In 2016, the Library of Congress (LC) made the decision to change their LC Subject Headings “Aliens” to “Noncitizens” and “Illegal aliens” to “Undocumented immigrants”. Due to legislative reasons, this change did not actually happen. In June 2020, a report from the American Library Association's Subject Analysis Committee explained the current situation and provided guidance for libraries wishing to make the change themselves. OhioLINK’s Database Improvement and Discoverability Policy Team began discussing what it would mean for interested member institutions and created guidelines for local changes.
Recently with a focus on inclusivity and diversity initiatives, numerous libraries and library consortia including the Cleveland State University libraries have made local changes to their library catalogs and discovery systems to implement the change in order to better serve their users.
We list the twelve original LC Subject Headings with the new alternative headings below. The search fields with these alternative subject headings are labelled as “Keywords” and “LC Subject” in the relevant bibliographic records in Scholar. They are searchable in the keyword index and the LC subject index.
Alien criminals --> Noncitizen criminals
Alien detention centers --> Immigrant detention centers
Aliens --> Noncitizens
Aliens in art --> Noncitizens in art
Aliens in literature --> Noncitizens in literature
Aliens in mass media --> Noncitizens in Mass media
Aliens in motion pictures --> Noncitizens in motion pictures
Children of illegal aliens --> Children of undocumented immigrants
Illegal alien children --> Undocumented immigrant children
Illegal aliens --> Undocumented immigrants
Illegal aliens in literature --> Undocumented immigrants in literature
Women illegal aliens --> Women undocumented immigrants
-submitted by Yuezeng S Yang, Head of Cataloging, Michael Schwartz Library