Searching by subject (Library of Congress) in the library catalog
What does it mean to do a "subject" search as opposed to a "keyword" search?
It means that you use subject words or phrases (called subject headings) established by the Library of Congress (LC) in Washington, D.C. instead of keywords which may be slang words or less precise, casual expressions.
For example, if you want to find books on interviewing for jobs you could do a keyword search for the word interviewing. The problem is that you will also get books on interviewing in other contexts, such as in counseling sessions or as done by journalists. If instead you searched the Library of Congress subject heading employment interviewing, you would get books directly on that topic and that topic only.
Of course, how do you know what the official Library of Congress subject headings are? The subject headings for every book or other material listed in the library catalog are given on the item's record. Below is an example for a book on employment interviewing. Scrolling through the record you see the section called "LC Subject" where you will find these headings.
Many times it's helpful to do a keyword search first, find a good record and look at the LC Subject headings used, and then repeat the search using the official subject heading. We'll discuss how to do keyword searches in a later part of this tutorial.