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One New Thing
Friday, March 19, 2004
One New Thing: Your collection supports your user’s needs…

…and if something is being taught at your institution you need to have materials to support it. I’ve just finished reading an article from the latest issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship:

Dilevko, J. and Gottlieb , L. (2004). “Selection and Cataloging of Adult Pornography Web Sites for Academic Libraries”.
The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30 (1): 36-50.

I’ve always believed that it is definitely not appropriate to exclude items from a collection because they are controversial, and since the social and cultural aspects of pornography are studied at universities these days, pornography in the collection is no exception. (And yes, this is the material itself, not material that just talks about it). This is a great article that explains how you can develop a collection development policy for pornographic materials, including websites.

I admit that although I wouldn’t resist putting this sort of material into a library collection should there be a requirement for it, thinking about what sort of meaningful access points could be used was quite daunting…but there are some great suggestions in this article, including using the headings that Yahoo uses in its directory, such as "fetishes as sociocultural constructs" and "pornography as everyday objects", so you can be a little more specific about what type of material you are looking for when searching.

I’m not going to look at all the websites they point to as examples in this article because, um, I’m at work. But a site called Girl Tech was mentioned because of their information to parents/mentors about their Girl Powered Search Engine. Have a look at this as a Friday distraction – or better yet see if you can find the whole article as cited above. It will certainly make you think.

P.S. I'd like to find out if anyone reading this has experience with cataloguing this sort of material. Please leave a comment if you have anything you'd like to add.

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