APO Director joins international committee for FAST terminology

APO Director, Amanda Lawrence recently joined the first international FAST Policy and Outreach Committee (FPOC) – one of the library domain’s most widely-used subject terminology schemas.


‘APO adopted the FAST classification system a few years ago, and it’s also used by the Informit database, Amanda Lawrence says. ‘We have been focusing on making APO more interoperable with other systems over the past few years. Working with an international vocabulary like FAST is part of the information infrastructure that supports that goal.’

OCLC support for FAST

FAST (or Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is is a collaborative effort between the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Research and the Library of Congress, dating all the way back to 1998.

OCLC is committed to the growth and support of FAST and are actively working to transition it from an experimental research environment to OCLC production servers. The first stage, which is underway, is transitioning FAST to a production database and they are currently analysing options for next steps, based on community needs and interest.

FPOC Committee

Based in the US, OCLC has partnered with representatives from the library community to create a new FAST Policy and Outreach Committee (FPOC).

‘This is the first time that there has been an international committee to discuss the future developments of FAST,’ says Lawrence.

FPOC will represent users of FAST for the purposes of:

  • establishing editorial policies regarding terms
  • overseeing community engagement, term contributions and procedures
  • recommending directions and goals for development/improvements
  • and much more (see http://oc.lc/FASTcommittee for additional details).

Members of the FPOC (and organisations they represent) have been selected from around the globe – from Australia, the UK, and the US. The committee members include:

  • Chew Chiat Naun, Harvard Library
  • Alan Danskin, British Library
  • Jody DeRidder, OCLC
  • Kate Harcourt, Columbia University Libraries
  • Judy Jeng, ALCTS CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee
  • Sandi Jones, OCLC
  • Jason Kovari, Cornell University Library
  • Amanda Lawrence, Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO)
  • Steve McDonald, Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC)
  • Jeanette Norris, Brown University Library
  • Nathan Putnam, OCLC
  • Diane Vizine-Goetz, OCLC

OCLC representatives who will participate in the launching of this committee include:

  • Diane Vizine-Goetz, Senior Research Scientist
  • Nathan Putnam, Director, Metadata Quality
  • Sandi Jones, Product Manager, Metadata Services
  • Jody DeRidder, Director, Metadata Frameworks

Upcoming FPOC Committee meetings

An initial meeting (facilitated by FPOC co-chairs Alan Danskin and Judy Jeng) has been scheduled for 25 September 2018. Then on 11-12 October 2018, several FPOC representatives will visit Beacher Wiggins, Director for Acquisitions & Bibliographic Access at Library of Congress, and the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) team at the Library of Congress, to learn about the challenges and methods for approving new terms to a controlled vocabulary. They will then use this knowledge to inform the development of a new process by which the community will be able to recommend new and alternative terms to those currently in FAST.

Want to support FAST?

Are you interested in keeping up to date with FAST-related activities or joining working groups to help shape the future of FAST? If yes, then please consider joining the FACETVOC-L (Faceted Controlled Vocabularies discussion) listserv. To subscribe, simply send an e-mail message to listserv@oclclists.org with the words subscribe FACETVOC-L in the body of your message. To post messages, simply send an e-mail message to FACETVOC-L@oclclists.org.