b'Some Difficult Areas of Application / Literaturewhere juvenile material is not indicated in the shelf number. No other subdivision is ever applicableto genre headings, as applied to individual works.The cataloger is also discouraged, except in the most unusual cases, from devising new genre terms.The Guidelines on Subject Access of the ALA aim to limit the number of genre terms in order tobring like material together, while the proliferation of genres and sub-genres would only scatter likematerial and do the user a disservice. As stated on page 4 of the Guidelines, Genre terms aredetermined by convention, as set by the bibliographic community of publishers, booksellers,librarians, and readers. It is only by conforming to these conventions that the application of genreheadings to individual works is really useful.In some libraries subject access is provided to works of literature by using any applicable subjectheading from the List with the subdivision Fiction, Drama, or Poetry. Hence a collection of storiesall set in Los Angeles could be assigned the heading Los Angeles (Calif.)Fiction; a collectionsof plays in which the main characters are all nurses could be assigned the heading Nurses Drama; and a volume of poems by several authors all on the theme of baseball could be assignedthe heading BaseballPoetry. Personal and corporate names can always be added to the List inorder to be used with the subdivisions Fiction, Drama, and Poetry to provide subject access toliterary collections that deal with real persons or corporate entities.Providing the same kind of access by setting, character, or theme to individual works of fiction,drama, or poetry is more problematic. For the collection of stories set in Los Angeles, theappropriate level of specificity can be determined by finding what is common to all the stories. Theplays about nurses may be about a variety of nurses, one elderly, one Hispanic American, one male,etc., but their being nurses is what they have in common. The topic Nurses, then, is of equalspecificity with the collection itself. In individual stories or plays, however, the characters andsettings are unique. All subject headings are all less specific than a unique character or a uniquesituation, and to assign any of them is to violate the principle of specificity and abandon uniformityin cataloging.It is the case, nonetheless, that some libraries, for the purpose of readersadvisory or for curriculumenhancement, require the application of topical subjects and geographic headings to individualworks of fiction, drama, and poetry. In this endeavor they leave behind the logic of subject analysisand embrace a kind of tagging or labeling that is approximate and pragmatic and not subject to hardrules. Even without the principles of specificity and uniformity, however, there are still someguidelines that may be useful in the application of topical subject and geographic headings toindividual literary works:1) Use only terms that come readily to mind. Only if a novel is extensively set in the milieu ofthe motion picture industry, for example, would the heading Motion picture industryFic-tion be suitable.A-38'