Friday, July 17, 2009

Professional Resources

I began my search in my elementary school library. I was lucky that the school’s librarian orders Book Links and The Horn Book Magazine. I was able to obtain 3 copies of Horn Book and 2 copies of Book Links. Needing only one more serial, I checked the online catalog of my public library. It indicated that they carried Book Links, Media & Methods, and VOYA. All could be found at the main branch. A quick trip downtown proved fruitless and unsuccessful. The collection consisted of outdated issues on microfiche. After consulting with a librarian, I headed for my local university library. UTEP carries an extensive collection and I was able to locate 3 issues of Booklist. Although it did take some legwork, I became acquainted with where I could turn to for resources.

Vol. 105 No. 7 12/1/08
Vol. 105 No. 8 12/15/08
Vol. 105 No. 9/10 1/1/09 and 1/15/09

Booklist is a serial where book reviews can be found. As you open to the first page the serial begins its reviews immediately. Upfront: Advance Reviews contains reviews of fiction and nonfiction books. This section also includes an area titled Chat Room that discusses what is going on with the online version. The other sections in the serial are categorized by adult, youth, media, and reference reviews. These are regular features found in the three editions that I browsed. One of these editions focused on the 2008 Editor’s Choice list. It contained top editor’s choices from Booklist’s regular sections. The other two editions had spotlights on particular subjects. A section entitled Core Collection offers a variety of reviews on a particular subject. One edition spotlighted Sci-Tech and the other Crafts & Hobbies. The content of each of these editions was specifically geared to spotlight these subjects and to focus on different aspects. The Sci-Tech edition contained reviews on new books and top ten picks. It also contained two Core Collection sections, one on Darwin & Evolution and the other on Science-themed Youth Novels. Reference and database support reviews were also included. In the Crafts & Hobbies edition, videos and professional reading was highlighted. The purpose is to provide reviews of books, media, and references. The book reviews include a synopsis of the book and sometimes a picture of the front cover. The review also includes the publication date, number of pages, publisher, and price. The reviews on youth books also include the grade level. Video and reference reviews are separated into adult and youth sections. Youth sections are given grade levels. When appropriate, spotlights include database support snapshots. To facilitate the ordering of new publications, in either print or video format, librarians can use Booklist. The information provided within the pages of Booklist gives a clearer picture of what a publication is about. The reviews can be used to make informed purchasing decisions. The online version of Booklist gives much of the same information as the print version does. Browsing of the current print issue is also available. You can browse the spotlight and features, but a subscription is required to browse other sections. There are however, some specific differences with how to access reviews. Reviews can be searched independently or can be browsed. One way these searches can be used is to search by title, author, ISBN, keyword, content, or section. There is a web exclusive section that is not found in print and links to award lists.

The Horn Book Magazine
September/October 2008
November/December 2008
January/February 2009

The Horn Book Magazine is a serial that contains book reviews, literary opinion, articles, and poems that reflect on today’s literary world. Columns on varied topics are also included. As the magazine is opened, the reader encounters an area where starred books are featured. Titles, authors, and the number of pages are included. A regular feature is the editorial column. Editorials are written on books, technology, and general reading. One of the purposes of this magazine is to provide reviews on literature. The reviews are not organized in any noticeable manner. Included in the reviews is a synopsis of the book, the review, title, author, and appropriate reading level. Another purpose of this magazine is to provide a venue for thought provoking articles. Articles written by contributors give the reader a viewpoint other than one’s own. Librarians can use these thought provoking articles as a springboard to literary discussions. The online version of Horn Book is easily navigated. A reader can browse through the current issue. Web extras include current articles not found in the publication. Subscribers to the Horn Book Guide are able to search the Guide’s database online. A newsletter is also available. Awards that are given nationally, regionally, and internationally can be browsed through. The major difference with the printed version and the online version of this magazine is the inclusion of resources online. Various resources can be found by searching through the appropriate link.

Book Links
Vol. 18 no. 2 November 2008
Vol. 18 no. 3 January 2009

Book Links is a serial magazine designed for classroom teachers and librarians. Its regular features include What’s New, Classroom Connections, and Book and Authors. A regular poetry column appears regularly. Each issue seems to have a specific focus. The two paper copies that I was able to obtain focused on Social Studies and Multicultural Literature. Book Links likes to publish its magazine with a thematic approach. Reviews on books are linked to the magazine’s theme. Articles are also focused toward this thematic approach. When available, curriculum guides are published for a particular book. The purpose of this magazine is to provide teachers and librarians with information that can be readily used with students. Curriculum guides can be used to create a literature circle in class or in the library. The thematic organization of the magazine creates a place where a person working with children is able to quickly find references and material. The online version of Book Links was not what was expected. The focus of the magazine is the printed version and not online. The ability to browse current issues is available to subscribers. There is a sample issue that can be browsed. There is a link where web connections to the magazine can be looked through.

In looking through these sources I found that there is a variety of outlets that a librarian can look through for information. One serial is not necessarily better than another because of its content. There was a considerable amount of difference with the way each magazine presented and provided information. It would be difficult to decide which one would be more useful. To keep abreast of current thinking and opinions, I would read Horn Book. Booklist would be my choice for reviews and to make classroom connections I would read Book Links. These are only three that I was able to find in printed form. It would be interesting to continue my search of serials to find what information is contained in the others. To conclude, I believe that one source of information is not enough and as a future librarian I need to be aware of several serials to make an informed decision on which would be best to provide my campus with or recommend.

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