Just as library services have to keep pace with their community’s needs, so too does the collection. What sort of collection policies are in place at your library to ensure access to the material from a wide range of users? In a public library setting this could mean providing different collections such as:
- community language,
- specialist young adult,
- local history collection; or
- large print collection for older readers or the visually impaired.
IFLA has guidelines for including braille into collections and the Library of Congress has information on both braille and audio book options for collections, including foreign language material. In 2014, the School Library Journal published a special edition devoted to diversity and many of these articles focus on ensuring a representative collection to meet student needs.
Perhaps if you work in an academic library you have wrestled with the problem of whether to provide material in foreign languages, or only in the language of instruction at your institution. Does your academic library provide leisure reading material to cater for students who may be living on campus? Are video materials subtitled to allow access by the deaf community?
What sort of collection decisions have you made or have noticed at your local library? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on twitter using #interlibnet and #diversity to help us track and share the conversation.