Cataloging Gender Diverse Authors: The MARC Field 386, Gender Identity and Privacy
The library catalog connects patrons to library resources. The modern online catalog, however, often goes beyond simple description of a book’s author, title, or subject. One recent addition to the catalog record, the MARC field 386, allows catalogers to record demographic characteristics of creators and contributors to the catalog record. Ideally, this would allow users to facet search results based on these characteristics, allowing them to easily identify works by creators in specific demographic groups. However, because best practices for use of the MARC field 386 do not yet exist, application of this field varies widely. This can especially be a problem for works by LGBTQIA+ creators. While this information is sometimes publicly disclosed by the author, it is not in all cases, and risks violating the authors’ privacy and safety. This article examines current applications of the MARC field 386 for works by gender diverse authors. It examines records in WorldCat with creator terms related to gender identity recorded in the 386 field, specifically looking at where catalogers found this information, if it matches the ways in which the authors self-identify, and if inclusion of this information respects authors’ privacy and autonomy. Finally, it will provide advice to catalogers toward developing best practices for use of this field to promote discovery without violating the privacy and autonomy of authors.
|Work Title||Cataloging Gender Diverse Authors: The MARC Field 386, Gender Identity and Privacy|
|License||CC BY-SA 4.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike)|
|Publication Date||November 28, 2022|
|Publisher Identifier (DOI)||
|Deposited||January 03, 2023|
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