With the support of METRO’s Equity in Action grant program, the Brooklyn Public Library and The New York Public Library worked in partnership with BookOps, which serves the cataloging needs of both institutions, to begin aligning their public catalogs with their values by identifying and replacing the subject headings “illegal aliens” and “aliens” with more inclusive terminology. An investigation by the project team determined that controlled vocabulary at the local level would be the most effective route for changing these headings.
The project also included a number of public-facing initiatives to educate library professionals and the general public about the larger context of these cataloging efforts, resulting in workflow documentation for the library profession as well as curricular materials for educators. The project team partnered with THE CITY newsroom to convene a series of focus groups with staff and patrons to better understand the impact of language choice on library access for immigrant communities in New York City. At the same time, both libraries developed a robust programming series including panel discussions, film screenings and youth conversation groups to bring the themes raised by the project to a larger audience.
This guide includes programming, curricular and cataloging documentation for use by library professionals and educators.
Tomasz Kalata, Metadata Manager, Cataloging
Steven Pisani, Assistant Director, Cataloging
Miriam Gloger, Senior Librarian
Brooklyn Public Library
Amy Mikel, Director of Customer Experience
Nick Higgins, Chief Librarian
Aimee Lusty, Graduate Assistant
New York Public Library
Paloma Celis Carbajal, Curator for Latin America, Iberian and Latino Collections
Melissa Gasparotto, Associate Director, Research Services and Institutional Partnerships
Jelicia Jimenez, Graduate Assistant