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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ellen G. Detlefsen, DLS (University of Pittsburgh)
Description: This is a reprint of a special journal issue (The Acquisitions Librarian, nos. 31/32, 2004). As such, it is a collection of essays by practicing professionals about collection development issues in a variety of subject domains. Six of the 18 essays are directly relevant to medicine, addressing selection issues for dental sciences, nursing, public health, exercise/sport science, and interdisciplinary mental health materials, as well as a general essay on collection development in academic medical libraries.
Purpose: The editor cites the need for "practical up-to-date library literature on selection" and has chosen the articles to reflect "practice rather than training," and the experiences of "librarians active in selection work." These essays do come from experienced professionals and reflect the "how I do it good in my library" approach to practical situations. It is debatable if a hardcover book is needed to cover these tips and ideas, as they are constantly subject to change. Librarians in medical settings might do as well to find the nearest copy of the original Haworth Press journal, and request copies of the one or two essays that are most pertinent to their own collections.
Audience: The book is directed to librarians across the spectrum of practice and in a wide variety of libraries. The various authors are expert in their fields, but the usefulness of the title for health sciences librarians is limited to the six essays that focus on specialized areas of medical library collections.
Features: The six chapters of interest cover current collections development policy, concerns, and practical tips in the subspecialty areas of dental science in the academic library; nursing; public health; exercise, sports and leisure studies; interdisciplinary mental health; and a very general chapter on collection development in the smaller academic medical library. The other 12 chapters cover topics of little interest to medical and health sciences librarians (economics, Chinese studies, maritime science, genealogy and local history, art, literature, Native American resources, etc.)
Assessment: The book may well be appropriate for library science collections in large libraries that support LIS education, but it is of tangential interest to medical libraries in general. Those libraries with collections in the specialty areas covered in essays in this book may want to read one or more of the articles. It is not a textbook on collection development, but it is a useful compendium of practical advice for doing selection in some specialized fields.