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ENGL 510 Quintana Wulf

Library familiarization and review

In additional to providing other helpful services, libraries collect, organize, and provide access to information. 

Libraries in the U.S. use Library of Congress Subject Headings to describe, classify, and organize information in a logical arrangement.

LOC Subject Headings comprise a "controlled vocabulary." This means when you search using words that are included in this vocabulary, the search system will pull up information that officially matches the description. 

LOC classification helps library catalogers assign a zip code and home address, the call number to facilitate locating the material.

The pre-written subject headings below can be searched by simply adding an ethnic group. Relevant ethnic groups to insert may include ethnic groups such as Latino (Latinx?), Native American, African American, and Asian and Pacific American.

(add ethnic group here) American--literary collections
(add ethnic group here) American women--literary collections
(add ethnic group here)  American lesbians--literary collections
(add ethnic group here) American--fiction
(add ethnic group here) American--poetry
(add ethnic group here)  American--drama
American literature--(add ethnic group here) American authors
American poetry--(add ethnic group here)  American authors
American drama--(add ethnic group here)  American authors
short stories, American--(add ethnic group here) American authors
American (add genre here)--Jewish authors

Ethnic American literatures have broad subject headings and sub-headings. Broad ones that might also be useful to you include: 

ethnic groups in literature
ethnic relations in literature
ethnicity in literature
immigration in literature
marginality, social, in literature
minorities in literature
minority women in literature
multiculturalism in literature
pluralism (social sciences) in literature

Example Subject Heading links in Emergent U.s. Literatures : From Multiculturalism to Cosmopolitanism in the Late-Twentieth-Century. NYU Press, 2014. 

Now let's practice: 

(add ethnic group here) American--literary collections

  • Asian American--literary collections


1. Try this example search in the WorldCat Discovery box below.


2. See Asian American literature by Bella Adams

See "Description" - Table of Contents & Subject links. Editions.


3. On the left side of your screen, explore FORMAT: Limit results to PRINT BOOKS under format. Open the record for A new literary history of America by Greil Marcus, Werner Sollors

Question: Why did the catalog pull up this book?


4. Identify this book's availability: Location, status, Call Number. Use the Call Number Map tool in WorldCat Discovery to find this book in our library. It is located at the top-right side of the 

search page. 


5. See a book (or article) not owned by SU? Request through InterLibrary Loan. 

Example: Negotiating identities : an introduction to Asian American women's writing
by Helena Grice