Rosalind Bucy: Assessing a collection of Indigenous books
Centering Indigenous Perspectives in Library Collections Through an Assessment of Monographs
Rosalind Bucy is a Research & Instruction Librarian for the Humanities, supporting research, teaching, and learning across a range of subjects. Her own research focuses on student and faculty experiences with academic library spaces and collections. Her most recent research project explored Indigenous undergraduate students’ experiences of the university library.
For this project, we will investigate the University of Nevada, Reno libraries’ collection of Indigenous monographs (i.e., books). We will also work to transform the collection by proposing actionable changes that impact the collections we hold and how they are organized. Library collections have long been shaped by dominant perspectives, which often exclude, marginalize, or stereotype Indigenous peoples. Standard library description practices have also embedded colonialism in the organization of library collections. Recent efforts by academic libraries have attempted to assess library collections to ensure coverage of diverse topics, to center diverse perspectives, and to reimagine description to incorporate Indigenous peoples’ ways of knowing. However, the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries has not reviewed its books related to Indigenous peoples. Members of the Indigenous Student Organization proposed an assessment of the book collections. In response to this call, the libraries are undertaking a research project to assess the current collection. The goals of this research project are to assess the libraries’ collection of Indigenous monographs and to propose changes to the composition and organization of the collection to center Indigenous perspectives. Students can expect to analyze the collections and make community-based recommendations for changes.