RLI 283 The Eaton Collection and UC Riverside Libraries 24 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2013 cataloging workflow along with new acquisitions. This has been a remarkably successful strategy that has dramatically reduced all library collection backlogs, including Eaton. In essence, the libraries have developed a plan that insures all donations of English-language materials collections are cataloged as rapidly as possible by a number of skilled catalogers rather than one specialist. This has helped to eradicate the perception that too many cataloging and processing resources were being allocated to Eaton as compared to other disciplinary areas. Community Engagement As a premiere science fiction collection, Eaton serves three distinct groups of important users. The first is the community of national and international science fiction and fantasy scholars. The second is the science fiction fandom community, which has a high interest in fanzines and the lore of science fiction characters. The third is science fiction writers, some of whom are scholars and some of whom are creative artists. The libraries now collect artifacts and action figures to remain connected to all three audiences through an evolving exhibition program. Although fans like to see “things,” the libraries have established collecting guidelines that limit artifact additions to a “representative sampling” of items rather than a comprehensive collection. Fans are pleased that UC Riverside librarians attend conventions and collect and preserve fanzines and the papers of science fiction and fantasy writers. The libraries rely on enthusiasts for gifts of fanzines, books, magazines, small artifacts, etc. Due to the blockbuster films that have been released over the past several years, the libraries expect more opportunities to cultivate supporters who desire to give collections, cash gifts, and endowed funding. The largest gift the library system is poised to receive in its history—a seven-figure endowment for the collection—will come from a well-known member of the science fiction community who photographed 20 years of conventions. His bequest also includes the 66,000 negatives of his photographic record of SF fandom, including candid shots of many of the leading authors in the field. Future Directions The “three-legged stool” as envisioned in 2007 by the then-chancellor continues to govern the role of the Eaton Collection and its impact on campus. The libraries partnered with CHASS and the Science Fiction Research Association to hold the 2013 Eaton Conference April 11–14, 2013. Over 200 paper proposals were received from around the world. To strengthen the collection, the libraries will maintain investment based on the needs of its constituents and integrate it into the digitization program, with special attention to developing methods of capturing, preserving, and making available the increasing number of “born- digital” science fiction materials. To continue alignment with the university science fiction academic and research program, the libraries host an annual lecture series showcasing science fiction writers and scholars, attend conferences geared to fandom, and pursue an endowment for funding competitive travel grants to bring scholars to the collection. Finally and most important, the libraries continue to work closely with the professors teaching science fiction to provide guest classes in Special Collections and Archives to introduce each group of incoming students to the rich resource available on their own campus.
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