Reference Short Takes, January 2012

The American Marketplace: Demographics and Spending Patterns. 10th ed. New Strategist. 2011. c.611p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781935775270. $120; pap. ISBN 9781935775287. $89.95. REF

Fully updated to compare data from 2010 to analogous statistics from 2000, this guide by the editors of New Strategist publications (Best Customers) presents a snapshot of American life as it has changed over the last decade. The 11 chapters explore variables such as happiness, education, health, and spending. The bulk of the book presents trend-revealing tables. Although data sources are not always cited, a four-page bibliography indicates the government databases and university studies referenced. While one could be wary of rendering so many complicated variables into elementary quantities, the book’s thematic analysis will prove useful where public policy and culture are subjects of study.

Americans and Their Homes: Demographics of Homeownership. 3d ed. New Strategist. 2011. c.603p. index. ISBN 9781935775294. $120; pap. ISBN 9781935775300. $89.95. REF

New Strategist (Household Spending) presents a fascinating glimpse of American lifestyles in ten chapters that explore residential circumstances in relation to gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, and geographic region while differentiating between home owners and renters. Several chapters categorize the homes of these two groups by square-footage, number of rooms, and presence of amenities. Amazingly, regional data related to cooking, heating, dryer usage, and even equipment failures are also provided. The contents, which consist entirely of tables, are easily understood, even without prose-form explanations, and sources are consistently cited within each table. An important guide for public policy collections.

The Comparative Guide to American Elementary & Secondary Schools, 2012. 7th ed. Grey House. 2011. c.1625p. ed. by David Garoogian. index. ISBN 9781592378364. pap. $150. Online: Ebrary, Gale, MyiLibrary, NetLibrary, OverDrive REF

Garoogian’s (Weather America) update to the 2009 edition bears a title that’s somewhat misleading, as it compares school districts rather than individual institutions. The title divides the 5,383 districts profiled according to the 50 states in alphabetical order, with a separate chapter for the District of Columbia. Each chapter is further divided by public school educational profile, National Assessment of Educational Progress test performance (including gender and ethnicity differentiations), profiles of districts serving 1500-plus students, and comparative district rankings. Listed by alphabetized county name, district profiles provide contact information, graduation and drop-out rates, teacher-to-student ratios, librarian and counselor numbers, and per-student expenditures. An introductory “User’s Guide” facilitates understanding of the included data. An important addition to education policy collections.

The Complete Directory for People with Disabilities, 2012. 20th ed. Grey House. 2011. c.993p. ed. by Laura Mars-Proietti. index. ISBN 9781592377589. pap. $165. Online: Grey House GOLD database REF

With its cover touting the National Mature Media and National Health Information awards won by the 19th edition, this fully updated register contains the most current contact information for more than 9000 funding resources, government agencies, support services, research centers, and product suppliers. Mars-Proietti (Nations of the World) divides the 33 chapters into two major sections. The first organizes contacts by categories of need such as clothing and education. The second lists contacts as they relate to support for specific impairments. Further facilitating use are indexes that organize entries by specific disability, organization name, and geographic location. A critical addition to public libraries and assisted living facilities.

Encyclopedia of National Anthems. 2d ed. 2 vols. Scarecrow. 2011. c.1080p. ed. by Xing Hang. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9780810876620. $150. Online: NetLibrary, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF

This revision to the 2003 edition is based upon a greater number and variety of sources than the earlier work, with the aim of providing more accurate content. It incorporates information on alterations to political regimes occurring over the last decade, as such changes have transformed national identities and, in turn, national anthems. Anthems of international organizations and countries of, for example, the former Soviet Union, are also included. Each entry, under five pages, now includes maps, flags, national demographics, and brief anthem histories. As before, lyrics appear in the nation’s dominant language, Latinized; then in the native alphabet; and, finally, in English translation. Sheet music, uniting melody and lyrics, closes each entry. While maps and flag images are distressingly fuzzy, the written material offers enlightening national sketches.

Stewart, John. Antarctica: An Encylcopedia. 2d ed. 2 vols. McFarland. 2011. c.1758p. bibliog. ISBN 9780786435906. $495. Online: EBL, Ebrary, MyiLibrary, & Netlibrary REF

This update of the 1990 edition (LJ Best Reference 1990) includes 30,000 entries, double the number in the first work. Still the most comprehensive subject resource, the book offers concise, alphabetized entries explaining the continent’s historical events, significant figures, topographical features, scientific stations, and vessels and other conveyance modes used there. Stewart (Italian Film) also includes entries on the continent’s flora, fauna, and insects. Although brief, entries are still thorough and offer, when relevant, taxonomic information, GPS coordinates, and essential dates. Although lacking the photographic opulence of other more recently published guides, this set’s breadth and detail is unsurpassed.

World Consumer Lifestyles Databook 2011. 10th ed. Euromonitor. 2011. c.682p. illus. ISBN 9781842645437. $475. REF

Euromonitor International (Retail Trade International) provides the newest comparative data on population and consumer habits within 76 nations. Each chapter profiles a nation’s demographics, detailing population statistics, housing types, and income levels. To facilitate trend recognition, data is presented in table format, with comparisons to 1990, 1995, and every year from 2002 to 2010. Compared by year are several categorized expenditures, specifying millions spent on fashion, personal care, and even smoking. Essential, too, is the brief explanation of sources and methodology. Offering a vital, wide-angled view of global consumer behavior, this volume will prove a boon for economics, marketing, and even cultural studies collections.-Savannah Schroll Guz, formerly with Smithsonian Libs., Washington, DC

About Savannah Schroll Guz

Savannah Schroll Guz, formerly with Smithsonian Libs., Washington, DC