Criteria for selection
- For buying, is it suitable for the library?
o Physical format
* Libraries want quality binding. In 2004 we asked ourselves how much longer would VHS be collected for? Do you want print or electronic formats?
- Purpose, Scope and Audience
- o Look at reviews and publishers. Does the purpose match the clientele? Does it indicate the reading level? Is that a reading level suitable for the clientele?
o Reading level
- Authority, Honesty and Credibility of the author
o Is the author well known? Are they an expert in their field? Are the reviews good?
- Subject matter
o Do a lot of people cite that author’s work? Does articles appear in periodicals? A re they quality researched books?
o Look at reviews of books the library already has on the subject. Does this book add anything to the field?
o Big publications sell most of their copies within the first five years. Non-fiction publications are only valid within two years of publication for good information.
- Literary merit
- Arrangement and organization
- Curriculum support
- Local content
o Does the format suit the purpose of the book, and for the user? E.g. language, on audio/video, and for seniors large type books and on tape/CD.
o Patrons prefer paperbacks, so laminate the covers for protections. Those with ‘nice’ covers (perhaps illustrative, bright), are more popular than those with ‘boring’ covers. Try to avoid books with spiral/teeth binding, as these materials need to be repaired sooner rather than later, and often.
o Hardcovers can look boring without their dust jackets, losing appeal.
o Illustrations are important in both non-fiction and fiction books. Colour is more appealing, as are photographs over pictures. Are they appropriate?
Resources that allow informed decisions
- Current sources for in-print books
- Catalogues, flyers, announcements
o from publishers
- Best books, recommended lists and core collections
- Current review sources
o Libraries rely on these aids heavily, check online regularly
- Subject bibliographies
- National bibliographies
o e.g. Canadiana, access over Amicus to access bibliographies worldwide
- Books in Printo Forthcoming Books in Printo Paperback Books in Print* 8 printed volumes contain titles and authors. 5 volumes contain subject
* volumes available in print, on CD or by Internet, all with or without reviews
* Only relevant to U.S. titles
- Canadian Books in Printo Huge 2 volume contain author, title and subject
- Whitaker’s Books in Print (UK)
o Available online
- Cumulative Book Index (Wilson)
o Reference only
- Reviews for trade, professional booksellers and librarians
* In Publishers Weekly. These are informative reviews wanting to sell the book, not evaluative, so won’t tell the whole truth
* Will tell the truth about books, not always recommending them, similar to critical (slamming books, but wouldn’t say it’s not recommended)
- Reviews for subject specialists (professional journal reviews)
o ALA produces Booklist (public), Choice (academic)
o School Library Journal (K-12)
o Library Journal (Adults)
* Some libraries use all three titles, especially large academic and public libraries. Lots of libraries will subscribe to at least the suitable publication.
- Reviews for general public
o In newspaper stands, yet deemed highly influence
- Promotional review sources
o Publisher’s Weekly
* not always promotional, wants to help publisher sell
o Kirkus Reviews
- Books in Canadao reviews Canadian books
- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Bookso from Illinois library school graduates; highly respected
- Choiceo academic break down by subject
o highly critical
o can base selection on reviews – if review is bad, the book is likely to be
- CM Canadian Materialso http://umanitoba.ca/cm/
o material has to be published in Canada before it is reviewed
o highly respected
- Horn Book
- Library Journalo school libraries
- School Library Journalo school libraries
- Most books are only reviewed once, if at all
o take a closer look before buying
- Time lag
o some reviews aren’t written/published
o some reviews aren’t available until after demand dies
- Some sources only publish favorable reviews
- Competence of Reviewers
Major magazines and newspapers contain book reviews. These include Canada’s National Post.
- Globe & Mail
- New York Times Book Reviewo Weekly section reviewing high quality
- Radio and TV shows
o e.g. Oprah Winfrey
- Times Literary Supplemento British version of New York Times Book Review
Often subscribe and look at websites monthly. Sources will help recommended reviews.
- Book Review Digesto published monthly
o includes review excerpts
o non-fiction must be reviewed twice, fiction three, at least once in Canada
- Book Review Indexo monthly reviews
o citations only
- Canadian Periodical Index
- Canadian Book Review Annualo print
o lists where books have been reviewed
- CBCAo periodical/journal/book reviews
o includes major Canadian books
- EBSCOhost (and many others)
- Acqweb’s Directory of Book Reviews on the Web http://acqweb.org/bookrev.html
o list of book review web sites
- CM: Canadian Materials http://umanitoba.ca/cm/
o Canadian only
- Yahoo Directory of Book Reviews http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Humanities/Literature/Reviews/
o “lots of different websites”
- Login Brothers http://lb.ca/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/lbhome?
Best books, recommended lists etc.
- Wilson catalogs
o part of H.W. Wilson, their books are called ‘catalogs’
o provides list of basic titles all libraries should have
o They recommend American Best of Best
o Libraries can use as a checklist
o Hard volume published every 5 years
o supplements also available
o highly respected
o provides cataloguing information
* Children’s catalog
* Fiction catalog
* Public Library catalog
* Middle and Junior High School Library catalog
* Senior High School catalog
- Brodart’s Elementary School Collection
o pre-school to grade 6 titles
o Dewey Decimal
- Brandon-Hill lists
o medical field
o highly respected
o several lists
* health sciences
- Bibliographie de France
- British National Bibliography
- Canadianao Canada
- Deutsch Bibliolgraphieo German
- Requires government documentations from the bibliographies
o also available online
o easier to circulate
o lists tables of contents
o pre-publication flyers, sees how much interest is available before mass producing
o e-mails new offers
o lists tables of contents
- Web sites