Library Services Centre

Nearly a year ago, LSC announced that we would begin moving away from traditional subject headings that refer to Indigenous peoples in outdated, colonial ways. After some unexpected delays, we are proud to announce that this service will go live in January 2021.


As a non-Indigenous Canadian company, LSC recognizes Canada’s colonial history, and how existing library standards continue to subjugate Indigenous Peoples by perpetuating names appointed by settlers. Our headings will use their own self-identified names - for example, Cree is a title appointed by colonizers; the people themselves identify as Nehiyawak.


LSC has adapted the list of Indigenous subject headings created by Greater Victoria Public Library. We also acknowledge that the list is a work-in-progress which will continue to grow as we learn more, update or add new headings, and remove outdated and offensive headings. The list is not exhaustive or 100% accurate, but is a trustworthy starting point.


Other organizations have started this process as well. We hope that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) continue their work toward building a national standard, made in consultation with the hundreds of Indigenous nations across Canada. When a national standard is available, LSC will adopt those headings.


Stage One
All new publications are being catalogued with the new headings. Starting January 2021, any records you receive from LSC of newly published items will contain the new headings as well as the old. This will happen at no additional cost to your library.


At the same time, LSC’s cataloguing team will update old records internally with the new headings. This will take time, but will ensure any new purchases of backlist material will contain the new headings. This will happen at no additional cost to your library.

Some libraries will prefer to keep the old headings for a period of time to help educate the public. Each library is different. Should you wish to only receive the new headings, or only want to maintain the old headings, please contact Michael Clark.


Stage Two
This stage depends on you, the libraries of Canada, retrospectively updating their catalogue with the new respectful headings. When you make the decision to move forward with the new headings, LSC can help. Each library will be assessed uniquely - from the number of records to update, to the timeline, to the cost. This is open to all Canadian libraries – not just public libraries, and you don’t need to be an existing LSC client. Please contact Michael Clark for a free quotation.


LSC is very proud to be part of this movement, which we feel is made in the spirit of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A comprehensive list of the headings is available upon request – please feel free to reach out to Michael Clark with any questions or concerns.

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