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Conference Proceeding

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Words matter. To make materials findable, libraries have relied on subject headings and classification numbers to organize their resources. Have you ever wondered how these subjects or classification numbers were developed? Both the Dewey Decimal Classification and Library of Congress Classification were developed with a Western-centric, white, Christian, male perspective. How does the language we use in our subject headings reinforce marginalization? In what ways can libraries reconcile the inequalities found in these standardized policies to be inclusive of diverse and multicultural perspectives? What are Messiah’s Murray Library and other institutions doing to create balance?


  • Elizabeth Kielley (Discovery and Metadata Librarian)
  • Sarah Myers (Public Services Librarian)


  • Elizabeth Kielley (Discovery and Metadata Librarian)
  • Rob Lesher ‘93 (Pennsylvania Library Association)
  • Bernadette A. Lear (Penn State-Harrisburg)
  • Devin Manzullo-Thomas (Messiah University Archives)


The video presentation of this event is available here:

Slide Notes.docx (24 kB)
Notes to accompany slide presentation

MUR012 - Bias in the Stacks Panel_Spring 22_Audio Only_v1.mp3 (54023 kB)
Audio (MP3) of presentation