Diversifying Performing Arts Collections

Library staff who want to diversify their performing arts collections often struggle with where to start—especially if they are not an expert in the performing arts. This webinar will provide both inspiration and concrete ideas for diversifying performing arts collections in terms of books, plays, video recordings, sound recordings, music scores, online resources, and more. 

Many of our libraries and the systems we utilize (acquisitions, cataloging, classification systems, collection development policies, etc.) cater to a Western-centric perspective that privileges white heteronormativity, and performing arts collections tend to rely on the canon or major works that often exclude, erase, or misrepresent underrepresented groups, cultures, and individuals. 

Participants will learn strategies for both public and academic library work that are accessible and impactful. These strategies include audits, getting buy-in from colleagues, connecting to the performing arts community, updating approval profiles, and incorporating DEI into collection development policies. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own passion to create more equity and justice within their performing arts collections in order to develop a concrete diversity plan.

By attending this webinar, participants will:

  • Learn about how historic and current collection development practices tend to uplift certain perspectives and voices while erasing or silencing those that are marginalized or underrepresented.
  • Gain strategies they can employ at their library or institutions to diversify their performing arts collections.
  • Reflect on their own personal convictions for justice and equality and use that to develop their own plan for diversifying performing arts collections.

Veronica Alzalde Wells has 13 years of experience as a music librarian. Much of her work and scholarship have been dedicated to applying a diversity, equity, and inclusion perspective to collections, instruction, and programming, including a DEI audit of a music scores collection. Previously at the University of the Pacific as the Assistant Dean for User Services & Programs, where she also served as the music librarian, Veronica is currently the Outreach and Public Services Lecturer Librarian for the Special Collections Research Center at Appalachian State University. Veronica also teaches yoga and meditation.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at ce@ala.org or at 312-280-5100.