Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility

SMU Libraries Value - We Find Strength in Unity

The SMU Libraries values creating and sustaining a climate of inclusion individually, through our language and behavior, and institutionally, through our services, spaces, collections, and practices.

Strategic Directions & Plan

Goal 4: Connect Our Communities

“SMU Libraries cultivates inclusive, equitable, and accessible spaces, services, programs, and resources so that our libraries exemplify the SMU welcoming and supportive community.”

SMU Libraries Strategic Plan, 2019-2024

EDIA Officer

The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) Officer serves as an advocate for all members of the SMU Libraries community. Primary roles of the EDIA Officer are to lead the EDIA Committee to fulfill their charge, and to serve as the SMU Libraries representative to the SMU University Diversity Council and the direction of SMU’s Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). The EDIA Officer serves in an ex officio capacity on the SMU Libraries Executive Board, Student Advisory Board, and all SMU Libraries search committees.

Critical Cataloging Task Force

The SMU Libraries Critical Cataloging task force is responsible for identifying and addressing aspects of the library catalog that do not contribute to our goal of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. We welcome your suggestions for more inclusive language in Library Search. To make a suggestion, fill out the SMU Libraries feedback form and select Library Search from the drop down menu. Please note that we can only make changes to our local catalog and are unable to change the title of a resource. 

Statement on Harmful and Offensive Language in the Library Catalog

SMU Libraries is committed to providing a catalog inclusive for all users. Therefore, the SMU Libraries Critical Cataloging Task Force regularly reviews the library catalog for harmful and offensive content.  SMU Libraries understands that the library catalog plays an important role in providing access to information to our university community and users beyond.  We also recognize that the library catalog may contain harmful and offensive content including racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise discriminatory material, which can perpetuate harmful attitudes and behaviors towards marginalized groups and individuals. 

Harmful and offensive language may appear for the following reasons:

  • Many catalog records were created years ago with language that may be outdated and offensive today.  Also, some derogatory terms once considered acceptable and used to describe historically oppressed people, have been reclaimed and used by authors and creators from those communities.
  • Terms historically used by a marginalized group to describe themselves are no longer in use.
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings, which enable standardized searching and access across our catalog records, retain certain problematic terms. The process of proposing, reviewing and approving new terms is extensive and may take months or years to resolve.
  • The language is transcribed directly from the materials. Harmful or offensive terms may be chosen to be retained if taken directly from the original materials.

Please report content that may be harmful or offensive to you or others if you come across it.

Special thanks to the Cataloging Lab, whose list of statements on bias in library and archives description aided in the formation of our statement with particular adaptation from Gustavus Adolphus College Library’s Harmful Language Statement and the University of North Texas Libraries’ Inclusive Metadata Statement.


Research Guides


A-Z Databases: Multicultural

Oral Histories

Voices of SMU collection: Histories of Communities of Color at SMU