Fall 2022 Blog Post 1

Reflect on your time so far in RADS. What has been interesting or surprising? What do you think is the role of young adult literature in a college library?

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began working in RADS, especially as I wasn’t even sure what was meant by “resource acquisition and discovery”, but everything I have learned about the office and worked on myself here so far has been more than interesting. I love learning how things work, so it’s been such a rewarding experience to learn about all the intricate processes that are implemented by so many different people to complete what seems like the simple task of putting a new book on the shelf. I had never really thought about what goes into cataloguing a book, let alone the ethics of it before learning about the issues with subject headings there have been from the documentary Change the Subject. I was so surprised to learn of how recent some of the changes made by the Library of Congress were that should have been common decency about referring to people of different backgrounds. But I was also encouraged by the efforts of librarians across the country to increase ethical cataloguing, such as the existence of the “Cataloging Code of Ethics”. I still wonder about how more can be done for libraries to stay up to date, as well as how inevitable future language changes can be incorporated into the library’s system as language evolves. On another side of library ethics, I was also surprised by the issues in database subscriptions brought up in the documentary Paywall. I was fascinated and disturbed by the types of unethical money-making practices so many of these publishing companies get away with. The documentary made me realize just how lucky I am to be attending such a well-supported institution that can afford to access practically any research one might need, but I hope other libraries around the world will soon be able to access these same materials that should be free for everyone.

I’m also really enjoying the experience of creating the young adult collection! I think that having books available for pleasure reading, such as young adult novels, is quite valuable at a college library, especially at Carleton. The rigorous trimester schedule makes the short terms often seem quite hectic, so having young adult literature to come read to de-stress could be very helpful for many students. I’m glad that we are creating an actual young adult collection in the library, though, because other than the Young Adult Reads collection on Catalyst, it is rather hard to just browse for young adult books in the library without already having a title in mind. Highlighting a selected collection of young adult books and putting them in a highly frequented part of the library will bring greater accessibility to the books the library has to offer.