Associate Librarian/Archivist The University of Arizona Libraries Tucson, Arizona
Over fifty years ago, Sanford Berman spoke up about serious problems with some of the word choices employed by the creators of Library of Congress subject headings. Some terms were downright offensive to different groups, while others were antiquated, and some necessary terms simply didn’t exist. Over the years, Berman and many others, including Ellen Greenblatt and Hope Olson, have worked tirelessly to raise awareness among catalogers and librarians of the need for more culturally sensitive, modern terminology. The struggle continues to this day, particularly when addressing terminology that describes diverse populations, such as trans people, queer people, immigrants, and people of color. In this session, we will discuss progress, share ongoing concerns and consider potential strategies for further improvement.
• Upon completion, participant will be able to identify the key issues and challenges related to subject headings, metadata and cultural sensitivity.
• Upon completion, participant will be able to have a deeper understanding of the power of words in librarianship and the need to be vigilant and strategic in addressing inequity.
• Upon completion, participant will be able to identify problems with controlled vocabularies that affect access to materials, by, for and about people in marginalized communities.