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Before the Shelf

By Camila Sánchez-González

In my third rotation as an OhioLINK Luminaries intern, I have been reflecting on my time in the University Libraries’ Collections Strategies & Services (CSS) department as one of attaining new skills and experiencing a higher level of accountability.

The CSS division is responsible for many behind-the-scenes tasks in the library, such as acquisitions, cataloging and metadata, licensing, and electronic resources and discovery.

For example, I’ve never had to work on a budget before, so that was completely new. Second, I had the responsibility of choosing content and resources for a collection that is still under development. It was a little intimidating because the topic I was researching is not something I had a lot of familiarity with: sustainability. 

Sustainability has various subcategories, which means that the possibilities for sustainability content are vast!

However, I can strongly confirm that this experience has given me a new passion for the subject, and I want to learn more about different subgenres in this field such as agriculture, farming and food maintenance. 

As I was researching what books to purchase for the collection, I had to think about my audience. There are different types of readers, all with unique interests and curiosities. Some are more inclined toward scientific research, others toward a more subjective lens. I decided to create two categories: academic and leisure. Based on these categories, I was able to expand on different subjects and themes ranging from climate change, agriculture and food science to clothes and architecture. Given that the field is so extensive, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Therefore, I decided to reach out to faculty and staff in sustainability roles here at UD. This was the best method for me to make sure the collection would meet the needs and interests of both the students (learners) and the faculty (educators).

This is how librarians at Roesch build our collections as well — through outreach into academic departments and faculty.

For me the most gratifying aspect about working on this project has been seeing the collection come to life from start to finish:

  1. Research
  2. Purchase
  3. Approval
  4. Cataloging 
  5. Processing
  6. Bookshelf (or links to the online resources)

The process, although sometimes very long, is worthwhile. What's even more satisfying to me is the long-lasting effect this collection will have on future users of the library and University. Knowing that I am contributing a little part of knowledge and curiosity into a collection that is so critical in so many concentration fields is huge!  

Read more about sustainability at UD

Sustainability Libguide

Sustainability department faculty 

Hanley Sustainability Institute 

— Camila Sánchez-González is the 2022-23 OhioLINK Luminaries intern in the University Libraries.

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