College campuses are centers of education, knowledge and research and must exhibit the values of diversity, inclusion and social justice in all aspects of campus life. It is especially vital that academic libraries are able to offer diverse and inclusive content to students and researchers that supports and reinforces these values while reflecting the diversity of students and library users. How is GOBI Library Solutions helping support libraries in their need for diverse content?
One way is with its Awards Program. GOBI Library Solutions has recently enhanced this program with 22 new adult awards, increasing its offering to more than 950 awards from more than 220 different organizations. These 22 new awards are focused specifically on diversity-related content and include award such as the Arab American Book Awards, the International Latino Book Awards, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Awards and more.
Spotlight Lists in GOBI are curated selection lists that feature librarian-recommended e-books and print books. The new DRM-Free Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Spotlight List includes more than 50 highly-curated titles covering a wide range of topics within these important subjects. All titles are DRM-free, and without print limits, download limits, copy and paste restrictions and download expirations.
In addition to these resources, GOBI Library Solutions is also helping libraries through its book profiling process, which utilizes a specialized, proprietary tagging process. GOBI Library Solutions has recently added new diversity tags that help libraries ensure that no content is missed.
GOBI Library Solutions has a team of profilers who examine more than 67,000 titles per year. Profilers evaluate the complete book “in-hand” — whether it’s a print copy or an e-book edition — to pull out relevant and important information beyond what you would find in a publisher’s summary or what is captured by standard cataloging in order to enhance the bibliographic metadata of a title. This information is captured in 45 different types of metadata fields for each record, and many fields allow for multiple descriptors per field, giving the ability to discover relevant tests across multiple disciplines. The resulting profiled records allow libraries to drill down to find the books that match their needs and preferences by driving approval plan decisions directly and by supplying data for future purchase decisions.
Determining New Tags
The best sources of ideas for new descriptor tags are GOBI Library Solutions’ Collection Development Managers (CDMs) and customers. Once CDMs have identified descriptors that customers will find useful and have shared them with the Profiling Manager and the Profiling Decision Support (PDS) manager, these departments begin the collaborative process of discussing how to define and use a new tag.
When the suggestion was made to add a Disability Studies tag, there were multiple discussions within the profiling group and with the CDMs to clarify whether libraries wanted this tag to identify societal studies of disability, practical works on disability design, and/or clinical medical material. It also required very serious consideration and multiple discussions of what was included in “disability,” what was not, and when the same conditions or circumstances should or should not be classified as part of “Disability Studies.”
How Tags Are Defined
The first draft of a definition is usually written by the CDM and/or by the Profiling Manager. GOBI Library Solutions’ CDMs know what they want to capture for customers, and the Profiling Manager knows what makes a good definition for clear, consistent use for profiling. Drafts of definitions are shared and edited collaboratively, questions and feedback are gathered from the profiling team, and this interactive process continues until the new tag has a definition that meets everyone’s needs. Once that new tag has been clearly defined, it is added to the metadata options in GOBI, added by CDMs and PDS to approval plans, and the profilers begin using it when profiling new titles.
How Profiling Tags Help Libraries Find Diverse Content
As considerations for diversity, inclusion and social justice have become increasingly vital, GOBI Library Solutions supports academic libraries with new tags for Poverty Studies, Disability Studies and Migration/Border Studies. These add to the many existing tags aimed at helping libraries identify valuable material such as Indigenous Studies, Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, Black Studies, LGBTQ+, and Multicultural Studies. These tags drive library approval plans and ensure that libraries get the precise content they’ve asked to receive, while libraries doing their own searches in GOBI can use these tags to easily find relevant titles. In addition, these tags are used to help create Spotlight Lists like the new Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Lists. No matter how libraries prefer to acquire material, these tags make it easier for librarians to develop their collections and find trusted content on important topics.