Love is a Battlefield is a poster in the 2020 PNLA Virtual Poster Session. We encourage you to engage in discussion by leaving a comment on the page. The author of the poster will respond to comments the week of August 4-7, 2020.

Presenters: Robin Bradford & Nancy Clark

Track: Public Library

Abstract: Our goal is to show why a diverse romance collection is important to the public library, who reads it, and why it matters to your community. And also, we aim to introduce library staff to the broad range of diverse romances available and where to acquire them.

Poster:

About the Presenters:
Nancy Clark is a branch manager and former readers’ advisory librarian for Anchorage Public Library. A lifelong Alaskan, she writes contemporary romance novels and hopes for another World Series win for her beloved Chicago White Sox.

Robin Bradford works for the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA. She was recognized as RWA’s 2016 Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year and as a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

 

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Rick
2 months ago

The diversity angle with Romance is new to my thinking. Makes me curious if there is a place for these works within an academic library? I see academic libraries with YA collections and also Science Fiction collections — could Romance be next?

Nancy Clark
Reply to  Rick
2 months ago

Hi Rick,
If academic libraries have room for other genre literature, there’s no reason not to include romance fiction. Romance publishing moves very quickly, so the #MeToo movement had a strong influence in real time. It would be interesting to examine the various social issues (economic parity, diversity, consent) as they develop within the genre.
Also, romance has found a home at the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University. Check out Steve Ammidown (@stegan) on Twitter–he’s the archivist there, and Romance Writers of America 2019 Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year.

Robin Bradford
Reply to  Nancy Clark
2 months ago

Also, there are a few academic courses that focus on romance. I’m not sure at which institutions, but I’m sure Steve (as mentioned above) would probably know. Also, there is a scholarly journal dedicated to romance. The Journal of Popular Romance Studies. https://www.jprstudies.org/

Rick
Reply to  Robin Bradford
2 months ago

Wow — thanks for all this Information. Great food for thought. Based on @Sarah’s comment below — I wonder if an ebook collection of romance materials would be a sensible solution. I

Nancy Clark
Reply to  Rick
2 months ago

Romance genre publishing is heavy on ebooks, and many titles are ebook only. I’ve found that Hoopla in particular seems to feature more mid-list and smaller market romance titles, including those by diverse authors. And more indie romance novelists are learning how best to get their books into libraries by using self-publishing vendors who then make the titles available via Overdrive, etc.
On the reader side, many romance readers read ebooks and listen to audiobooks via downloadable venues. I would say that focusing on electronic formats would be one good avenue for building your romance collection, and certainly shouldn’t be neglected.

Sarah
2 months ago

This is so wonderful! I purchase romance ebooks for a local Canadian ebook collection and this has really helped me! Thank you so much.

Nancy Clark
Reply to  Sarah
2 months ago

I’m so glad this has been helpful to you! There are many other resources out there. One that is overlooked by many selectors is Twitter. Romance Twitter and Library Twitter have a large and very active intersection. When it comes to diversity in the genre, it’s a great way to keep a finger on the pulse. The blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has a good search option, and they tag their reviews as well. If you need other resources, just ask. I know Robin and I can provide more.