Our bibliographic records in IUCAT may contain harmful language.

While the staff of IU Libraries strive to use inclusive language to describe library materials, you may encounter harmful language in our online catalog (IUCAT), and when searching and accessing various IU Libraries collections. You may find examples of such language in book, score, or recording titles, subtitles, or other information transcribed directly from library materials. 

Harmful language may appear for several reasons, including:

  • national and international cataloging standards: some of these standards uphold systemic oppression when it comes to recommended terms/vocabulary/headings, and these standards are slow to change
  • age: many of the bibliographic and descriptive records within IU Libraries were created years or decades ago; much of that language can be outdated or offensive today
  • historical context: at times, we may choose not to censor harmful words because this content provides historical context for understanding the era, attitudes, and opinions of their creators

If you encounter harmful, outdated, or problematic language in IU Libraries descriptive records, please let us know your concerns by emailing mlcirc@indiana.edu, or calling 812-855-6716. Based on the nature of your concern, a librarian will contact you and discuss what language we might be able to change or update.