LJ Best Books 2016

A jury of our peers discussed, debated, disagreed, and finally declared LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles. VISIT THE WEBSITE

Professional Media | Social Science Reviews, March 1, 2017

Buchanan, Heidi E. & Beth A. McDonough. The One-Shot Library Instruction Survival Guide. 2d ed. ALA. Oct. 2016. 154p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838914861. pap. $50. PRO MEDIA
one shot
This second edition of Buchanan and McDonough’s guide offers a concise, up-to-date primer for academic librarians on teaching the one-shot instruction session. It outlines key techniques and challenges that both enlighten the novice and refresh the veteran. In a conversational tone, the authors explain familiar strategies, such as how to establish strong relationships with faculty, and new ones, such as matching activities to the new Framework for Information Literacy. Perhaps the most valuable sections are the “Vignettes,” which describe real-world examples relevant to the material at hand. In addition to teaching by example, each one provides an insider’s perspective that’s immediately practical and relatable. There are also excellent explanations and applications of experiential learning activities such as “The Jigsaw Method,” “The One-Minute Paper,” and “Concept Maps.” If there’s a weakness, it’s a shortage of examples. Then again, the brevity of this book is a service to those with some teaching under their belts. For the novice, this work is best examined in tandem with a more robust volume on this topic such as Char Booth’s excellent Reflective Teaching, Effecting Learning. VERDICT A terrific resource for instruction librarians at all experience levels.—Paul Stenis, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA

Holden, Jesse. Acquisitions: Core Concepts and Practices. ALA. 2d ed. Sept. 2016. 132p. index. ISBN 9780838914601. pap. $85. PRO MEDIA
acquisitions
In this updated and expanded second edition, Holden (EBSCO Information Svcs.) explores acquisitions processes and theories in the evolving library landscape. With the widespread adoption of ebooks, mobile devices, and other technologies that are transforming the way users access information, the nature of acquisitions must change, too. Starting with core competencies, this book thoroughly teaches all aspects of the “business side” of collection development. The work can be used as a reference guide for traditional acquisition of printed materials but also provides thorough information about ebooks, discovery services, and other alternate access models. Updated chapters also examine acquisitions in the postrecession budget environment facing most libraries, and address current trends such as demand-driven acquisition and the rise of Open Access resources. Rather than follow a linear workflow, the author encourages a radicalization of acquisitions in which delivery of content is multidimensional and user-based, with service as an integral component. VERDICT A deep dive into library acquisitions recommended for both students and seasoned acquisitions professionals.—Cori Wilhelm, SUNY Canton Coll. of Tech. Lib.

Radford, Marie L. & Gary P. Radford. Library Conversations: Reclaiming Interpersonal Communication Theory for Understanding Professional Encounters. ALA. Oct. 2016. 168p. illus. index. ISBN 9780838914847. pap. $75. PRO MEDIA
library conversations
In scanning the literature pertaining to management, leadership, and professional effectiveness, it is rare to find a publication that does not feature the importance of communication. It is frequently included as a desired skill for job applicants, highlighted as necessary for healthy relationships, and referenced as an essential parenting tool. Marie Radford (library & information science, Rutgers; Leading the Reference Renaissance) and Gary Radford (communication studies, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ., NJ; On the Philosophy of Communication) bring the focus of effective interpersonal communication to bear on the librarian-patron reference encounter. The contents of this book are put together in a particularly interesting way, with the authors structuring the first half as a presentation on some of the foundational theory of interpersonal communication, then linking that theory to professional practice through examples taken from the library world. In the second half, they demonstrate how the theory introduced in part one can be applied to improve the outcomes of face-to-face and virtual reference interactions. VERDICT A satisfying combination of intellectual and practical, this work will appeal to librarians in public service positions and to those teaching or mentoring students preparing to join the profession.—Sara Holder, Univ. of Illinois Libs.

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