Professional Media | February 1, 2013

Library Services for Multicultural Patrons: Strategies to Encourage Library Use. Scarecrow. 2012. 352p. ed. by Carol Smallwood & Kim Becnel. index. ISBN 9780810887220. $65. PRO MED

What do graphic novels, poetry readings, and oral history projects have in common? They are among many ideas used in successful outreach efforts by libraries serving ethnically diverse patrons. In this resource edited by Smallwood (Preserving Local Writers, Genealogy, Photographs, Newspapers, and Related Materials) and Becnel (library science, Appalachian State Univ.), 49 predominantly American contributors share their diversity service expertise via 37 articles arranged by theme: getting organized and finding partners, reaching students, community connections, applying technology, outreach initiatives, programming and events, and reference services. An underlying message is for librarians to leave their comfort zones, collaborate, and take risks to establish practical connections with new immigrants and other diverse populations. This comprehensive handbook—targeting academic, public, and school librarians—is the first of its kind since Katherine Hill’s Diversity and Multiculturalism in Libraries (1994) and Reaching a Multicultural Student Community by Karen E. Downing, Barbara MacAdam, and Darlene P. Nichols (1993). Staffing, funding, resource planning, and overcoming language barriers are among the topics addressed. VERDICT A useful array of ideas for administrators, IT staff, and frontline librarians seeking programming and service success with children, students, working adults, and the elderly in our increasingly multicultural world.—Betty J. Glass, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno

Bawden, David & Lyn Robinson. Introduction to Information Science. Neal-Schuman. 2013. 384p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781555708610. pap. $70. PRO MED

Beginning with a preface and six forewords by library and information science professionals, this is not a typical textbook! London-based authors Bawden (information science, City Univ. London; editor, Journal of Documentation) and Robinson (program director, library & information science, City Univ. London;Understanding Healthcare Information) have ably achieved their objective of introducing “the logic and language” of information science. The text begins with an epistemological exploration of what is (are) information science(s), and that question is woven throughout. More than one answer is explored, with a focus on the importance of people in any transfer of data, information, or knowledge. “Domain analysis” also permeates the text, with detailed explanations of this “realist approach” to the philosophy of information science in chapter five. While there are illustrative examples of current technologies, the authors’ philosophical focus means they are not bogged down in contemporary minutiae; thus the useful life of the book is extended. This work is so different from Charles H. Davis and Debora Shaw’s more technology-oriented Introduction to Information Science and Technology (2011) that both could be used in an introductory course. VERDICT Library and ischool faculty and students will find Bawden and Robinson’s text intellectually stimulating and very worthwhile.—Sara R. Tompson, Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles