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There is a well-publicized debate in the library field on whether or not it should be an academic library’s responsibility to collect and preserve popular culture materials. Budget constraints, space issues, and the “quality” of these materials, are all widely documented concerns as to why popular culture materials—especially popular literature titles—are still not making their way into an academic library’s permanent collection. This study describes a survey of 22 academic libraries throughout the country that use a leased popular literature collection in addition to or instead of purchasing popular literature titles for their permanent collection. The study was designed to answer the following research questions and others: Why do academic libraries choose to use a leasing plan to provide a popular literature collection for their users? What are the values/benefits these collections provide for the library and its users?


Kerri Odess-Harnish received her M.S.L.S. from the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002. She is currently a Reference/Instruction Librarian at Gettysburg College. This study was originally conducted for completion of the M.S.L.S. degree, and subsequently published in Collection Management (27:2 55-74). The author would like to thank Barbara B. Moran, Ph.D. for all of her guidance and support throughout the research process.