Does Leeds Beckett have a statement on potentially harmful material and terminology for Discover?

Statement on potentially harmful material and terminology on Discover


The Library holds hundreds of thousands of resources, which cover a wide range of topics used for many different courses. Because stock is acquired on its relevance to teaching and/or research some materials may be sensitive in nature and some users may be offended by some content. Items within the Archives and Special Collections particularly may present historical perspectives that were prevalent at the time of their creation, but which are no longer acceptable within society.

All such materials are provided for the purpose of objective study and the intent is to present a broad range of perspectives to encourage academic discussion. The materials do not represent the views of the University, Library and Student Services, or course team. Students and staff are encouraged to recommend resources for addition to the collections and reading lists to ensure these remain current and reflect the lived experiences of the entire University community. 

All items in the main collection may be searched for via the Library’s search tool, Discover, which enables simultaneous searching across both print and digital resources. Items within Archives and Special Collections continue to be added to Discover. Discover uses globally shared records and subject headings, including Library of Congress Subject Headings, which are slow-moving in comparison to modern language and can be both North American-centric, and sometimes outdated and therefore potentially offensive. 

To mitigate these concerns, we can add additional local terms that display first in response to searches. However, because we are using a shared catalogue system with thousands of Libraries worldwide, we are unable to remove the global term, which may still appear in some circumstances. Instead, we work within the Library sector to encourage development and adoption of updated terminology. 

If you notice any offensive or questionable language in our resources please email as we welcome feedback in our efforts at making Discover more inclusive.

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