Berkman, Robert. Find It Fast: Extracting Expert Information from Social Networks, Big Data, Tweets, and More. 6th ed. Information Today. 2015. 424p. index. ISBN 9781937290047. pap. $24.95. PRO MEDIA
In the newest edition of his latest book, Berkman (media & information studies, The New School; Digital Dilemmas) highlights how to find the most relevant information from nontraditional resources. He starts by devoting an entire chapter to traditional resources such as searchable databases, reference materials, and even librarians, before moving into how researchers locate information in new ways. Berkman refers to this as social searching; using individuals or groups of people to retrieve news and other facts. Considering blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and additional social media, the author provides tips for assessing the credibility of a statement and encourages readers to track down experts in their areas of interest. Berkman even includes sections on how to get in contact with these specialists, ways to approach them, and what questions to use in interviews. He talks about library resources but from a non-library perspective, which is refreshing. VERDICT Berkman does an excellent job of providing an overview of the various kinds of resources available to readers without overemphasizing the library. This practical and hands-on guide would be helpful for researchers in fields such as the social sciences and humanities. For academic libraries.
Coyle, Karen. FRBR, Before and After: A Look at Our Bibliographic Models. ALA Editions. 2015. 200p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780838913451. pap. $50. PRO MEDIA
In 1998 an International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) study group published a report on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), which impacted the cataloging world in subsequent years. Here library consultant Coyle (Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata) provides a lucid and thorough explanation of what FRBR both is and is not. The first part of the book contains historical and theoretical background on the nature of a work, as well as models and technology. This helps to place FRBR in the larger context of cataloging history. Part 2 examines and critiques the FRBR final report, showing the ways in which the FRBR study group either met or failed to accomplish their stated goals. The book concludes with a discussion of the Semantic Web as a logical progression from FRBR’s entity-relation model. VERDICT Coyle deftly explains complex topics in a straightforward way, creating a highly recommended work that will be essential for catalogers and appeal to all librarians. For another useful book on the subject, see Robert Maxwell’s FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed.
Kroski, Ellyssa. Cosplay in Libraries: How To Embrace Costume Play in Your Library. Rowman & Littlefield. 2015. 168p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442256484. pap. $50; ebk. ISBN 9781442256491. PRO MEDIA
In this volume, Kroski (information technology, New York Law Inst.) demonstrates her love of cosplay and argues for the inclusion of fandoms in the library space. Beginning with defining cosplay and the many different types of fandoms that participate, the author delves into the various ways that libraries can integrate cosplay into their collections and programming, citing several examples of institutions that are doing it successfully. Kroski’s direct address of the relevance of cosplay for fostering learning also serves to educate those who do not see its role in the library. While there are many books on cosplay and the culture surrounding it, this work includes a plethora of resources and ideas for a variety of budgets and locations, as well as helpful advice on the challenges planners may face. VERDICT Kroski provides an essential reference for librarians and library staff interested in bringing cosplay into their setting. This work will be invaluable for those who are unsure of how to get started and are looking for a guide to walk them through the process. The chapter on programming ideas will be particularly useful as the author clearly presents the key elements involved in putting an event together successfully.
Puckett, Jason. Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides. ACRL. 2015. 156p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780838988176. pap. $42. PRO MEDIA
Puckett, an “in the trenches” librarian (Georgia State Univ.), author (Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Educators), seasoned instructor, and LJ audio reviewer of the year, provides the information specialist with this brief yet highly valuable guide. Combining practical advice with evidence-based research, Puckett’s work details both the advantages of using a research manual (e.g., guides the class session, provides extra information outside class, supports a 24/7 mentality), as well as the pitfalls he has seen in current practice (too much text, bad design). Taking his own advice, the author applies sparse prose to provide the theoretical background and supplies just enough detail for readers to understand the importance of each area covered. Although many crucial topics are touched upon, including learning objectives, user experience, and assessment, the key point throughout is to keep the needs of students and faculty at the forefront. VERDICT This work serves as a roadmap for developing the best, most focused online guides. It will be a perfect choice for beginners, as well as for libraries wanting to reshape their current offerings. Providing guidance from creation to assessment, this work belongs in any forward-thinking institution.