On-Demand Webinar: Retroactive Addition of Homosaurus: An Evaluation

In recent years, libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions have begun work towards improving diverse subject access to their collections. To this end, the inclusion of the Homosaurus (https://homosaurus.org/) vocabulary in the supported subject and genre sources for MARC records in OCLC has presented new opportunities for improving access and discovery to LGBTQ+ materials in particular.

Beginning in Fall 2021, Emory Libraries began collaboration with Backstage Library Works to test an automated process to make use of this change by converting Library of Congress Subject headings to Homosaurus terms. The project aimed to evaluate the results of the Backstage conversion process, to discuss how useful retroactive addition of Homosaurus terms will be for Emory users by enhancing the discoverability of LGBTQ resources, and to offer recommendations for a sustainable, ongoing process of adding Homosaurus terms to bibliographic records. Assessment of the conversion was conducted by a diverse team of volunteer librarians and PhD students whose experience contributed perspectives from technical services, user services, subject matter practitioners, and collection development.

This webinar will introduce details of the conversion evaluation process, describe the testing and assessment methods for the conversion results, and outline the proposed recommendations for the process implementation and other possible strategies of retroactive addition of Homosaurus terms to bibliographic records. Though this project is limited to Homosaurus, the same strategies could be applied to implementing other alternative subject vocabularies.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Design a workflow to assess quality of retrospective automated conversion of Library of Congress subject terms to other vocabulary.
  • Develop strategies for retroactive subject enhancement of bibliographic records in specific subject areas or for specific populations.
  • Develop and lead a multidisciplinary team in evaluating the results of a conversion and metadata suitability, in general

Who Should Attend: Catalogers, metadata professionals, technical services managers


Brinna Michael is the Cataloging and Metadata Librarian at Pitts Theology Library, specializing in non-MARC metadata for digital assets. Since starting at Pitts in 2019, Michael has been researching methods of countering bias and racism within digital collections metadata and working to apply these methods to Pitts’ collections and catalog. Michael has an MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in Classical Civilizations from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Sofia Slutskaya is the Head of Resource Description at Emory University Woodruff Library. Over the years, Sofia has held a variety of positions in both public and technical services. Her research interests include staff training, cataloging print and electronic materials, e-resource management, and e-book acquisitions.

Tech Requirements

Core Webinars are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. You may interact with the presenter and ask questions through text-based chat. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform. The webcast will be recorded and the link to the recording shared with registrants shortly after the live event.


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If you have a question or need to make arrangements for special assistance or additional accessibility, please contact Mia Blixt-Shehan (mblixtshehan@ala.org).