May 20, 2022

Journal Article: “Real World Objects: Conceptual Framework and University Library Consortium Study”

The following full text article was published in the July 2019 issue of The Journal of Academic Librarianship.


Real World Objects: Conceptual Framework and University Library Consortium Study


Jessica Simpson
Texas Tech University Libraries


The Journal of Academic Librarianship
Volume 45, Issue 4; July 2019
DOI: j.acalib.2019.05.003


Expanding libraries’ repertoire of relevant materials is one of the most important areas of concern for librarians. Incorporation of objects into library collections is an ongoing practice for which librarians remain under-equipped. Having a common language to discuss less conventional library materials across specialization areas helps libraries provide patrons with access to valuable informational objects. In order to provide access and preservation for objects, libraries need a conceptual framework, which is developed here.

An observational case study was conducted to inform the reader of the current landscape of objects in libraries by sampling the websites and catalogs of a university consortium utilizing definitions established in the framework. The qualitative data from this study will be presented in a table after the framework is explored. This paper has implications for informational objects in every academic subject area, as well as for ongoing services in makerspaces and media centers.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.