Reference E-Short Takes, July 2012

Choice Reviews Online
American Library Association
Founded in 1964, the print version of Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is a collection development tool providing concise, critical reviews of current scholarly books and electronic resources. Used primarily by librarians at the undergraduate level, this resource can also assist faculty with selection of relevant material for their coursework. Choice publishes approximately 7000 reviews annually in print formats (in the regular magazine and its sister resource, Choice Reviews on Cards) and online.

Choice Reviews Online provides searchable access to every review since September 1988 (more than 145,000 entries) and includes all editorial content from the magazine, personalized list management tools, and customized email notification of reviews in user-selected categories.

Most titles are reviewed within six months of publication, and this places Choice as one of the first scholarly, postpublication commentary sources on academic material.

Subscribers can acccess Forthcoming Titles and Outstanding Academic Titles lists, the latter a prestigious collection of the best in scholarly works reviewed in the magazine in the previous calendar year. Also available are editorials, bibliographic essays, and a web exclusives section that offers Editors’ Picks and Hot Topics. All records include linked ISBNs, which, helpfully, connect to WorldCat’s Find in a Library feature.

Books in Print
Bowker

Books in Print is considered the standard, authoritative discovery tool for acquisitions librarians, catalogers, and bookstores in need of bibliographic information. Now that the database is title- rather than item-driven, it is possible to search for print works, ebooks, audiobooks, and videos through Quick Search, a single Google-like query box. The title page displays detailed information, including format, annotations, chapters, reviews, author biographies, languages available, etc. Users can also take advantage of a word cloud that contains a keyword association, discovery trail, and spelling variation.

Advanced search offers the options to limit by, for example, type, status, reviewed by, media mention, age range, and Library of Congress classification. Other features available in the updated interface include My Discoveries, which allows users to tag, review, and rate books and create customized title lists. Subscribers also enjoy complementary access to the readers’ advisory tools Fiction Connection and Non-Fiction Connection through Complete Connection, described on p. 110.

The company now offers a mobile app, Bowker Stacks. Using it, subscribers to Books in Print or Bowker’s Resources for College Libraries can scan ISBNs, access book records, and add titles to selection lists from the library stacks, a local bookstore, book conference, etc.

NoveList Complete
EBSCO

NoveList Complete is a total package of readers’ advisory products and services. Its NoveList Select, a catalog enhancement service, offers related book suggestions, series information, library events, and more. NoveList Plus provides fiction and nonfiction titles, reading recommendations from librarians, book discussion guides, and thematic book lists. NoveList K-8 Plus is a reading and curricular resource database for the elementary and middle-school crowds, with readalikes for every title, author, and series listed; fiction and non-fiction recommendations; book talks; curricular connections; and Recommended Reads for young readers and Grab and Go Book Lists for teachers.

Through NoveList, readers may also subscribe to NextReads, a customized enewsletter and outreach service offering 20 thematic book recommendation newsletters that can be edited with added content and links back to an institution’s catalog. Libraries may also subscribe to the components separately.

What Do I Read Next?
Gale Cengage Learning

A resource that will soon be available only in print, What Do I Read Next?‚ with its numerous search features and easy-to-use interface‚ lists titles in 11 genres: fantasy, general fiction, classic fiction, nonfiction, horror, inspirational, mystery, romance, science fiction, Western, and historical novels. Offerings include more than 115,000 highly recommended adult, young adult, and children’s fiction and nonfiction works; more than 62,500 plot summaries; author biographies; and information on the winners of 560 major book and literary awards, including award descriptions.

Arranged by author within the genre sections, the entries detail an individual title with all the relevant information needed to make selection easy, such as publisher and publication date, names and descriptions of characters, review citations, geographical setting, a brief plot summary, listings of other books by the author, and recommended similar books by other authors. Most books included are award winners or best sellers, or have appeared on a recommended reading list. As a result, the product has particular value for personal reading, book clubs, or general information.

Users can create customized reading lists with the Keeper List function. A monthly highlights page displays selections of award winners, upcoming titles, and titles that revolve around different subjects each time.

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About Bruce Connolly & Gail Golderman

Gail Golderman (goldermg@union.edu) is Electronic Resources Librarian and Bruce Connolly (connollb@union.edu) is Reference & Bibliographic Instruction Librarian, Schaffer Library, Union College, Schenectady, NY

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