Purpose - This paper examines the current state of collecting with emphasis on small, independent, and local digital media for the purpose of exploring librarians’ tools in order to develop unique collections with these types of cultural products included.
Design/methodology/approach – This conceptual paper is based upon examination of the current state of publishing and digital media, of case profiles of independent digital content providers, of case profiles of public libraries using digital media to expand collections, and of collection developers’ tools, including reviewing sources.
Findings – With regard to expanding collections from small, independent, and local digital content providers, user-generated content (UGC) is offered as a tool for collection developers to use alongside other traditional reviewing sources. UGC allows for embedding collective voices into collection development practices in order to capture digital cultural products from these providers.
Originality/value – This paper reflects on the current state of digital content creation and publishing, including the limitations and possibilities in place for the future of public library collections from both large publishing companies and smaller media creators. Non-traditional digital media are cultural products produced for consumption and reception, therefore, we consider how these materials fit into contemporary collections, how they are connected to public libraries, and subsequently are made available to library users.