’s stories, American); and, if the collection is on an identifiable topic, whether by one author or more than one, an LC heading is needed to bring out that topic (such as Horses—Juvenile fiction or Sea stories).
All of the CYAC headings you expect should appear in MARC field 650 #1, but for these categories of material there will also be 650 #0 fields (LCSH headings), some of which will duplicate or nearly duplicate the CYAC heading. The rules require both headings and having both makes retrieval easier in some catalogs.
650 #0 $a Amusement parks $v Juvenile fiction
650 #1 $a Amusement parks $v Fiction
What do the values in the target audience field (008/22) represent?
The CYAC Program assigns expanded values in the 008/22 field to better represent the target audience of the item. These values are part of the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. However, when the target audience is definitely juvenile but a narrower age range is unclear, J is still an appropriate value for children's materials.
The available codes are:
blank unknown or unspecified
a Preschool. intended for preschool children, approximate ages 0-5 years
[CYAC elaboration: preschool (up to, but not including kindergarten)]
b Primary, intended for children, approximate ages 6-8 years
[CYAC elaboration: primary (kindergarten through third grade)]
c Pre-adolescent, intended for young people, approximate ages 9-13 years
[CYAC elaboration: elementary and junior high (grades 4 through 8)]
d Adolescent, intended for young people, approximate ages 14-17 years
[CYAC elaboration : secondary (senior high or grades 9 through 12)]
j Juvenile, intended for use by children and young people, approximate ages 0-15. Used when one does not want to more specifically code for the juvenile target audience
How do you determine which audience codes to use in field 521?
We do not add the audience code unless the age (or grade) is stated in the book title page verso or text pages.
What do the audience codes in 521 signify?
The first indicator of the audience target note (MARC field 521) identifies the type of information provided in the note.
0 reading grade level
1 interest age level
2 interest grade level
3 special audience characteristics
4 motivation interest level
8 no display constant generated
See MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data for more detail.
This item is not a regular book. It has unusual pages, a tray, additional pieces, etc. How is the physical description field transcribed?
Begin with the general rule for physical description (AACR2r 1.5, 2.5). A note describing the contents can usually be taken from the box, package, case, etc. (See: Accompanying Materials, Toy and Movable Books). The language is kept as simple and straightforward as possible.
What is a GAC?
When a record has LC subject headings (second indicator 0) that contain geographical headings or geographical subdivisions, a GAC (Geographic Area Code) is added for the country in MARC field 043 of the record.