LJ Best Books 2017

It's time again for LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles.   SEE WHO MADE THE LIST

Three Decades of Excellence

ljx140502webgodort1Thirty years have passed since the Notable Government Documents selection process was first introduced. An initiative of the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA), it was designed to recognize excellence and raise awareness of information resources produced by all levels of government and promote their use and as such was a unique tool at the time. Responsibility for compilation of the annual list falls to the Notable Documents Panel, a part of ALA/GODORT’s Publications Committee. The inaugural Notable Documents list appeared in 1984 and covered items published in 1983. That first list contained 18 federal, 12 state and local, and 13 international titles addressing such topics as environmental trends, health care, mapping, and space ­exploration.

When the first list appeared, Ronald Reagan was president, the Summer Olympics were hosted in Los Angeles, and the European Union was still the European Community. Online publishing didn’t exist, and neither did the Internet. Notable Documents have come a long way! Since then, 1,473 titles have been recognized. A comprehensive bibliography of lists to date is available at wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Notable_­Documents_Bibliography.

The Notable Documents process has stood the test of time and, like government publishing itself, has adapted to the 21st century. Selection criteria have been revised to include content in all formats; in recent years, a growing number of notables are born digital and are available free of charge. The nomination process is now also born digital, with an online submission form.

Also noteworthy in 2013

Following the pomp of a presidential inauguration, the shoe of sequestration dropped in March, triggering a series of automatic cuts to federal spending on jobs, services, education, safety, and military readiness as well as on government publishing. As stated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the paucity of resources impacted the agency’s ability to do analysis and generate reports essential for keeping Congress informed. Sequestration also affected support for research and development in this critical period following last year’s efforts to enhance open access (OA) to government-funded studies, including implementation of the White House OA directive a scant year ago and introduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) legislation, also last year. Agencies that fund grants have seen significant budget reductions, with little likelihood of improvement in the foreseeable future. If this wasn’t enough, the other shoe dropped when the third-longest government shutdown in history occurred in October, and during those 16 days, many agencies, including the Library of Congress (LC), took all or part of their electronic databases and other content offline.

Big GPO doings

While the Government Printing Office (GPO) had its own sequester-related challenges to meet Congressional printing and publishing mandates, it realized many successes. Perhaps most significant was the appointment of Davita Vance-Cooks as the 27th Public Printer of the United States. The first African American and the first woman to hold that post, she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate and assumed office in the summer of 2013. In her capacity as acting public printer for nearly two years, Vance-Cooks set a priority on rebranding the GPO and shepherding it further along the digital landscape, an agenda she plans to continue. She also will advocate to change the GPO’s name (though not its initials) to the Government Publishing Office, better to reflect the agency’s evolving role.

Key partnerships led to improved access to information last year. Working with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the GPO offered up the government’s first audiobook; Getting To Know the President: Intelligence Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952–2004 is available for free download via FDsys. Collaborating with LC and the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a new U.S. Constitution app was created and released in time for Constitution Day, September 17. Other GPO highlights include the distribution of the billionth consumer publication from its Congressman Frank Evans Document Distribution Center in Pueblo, CO, the launch of a new, improved version of its Online Bookstore website, and the expansion of its already active social media presence by joining Pinterest.

The agency reported a savings of $16 million since transitioning publications to the online environment in 1995. Of course, the downside is that agencies continue to opt out of submitting their own digital documents to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) for distribution.

The 2013 list

Nominated documents are interdisciplinary in scope and reflect an interest in political issues, current events, and history. This year’s list includes titles on cultural heritage, globalism, diversity and gender equality, lifelong learning, and the environment. Nearly all are available online, most with no-cost print counterparts. The Notable Documents Panel thanks all who participated in this year’s nominating process.


Airpower and the Environment: The Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare. ed. by Joel Hayward. Maxwell Air Force Base, Air Univ., Air Force Research Inst. 272p. map. ISBN 9781585662234. SuDoc# D 301.26/6:AI 7/17.

In this historical analysis, military strategists collaborate with ecologists and environmental activists to examine the environmental consequences of modern warfare. The authors investigate specific military operations and weapons tests dating from World War I to the present and describe their ecological effects, some of which are irreparable, including deforestation, air and water pollution, oil spillage, and nuclear contamination.


