Finding (Fictional) Pandemics in the Library: Problems in the Classification of Fiction
Libraries have been forced to adjust their services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has necessitated changes in patron behaviors. With shelf browsing no longer viable, discoverability of materials via the online public access catalog (OPAC) is more important than ever. However, works of fiction often lack subject or genre headings that enable users to locate them in this manner. This article examines a small sample of fictional works that are about epidemics, and looks at whether or not they are discoverable by conducting a subject search for epidemics in ten major southeastern library systems. It examines how the works are cataloged, what subject headings are used, and also suggests directions for further research.