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Inclusive Metadata Strategies

Inclusive Metadata Statement

Our inclusive metadata strategies focus on 3 areas: offensive/outdated terminology, classification, and inclusive language.

To report offensive/outdated terminology not already listed below, use the report form. Questions may be directed to

Offensive/outdated terminology

Verbiage used in standardized library cataloging practices that is based on outdated or offensive language

Problem Action Status
"Sexual Minorities" (Library of Congress Subject Headings) Remove the term “sexual minorities” from metadata sourced from WorldCat and add more specific terminology for materials in the library’s collections and the Center’s library; utilize additional thesauri for metadata

Retroactive removal completed (2015)

On-going removal for new materials (2015-present)

Implementation of "DEI - List of terms to exclude from subject heading" feature in Central Search for any terms containing "sexual minorities" or "sexual minority"

Feature implemented (January 2023)

On-going review of effectiveness (January 23-present)

"Illegal Aliens" and "Illegal Immigrants" (Library of Congress Subject Headings)

Replaced with “undocumented immigrants” in metadata sourced from WorldCat as part of greater library community initiative

Updated 2022 to include revised subject heading “illegal immigrants”

Retroactive removal completed (2020)

On-going removal for new materials (2020-present)

Research implementation of normalization rules to change the verbiage from any data source within Central Search Research in progress (2021-Present)
"Indians of North America" (Library of Congress Subject Headings Research best practices for improving access to resources by and about Indigenous peoples Research in progress (2021-Present)
Added local term "Indigenous Peoples of North America" to metadata records containing "Indians of North America" Local term added (November 2022)
Problematic terminology that may not be on our radar

Developed "Report Offensive/Outdated Terminology" Form for the Central community to report terms they may encounter in our library platforms

Added link to form throughout website

Added link to form in Central Search

Developed procedures for handling submissions

Initial project complete and submissions on-going (August 2023)



The basis for creating call numbers, which are used to organize library materials in the physical stacks

Problem Action Status

The letter "N" to organize materials by, about, or relating to Black people in the library's physical collections

Replace "N" with "B" in call numbers for materials by, about, or relating to Black people.

Identified 367 affected titles and placed on review by Librarians (27 titles determined no longer needed for the collection)

Updating call numbers for 340 affected titles

Library of Congress issued change (07/2021)

Project underway (09/2021-Present)

The letter "O" to organize materials by Asian authors in the library's physical collections

Monitor updates from Library of Congress and the professional cataloging community at large to determine best practice for removing "O"

Problem identified (2020)

Monitoring in progress (2020-Present)

Replace “O” with “A” in call numbers for materials by, about, or relating to Asian people

Identified and updated call numbers for 17 affected titles

Decision to make change locally (January 2022)

Project complete (March 2022-January 2023)


Inclusive language

Opportunities to provide more inclusive language in library metadata

Problem Action Status
Inadequate options for LGBTQ+ descriptors in Library of Congress Subject Headings

Utilize terms from Homosaurus, a linked data vocabulary designed to be more inclusive of the nuances of the LGBTQ+ community, in addition to existing metadata when appropriate.

Install OCLC Connexion Homosaurus Macro to aid copy-catalogers with assigning Homosaurus terms

Homosaurus identified as an option (2016)

Adding terms ongoing (2016-Present)


Lack of acknowledgment of racism in metadata records that contain the subject headings, "minstrel shows" and "minstrel music."

Added the subject headings "Racism against Black people" and "Blackface" to these records.

Completed December 2022
Need for training in creating subject heading proposals to the Library of Congress

Professional catalogers attended workshop 'Creating Subject Headings for Indigenous Topics' in October 2022

3 subject heading proposals submitted through LAIPA Funnel and approved by Library of Congress

Training completed; opportunities to propose new subject headings ongoing

Updated January 2024