Marianne Ryan, Northwestern Univ.
Federal Selector
Mark Anderson, Univ. of Northern Colorado
Federal Judge
Carole Spector, Univ. of San Francisco
Federal Judge
Vicki L. Tate, Univ. of South Alabama
State/Local Selector
Robbie Sittel, Tulsa City-County Library
State/Local Judge
Linda Johnson, Univ. of New Hampshire
State/Local Judge
Bill Sleeman, U.S. Supreme Court Library
International Selector
David N. Griffiths, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
International Judge
Kris Kasianovitz, Stanford Univ.
International Judge
Heidi Peters, Advanced Resource Technologies, Inc.

Please complete the online nomination form at ow.ly/w9CSL.

Titles considered for the next review should be published in 2014. The deadline for nominating a publication is January 5, 2015.

American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study. National Park Svc. Advisory Board. 403p. illus. map. SuDoc# I 29.2:L 34/2. www.nps.gov/latino/latinothemestudy.

Essays by noted Latino scholars explore the physical, intellectual, and social impact that Latino cultures (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and South and Central American) have had on the United States. Emphasis is on the mid-19th century to the present on topics including the arts, business, education, food, immigration, law, religion, science, and sports.

Arctic Citadel: A History of Exploration in the Brooks Range Region of Northern Alaska. by Chris Allan. U.S. Dept. of the Interior. 210p. illus. maps. ISBN 9780615818344. SuDoc# I 29.2:AR 2/29.

Extending 600 miles across the wilderness of northern Alaska, the Brooks Range envelops four different national parks and wildlife refuges. Its remote landscapes are captured here in dozens of spectacular color images, with historic photographs, maps, and sketches illustrating the lives of the rugged native people, prospectors, and pioneers who have inhabited the region.

Arrows and Atl Atls: A Guide to the Archeology of Beringia. by E. James Dixon. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Svc. 321p. illus. ISBN 9780985294820. SuDoc# I 29.9/2:B 45.

Beringia, the land surrounding the Bering Sea and bordering the Arctic Ocean, includes the area that once was a land bridge connecting Asia with North America. Using artifacts collected from archaeological sites in Russia, Canada, and Alaska, Dixon has created a vivid portrait of the hardy hunting cultures that have inhabited the area for over 25,000 years and how they have interacted with Russian settlers, English explorers, and American military occupiers.

Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age. by G. Wayne Clough. Smithsonian Inst. 1 online resource; 75p. illus. ISBN 9780981950020. SuDoc# SI 1.2:B 46. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo41908.

Advances in digital technology have allowed museums, libraries, and archives to expand public access to their unique collections of objects, images, and documents. Digitizing facilitates collaboration among institutions and their participation in the formal educational system. Evidence shows that public interest is stimulated by exhibits of online objects, resulting in an increased number of physical visitors to these repositories.

The Causes of Instability in Nigeria and Implications for the United States Issuing Agency. by Clarence J. Bouchat. U.S. Army War Coll. Strategic Studies Inst. 116p. ISBN 9781584875819. www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=1163

Nigeria’s agricultural potential and its proven oil and gas reserves make it a land of strategic importance to the United States. However, economic development is inhibited because Nigeria is home to more than 250 ethnic groups that have traditionally been the source of political and social instability. In this study, the author recommends “specific but indirect ways” that the U.S. military might help Nigerians overcome political and economic ­difficulties.

Celebrating America’s National Wilderness Preservation System. GreenInfo Network, Cartographer. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture & others. map. SuDoc# I 19.79:W 64.

Since the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the National Wilderness Preservation System has expanded to include 750 wilderness areas covering more than 109 million acres. By protecting the land, the system provides habitat for endangered species, safeguards water quality, and offers recreational opportunities for millions of Americans.

Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. by Thomas E. Luebke. U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. 626p. illus. ISBN 9780160897023. SuDoc# FA 1.2:C 49. [Available from Univ. of Massachusetts for $85; www.umass.edu/umpress/title/civic-art]

The most impressive feature of this epic study of the social and political circumstances that have influenced the evolution of civic architecture is the large number of primary sources it contains. Historic photos of Washington street scenes and personages, dozens of color maps reflecting various time periods, reproductions of models of proposed buildings, and notes from architects and engineers bring to life the history and culture of the city.

Community Exposure to Tsunami Hazards in California. by Nathan J. Wood & others. U.S. Geological Survey. (Scientific Investigation Report, 2012–5222). 1 online resource; 49p. illus. maps. SuDoc# I 19.42/4-4:2012-5222. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo36685.

