Conversation on Creating the Trans-inclusive Library: A Practice Guide

Thanks to Val Minson for sharing Creating the Trans-inclusive Library: A Practice Guide, with that already leading to beautiful conversations on how we all compassionately support each other. David Van Kleeck, Chair of the Cataloging & Discovery Services Department, shared the information below:

In case anyone is interested, I thought I’d mention the section entitled “Metadata: Name Authority Records” on page 15 of the document, and how catalogers in the Libraries approach the issue of gender in authority work.

As the section states, “many libraries that create name authority records for local collections, such as institutional repositories or digital collections, rely on the Library of Congress name authority records.” In general, we at UF enhance bibliographic records to PCC BIBCO standards. The process includes upgrading authority records to NACO standards in the Library of Congress NACO Authority File (LCNAF). Our practice is to update name authority records in cases when we encounter existing records with a “dead name.” When we do upgrade authority records, we try to adhere to the recommendations contained in the Report of the PCC Ad Hoc Task Group on Gender in Name Authority Records.

In addition, when we create new authority records for names in new or existing bibliographic records we generally follow these recommendations. One of the fields discussed in the report is the MARC 375 field. This field is used to record the gender of the individual who is the subject of the authority record. For privacy and other concerns, there has been a shift in the thinking of many in the PCC cataloging community over the past couple of years from recording gender according to a prescribed vocabulary, to not recording gender at all. The catalogers in the Libraries made a policy decision last year to adopt this practice and not record gender in the 375 field of an authority record. We feel that this is a better practice and reflects the wishes of the individuals and communities most affected by recording this information.

Caitlyn Jenner is referenced in the section I mentioned. FALSC regularly updates the authority file in Aleph to reflect the LCNAF and you’ll find that our copy of Bruce Jenner’s Guide to the Olympics ( lists Caitlyn Jenner as the author.

I love being part of a field that considers how to make systems work for people, and working with awesome folks like Dave who implement this important work. Thanks go to Dave, and to all of the folks working on so much in support of all of us! Thank you!