Monday, June 09, 2014

Booknote: Library and Information Science: A Guide to Key Literature and Sources

Bemis, Michael F., Library and Information Science: A Guide to Key Literature and Sources. Chicago: ALA, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-8389-1185-3. 

This is basically a very big annotated bibliography of sources in library science. Though there are some web sources and databases listed, the focus appears to be on books, followed by periodicals. If you have kept up in your area(s) of librarianship, then you have seen much of what is listed here. The value of the book then is in seeing lists in other areas. The book is valuable, for instance, to see what are the basics of cataloging if cataloging is not your area. Also, the book can serve as a double-checking collection development tool for LIS school libraries. I would anticipate that LIS schools and their libraries would be the primary places wanting this book. It's the kind of book they would want their students accessing.

From the author's introduction:

"I wrote this book for a simple reason: I needed a current annotated bibliography of library science but couldn't find one. My goals were twofold: to collect as much of the available information sources regarding various aspects of the profession as reasonably possible and to then organize them in a logical fashion" (xi). 

The book is organized by chapters; it has 39 topics from administration and management to writing and publishing. Some of the topics have more sources than others, but most of the chapters provide a basic core list to give you a sense of what you have to read, or at least be aware of, on a given topic. If you need to read more deeply on a topic, some of the selections should help with that. 

An issue I found comes in the listing of information technology materials. For books in this area, a common issue surfaces: information tech books tend to get dated pretty quickly. Some items in that chapter are already out-of-date. If you still mention MySpace as something part of "all the rage," you are woefully behind at this point.

I did take a closer look at Chapter 15: Information Literacy and Bibliographic Instruction, which represents my main specialty. It did have items I expected to see. A new librarian wanting to go into this area will find enough to get started.

As a research starter on a topic in librarianship, I'd say this will be useful for many, especially beginners and librarian in the field who may not have extensive access to LIS sources. For me, I'd keep it on my shelf to check on things now and then as part of keeping up or for my areas of interest. This is one I am suggesting for librarians to at least look over.

I really liked this one, in spite of some small issues, some I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

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I did jot down some titles from the book's listings for later reading (the number included is the entry number in the book. Links, as usual unless otherwise noted, go to WorldCat.):

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