A few weeks ago I filed a request for National Enquirer to enter the library's permanent collection of periodicals. My request was denied on the basis that it is a rag and has no academic merit. I strongly disagree with this verdict and am wondering if there's any way I could petition this further. I can't help but feel that National Enquirer is an enriching publication, no less worthy than say, Vogue or Harper's Bazaar. National Enquirer provides unparalleled insight into a dimension of culture most of us are totally unaware of. I firmly believe that it would be welcomed by students interested in American studies, mass communication/media, and beyond.
From: an undergraduate student
Karen Cary, Head of Collection Management, responds...
We appreciate your interest in the collections at VCU Libraries, including your request for the National Enquirer. The guiding principle of collection management is to develop collections that support the University's academic programs. Collection management librarians choose materials that best serve two primary University functions: instruction and research.
We develop collections to reinforce and enhance the quality of instruction across the curriculum. University faculty rely upon VCU Libraries' collections to prepare course materials and student assignments. Likewise, students use these resources for course-related study and to complete assigned projects.
Because research is also vital to the University's mission, VCU Libraries provides faculty and students with collections resources that promote the intellectual inquiry and experimentation that form the research process. The role of VCU Libraries is to obtain the information essential to our researchers' investigations.
Unfortunately, budgetary constrictions limit our ability to purchase all resource materials useful to students and scholars of every discipline. In the case of the National Enquirer or any other resource requested by a member of the VCU community, there is a way for you to further petition your request. You may contact me at email@example.com or by phone at (804) 828-8773. I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your request.