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Information about Library planning, collections, assessment, and key documents

Harmful Language Statement

VIUSpace contains material reflecting the socio-cultural norms and prejudices of its time. Academic libraries are challenged to preserve contemporaneous expressions of ideas, not to endorse or perpetuate them, but so they may be studied and challenged in service of a more just, equitable and humane society. We recognize that VIU students, employees and library workers will encounter discriminatory, offensive and hateful representations of humanity within VIU Library collections, and that harms may occur as a result, even as we seek to anticipate and mitigate those impacts through careful work. We are committed to, and actively engaged in, ongoing and iterative work to reconcile our responsibility to support scholarly inquiry with our commitment to the safety, inclusion, equity and dignity of all persons engaging with VIU Library spaces, services and collections.

The VIU Library is committed to 

  • Ongoing learning with humility from professional resources and projects to inform approaches and to improve descriptive practices
  • Centering care and awareness for library user communities in the ways we approach descriptive practices
  • Welcoming diverse perspectives by engaging and consulting library user communities
  • Perceiving VIUSpace as a “living” resource to be maintained and updated with evolving changes to subject-based terminology and descriptive practices 
  • Removing inaccurate, outdated, biased, and offensive subject-based terminology to be replaced with updated subject-based terminology that aims to accurately describe library materials and provide subject-based access with consideration to equitable and inclusive access and retrieval of library materials on Indigenous topics
  • Engaging with professional development opportunities and resources to inform approaches and to continually improve descriptive practices

Acknowledging the intersectionality of this work, and the harmful effects of LCSH terminology upon diverse groups of library user communities. Future phases of this work will consider and update subject-based terminology for describing materials on topics such as, IBPOC, women, 2SLGBTQ+, neurodiverse people, and people with disabilities.

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