Getting Alternative Materials into Library Collections

Laura's post on the talk at Thinking Ahead reminded me of a question that I was asked by two (or more?) people at the recent Grassroots Media Conference in NYC, where I was Radical Reference liason. Creators of alternative media would like to get their materials into library collections, but don't know how to best go about accomplishing that. I would like to propose that we create a guide for independent press and media creators on how to get their stuff into libraries, but since I don't do much collection development in my position have little to say.

Starting points would be the major vendors that serve libraries - a shrinking group, to be sure, and a subject that is worth analyzing - and the major review sources used in the field, and which of those would be open to greater diversity.

Thoughts? Volunteers with expertise to share?

I get this question all the

I get this question all the time, too, and I wish I had a better answer. I totally agree that we should make a guide.

One element to it would be giving info about review journals, e.g. Booklist, Choice, Counterpoise, Library Journal, School Library Journal, etc.

And perhaps advising them on how best to contact us (and not to cold call people repeatedly, especially after I've asked 10 times to be removed from their call list...) and get us information about their publications.

I hope folks will work on this project. John or anyone able to coordinate it???

I'd like a guide like this,

I'd like a guide like this, too! I don't have much in terms of wisdom to offer, even though I do do some collection development. I'd like to hear from other librarians in small settings like mine (sarah lawrence college) who want to add independent media but who can't afford the institutional prices. (e.g., films from Women Make Movies--I want to include them in our collections, but I actually can't afford them even though our tuition is high--our budgets are small!)


After sitting in on a session about independent magazine publishers at WAM! this weekend, and with my experiences working in serials at the Wisconsin Historical Society, I would like to volunteer to write up a little something about getting indy mags reviewed and into libraries.
I feel a little less certain about monographs. Would anyone else like to take a stab at that, and is this a logical way to break up the research?

Fostering media diversity in libraries

Check out the document I've attached here. It's called, "FOSTERING MEDIA DIVERSITY IN LIBRARIES: STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS." Prepared by the American Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries.

I think there are some valuable suggestions in the checklist for how librarians can build more diverse local collections and add alternative materials.

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