Category Archives: Library

You Should Be Reading the Great Plains Quarterly!

Recently, while looking for something else (isn’t that always the way?), I discovered the Great Plains Quarterly.  This is an academic journal published by the University of Nebraska, and it focuses on the history and culture of the great plains states!  Imagine — a whole journal focused on “flyover country!”

There are straight historical articles (a couple by Jay Price, of WSU) and other articles that bring in art, sociology, psychology, literature, and even movie criticism.  There are also a lot of book reviews, which can help you discover books you didn’t know you needed to read.  Topics range from Coronado to the Lebanese in Wichita to the naming of Nicodemus.

Many of the issues are available online.  They seem to have gone through at least three different online publishing schemes, so although the official website is at I would recommend using our library catalog, where I’ve created links to as many issues as I can find (the most recent appear to be behind a fire wall.)

Read it!  And if there are any other journals out there I should know about, please email me at

Subject Headings in the Library Catalog

We are trying to make our subject headings more consistent, both within our catalog and with the broader library community.  For the library nerds among you, we are basing our headings on the OCLC/Library of Congress FAST system (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology,) which is a simplified version of the Library of Congress subject heading system.

Most of the time, FAST subject headings look a lot like you’d expect – Kansas, is, not surprisingly, listed as Kansas.  But the unpleasantness in Europe from 1914 to 1918 is not called World War I; to the Library of Congress and FAST, it is World War (1914 – 1918).  Our librarian made an executive decision to call this World War I (1914 – 1918) in our catalog.

We have adopted one convention to reflect our library’s focus on genealogists.  Instead of having subject headings for biographies and genealogies and profiles, we use the single heading Families.  So, a book that falls under the topic Families might be a full family history, or it might include biographies or profiles.  The subject heading Genealogy, on the other hand, is used for books and periodicals containing miscellaneous genealogy data; we use it mostly for genealogy society periodicals.

Our master list of subject headings is always evolving, but you can find a link to the most current list on the main page of the catalog.