APR 23

Works in Progress Webinar: Diversifying library collections through student-led collection development

This webinar outlines a library-run student internship aimed at promoting diversity in the Bryn Mawr College Libraries’ collections. The program empowers students with the knowledge and budget to select and purchase diverse popular reading material from independent bookstores.

This event is on-demand. View the recording below.



  • Camilla MacKay, Director of Research and Instructional Services, Bryn Mawr College Libraries
  • Arleen Zimmerle, Humanities and Media Librarian, Bryn Mawr College Libraries


In line with Bryn Mawr College’s commitment to equity and inclusion, librarians from the research and instruction, and collection management departments partnered to create a week-long spring break undergraduate student internship. Now in its third year, Students Shape the Shelves promotes greater diversity in library collections by providing students with the knowledge and budget to purchase books for the popular reading collection. Students draw on their own backgrounds and interests to select books that represent diverse voices.

Over the course of the week, student interns are introduced to academic library collection development and meet with librarians at the local public library to learn about the different ways they build their collections. Through conversations with managers at local bookstores (including the independent campus bookstore, a Black-owned bookstore, and an LGBTQ and feminist bookstore) students gain insights about the economics of bookstores and their connections with the communities they serve. The students use their budget to purchase books from these stores.

This webinar focuses on program logistics, achievements and challenges, what we’ve learned, and plans for sustainability.

This webinar will be of interest to those interested in diversifying library collections and fostering connections between students and librarians. It will also be of interest to those interested in promoting collaboration between public and technical services librarians.

All affiliates of OCLC Research Library Partnership organizations are invited to participate.

View recording


23 April 2024


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]

Live webinar sessions are exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners, but the recordings are publicly available to all.