Curating Community Collections: A Holistic Approach to Diverse Collection Development

Bloomsbury Libraries ­Unlimited. Feb. 2024. 328p. pap. $60.95. ISBN 9781440880988.
A book to support librarians in every field. This outstanding work should be required reading for every LIS student, and seasoned librarians will find valuable insights within its pages. The authors provide great practical resources as well as the background and theory that guided the work. Notably, every chapter ends with interviews from librarians from different types of libraries, so that every topic includes perspectives from the different branches of librarianship. The ten chapters are organized into two parts. The first is focused on curating diverse collections. Chapters in this section include the history of how privilege circulates unseen in libraries, both historically and to this day. The next few chapters provide clear, step-by-step instructions, including resources, for diversity audits, collection development, and weeding. The second part is where it is evident that the authors sought to upend the way readers think about collection development, focusing on community. This part addresses specific communities, satellite collections, innovative ways to engage communities, sharing success with stakeholders, and addressing broader cultural considerations. The book ends with a chapter that considers the recent uptick in material challenges. This work is a great balance between theory and practical steps to make changes in library collections. As the authors state, libraries are uniquely positioned to make positive change in communities, and this work will support that, pushing diversity into recognition, celebration, and advocacy.
VERDICT Highly recommended. This outstanding work has offerings in both theory and practice and is an excellent resource for both LIS students and experienced librarians.

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