[MGSA-L] MGSA LIBRARY COMMITTEE'S RESOLUTION REGARDING COVID-19 CHALLENGES TO COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT IN MODERN GREEK & HELLENIC STUDIES

MGSA exec. director mgsa.org at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 06:27:37 PDT 2020


*https://www.mgsa.org/Resources/libraries.html
<https://www.mgsa.org/Resources/libraries.html>*


*The Library Committee of the Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA)
*recognizes
the outstanding work of the Collection Development and Equity in the Time
of Covid-19 Task Force in the crafting of the Seminar on the Acquisition of
Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) Resolution
<https://salalm.org/salalm-resolution-collection-development-in-the-time-of-covid-19/>,
the substantive and important response by the Middle East Librarians
Association (MELA)
<https://www.mela.us/2020/06/22/mela-statement-on-collection-development-access-and-equity-in-the-time-of-covid-19/>,
and the most recent response by The Committee on South Asian Libraries and
Documentation (CONSALD) <http://www.consald.org/covid.html>. We join them,
in expressing our concerns for the vulnerability of print materials and the
economies that support their production, as well as the exclusionary impact
of e-preferred collection policies. We strongly advocate for the continued
support of Open Access initiatives, and the preservation of funding and
expert staffing required to acquire and process materials from these
regions.

Therefore, the Library Committee of the Modern Greek Studies Association
endorses the SALALM Resolutions, the MELA and CONSALD responses, and asks
libraries to consider the following addenda:

*Resolution*

Considering that due to the COVID-19 situation and budgetary reductions,
libraries are implementing policies focusing primarily on digital formats,
the MGSA Library Committee expresses the following concerns regarding
challenges to collection development of Modern Greek and Hellenic Studies:


1. Whereas, most publications from Greece and Greek diaspora communities
throughout the world are print-only, and are not available in electronic
formats;

2. Whereas, e-preferred collection development policies will exclude
non-English language materials and Greek cultural and scholarly production,
including those of Greek immigrant communities in the United States, which
are critical for advancing the research on and learning about Greek life in
Greece and in the diaspora communities in the United States, Canada,
Australia, and other European countries, and for students and scholars at
institutions of higher learning in the United States and elsewhere;

3. Whereas the study of modern and contemporary Greece builds on the long
and prolific tradition of studies on ancient and Byzantine Greece, among
the earliest humanities fields at academic research institutions in the
United States together with Latin, Theology and Philosophy that were
studied and taught and published centuries before the invention of
computers and scanners;

4. Whereas, a sudden shift away from research materials only available in
print not only threatens the integrity of diverse library collections, but
also places a dedicated network of often small local vendors of scholarly
and ephemeral research materials at risk of closure;

5. Whereas, these local vendors are essential because of their knowledge of
scholarship and publications in Greece and because they provide access to
necessary and unique materials for learning, teaching and research that
generally are overlooked by larger vendors based outside of Greece;

6. Whereas, although pioneering cooperative Open Access models such as that
of E.K.T. (the National Documentation Centre of Greece) are making
scholarly journals and monographs from Greece available, a large gap of
these materials still exists.


*Be it resolved,* that the Library Committee of the Modern Greek Studies
Association on behalf of its members:

   - Urges libraries to continue acquiring print materials through a
   network of Greek and other international vendors, often the only available
   sources, thereby not limiting diversity in scholarly collections.
   - Encourages collaboration and further discussion with academic
   institutions across the United States and with local Hellenic societies and
   archives, as well as with libraries in Greece, such as The National Library
   of Greece, The Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical
   Studies at Athens, and at Greek universities, such as Aristotle University
   of Thessaloniki, Kapodistrian University of Athens, The University of Crete
   at Heraklion and Rethymnon, and The University of Patras.
   - Endorses existing and future collaborative Open Access projects such
   as the *Greek Digital Journal Archive* and *Open Greek and Latin.*


-- 
Vangelis Calotychos
MGSA Executive Director
Visiting Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Brown University
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