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LGBTQIA+ Resources for OWU Students

The Problem

The Library of Congress classification system, which we used to categorize books at OWU Libraries, was created in 1897 and some of the terms within the system marginalized minority groups like the LGBTQIA+ community. Little has been done to fix this, making searches for items related to those topics difficult. Here's how to find resources in the library while working with an imperfect system.

Subject Headings vs. Keywords

subject heading helps categorize books and connects them with others on the same subject. It is not a keyword (a general phrase) used to search. Headings are specific, more formal, and sometimes difficult to work. You can find them beneath the book's description in Consort or OhioLINK.

The Solution

LGBTQIA+ subject headings may not be intuitive. For help, check out the Queer Library of Congress Subject Headings to help you determine what subject heading(s) you should use to find the best results.

For example, if you're looking for information on people who no longer identify as LGBTQIA+, you may be using terms such as "former gays." On the Queer LCSH site, use CTRL+F (or your browser's Find tool) to keyword search for that term on the page. You will find that the LC subject heading that correlates with that term "Ex-gays." You can then use that LC subject heading as a keyword or subject search in the library catalog. 


You need books regarding gays in the Holocaust. You search gays in the Holocaust in the Keyword box which would bring you to a book like this

However, to get more effective results, use the subject heading which can be found in the catalog record beneath the title's information:

This leads you to the location of your specific subject heading in the list of all subject headings.


By clicking on the subject heading(s) that work for your topic, you access all the books regarding this specific subject heading(s) within your system.

If you have any questions, contact your librarian.