Collection Development Futures Project

Barnard Library is made up of collections, interactive learning experiences, interdisciplinary Centers, and networks of people and information connected through and between Barnard and other Columbia Libraries. This nexus of curated relationships combines platforms including print and digital, purchased and open access, circulating and archival.

Amidst this exciting and complex context, we are examining the futures of our print, digital, and noncustodial relationship-based materials – including books, zines, media, and data – in the circulating collection. This is separate from but related to Barnard Archives and Special Collections.

We are reviewing and updating our Collection Development Policy, the document that details and guides how and what we collect and connect. During 2018-19, the Director of Collections Strategy and collaborators throughout the Library will gather focus groups and meet with students, alums, faculty, staff, and community to gather feedback and shape the futures of the Barnard Library Collection.

Want to join the conversation?

Together in this project, we will build on and refine our current specializations, and the close relationships with faculty, departments, and programs that inform these multiformat collections:

  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies,
  • Dance,
  • Art, and
  • General liberal arts undergraduate studies.

Throughout this process, we are informed by Barnard College core values including a commitment to collaborations with neighbors in Harlem; to environmental sustainability; and to building and nourishing relationships that affirm historically marginalized creators, publishing platforms, and researchers.

A few updates are already in process:


Barnard Alum Collection: The Barnard Alum Collection will soon be searchable in the catalog, and the Barnard Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Alum Collection will soon be searchable in the catalog and browseable on the shelves to the left of the Circulation & Reserves Desk on the second floor of the Milstein Teaching & Learning Center. Barnard BIPOC Alum Collection materials will have a duplicate copy in the general collection as well.


Barnard Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Alum Collection: We are introducing the Barnard Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Alum Collection, a part of the Barnard Alum Collection. In response to student and alum requests, this collection makes visible the creative work by Barnard Black, Indigenous, and People of Color alumnae and alums. The Barnard BIPOC Alum Collection affirms the lives, histories, and imaginations of past and current Barnard students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (POC).


Barnard FLIP Library: We have introduced the Barnard FLIP Library, a new collaboration with the Columbia First-Generation Low-Income Partnership. Created through student advocacy, the new Barnard FLIP Library seeks to provide textbooks to first-generation and/or low-income students.


Collaboration with Centers: We will be taking a look at how the Barnard Library multiformat collections connect with the interdisciplinary Centers of the Milstein Center for Teaching & Learning through new digitization processes and digital materials collection. 


Open Access: We are working with authors and editors to catalog Open Access materials created by Barnard College students, faculty, and community.


Queer & Trans People of Color Collection: We are introducing the Queer & Trans People of Color Collection, a collection that serves the request of students, alums, and community members to be able to find materials by and about QTPOC; this initiative also seeks to build and sustain Barnard Library relationships with presses run by QTPOC. This collection will overlap with and will retire the Lesbian Fiction Collection and the LGBTQ YA Collection; these two collections will still be searchable but will not grow under those titles.