Reference Short Takes | October 1, 2012

Charter Schools. Greenhaven: Gale. 2012. 240p. ed. by Margaret Haerens & Lynn M. Zott. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780737754421. $42.95. REF

Haerens (Offshore Drilling) and Zott (Beat Generation) compile 24 persuasive essays by journalists, subject specialists, and a public-policy institute. Four chapters, each containing six essays, broach major facets of the charter school debate: how the institutions compare to traditional schools, the viability of religious charter schools, the efficacy of online education, and potential improvement methods. To facilitate analytical consideration, questions preface each essay, while subheadings, sidebars, and illustrations ease movement through complicated material. VERDICT The multiplicity of perspectives and engaging format make this a useful teaching tool and a foundation for subject researchers, even if its bibliographies are lean.

CQ Researcher 2011. ol. 21, No. 1. CQ Pr. 2012. 1176p. ed. by Thomas J. Billitteri. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781452239873. $378. Online: CQ Press Electronic Library REF

Under the aegis of Managing Editor Billitteri (The Guilt Case ), the CQ Researcher team compiles reports on issues relevant to the year of publication. With issue overviews written by prominent journalists such as NPR correspondent Barbara Mantel and The Scientist staff writer Marcia Clemmitt, articles (“Energy Policy,” “Student Debt”) are well researched, straightforward, and objective. Of particular interest are the “At Issue” pages, which detail two opposing viewpoints and offer a balanced survey of each issue’s major facts. VERDICT This annual guide offers substantial detail about contemporary concerns; unclouded by shifting historical narratives, it will be vital to students and researchers.

Historic Documents of 2011. CQ Pr. 2012. 800p. ed. by Heather Kerrigan. index. ISBN 9781452225364. $180. Online: CQ Press Electronic Library REF

Organized chronologically, this book’s many primary-source documents move through 2011 by month and focus on salient national and international stories. Facilitating use, articles are also navigable by theme and document source. Content hails from consistently reliable sources, including national and international government agencies and the United Nations. Each excerpt is preceded by a helpful issue overview, with subheadings, written by Kerrigan (Historic Documents of 2009). A cumulative issue-related index cites page numbers from volumes dating back to 2007. VERDICT College students and graduate-level researchers will find that this volume’s reliable information and user-friendly format reveals trends and aids research.

Washington Information Directory 2012-2013. CQ Pr. 2012. 979p. ed. by John Martino. illus. index. ISBN 9781452226446. $165. Online: CQ Press Electronic Library REF

Published annually since 1975, this hardcover rolodex to government and private sector organizations inside the Beltway has been fully updated to reflect changes in administrative contacts, telephone numbers, mailing addresses, and physical locations. Listings are first ordered thematically by category and then alphabetically by organization name. Included are specific contact details, web addresses, and a synopsis of organizational purview. Occasionally, illustrations detail organizational hierarchies and individual departments, so that inquiries can best reach intended destinations. VERDICT With its many high-level administrative names and user-friendly format, this time-saving guide is a must-have for collections serving patrons conducting political, economic, and nationally relevant business.

McGinty, Sarah Myers. The College Application Essay: Successful Strategies for a Winning Essay. 5d. ed. College Board. 2012. 160p. index. ISBN 9780874479874. pap. $15.99. REF

McGinty (PowerTalk) divides her subject into eight chapters and covers all bases, offering insight into what colleges look for and explaining the various steps of the writing process. The final chapter presents 14 example essays for analysis of structure, language, and focus. Segments on grammar snags and organization are fully annotated so that students can understand pitfalls and how to create well-structured essays. Bulleted tips, outlines, and sidebars illuminate effective methods and best practices. VERDICT With its keen insights, instructive cartoons, logical format, and specific case examples, this guide will surely give students an edge while also preparing them for freshman composition courses.

Powers, John & David Templeman. Historical Dictionary of Tibet. Scarecrow. (Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East). 2012. 794p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9780810868052. $125. Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF

Powers (History of Propaganda ) and Templeman ( New Views of Tibetan Culture ) open this premier guide to Tibetan culture and history with a reader’s note, indicating the book’s unifying transliteration standard—the Wylie system—and presenting a glossary of phonetic spellings and Wylie equivalents. Preceded by a chronology, a 49-page introduction that is interspersed with subheadings then offers a substantial overview of Tibetan history, culture, and political tensions. Straightforward entries run several paragraphs and cover the historical figures, locations, dynasties, and events contributing to Tibet’s development. VERDICT While some subject foreknowledge is required to navigate this work, it is the most thorough resource on Tibet now available.

Schneider, Zola Dincin & Norman G. Schneider. Campus Visits & College Interviews. 3d. ed. College Board. 2012. 160p. illus. ISBN 9780874479881. pap. $14.99. REF

Zola Dincin Schneider (Countdown to College) and Norman Schneider divide this fully updated edition into segments covering the college visit and the admissions interview. The first ten chapters offer advice on choosing campuses, making the most of a visit, and seeing the college without traveling. The eight-chapter second segment is presents hypothetical interview situations and checklists, and tips for shy students. VERDICT While it lacks subject authority quotations and insight into specific college or university interviewer strategies, this straightforward title will be valuable to those preparing early in high school.

Stolley, Kathy & Stephanie Watson. Medical Tourism: A Reference Handbook. Greenwood. (Contemporary World Issues). 2012. c.345p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598845402. $58. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Stolley (Basics of Sociology) and Watson (Understanding Obesity) add to a recent flood of titles about traveling abroad for lower cost or life-saving medical procedures. Eight chapters define the subject and its controversy, explore its economic and social impact, profile relevant organizations, and offer data along with reprinted articles. Chapters close with a four- to nine-page bibliography. A “Resources” segment finishes the title, detailing books, legislation, individual stories, and even currency calculators. VERDICT While some of this information may seem self-evident to informed readers, the title’s health care provider profiles and resource listings are extraordinarily worthwhile.—Savannah Schroll-Guz, formerly with Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC

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.