Professional Media Reviews, February 1, 2012

E-Reference Context and Discoverability in Libraries: Issues and Concepts. IGI Global. 2011. 462p. ed. by Sue Polanka. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781613503089. $165. PRO MEDIA

Polanka (head, reference & instruction, Wright State Univ. Libs.; No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries) presents a collection of new pieces by librarians and industry insiders addressing the current state of reference resources available to library users. They offer insights on topics ranging from the historical growth of reference and e-reference resources, to information literacy, the design and delivery of e-reference resources, and the how and why of incorporating e-reference into discovery services. The last section of the book consists of case studies of libraries using e-referencere sources in different contexts and the use of specific resources. The entries are well written and thought-provoking concerning the future of reference collections and reference services including the impact of mobile services and the semantic web. VERDICT The book does a good job of placing e-reference resources in the historical and current context of libraries in a world of ubiquitous, consumable, and readily available information. Recommended for library school libraries and library professional reading budgets that can afford the eye-popping price.‚ Robert L. Battenfeld, C.W. Post Campus Lib., Long Island Univ., Brookville, NY

starred review starVincent, Jane. Implementing Cost-Effective Assistive Computer Technology. Neal-Schuman. (How-To-Do-It Manuals, No. 181). 2011. c.175p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781555707620. pap. $64.95. PRO MEDIA

Library patrons with either visible or invisible handicaps have special challenges, and often library staff don’t know how to deal with them. Vincent (Ctr. for Accessible Technology) presents an excellent how-to guide on planning for integrating assistive technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing; blind or visually impaired; learning disabled; cognitively disabled; mentally or emotionally impaired; ambulatory impaired; and speech impaired. She covers understanding the different barriers (screens, keyboards, casings, workstations, etc.), dealing with compatibility issues, communicating with relevant communities, and keeping current with assistive technology. Vincent includes practical suggestions for making decisions about the purchase of assistive technology, including assessing demand, impact, cost, and maintenance. Her invaluable checklists include everything from tips for serving people with disabilities to selecting common sense solutions to barriers. Vincent has consulted with many businesses, libraries, and other organizations on understanding and implementing assistive technology. VERDICT This book is vital for professional collections in libraries of all types. The price may seem high, but it’s well worth it, whether to use the book as a guide about existing facilities or to plan a new facility. A useful companion blog is available at‚ Shelley Mosley, Glendale Community Coll. Lib. Media Ctr., AZ