You may have wondered when reading last week's post on synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics exactly who the author—Violet Fox—is. If you have followed our nascent tweeting, you know that Violet is our summer intern. If you are at IFLA and have read the DDC newsletter, you also know that Violet is working on a project to get additional Library of Congress Subject Heading mappings into WebDewey.
Hmm, summer intern? you may ask; tell me more. Over recent years, OCLC has supported both a Diversity Fellowship Program and a Diversity and Inclusion Internship Program. We have been fortunate enough, both this summer and last, to snag one of the intern positions. Last summer it was Alex Kyrios, who had just received his MSLS degree from the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina. This summer it is Violet Fox, who is in the midst of her MLIS program in the Information School at the University of Washington.
What does a summer intern for Dewey do? Last year, Alex helped us in our preparations for the publication of Abridged 15. This year, Violet is leveraging her past work experience with MARC records, especially name authority records, to analyze and verify potential mappings of Library of Congress Subject Headings to Dewey. As many of you know, the predecessor of WebDewey 2.0 included a set of LCSH/DDC mappings from People, Places & Things, designated as PPT mappings. Many of these derived from statistical associations between LCSH and Dewey in WorldCat. However, since the 2001 publication of People, Places & Things, a variety of changes have taken place in the DDC. A small percentage of PPT mappings were upgraded during the life of DDC 22, and those that matched regular LCSH mappings in place were eliminated from separate treatment as PPT mappings in conjunction with the development of DDC 23. We decided not to display the rest of the PPT mappings in DDC 23 records in WebDewey until we could evaluate the mappings and the ongoing usefulness of the terms—Violet and the rest of the Dewey editorial team have begun the process of reviewing and upgrading them for re-inclusion there. At the same time, classifiers within the Dewey Section at the Library of Congress have, across the years, maintained a card file of persons—Juli and I came up last year with an estimate that ca. 200,000 personal names are included there—indicating appropriate DDC numbers for their comprehensive works, as well as appropriate numbers for works by or about the person in relevant disciplines. Working in the Dewey Editorial Office within the Library of Congress, Violet’s work addresses both the continued absence of most of the PPT mappings from WebDewey and the inaccessibility of the card file to classifiers outside the Library of Congress. That work initially focused on literary authors, then on fictional characters, then on other personal names. (We acknowledge the assistance our OCLC Research colleague Diane Vizine-Goetz has provided in identifying highly posted literary authors and fictitious characters; Diane also assembled the data for the original PPT mappings.) Before her internship concludes, we expect Violet will address cooking and perhaps other areas. As various tweets have indicated, after Violet’s work is reviewed, the mappings are being distributed to WebDewey. Halfway through her internship, over 1500 upgraded mappings have been distributed to WebDewey; it would be more, but as reviewers we can’t keep up with Violet! So we slowed her down a little by giving her the opportunity to contribute to the Dewey blog . . .