Diversity in Libraries
A blog for exploring and discussing the topics of diversity and multiculturalism in libraries.

Diversifying a Collection

I found an article that gives an example of how to diversify a library’s collection. The example takes place at the Old Dominion University Library in Norfolk Virginia.

First identify the minority groups that are within the community, in this example this could be done by looking at the enrollment records of the University for the last 10 years. Based on the minority groups that are present in the area, find books that are about these topics so everyone can learn about them.

To accomplish diversification the collection needs to be assessed to identify which materials should be purchased and what is already owned, evaluating the collection based on suggested lists or guidelines.

An example of a list to look through is:

  • Focus on Multicultural Studies (1994), Blackwell North America, Inc., Lake Oswego, OR.

Eventually a list was compiled of books to be purchased when the budget would allow for it. To expand a collection if funding is not available use WorldCat or the local consortium to borrow books on the topic if they are needed.

The goal is to represent international students or in a community to represent all of the minorities no matter how small they are. I strongly support the importance of community libraries to include all minorities in their community within their collection. If this cannot be achieved, then outsourcing is the next best option.

The article I referred to is:

  • Pettingill, Ann, & Morgan, Pamela. (1996). Building a retrospective multicultural collection: a practical approach. Collection Building, 15(3), 10-16.

Another Article of Interest is:

  • Jessica Schomberg, & Michelle Grace. (2005). Expanding a collection to reflect diverse user populations. Collection Building, 24(4), 124-126

Or just looking at the journal Collection Building


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