Reference Reviews, April 1, 2012

Infobase Learning. Films on Demand. 2012. REF

This large, growing collection of streaming videos for academic, public, and school library audiences provides works in 28 categories (e.g., anthropology, business and economics, health and medicine, and music and dance) from producers such as Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, the BBC, and PBS. Many of the titles are closed-captioned. Approximately 600 new films are added annually; 65 titles were added in the last month alone. Search and browse functionality is fairly straightforward, although some users might not understand the function of the By Segments and By Titles menus next to the search box. Films load and play quickly using Flash on a standard broadband connection, but for users whose viewing devices have less bandwidth, selections can be played at lower bit rates, with the database adjusting accordingly. Usage on iPhones and iPads is also an option. Libraries serving distance learners will be happy with this product, as instructors can link to whole films or individual segments in course-management systems and embed video in web pages. Access is easy: authentication is managed with an institutional user name and password or through EZProxy. Students should be cautious with the incomplete MLA citations provided with each video; APA-styled citations are not available. Librarians will appreciate the COUNTER- compliant statistics. Institutions can lease individual titles for three years, purchase them outright, or subscribe to larger packages or smaller curriculum collections for an annual fee. Whatever the approach, an unlimited number of authenticated users can access a single film simultaneously. Price varies according to institution type and population size, starting at $2890 annually at a community college with fewer than 500 students. VERDICT Films on Demand is an outstanding value and highly recommended. Libraries should drop the database’s search-widget code into their websites and subject guides.‚ Alec Sonsteby , Metropolitan State Univ., Saint Paul


Critical Survey of Short Fiction. 4th ed. 10 vols. Salem. 2012. 4000p. ed. by Charles E. May. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781587657894. $995. Online: Salem Literature Database REF

This title, which covers 625 authors (up from 480 in the previous, third edition) from Homer to Dante and from Margaret Atwood to Stephen King, profiles‚Ķmajor short story writers, with sections on other literary forms, achievements, biography, general analysis, and analysis of the writer’s most important stories or collections. Intended for college students, May’s (The Short Story: The Reality of Artifice) work is sold as one complete set or as subsets covering writers of various nationalities (American Writers, 4 vols.; British, Irish & Commonwealth Writers, 2 vols.; European Writers; World Writers) and a Topical Essays volume. An index volume is free with the purchase of more than one subset. The signed articles on individuals include vital dates, an author photo, a list of the writer’s principal works of short fiction and other literary forms and an analysis of selected works, a biography, and a general annotated bibliography. Topical Essays discusses genres, historical periods (e.g., early Middle Ages), and regional literature (e.g., Polish short fiction). Each volume’s glossary, index, time line, and bibliography are integrated into the set’s cumulative index. Online database access is included with the purchase of the print titles. VERDICT May provides an excellent starting point for beginning critics. Libraries with heavily used first and second editions may want to replace them with this work, but because only 24 percent of the material is new, those with a lightly used third edition or with little demand for literary criticism may find this set a bit pricey.‚ Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX

Abbott, Margery Post & others. Historical Dictionary of the Friends (Quakers). 2d ed. Scarecrow. (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements). 2012. 598p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810868571. $99. Online: NetLibrary, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF

This expanded edition stands as a comprehensive, thorough resource about the Friends/Quakers. Abbott (Walk Worthy of Your Calling: Quakers and the Traveling Ministry), Mary Ellen Chijioke, Pink Dandelion (The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction), and John William Oliver Jr. (coeditor, Founded by Friends: The Quaker Heritage of 15 American Colleges and Universities), all of whom edited the previous edition, present here approximately 100 additional pages that include a longer introduction, an updated chronology, an appendix of statistics, and new entries that cover, for example, educational institutions. Entries run from a single paragraph to two pages. Some, such as the one covering publishing, now feature additional paragraphs, while other pieces that previously combined two ideas, such as advices and queries, have been divided between the two terms. The international flavor of the first edition remains strong. For example, all eight 21st-century events highlighted in the chronology took place outside of North America. Access is enhanced by numerous cross-references and a lengthy index, and the material is backed up by extensive bibliographic references. VERDICT Dandelion’s An Introduction to Quakerism (Cambridge Univ. Pr., 2007), which studies specific leaders and historical periods in more depth, is a useful narrative companion. This dictionary is recommended for religion and philosophy students, especially those without access to the first edition.‚ Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL

The following titles are reviewed in the April 1 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.


Diet and Nutrition Sourcebook. 4th ed. Omnigraphics. (Health Reference). 2011. 656p. ed. by Laura Larsen. index. ISBN 9780780811522. $95. Online: Credo Reference, ebrary, Gale, MyiLibrary, Rittenhouse R2 Digital Library REF


The Encyclopedia of Country Music. 2d ed. Oxford Univ. 2012. c.640p. ed. by Paul Kingsbury & others. photogs. ISBN 9780195395631. $65. REF

Political Science

American Foreign Policy Council. World Almanac of Islamism 2011. Rowman & Littlefield. 2011. 900p. ISBN 9781442207134. $95. Online: NetLibrary, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF


Picken, Stuart D.B. Historical Dictionary of Calvinism. Scarecrow. (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements). 2011. 290p. bibliog. ISBN 9780810872240. $80. Online: NetLibrary, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF


Energy and Energy Use. 147p. ISBN 9781429836746.

Ecology and Ecosystems. 152p. ISBN 9781429836715.

Water and Water Pollution. 145p. ISBN 9781429836739. ea. vol:

Salem. (Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues). 2011. 145p. ed. by Craig W. Allin. illus. maps. bibliog. index. pap. $29.95. Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Follett Library Resources, ebrary, Gale Virtual Reference Library, MyiLibrary, Overdrive REF


Blevins, Dave. The Sports Hall of Fame Encyclopedia: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer. 2 vols. Scarecrow. 2011. 1344p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810861305. $200. REF

Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma is Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, and was formerly the reviews editor at Library Journal.