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Genre/Form Access in Library Catalogs: A Survey on the Current State of LCGFT Usage

Colin Bitter, Yuji Tosaka


This study provides analysis of a large online survey that was distributed to the cataloging community in 2018. The survey aimed to answer a number of important research questions to gain a general sense of the current state of Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT) usage. Findings include an overall broad acceptance of LCGFT, suggesting that the LCGFT project has been successfully embraced as a new controlled vocabulary; however, the adoption of the vocabulary remains uneven, especially between different types of institutions and different areas of the LCGFT vocabulary. Additionally, training points to a much-needed area for improvement as the survey found that the vast majority of non-users of LCGFT had never received vocabulary training. Survey results also suggest that retrospective LCGFT application, particularly using automated means, presents forthcoming challenges for librarians and library IT staff. Despite these limitations and challenges, survey results make it clear that LCGFT has become a widely accepted part of the bibliographic universe that helps to make genre and form information explicitly accessible to library users.

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