Prioritize trans rights in SirsiDynix library systems

Prioritize trans rights in SirsiDynix library systems

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Erin Owens started this petition to SirsiDynix

In modern libraries, specialized software manages user accounts, including contact information, legal names, preferred names, and more. People may have many different reasons for preferring a name other than their legal name.

One reason may be that an individual is transgender and choose a new name that better suits their gender identity, even if they are unable or unwilling to progress to changing their name legally at a given time. Calling a trans person by their birth name, or "deadnaming," can be psychologically damaging, and can also pose a very real danger if it results in the person being unwillingly outed as trans in front of someone hostile.

When the SirsiDynix Symphony software is used in a setting (such as a university) where user accounts are loaded from another system, the checkbox to use a person's preferred name is erroneously deselected. This means that the person's legal name will once again be displayed to library staff and on library paperwork, instead of their preferred name, leading to unintentional deadnaming and its accompanying difficulties. This bug has been a known and documented in SirsiDynix's own knowledgebase since 2011, but has not been corrected.

Nine years is simply too long to ignore a bug which negatively impacts equity and inclusion in libraries and causes trans patrons to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or potentially even unsafe in these most democratic of public spaces. It is time for SirsiDynix to prioritize trans rights and swiftly correct this bug.

[Image credit: Photo by Dmitry Schemelev on Unsplash, used under CC0 license]

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