Lied Library is currently taking content suggestions for the Represent Collection, a new program to add more content to the library that showcases the diversity of the UNLV community.
Suggestions will be accepted from Feb. 27 to March 31. Any type of media can be suggested, from academic to popular culture; books, movies and music; digital or physical, as long as it represents the UNLV community. The library will purchase the suggestions and will be available for checkout.
“Traditionally, the scholarly publishing marketplace has not reflected a diversity of perspectives and authors,” said Annette Day, the director of collections, acquisitions and discovery of the UNLV Libraries. “As a result, the libraries’ collections reflect this marketplace and we want to change that.”
She referenced a report from the UNLV Libraries detailing some steps to diversify and uplift historically underrepresented voices in the academic library world, and the Represent Collection is one of those steps.
The library will try to buy all content suggested, but they will be limited by the availability of the item, the cost of the item and if the content aligns with the program’s goals and UNLV values. The program still recommends that suggestions be submitted regardless of cost due to possible changes in funding availability.
When asked about how the collection will be displayed in the library, Day explained that it’s something they’re still working on. The collection will be a mix of physical and digital formats and a range of content types. “We are working on the best way to showcase this and enable people to find the content either when specifically searching for this collection or browsing the libraries’ collections in general,” Day said.
Day expects to have most of the suggestions purchased by late May. The Represent Collection website will be updated with information as the content is added and the collection grows.
Day urges students to make suggestions for the collection. “We want our libraries’ collections to better represent a diversity of perspectives, experiences and authors and be a better reflection of UNLV, one of the nation’s most diverse university communities. UNLV students’ participation will be vital in helping us move forward on this goal.”
This is the first time the library is running such a program. Day hopes that this can be an annual event and build up the collection with new suggestions every year. In terms of funding, she said, “We have funding from the Libraries Dean’s Leadership Circle and other general endowment funds to purchase materials for the pilot but we may need to secure other sources of funding for future iterations of this program.”
“We hope [the collection] can be as big as the UNLV community wants it to be, based on their suggestions,” Day said.Suggestions can be made online by visiting the Represent Collection website: https://www.library.unlv.edu/research/represent-collection.