Developing An Outstanding Core Collection / Edition 2

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Beth Karpas
Alabaster has many criteria for core books, but key among them is that "a core title must be well written and accurate but still lively enough to hold readers' interest." By that definition, Alabaster's own book definitely belongs in a core collection. The first four chapters are more philosophical than instructive and will entice even book lovers without a library degree. From the philosophy of core collections to developing a policy statement and selection, these are general chapters that are not only interesting in the abstract but also provide great detail for librarians starting or re-evaluating a core collection. Chapters on maintaining and implementing the core are of less interest to the layperson but highly valuable to a librarian, with such examples as book evaluation cards and step-by-step timelines for implementing a core collection. The final two chapters will again engage both laypersons and librarians. "Core Selection Resources and Works Cited" is an annotated bibliography of reference works and books on reading. "Sample Core Lists" includes selection criteria for librarians but would please any person who enjoys perusing "Best of" lists. This reviewer had only two issues with this book. First, the cover, while inviting for librarians, will probably turn away layreaders. Second, while the author emphasizes that genre books belong in a core collection, she puts them down: "It is virtually impossible to compare the literary merits [of genre books] . . . to the novels of Henry James." The core sample lists include only one book genre—mystery—and very few genre titles in the general fiction list. It is an unfortunate bias in an otherwise fantastic book that should please many book lovers, not just librarians. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838910405
  • Publisher: ALA Editions
  • Publication date: 2/24/2010
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 191
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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