Collections, Programs and Services
There are challenges to building ethnically diverse collections: minority communities may not see traditional institutions as keepers of their histories, librarians/archivists are not aware of the value of their materials, or these materials may not be seen as priority items when processing. Additionally, delays in processing and enabling access to these collections can result from librarians'/archivists' perception of a lack of public interest. Minority communities' motivation may be negatively impacted, furthering mistrust of traditional institutions and harming any potential momentum in acquiring materials.
Open access platforms provide libraries and librarians with new opportunities to develop ethnically diverse collections without donors having to donate and gift items. It also allows the non-special collection library from needing the required archival space and requirements to properly house physical materials.
At the Cultural Heritage Center at San Jose State University (SJSU), we have been digitizing community and university materials from our race/ethnic communities. SJSU faculty, students, and alumni have been pleased with the discoveries of these collections, which include graduation programs and student publications. Most libraries have access to the common hardware and software that can offer a more inclusive perspective than the traditional Special Collections archives. We will demonstrate how a team of individuals can make libraries' digital collections more inclusive and ethnically rich and diverse.