SPEC Kit 347: Community-based Collections · 67
Lack of informal policies and procedures at outset can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction from both parties.
Community education on library functions and setting is integral from the beginning in order to more realistically
manage expectations. Definition of who is included in the community can be interpreted more narrowly by those who
self-appoint themselves as representatives. This can diminish or ignore other aspects of the community.
Really understand the fabric or make up of the community prior to acquiring the collection to understand the social
context in which the records were created. Ask about how personal information was collected and why (are there any
disclosure forms?) Ask about copyright for the textual records and images.
To successfully build community-based collections, you need to have a trusted relationship with a strong partner in the
community who will be a long-term ambassador. You also need to have strong library and campus support to ensure
space, communications, and advancement needs are in place.
We believe that collections that we take in should be open to researchers whenever possible, a goal that is not
always possible with community-based collections. The cost over time to the university of stewardship is an issue that
community organizations are sometimes not in a position to help with. Establishing effective and appropriate means of
communication can sometimes be difficult, especially with organizations that have both paid staff and active volunteers.
Previous Page Next Page