Document Type

Conference Poster

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

Purpose. The American Library Association’s 1982 statement[1] on Diversity in Collection Development reminds librarians of the professional responsibility “to select and support the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the community the library serves. This includes materials that reflect political, economic, religious, social, minority, and sexual issues.” In an effort to ensure that the collection of the William H. Hannon Library (of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA {LMU}) aligns with its institutional vision[2] (including “bridging disciplines” and “representing diverse topics and perspectives”) and meets the research needs of a diverse campus population, a team of library staff has designed a project to assess the library’s electronic collection through the lens of diversity. While some similar studies have been done at larger research institutions (notably that of Ciszek and Young (2010)),[3] this project further interrogates inclusivity in database collections and integrates LMU student learning into the research process. The results of the evaluation will inform the library collection strategy and ensure that collections are built that deliberately and positively contribute to an inclusive campus climate.

Methods. Guided by the project team, a select group of library student employees will be working in spring 2018 to use a series of pre-determined keyword phrases to search through about two-hundred of the LMU library’s databases. The project team will code the keyword phrases into categories of diversity, so that the library can better understand its e-resource collection. Categories like Disability, People of Color, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender will be used to determine if content is well represented in the collection, particularly compared to the vendor supplied description. In addition to conducting the keyword phrase searches, the student evaluation team will respond to reflective prompts along the way, answering questions like, “Based on the search results, do you consider the database to be ‘diverse’?” and “Would you recommend this database to someone doing research about diversity or inclusion, in your major? Why or why not?”

Findings and Value. The project team is anticipating the completion of the student evaluation, so that they can determine if the library collection is diverse, or if there are gaps in the electronic resource collection that can be strategically filled. The process and results of this study will be shared as broadly as possible, with an outline of subsequent actions to be taken.

[1] https://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=interpretations&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8530

[2] http://library.lmu.edu/aboutthelibrary/libraryvisionmission/

[3] Ciszek, Matthew P., and Courtney L. Young, (2010), “Diversity collection assessment in large academic libraries”, Collection Building, Vol. 29 Iss 4 pp. 154 – 161.

Comments

Poster presented at the 2018 Library Assessment Conference, Houston TX. 2018-12-06 https://libraryassessment.org/

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