Using and Understanding Library of Congress Subject Headings eCourse

Using and Understanding Library of Congress Subject Headings eCourse

You must complete your registration in advance of the eCourse by following the instructions contained in the PDF download that accompanies your purchase. The download can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase and may also be accessed from your account. Select "My Account" and then select the "Files" tab to see all of your digital downloads.

ALA Member: 
$ 225.00
Item Number:
From:  July 1, 2019
To:  August 11, 2019
Delivery Method: 
Attendance Cert.
6 weeks
Estimated Hours of Learning: 
36 Hours
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions
  • Description
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Registration
  • eCourse Outline
  • About the Instructor
  • Contact Us

In this 6-week eCourse, Bobby Bothmann introduces you to the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) vocabulary and explains the various types of topical and free-floating subject terms. You will learn how to analyze the contents of a resource and convert that analysis into the LCSH controlled vocabulary.

Throughout the course, you will use the print and free online LCSH vocabulary, consult the Subject Headings Manual, and encode subject analysis in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. This eCourse addresses the various types of free-floating subdivisions; the treating of names of persons, families, and corporate bodies as subjects; the use of the rules of three and four; and looks at special problems in subject analysis.

Synchronous and asynchronous small group discussions will take place. Each weekly module includes a set of exercises, building each week on what was learned in prior weeks. The dates for the two live events are Thursdays, July 11 and 25, 2019 at 11:00am Central/12:00pm Eastern.

After participating in this eCourse, you will be able to:

  • Analyze resources for content analysis
  • Apply LCSH vocabulary in MARC 21
  • Construct simple and complex subject heading strings
  • Select and apply free-floating subdivisions

Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed by selecting "My Account" at the top of your screen and then selecting the "Files" tab. Confirmation with login instructions, reminders, and alerts will go to the email address used in the registration.

How this eCourse Works
The eCourse begins on July 1, 2019. Your participation will require approximately four to five hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are two live sessions that will be recorded for those that cannot attend live. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to

  • Read, listen to or view online content
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete weekly assignments or activities

Instructor Bobby Bothmann will monitor discussion boards regularly during the 6-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on the first day of class or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.

User Requirements

Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.

Bulk Orders

This eCourse is licensed for a single user. For pricing on bulk purchases in excess of $1,000, please contact us for more information.

Week 1

  • Principles of Subject Analysis
  • Specificity and Directness
  • Aboutness vs. Isness
  • Analysis vs. Indexing
  • MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data coding
  • LCSH Tools
  • Subject Headings Manual (SHM)

Week 2

  • Order of subject headings
  • Broader and Narrower terms
  • Scope notes
  • Topical free-floating subdivisions

Week 3

  • Geographic names as subjects
  • Geographic names as free-floating subdivisions
  • Jurisdictions as subjects

Week 4

  • Pattern headings
  • Chronological free-floating subdivisions
  • Form free-floating subdivisions
  • Subject analysis for history and literature

Week 5

  • Agents as subjects
  • Fictitious, legendary, & non-human characters
  • Class of persons headings
  • Biography

Week 6

  • Special problems in subject analysis
  • Co-extensive subjects
  • Rule of three
  • Rule of four
  • Relationship to classification

Bobby Bothmann

Bobby Bothmann is metadata & emerging technologies librarian at Minnesota State University, Mankato where he holds the rank of professor in Library Services. Bothmann's primary duties include cataloging books and electronic resources, managing large files full of MARC records, and investigating mobile resources and other new technologies. Bothmann has been an active member of OLAC (OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers) since fall 2000 and has served in various leadership roles including treasurer and president. He is a standing member of the editorial board and former Cataloging News editor for Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. He holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee UWM and an MS in Geography and English Technical Communication from MSU Mankato. Bothmann is an adjunct instructor for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches cataloging and classification courses.

If you have any questions about this eCourse, please contact us at

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Accommodations are offered based on user needs. For transcription or other accessibility requests, please contact us at

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