Friday, May 5, 2023

What is A SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative Program)?

The Subject Authority Cooperative Program, or SACO, is a controlled vocabulary system created and maintained by the Library of Congress to enable libraries and other organizations to share a consistent set of subject headings and create accurate, consistent, and concise content bibliographic records. In addition, by establishing a standardized set of terms and definitions, SACO helps ensure that library users can easily search for and retrieve relevant catalog entries.

SACO was created by the Library of Congress in response to the need for a consistent, accurate, and well-maintained set of subject headings for cataloging records. The Library of Congress, Subject Cataloging Division, manages the program, which works closely with library professionals nationwide to develop vocabulary and definitions. The subject headings established by SACO are used by many libraries, including public, academic, and school libraries, as well as library consortia and other organizations involved in cataloging and record-keeping.

The SACO program works by creating a set of core terms and standard definitions that can be used to search catalogs and databases. Each term is assigned a unique code, or “subject heading,” to allow it to be accurately recalled by the user. The Library of Congress also maintains a database of approved terms and definitions, which allows SACO contributors to consult and compare their work to the existing terms and definitions in the database.

In addition to establishing a consistent set of subject headings, SACO also helps to promote collaboration among libraries and other organizations involved in cataloging and record-keeping. By working together towards a common goal, libraries can improve the accuracy and consistency of their catalogs and be easier to search and navigate for library users.

SACO is an invaluable resource for libraries of all sizes and types, offering a standard and well-maintained set of terms and definitions for cataloging and retrieving records. The program provides library users a more accurate and consistent way to search for and retrieve library records. The Library of Congress Subject Cataloging Division continues to work closely with library professionals from around the country to ensure the program continues to meet the needs of the library community.


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