Fostering media diversity in libraries

Here at radref, we've been having a discussion about how to get alternative materials into library collections. So I thought I'd add the attached document to the discussion. I couldn't upload in the comments, so have it attached below. Radreffies Shinjoung Yeo and James Jacobs helped to put this document together last year. It started as a response to FCC rules changes that would negatively affect media concentration, and ended as a checklist of suggestions for how libraries could create more diverse collections for their communities. The IFC subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries was chaired by Nancy Kranich.

Prepared by the American Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries

In June 2003, the American Library Association (ALA) passed a resolution deploring the Federal Communications Commission's actions changing media ownership rules that encourage further concentration of the media. The resolution also called on the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) to examine the impact of media mergers on intellectual freedom, access to information, and diversity of opinion in local communities. The IFC Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries elicited comments from the library community about the problem and then determined that libraries can best counter the effects of media consolidation by increasing awareness of its impact and identifying innovative ways to provide materials, information, and services that foster media diversity in libraries.

The purpose of this document is to provide libraries, library consortia, and library networks with a centralized list of strategies and actions to help them fulfill one of their key responsibilities: to provide access to a diverse collection of resources and services. Throughout the document, special attention is given to the acquisition of and access to small, independent, and alternative sources—including locally produced and international ones—in all formats: print, AV media, and electronic. These sources in particular, including open access, collaboratively produced and other free Internet sources, have the potential to counteract the influence and consequences resulting from increased concentration of media ownership that affects all types of libraries.

The actions proposed in this document offer numerous approaches to countering the negative effects of media concentration and to promoting the growing, yet often less powerful, body of small, independent and alternative sources of information. Each library will need to decide which actions are most appropriate and realistic to meeting its goals within budgetary and space constraints. The actions are presented as a means to reach a goal common to all libraries: providing access to a diverse collection of resources and services.

mediadiversity062307.pdf202.98 KB