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Read Something, Watch Something, Do Something

Read Something, Watch Something

The University Library and Positive Space are collaborating in order to bring together a curated list of books, videos and more by Trans authors and on Trans research for Trans Awareness Month, accompanied by actions you can take to support a trans-inclusive environment.

Consider this list an invitation to participate in an asynchronous book club, with a variety of options. The broader community is welcomed to read and watch their choice of selections from this list, available for free to students, staff and faculty via the University Library.

Do Something

If you are inspired to act, learn how some librarians across Canada are speaking out against Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) speech in libraries. Add your voice! Below are two more ways to get involved.

Increase Representation in Wikipedia

Wikipedia and other reference resources have lower levels of representation of notable trans people than of notable cis people. Take part in this month-long asynchronous Wikipedia-edit-a-thon by enhancing or creating Wikipedia pages featuring trans people. Taking part is simple: if you have never edited a Wikipedia page, here are some guidelines and instructions.

Eradicate Deadnaming and More

The University Library is working to eradicate disrespectful language from catalogue records.  Libraries across Canada follow controlled vocabularies and standards but when these standards are slow to remove offensive subject headings some libraries make decisions not to follow the instructions. The Cataloging lab is one space where this work is discussed & shared. Our University Library has made several changes. In order to create a more trans-inclusive campus environment we removed various subject headings and replaced them with:

  • Gender-nonconforming people
  • Transgender people
  • Two-spirit people

In addition to topical headings, the names of authors are controlled so as to be able to bring together variant forms/languages of a person’s name, which you can see in the metadata record for Malcolm X, for example.  Cataloguers can document personal and professional details about an author, including name changes.

Metadata records often include a great deal of valuable information about a person, yet libraries can also respect the wishes of creators by omitting information.  In the metadata record for Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama there is a Special Note informing cataloguers to leave her birthdate out of the metadata.

At this Library we will connect the links between names on request, and we will also remove links between works to avoid deadnaming, based on the direction of the author.  We welcome suggestions as to how we can build a welcoming and respectful space for research for everyone. If you are an author represented in our collection, let the University Library know how you would like to be represented by emailing: tgrover@ryerson.ca.

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