While The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is perhaps the best known bibliographic control system in existence, it is cumbersome and not always user friendly. Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (or FAST) is designed to rework LCSH's authority rules, so that they are easier to use, understand, and apply. The result is a schema designed to handle a large volume of materials with less effort and cost. To this end, two members of the original design team have put together numerous examples of FAST-driven projects including traditional monographs, special collections (archives, business records), electronic resources, and websites. The result is a prototype designed to be used not just by experienced catalogers but people with minimal training and experience.
Lois Mai Chan is professor of library and information science at the University of Kentucky.
Edward T. O'Neill is a consulting research scientist at OCLC.