OhioLINK has added inclusive, alternative subject headings to MARC records for shared electronic resources that include the word alien as a term to mean non-citizens. The additions addressed proposed, but not yet implemented, changes for twelve Library of Congress (LC) subject headings.
In 2016, the Library of Congress decided to change their subject headings “Aliens” to “Noncitizens” and “Illegal aliens” to “Undocumented immigrants” but due to legislative delays, did not actually make the change. In June 2020, a report from ALA’s Subject Analysis Committee provided guidance for libraries wanting to make the change. OhioLINK’s Database Improvement and Discoverability (DIAD) Policy Team began discussing what it would mean for member institutions and created guidelines for local changes. Numerous libraries and library consortia already have made these local changes to their library catalogs and discovery systems.
These changes were approved by OhioLINK’s Library Advisory Committee, comprised of member library deans and directors. Updated records also were provided to member libraries for local use. Member libraries should consult DIAD’s “Guidelines for Addressing Outdated or Offensive Subject Terms” from November 2020 for more information and various local options.