Statement on Harmful Language in Catalogue Records and Resource Descriptions
The University of Alberta Library recognizes that our catalogue and resource descriptions contain language that reflects the biases, norms, and perspectives of the time in which they were created. In particular, for resources about persons and groups, this language is often outdated and harmful. These descriptions also incorporate controlled vocabularies, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, which include some headings (e.g., Indians of North America), that are offensive or inappropriate. We use international standards for description, but support and actively participate in efforts to update and change these practices as we strive for descriptions that are inclusive, respectful, and do not cause harm. We acknowledge the critical importance of community consultation in these efforts, and as residents on Treaty 6 territory and Métis Region 4 we commit to working together with our local communities to make these changes.
If you encounter language in U of A Library catalogue records or other resource descriptions that you find offensive or harmful, or if you have questions about this statement or our work, we welcome your feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org. We are committed to reviewing and updating harmful language in catalogue records and other resource descriptions as appropriate and feasible.