Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Resolution on Replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading "Illegal Aliens" with "Undocumented Immigrants"

This resolution came about because some librarians who help those our subject headings currently call illegal aliens recognize that those words can be offensive. In many other subject heading lists the term has already been changed from "illegal aliens" to "undocumented immigrants". There was discussion in Council about whether this resolution was appropriate for us and encouraged those who brought it to pursue the appropriate channels through the Library of Congress first. The person who introduced the measure did so on behalf of some of the librarians that she represents and didn't have all the facts the first time. When she came back to us and explained that the Library of Congress had turned the request down because they were using the terms in the criminal code, Council agreed to hear the resolution again. We did pass it knowing that official channels had been tried already. We do feel that the language "illegal aliens" is offensive and encourage LC to change the heading. Here is the resolution.

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