Professional Media Reviews | December 15, 2005

By LJ Staff

The "Wireless" Generation

Harris, Frances Jacobson. I Found It on the Internet: Coming of Age Online. American Library Assn. 2005. c.161p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 0-8389-0898-5. pap. $35.

Harris, a librarian at University Laboratory High School (Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has written an invaluable text to understanding the information technology needs and behaviors (instant messaging, blogging, etc.) of contemporary teens. Her overview of the many types of information and communication technologies (ICT) adopted by adolescents discusses their positive as well as problematic impact. She also addresses the ethical attitudes of young Amber Jewelry, Tea Sets, Sleeping Bags, Wholesale Tea Sets adults regarding these tools and presents strategies for educating students about appropriate behavior. More than a how-to guide, Harris’s book stands out as an excellent primer on these new technologies that teens no doubt understand better than most adults. As such, the lack of a glossary of terms is a significant omission. Nevertheless, Harris offers a powerful vision of how libraries must include ICT into their own standard practices in order to provide the best service to their teen patrons. Definitely required reading for school librarians and YA librarians in public libraries.Rachel Q. Davis, Thomas Memorial Lib., Cape Elizabeth, ME

A Classic Returns

The New Walford Guide to Reference Resources. Vol. 1: Science, Technology and Medicine. Facet, dist. by Neal-Schuman. 2005. c.828p. ed. by Ray Lester. index. ISBN 1-85604-495-5. $395.

Science and technology information resources have changed radically since the last edition of Walford’s Guide to Reference Material (first published in 1959) was released in 1999. The New Walford not only reflects the increasing influence of online resources but has taken a new approach altogether. Retaining its decidedly British bent, this first volume in a projected three-volume set serves as an annotated guide for librarians unfamiliar with the resources of a particular field. While selected traditional print resources – directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, indexes, thesauri, catalogs – are still covered, more emphasis has been placed on new digital resources (image and text collections, blogs, RSS feeds), web sites, and information producers. Each entry provides a bibliographic citation and/or URL and a brief annotation describing the content and any notable features. The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) has been abandoned in favor of a more straightforward subject arrangement. The New Walford continues to categorize entries by resource type, but now they are somewhat pigeonholed into a standard set of 13 categories. One new section is the "Tools for Information Professionals," useful for novices. The topic index has also been expanded to include specialized subjects that do not have a section in their own right. While complementing and updating other science bibliographies, such as C.D. Hurt’s Information Sources in Science and Technology, this does not replace subject-specific guides (e.g., Robert Maizell’s How To Find Chemical Information). The volume’s strength lies in its currency, and every public and academic library with a previous edition will want this update. [Coming in 2006 is Vol. 2: The Social Sciences; Vol. 3: Arts, Humanities, and General Reference will be published in 2007. – Ed.]Teresa U. Berry, Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville

Scholarly E-Publishing

Scholarly Publishing in an Electronic Era: International Yearbook of Library and Information Management 2004 – 2005. Facet, dist. by Neal-Schuman. 2005. c.219p. ed. by G.E. Gorman. index. ISBN 1-85604-536-6. $175.

Transformation of the publishing world by electronic storage and delivery of information is inevitable and ongoing. One of the difficulties libraries face during this transition is a dramatic and continuing increase in prices and this, the fifth annual volume of the International Yearbook of Library and Information Management, exemplifies the problem. When I reviewed the third volume in 2003 (The Digital Factor in Library and Information Services), the price was $75, but the new volume is now $175, more than doubling the cost of the series in just two years. Ouch. Edited by Gorman (School of Information Management, Victoria Univ.), the book is divided into four sections: an overview of scholarly publishing, an institutional perspective on scholarly publishing, access and preservation initiatives, and models and economics of scholarly publishing. Many of the chapters focus on the open access concept, reaching the same conclusion that open access is a good idea in theory even if it is not quite ready for prime time. Peter Shepherd’s overview of usage statistics and the COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) initiative is a bright spot. However, owing to high cost, this is recommended only for large research libraries.Margaret Sylvia, St. Mary’s Univ. Lib., San Antonio

Planning For Future Staff

Staff Planning in a Time of Demographic Change. Scarecrow. 2005. c.166p. ed. by Vicki Whitmell. ISBN 0-8108-5215-2. pap. $40.

Much ink has been spilled in the library press over the coming shortage of librarians prepared for leadership positions. This title, however, represents the first detailed discussion of succession planning in libraries. Actually a collection of papers from several conferences held in Ontario in 2002 – 03, the book offers a broad overview, addressing leadership, mentoring, and training issues for most levels of staff, not just senior managers. The papers pre­sent a wealth of demographic information, findings from the business literature, and practical advice for effective staff planning. While many of the papers focus on Canadian libraries (editor Whitmell is executive director of the Legislative Library for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario), most of the information is equally applicable to U.S. institutions. Taken together, the papers should convince library managers and educators to make succession planning a priority. A significant contribution to the literature, this is recommended for graduate and professional collections.Janet A. Crum, Oregon Health & Science Univ., Portland, OR