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Virtual Program on Inclusive Description in New York City

14 May 2021 9:44 AM | ARLIS Librarian (Administrator)

NYTSL and ARLIS/NY are pleased to announce a joint virtual program on the topic of current projects on inclusive description here in New York City.  

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 26th from 2-3:30 pm.  To register please go here: https://www.nytsl.org/event-4311386

Inclusive description seeks to use libraries’ metadata to bring forward the perspectives of marginalized communities and increase the discoverability and use of resources related to those communities.  The 2019 documentary film Change the Subject brought widespread attention to this issue with its story of Dartmouth students who advocated first to Dartmouth’s libraries and then to Congress about officially changing the Library of Congress subject heading “Illegal aliens” to “Undocumented immigrants.”  While this effort has not yet been successful at the national level, individual organizations are now undertaking their own projects to remediate this specific subject heading and other harmful language in their catalogs and finding aids. 

Please join us to hear presentations and Q&A from three organizations on their current work.


  • Inclusive Description at Columbia University Libraries: From “Change the Subject” to Action: Matthew C. Haugen, Rare Book Cataloger, Columbia University Libraries and Michele Wan, Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, Columbia University Libraries
  • "Changing the Subject” at Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library: Tomasz Kalata, Metadata Manager, Cataloging, BookOps (BPL/NYPL) and Steven Pisani, Assistant Director, Cataloging, BookOps (BPL/NYPL)
  • User-Driven Reparative Archival Description at New York University: Weatherly Stephan, Head of Archival Collections Management, NYU Libraries

Due to the COVID pandemic, NYTSL and ARLIS/NY are offering access to this virtual program free of charge.  Please consider supporting these organizations by becoming a member or by sending a donation on their respective websites.

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