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Presented for Peer Council 2018 by Kalani Adolpho, Diversity Resident Librarian, UW-Madison College Library
Libraries and archives are colonial impositions in many parts of the world, including lands that are now part of the United States Empire. As colonial impositions, libraries are complicit in the perpetuation of colonialism and Western hegemony through classification systems and controlled vocabularies. Through Library of Congress Subject Headings, Indigenous, queer, and gender non-conforming people are historicized, homogenized, and misnamed, and violence perpetuated against us is erased and/or referenced euphemistically.
This session will define, name impact, and provide examples of colonialism in cataloguing and classification, as well as share information on alternative headings and organization systems developed by Indigenous peoples and nations. Additionally, there will be ample time for questions and discussion after the presentation.