DiMenna-Nyselius Library’s Change the Subject Project seeks to join the growing number of libraries who are addressing discriminatory language in catalog records. We recognize the lasting damage that has been caused by utilizing these harmful terms. Our goal is to change our records to better reflect and serve our users, and to educate others on the reparative power of justice-centered language.
Change the Subject is a movement inspired by students at Dartmouth College, who petitioned for the Library of Congress to change the anti-immigrant language used in their subject headings in 2014. Although the petition was unsuccessful, many catalogers decided to incorporate inclusive terms locally. Since then, libraries throughout the U.S. have joined in support, and are “changing the subjects” in their own collections to be more inclusive of everyone.