Decolonizing Description

Since 2017, the COPPUL IKSC has focused on working towards a solution to the now well-known problem of the inappropriate, missing, and inaccurate words used to describe Indigenous peoples, topics, geographies, languages, and timelines. This page outlines some of the key efforts to support conversations leading towards enhanced understanding of the technical problems in tandem with the somewhat better understood word context problems.

2018 - Making Meaning Symposium - at the University of Alberta

  • Publication from the event: Leonhardt, E. (2018). Impacts and Reflections on the Making Meaning Symposium for Small, Independent Libraries. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice13 (4), 7–14.

2018 - In Our Own Words: Decolonizing Description in the Library and Archival Community at York University & Toronto Metropolitan University

2019 - Sorting Libraries Out: Decolonizing Classification and Indigenizing Description - at SFU with UBC and COPPUL

2022 - Decolonizing Description - at COPPUL Directors' Spring Meeting

Morning Panel - recording availableConvenors:  Deborah Lee, IK Coordinator and Sarah Dupont, IKSC Chair
The Challenges of Competing Subject Heading Systems in Academic Library Catalogues and How to Effect Change Sue Andrews, Past Chair of the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing, and Principal Cataloguer at UBC Library
Xwi7xwa Names of Nations ThesaurusSarah Dupont, COPPUL IKSC Chair and Head Librarian at Xwi7xwa Library
University of Calgary Decolonizing Description: Recent InitiativesHeather D’Amour, AUL Collections, University of Calgary
University of Alberta Decolonizing Description: Recent InitiativesSharon Farnel, Brian Stearns, & Anne Carr-Wiggin, University of Alberta
Technical considerations for implementing alternate subject headingsChristine Bone, University of Manitoba
Introductions of OCLC presentersDeborah Lee, COPPUL IK Coordinator
Reimagining Descriptive Workflows: Brief on OCLC’s Draft Report  Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC
Steps towards addressing overlay challenges with OCLC records and protecting local changes                                                               Jay Holloway, OCLC
Coordinating Efforts: LAC’s  consultations with libraries to implement SH changesAnnie Wolfe, Library and Archives Canada