Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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This article details the multi-year process of adding a 3,200 item campus collection to a university library’s catalog. The collection, housed outside of the library itself, belongs to the university’s Confucius Institute (CI). While acknowledging increasing political discomfort nationwide about Confucius Institutes, the university library nevertheless sought to increase discoverability and access to the unique set of materials by cataloging the entire collection. In addition to discussing lessons learned from undertaking the project, this article also includes results from a survey of additional university libraries on campuses with Confucius Institutes. Specifically examined in the article are: reasons for or against adding a CI collection, controversies about Confucius Institutes in general, the importance of establishing ownership of materials when adding a campus collection, special requests by outside entities, the importance of establishing clear loan policies and procedures, challenges related to cataloging foreign language materials and textbook sets, and what to do in the event that a campus collection owner closes its doors or withdraws its collection.