New Collections Support a Diverse and Global Curriculum
While Salisbury University’s campus is a bucolic place, it is not isolated from what goes on in the world. Clearly, the pandemic has had huge effects, but other trends have also affected us. Two trends influencing our curriculum – globalization and a focus on the experiences of minoritized populations – require adjustments in the SU Libraries’ collections to support faculty teaching and students researching in these areas.
We have expanded our collections in several ways. We now expect liaisons to spend at least 10% of their book budgets on “diverse” or global books. These can be books written by authors from minoritized populations or whose subject matter reflects diversity or global/international issues. For example, business liaison Teddy Stocking requested the purchase of Diversity and Inclusion in the Global Workplace: Aligning Initiatives with Strategic Business Goals, while psychology liaison Tina Pottel sought LGBT Psychology and Mental Health: Emerging Research and Advances. Nursing liaison Mou Chakraborty asked for Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care and health sciences liaison Caroline Eckardt wanted Developmental and Adapted Physical Activity Assessment. In all, one-third of the books we purchased in the 2019-2020 academic year related in one way or another to international or diverse topics.
Students rely heavily on electronic collections, and here we have greatly expanded our holdings. In spring 2020, Gale, publisher of the primary source collections known as Archives Unbound, offered us an unbelievable deal on its collections: 90% off list price and a negligible annual hosting fee. The collections feature digitized manuscripts, books, oral histories, newspapers and other primary sources. We had in the past purchased 14 of their collections relating to African American and American Indian studies. This offer gave us the opportunity to purchase an additional 295 collections, dealing with those areas as well as African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern material. We also have acquired in recent months a separate Gale collection, the Archives of Sexuality and Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940, Parts I and II, which “brings together primary source content on the social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world.”
Finally, our global holdings also have expanded thanks to our new membership in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) through our library consortium, the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI). The CRL is itself a research library whose members are libraries. Its holdings can be borrowed via Inter-Library Loan or downloaded, depending on their format, and include (but are not limited to) the largest circulating collection of newspapers in North America, more than 800,000 foreign dissertations, and major microfilm and paper collections from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
With these new books and collections, we are well-situated to support our academic programs.