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, the substantive and important response by the Middle East Librarians Association (MELA), and the most recent response by The Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation (CONSALD). 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:
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:
A broad collective statement on “Equity and Access in Higher Education and Academic Libraries Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic,” endorsed by numerous librarians, students, faculty, academic organizations, executive boards and committees, and professional organizations — in a ‘final’ version of August 17, 2020 — can be found here.
The Friends of the Princeton University Library
offer short-term Library Research Grants to promote scholarly use of the library's research collections.
Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection
Library Research Fellowship Program
"The MGSA Greek American Initiative" is our catalogue of information about archival and scholarly sources on Greek America (with additional information on the wider Greek Diaspora).