Don't Call It a Comeback: Popular Reading Collections in Academic Libraries

Item

Title
Don't Call It a Comeback: Popular Reading Collections in Academic Libraries
Identifier
fac_pubs/48
Date
10/1/2018
Abstract
Despite the persisting notion that recreational reading does not have a place in the academic mission of college and university libraries, these libraries have a long history of providing pleasure reading for their patrons. During the latter half of the twentieth century, the idea of academic libraries meeting the recreational reading needs of students seems to have fallen out of favor, but a literature review of that time period shows that the collections themselves still existed. Discussion of—and justifications for—these collections, however, has enjoyed a resurgence in the library literature over the past decade. Given this renewed interest, this study seeks to assess just how common these collections are in US academic libraries today, and whether or not they are, in fact, enjoying a comeback from previous decades. This study surveyed the thirty-nine academic libraries that make up the Orbis Cascade Alliance in the Pacific Northwest, a diverse group of libraries in terms of size, type, budget, and student populations. The results of the survey show that a majority of libraries have a recreational collection and that these collections are valued by patrons and librarians alike. Recommendations are made for shifting the perspective on popular reading collections and their place in academic libraries, as well as for how to study them in the future.
Publisher
American Library Association
Language
eng
Type
Text
department or school name within institution
Library
Source
Reference and User Services Quarterly
volume
58
issue
1
page start
28
page end
39
note
Article was published by Reference and User Services Quarterly and can be found at <a href="https://journals.ala.org/index.php/rusq/article/view/6838/9203" target="_blank">https://journals.ala.org/index.php/rusq/article/view/6838/9203</a>.
Key Words
recreational reading, academic libraries
history note
272
Creator
Elizabeth Brookbank
Anne-Marie Davis
Lydia Harlan