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Cataloguing Graphic Novels and Graphic Non-Fiction, Part II

Given that it’s a beautiful, sunny Friday before a long weekend ( at least in Canada), this is going to be a bit of an “light” posting.

As promised, here is the second part of the Graphic Novels posting that deals with cataloguing Graphic Novels vs. Graphic Non-Fiction. The first part was posted on October 24, 2007 and deals specifically with the 655 genre fields. Today’s topic deals with the 650 subject heading fields.

Using 650s created quite a bit of discussion in our department. How do patrons search and look for graphic fiction and non-fiction? To what extent are subject headings important given our use of 655s?

In the end, it was decided that adults and YA tend to look for their graphic items by artist, type (ie. Manga) or genre. In general, they do not need numerous subject access points. As a result, when cataloguing graphic novels and non-fiction for A and YA, we use a limited about of subject headings or exclude subject headings. This will be left to the discretion of the cataloguer.

It was also decided that for all J Graphic novels, we would follow the general practice of cataloguing children’s materials: more is better. In addition, we wanted to adhere to our existing cataloguing rules for children’s materials, as they are accustomed to searching by subject. These items tend to have themes throughout and as a result, the use of subject headings is freely used.

Below is our cataloguing outline for use of the 650 in cataloguing these items.
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Graphic Novels (Fiction)
Classification number: 741.5

650 Subject Headings
Apply subject headings when appropriate. If the novel does not have one or two main themes (I.e. WWII), subject headings should be avoided.

When cataloguing Juvenile Graphic Novels, assign more subject headings as is the practice when cataloguing all J materials.

When using subject headings, they should be divided by $vComic books, stips, etc.

Example:
650 _ 0 $aSchool $vComic books, strips, etc.

DO NOT ADD $vFiction OR $vJuvenile fiction

Graphic Non-Fiction
Assign classification numbers as it relates to the content, the same as we do for regular non-fiction.

650 Subject Headings
Add subject headings when appropriate. Follow the rules for cataloguing regular non-fiction. However, the subject heading should be subdivided by $v Comic books, strips, etc.

Example:
650 _0 $aWorld War, 1939-1945 $vComic books, strips, etc.

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