Skip to Main Content

Inclusive Metadata Statement

Max Chambers Library is committed to serving underrepresented communities through our Inclusive Metadata Initiative. One way we accomplish this is through our professional catalogers' dedication to accurately and respectfully describing materials relating to underrepresented communities. We acknowledge that standards for descriptive practice are entrenched in discriminatory concepts, such as racism, ableism, homophobia, and misogyny. These practices directly affect our users as metadata rooted in discrimination may be visible to our community in Central Search, SHAREOK, the library's website, or the library's digital collections. We are actively taking steps to ameliorate these problematic practices that directly affect the Central community's access to library resources.

Libraries are not without biases - both conscious and unconscious - that affect policies and practices. In the case of cataloging and metadata, the classification of library resources reflects how a cataloger views and interprets the subject matter. We primarily use the classification standards maintained by the Library of Congress, which have been created by people with their own biases and judgments from their specific cultures and time periods.

By acknowledging weaknesses and flaws in these standards and other areas of librarianship, we aim to support the University's inclusive community initiative through the following practices:

  1. Cultivate a supportive and safe environment where staff feel encouraged to acknowledge their biases and engage in constructive discussions.
  2. Continue to identify areas of bias in the library.
  3. Apply metadata using the standards provided by the Library of Congress in a selective manner and use professional judgment for incorporating alternative controlled vocabularies.
  4. Collaborate with Library Systems staff in identifying opportunities for data normalization for vendor-supplied metadata found in Central Search.
  5. Commit to actively learning about controlled vocabularies that improve access to resources by or about underrepresented communities.
  6. Commit to completion of specialized training and become approved to submit new or revised terminology to the Library of Congress

Click one of the buttons below to learn more about the activities of our Inclusive Metadata Initiative:

Report Offensive/Outdated Terminology Strategic Plan (PDF) Inclusive Metadata Strategies  Annual Symposium FAQ