Inclusive Metadata Statement
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The University of North Texas Libraries is committed to using language that is accurate, inclusive, and non-derogatory when describing materials within the catalog, digital collections, and finding aids.
In this practice, we recognize that all people hold unique perspectives and carry implicit biases; therefore, description can never be entirely neutral. Harmful language appears in our descriptive records for several reasons, including:
- Many descriptive records within UNT Libraries were created years ago, and language within those records may be outdated and offensive today.
- The national and international cataloging standards, which facilitate interoperability among libraries, uphold systemic oppression in their recommended terms.
- It is common practice to re-use language provided by creators or donors and to re-use catalog records from other libraries, some of which include harmful, inaccurate, or outdated language.
- We may choose to retain harmful or offensive terms in description when that language is directly taken from the original materials.
Harmful language may be found in descriptions of materials that represent historically marginalized or oppressed groups, and we have a responsibility to describe these materials respectfully. We strive to identify, acknowledge, and correct harmful language where possible as we work toward more representative and inclusive descriptive practices.
UNT Libraries does not censor or alter content of original materials, which are collected to further the educational mission of the university. We acknowledge that users may encounter language or imagery that is offensive or otherwise objectionable within materials made available through UNT Libraries.
Providing access to materials does not imply endorsement of their content; the UNT Libraries works to provide context to materials that may not reflect our values.
The UNT Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cataloging and Metadata Task Force is continually working to update and improve our descriptive practices. If you encounter outdated, offensive, or problematic language in descriptions created by UNT Libraries, or have other inquiries for the task force, please let us know your concerns by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments will be kept confidential.