LRTS v 43, no. 1, January 1999

Criteria for Reviewing Children's Books

Margo Wilson and Kay Bishop

More than 5,000 juvenile books are published each year. For this reason school and children's librarians depend on reviews to assist them with their selection responsibilities. Through a review of professional literature, we identified 10 criteria that librarians, authors, editors, and publishers thought were important to include in a book review. Using content analysis, we applied the criteria to 152 reviews of 1996 Notable Books for Children in four journals commonly used by school and children's librarians. We found that although the journals include several of the criteria for quality book reviews, no single journal stood out as consistently providing all the criteria. The findings can be used by children's books reviewers, librarians with the responsibility of selecting reviewing journals and children's books, and researchers interested in further studies to help determine the criteria needed for quality book reviews.

An Analysis of Tables of Contents in Recent English-Language Books

R. Conrad Winke

A sample of 648 current English-language book publications with Library of Congress cataloging was examined to determine how many have tables of contents suitable for inclusion in bibliographic records. They were also examined to determine the number whose bibliographic records already contain contents notes (MARC field 505) supplied by the Library of Congress, the overall average length of their tables of contents, the levels of complexity or hierarchy of tables of contents, whether the tables of contents were subject-based or author/title based, how many new author names would be added to a bibliographic record that contained an analytic tables of contents note, whether books on certain subjects are more likely than others to include tables of contents, and to determine the proportion of books with usable tables of contents that also have subject indexes which might be usable for enhancing keyword access. Finally, I examined all current bibliographic records produced by the Library of Congress in order to determine how many books iri general include subject indexes and howmany bibliographic records contain contents notes. It was found that 92 75% of the books examined had tables of contents that could be included in catalog records, with an average length of 67.75 words. Most tables of contents contain one or two levels of hierarchy. Author/title based tables of contents account for 25.62% of the sample pool, with each table containing an average of 15.58 names. Finally, 1.12% of the bibliographic records currently produced by the Library of Congress include contents notes and 53.96% indicate the presence of an index.

Core Serial Titles in an Interdisciplinary Field: The Case of Environmental Geology

Louise S. Zipp

In this study core journals in environmental geology are identified and some facets of interdisciplinarity are explored to consider the visibility of this field to collection development libbrarians. Intercitation analysis of citing and cited patterns in 1995 articles revealed the journal network of environmental geology. The titles clustered into discrete groups with three emphases. Engineering/Materials; Geochemical; and Water/Soil. Most of the 20 core titles are usually identified with other disciplines and subfields. Research libraries supporting collections in environmental chemistry, hydrology, agronomy, and civil engineering might be effectively supporting serial collections in environmental geology. The scope of the field, however; is not inherently visible to collection development librarians whose attention is drawn to established disciplines by way of acquisition fund allocation models. Recent discussions on interdisciplinarity suggest that the characteristics of maturing disciplines, such as a unique body of publications, academic infrastructure, arid professional organizations, do not apply to environmental geology. The nature of three recently started environmental geology journals might yield clues as to the direction of this field.