In a special library, the vertical file is an interesting and useful tool. Basically, it’s a lot of articles and small publications that are too small to put on the shelf and not unique enough to need archived. We have a physical vertical file in my library but recently I’ve been develping a virtual one as well, for all of the web articles that get published about a particular topic.
If you aren’t aware, the second week of December 2011, was a rough one for the Home Improvement store Lowe’s. They decided to cut their advertising from the Dearborn, MI based reality show “All-American Muslim”. A letter from a Lowe’s Executive Support staff member to the Florida Family Association stated that the show did not meet with Lowe’s advertising guidelines. A massive boycott of Lowe’s was called for by many different people, including celebrities like Russell Simmons and Kal Penn. I thought it would be important to collect all of the web news coverage of this incident for research purposes. It is important to see how people are portraying Dearborn, Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and the show in the media, in response to this incident. Naturally, the library at my museum would be the place to do it.
I decided to create a “stack” on the Delicious account I was currently using for our virtual vertical file to organize and curate these stories. Our archivist is also interested in collecting these links and archiving the stories using the web-service “Archive-It”. This way, we will have an organized resource for researchers looking into how Arabs & Muslims are portrayed in the media.
Stack is located here: Lowe’s and All-American Muslim Coverage