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2020 Collections Forum


2020 Collections Forum

The global pandemic continues to challenge academic, cultural, and social institutions on many fronts. A network of academic groups, associations, and committees came together to articulate our shared concerns during these extraordinarily difficult times. Our statement, Equity and Access in Higher Education and Academic Libraries Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, was written by colleagues from 16 organizations and it represents our shared areas of concerns and recommendations on how to alleviate challenges faced by marginalized communities of color, people with disabilities, and students from rural and low-income areas. It was published on August 17, 2020. Well over 283 librarians, students, faculty, academic organizations, executive boards and committees, and professional organizations have endorsed this statement.

We, the Coalition of Librarians for Equity and Access, are delighted to announce that we are hosting the first forum on collections.

The 2020 Collections Forum will be held on November 30, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (Central Time). It consists of four panels and one moderated discussion. Through these discussions, we are highlighting strategies, projects, initiatives, and scholarly contributions that directly address challenges faced by memory institutions. All librarians and interested groups are welcome!


10:00 am – Welcome & Introductory Remarks

Aruna Magier, Librarian for South Asian Studies, International Relations and Food Studies, New York University

Print vs E-Collections & Collaborative Collection Development


  • Mary Rader, Head, Fine Arts, Humanities & Global Studies Engagement Team, the University of Texas at Austin
  • Mike Furlough, Executive Director, HathiTrust Digital Library
  • Jana Krentz, Librarian for Latin American, Iberian & Latinx Studies, Yale University
  • Jeff Shane, Southeast Asia Subject Librarian, Ohio University


In light of the COVID-19 situation and budgetary reductions, libraries are implementing policies focusing primarily on digital formats that are posing immediate challenges to our collection development ecosystem. As a result, librarians, archivists, and administrators continue to work together to reassess how they acquire, process, and provide access to resources in their collections. This panel will study the questions surrounding multi-format purchasing as well as collaborative collection development to focus on the issues that the panelists have faced and are facing in these dynamic times. Panel participants will add their perspectives on these challenges by describing their experiences by providing enhanced access to a broader set of collections under difficult circumstances. The focus will be on enabling equitable user-centric access.

Re-envisioning Subject Headings and Metadata & Cooperative Initiatives to Tackle Hidden Collections


  • Becca Quon, Program Officer, Council on Library and Information Resources
  • Erin Freas-Smith, Acquisitions Librarian for Africa African, Latin American and Western European Division, Library of Congress
  • Nadine Hoffman, Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law and History Librarian, University of Calgary
  • Cynthia Whitacre, Senior Metadata Operations Manager, Metadata Quality, OCLC
  • Jenny Toves, Software Architect, OCLC
  • Jane Anderson, Associate Professor, Co-Director, Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Coordinating HubNew York University  


Memory institutions and vendors are exploring new avenues to increase access to hidden collections as well as enhancing existing, in some cases, investigating new approaches to metadata creation that incorporates experiences, languages, perspectives, and historical narratives from nondominated groups. This panel discussion seeks to highlight cooperative initiatives and perspectives from information professionals to amplify equity and inclusion in collection building and management. 

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Lunch Break
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Institutional and Collaborative Digital projects for traditional and non-traditional publishing


  • Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, Associate Professor of History, James Madison University
  • Ernest Oppong, Ag.Executive Director, African Publishers Network
  • Emma Molls, Publishing Services Librarian, University of Minnesota
  • Aruna Magier, Librarian for South Asian Studies, International Relations and Food Studies, New York University


This panel explores the thinking behind — and the strategies and approaches applied to —  individual institutions and collaborative digital projects and their publishing efforts, including those for non-traditional research outputs. We are particularly interested in exploring how these projects help libraries intentionally address or promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and collaboration in our collecting, discovery, preservation, and access practices. Democratizing access to the content produced in these digital publishing projects is relevant to the effectiveness of scholarly communication as well as to the potential for engagement with communities and stakeholders beyond academia, where there have been huge inequalities in access to resources, both human and financial, as well as in access to the knowledge produced or created.

Encompassing both library digital publishing of new content from traditional and non-traditional research outputs, and innovative projects for digitally reformatting and re-disseminating already-published content in new ways and for new audiences (and everything in between), this panel seeks to share experience and new perspectives and practices that emerge from these projects at the institutional level as well as in the context of inter-institutional collaboration.

2:00 pm – 2:15 pm – Short Break
2:15 pm – 3:30 pm
International Exchanges, Book Fairs, Conferences and Acquisition Trips


  • Mara Thacker, South Asian Studies & Global Popular Culture Librarian, Associate Professor, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Peter Zhou, Director and Assistant University Librarian, C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley
  • Adan Griego, Curator for Latin American, Iberian & Mexican American Collections, Stanford University
  • Deb Raftus, Librarian for French & Italian Studies, Spanish & Portuguese Studies, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies, University of Washington


This panel will consider the importance of international exchanges, book fairs, and overseas travel as necessary to the work of global and area studies librarianship. In 2016, attendees of the International and Area Studies Collections In the 21st Century meeting crafted the IASC21 Statement: The Value of International Travel for Area Studies Librarians. The statement recognizes that international travel is critical for the personal, professional, and institutional success of collection development and engagement. In light of recent budgetary, collection development, and access challenges occasioned by the pandemic, the panel will build on the themes of the IASC21 statement to consider how to creatively continue this work in the interim and to reinstitute the practice of overseas travel for the acquisition of unique and diverse materials to create distinctive collections once safe to do so.

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm – Short Break
3:45 pm – 4:15 pm

Discussion: Forum Themes and Outcomes

Closing Remarks

Thomas Keenan, Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Librarian, Princeton University

Forum Planning Team

Xi Chen (University of California, San Diego)

Rachel Leket-Mor (Arizona State University)

Patricia Figueroa (Brown University)

Thomas F. Keenan (Princeton University)

Adan Griego (Stanford University)

Hana Kim (University of Toronto)

Guy Burak (New York University)

Laila Hussein Moustafa (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Aruna P. Magier (New York University)

Liladhar Pendse (University of California, Berkeley)

Ellen Ambrosone (Princeton University)

Judy Alspach (Center for Research Libraries)

Joe Lenkart (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Please register to receive Zoom details.


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