Building a Popular Science Library Collection for High School to Adult Learners: Issues and Recommended Resources

Overview

In response to the often-cited need to improve science literacy in the United States, this book examines how popular science information resources contribute to this goal and recommends nearly 2,500 significant titles—70 percent published since 1990—representing all fields of modern science. This guide provides librarians, educators, and other information specialists with an understanding of science literacy, as well as the knowledge of the skills and principles necessary to evaluate works of popular science. The...

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Overview

In response to the often-cited need to improve science literacy in the United States, this book examines how popular science information resources contribute to this goal and recommends nearly 2,500 significant titles—70 percent published since 1990—representing all fields of modern science. This guide provides librarians, educators, and other information specialists with an understanding of science literacy, as well as the knowledge of the skills and principles necessary to evaluate works of popular science. The annotated bibliographies are organized into nine subject areas and represent the body of current, significant popular literature for the entire discipline, including reference works, autobiography and biography, history of the discipline, and specific topics within the discipline. Nonprint resources are evaluated as well. This work will be valuable for collection development, making reference recommendations, and designing programmatic learning activities and is intended for public, high school, community college, and college and university librarians, as well as for science teachers.

Librarians and information specialists must develop representative collections and be able to evaluate and recommend scientific information resources effectively. This work is unique in developing a unifying contextual background and linking popular science library collections to science literacy. Part One, Scientific Information, Popular Science, and Lifelong Learning, discusses historical and current issues related to popular science, science literacy, and information resources. Included is the most exhaustive discussion available of how to evaluate works of popular science. Part Two, Subject Guides to Popular Information Resources, is an annotated bibliography of 2,500 recommended print and nonprint works in general science, astronomy and space sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, medicine and health sciences, natural history, physics, and technology and applied science. Each core entry contains a complete bibliographic citation, a 25-75 word descriptive and evaluative annotation, and a list of review sources. Annotations consider the resource's level of relevance, scope, comprehensibility, and uniqueness, and compare resources, especially the ways in which they complement or contrast with one another. Additional recommended titles contain a brief annotation.

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Editorial Reviews

Zom Zoms
Sapp, head of access services at the University of Miami Library, believes reading popular nonfiction is an important way for high-school students and adult learners to acquire knowledge about science. This book examines nearly 2,500 titles, about 70 percent of which have been published since 1990. Entries include books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and CD-ROMs. Isaac Asimov, Stephen Jay Gould, Annie Dillard, Aldo Leopold, Carl Sagan, and Richard Rhodes are among the authors included The book is divided into two parts. The first consists of chapters discussing scientific literacy, science education, the history of scientific communication, and understanding and evaluating popular-science resources. These interesting essays should be useful to library science students and librarians new to collection development in the sciences. The second and largest part of the book, the bibliography, has nine chapters surveying such subject fields as chemistry, mathematics, medicine and health sciences, natural history, and technology and applied science. Each chapter has sections for reference, autobiography, biography, history, and specific topics within the field. For example, in the astronomy chapter are headings for galaxies, handbooks for amateurs, planetary astronomy, prehistoric astronomy, etc. All chapters and headings are arranged alphabetically to assist users Books under a heading are arranged under core titles and "also recommended" titles. Core entries have complete bibliographic information, content notes, and annotations of 25 to 75 words. "Also recommended" titles usually have shorter annotations. Both formats cite up to three evaluative reviews in such journals as "Booklist", "Choice", "Nature", and "Science". Periodical entries note publisher, frequency, and if it contains reviews. Audiovisual entries give publisher, date, format, and citations to evaluative sources. Entry information for CD-ROMs is skimpy, providing only publisher, date, and number of disks. Reviews are not cited, and there is no mention of equipment requirements. All of the periodical, audiovisual, and CD-ROM entries have annotations of one to two sentences. Three indexes assist users. The author and title indexes provide access to part 2 of the book; the subject index provides access to part 1 Most comparable works emphasize reference materials rather than popular-science nonfiction. "Reference Sources in Science, Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture" by Malinowsky Oryx, 1994 and "Information Sources in Science and Technology" by Hurt Libraries Unlimited, 1994 list many more titles but are aimed at a scholarly audience. All three books are fairly current with citations to recent materials. Public and high-school libraries should consider "Building a Popular Science Library for High School to Adult Learners" for their collections.
Booknews
Reviews some 2,500 print and nonprint resources, most published since 1990, representing fields of modern science such as astronomy, math, chemistry, medicine, physics, and technology. Includes chapters on science literacy, scientific communication, and popular science information resources. Resources include reference works, autobiography and biography, and works on specific topics within disciplines. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313289361
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/1995
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

GREGG SAPP, head of Access Services at the University of Miami's Richter Library, writes the annual Library Journal column "Best Sci-Tech Books for General Readers."

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I Scientific Information, Popular Science, and Lifelong Learning 1
Ch. 1 Science Literacy, Science Education, and Public Life 3
Ch. 2 A Brief History of Scientific Communication 21
Ch. 3 Understanding Popular Science Information Resources 31
Ch. 4 Evaluating Popular Science Information Resources 48
Pt. II Subject Guides to Popular Science Information Resources 65
Ch. 5 Science - General 67
Ch. 6 Astronomy and Space Sciences 87
Ch. 7 Biological Sciences 106
Ch. 8 Chemistry 136
Ch. 9 Mathematics 151
Ch. 10 Medicine and Health Sciences 170
Ch. 11 Natural History 205
Ch. 12 Physics 238
Ch. 13 Technology and Applied Sciences 258
Appendix: Book Review Source Abbreviations 291
Author Index 295
Title Index 309
Subject Index 327
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