Decolonizing Description: Changing Metadata in Response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission


Like most large academic libraries in North America, University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) currently relies heavily on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Library of Congress Classification (LCC) for subject access to both our print and digital collections. While the use of LC standards comes with many recognized advantages, it understandably causes challenges in terms of adequate and appropriate representation of the Canadian context. In the fall of 2016, the Decolonizing Description Working Group was formed to investigate, define, and propose a plan of action for how we could more accurately and respectfully represent Indigenous peoples and contexts through our descriptive metadata practices. This presentation will provide an overview of the group’s process and recommendations and subsequent plans and outcomes.


Sharon Farnel, Ian Bigelow, Denise Koufogiannakis, Anne Carr-Wiggin, Debbie Feisst, & Kayla Lar-Son, & Sheila Laroque

Conference Year

Presentation Topic