Let the catalog do the work when it can. For example, a search for “sphinx” returns a manageable number of results. The subject heading vocabulary is meaningful and generally known. A search for “millard fillmore” will do the same.
Use Lists to help you tailor catalog results for your imagined user. There are patterns you see while talking to your readers – what are the things people often have trouble finding on their own? These are great topics for a List. Here are some examples for the types of topics that make great lists:
- When a search returns an overwhelming number of results. For example, a search for “Ancient Egypt” or “Abraham Lincoln” returns so many results that a list could be very helpful. Lists like:
- When a subject heading is not familiar to many users. For example, if you are looking for picture books that support non-stereotypical gender roles, the subject heading “sex roles” is not language most people use. Patrons have difficulty finding these books using the catalog on their own.
- When a topic doesn’t have a subject heading to pull like things together easily.
- When we all contribute based on our experience.
- When a topic is something that requires your experience or expertise or is just something you are passionate about.