Reply To: Issue Based Reflection – Culture and Pop Culture

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Chris Sonneveld

Building a library’s collection based on popular culture has both potential benefits and concerns. Content that is popular culture is likely to be in demand but could be short-lived and therefore library’s might want to hold back in investing too much in content that is popular. Investing in popular culture may deter libraries away from compiling a collection that is well-round and encompass materials leads to a collection that does not have a narrow focus on popular culture. This would be similar to online searching and filter bubbles where users are only seeing what they want to see and views and opinions that reinforce their existing ones. It would be hard to know whether patrons would acknowledge materials that they don’t have a tendency to move towards but if they are available there would always be the possibility of it occurring. A benefit to include popular culture could be to entice potential patrons that wouldn’t necessarily visit the library if those items were not available. In doing this you’re introducing people to library products and services that they previously did not know about. Due to financial limitations and limits on physical space, libraries need to be strategic in their approach on how they use these resources. The sharing of resources betweens allows libraries to be more flexible but increase wait time on popular items. If the libraries goal is to increase patrons numbers to possibility increase funding then increasing the number of popular items in your collection may be a way to go. This may make more sense as the wait time on less popular items are likely to not be as long but moral dilemmas may arise if a libraries collections  has a majority of popular culture materials that could limit a person’s learning and creativity over materials that may not have these constraints.

The new updates to the Copyright Act 1968 will allow Australia’s cultural institutions to provide its patrons with an even more diverse collection as it’s now to allowed to capture content from the Internet such as ebooks, blogs, websites and social media that it was not previously able to capture before the update the act. Before this change patrons would have been limited in the views offered through electronic resources. It would have also been difficult to hold those creating electronic content accountable because once changes had been made it was not always possible to see how they had been changed. Through archival techniques it’s now also possible to see how cultural ideas have evolved over time and pinpoint their origin.