Inspired by recent catastrophic tsunamis, the authors have graphically presented the results of their research through color maps and photographs depicting the 94 cities in 20 counties located in tsunami-prone areas up and down the California coast. Charts and data tables classify the at-risk populations as permanent residents, estimated visitors, and commuting employees. As a benchmark for measuring the danger level to individual communities, the authors have developed a composite index number, derived from the amount of developed land and the number of people and businesses.

An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples. by Samantha Friedman. U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Policy Development & Research. www.huduser.org/portal/publications/pdf/Hsg_Disc_against_SameSexCpls_v3.pdf.

This study, completed in October 2011, is based on the responses and nonresponses to 6,833 email inquiries sent to housing providers in 50 metropolitan areas. Each provider received two queries, one from a fictional same-sex couple and one from a fictional opposite-sex couple. The response patterns suggest that housing discrimination against same-sex couples is still a problem, even in states where it is prohibited by law.

Forest Pest Insects in North America: A Photographic Guide . by Roy Van Driesche & others. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Svc., Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 702p. illus. SuDoc# A 13.110/18:2012-02. www.forestpests.org/book.

This encyclopedic inventory of roughly 200 species of forest pests is designed to appeal to educators at all levels. Each entry contains full-color, high-res photos of adults, larvae, and eggs, so all parts of these fascinating creatures can be examined in detail. It also includes data on the hosts most commonly invaded and links to public domain and online resources and bibliographies of peer-­reviewed research.

Growing Young Minds: How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners. Inst. of Museum & Library Svcs. 1 online resource; 8p. illus. SuDoc# NF 4.2:M 66. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo38029.

In the introduction, the authors issue a call to action to education policymakers for the creation of programs that fully use the services of libraries, museums, science and nature centers, and zoos for the improvement of children’s learning skills, especially students in the lower socioeconomic categories. Typically, such free services and resources have untapped potential for the development of early language, cognitive, social, and emotional skills building.

Hummingbird’s Squash. by Terry Lofton. U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Svcs., Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Div. of Diabetes Translation, Native Diabetes Wellness Program. 394p. illus. map. SuDoc# HE 7002:H 88/4. [Available for free from www.ihs.gov/MedicalPrograms/Diabetes/resources/catalog/index.cfm?module=home.]

A novel aimed at teen aljx140502webgodort2nd preteen audiences, this sequel to Coyote and the Turtle’s Dream (a 2012 Notable Document) tells the story of Hummingbird, who devises a plan to grow extraordinarily large fruits and vegetables to feed her family without working terribly hard. Spoiler alert: she’s unaware she’s being tricked by coyote. A valuable lesson about sharing and community.

Iraq War 2003–2011. U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. Forces-Iraq. 155p. illus. maps. ISBN 9780160905025. SuDoc# D 1.2:IR 1/7. GPO Stock# 008-020-01620-9. $33.

Focusing entirely on the self-sacrifice of military personnel and not on the politics, this chronology tells its story primarily through color photographs and minimal text. Emphasizing the successes of the coalition forces, it centers on medal of honor winners, the wounded, and the dead.

The Lorax Curriculum Guide. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Svc. 37p. illus. SuDoc# A 13.36/2:L 88. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo35888.

One of Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters—who “speaks for the trees”—guides students of all ages through this series of outdoor activities and experiments, all of which are designed to develop an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our dependence on trees.

Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (The Warren Commission Report). U.S. Warren Commission. 1964. 1 online resource; 888p. illus. maps. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo41545.

Rereleased on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, this is the online pdf version of the Warren Commission Report Summary, which condenses the contents of the 26 hearings and evidence volumes. Reproductions of forensic photos, police reports, physicians’ notes, coroners’ reports, and verbatim extracts of graphic witness testimony supplement the story of that tragic day in Dallas in 1963.

Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010. NOAA & others. SuDoc# C 55.2:SCI 2/2/2010. www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/ozone/2010/report.html.

Summarizing the latest research on topics such as the state of the ozone layer, ozone- depleting substances, effects of UV radiation, and climate change, the contributors here—312 experts in the atmospheric sciences from 39 countries—also offer policy recommendations. Written in language comprehensible to the nonscientist, it includes charts and graphs, definitions, and other material that make it an ideal starting point for students, scholars, and others.

Sense of Place: Design Guidelines for Yosemite National Park. National Park Svc. 2d ed. 336p. illus. maps. ISBN 9780160904127. SuDoc# I 29.9/2:Y 8/2. GPO Stock# 024-005-01295-8. $67. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo27899.

Revised and expanded from the 2004 edition, this history of development in ­Yosemite covers up to the present. With maps and historical images, the authors attempt to influence the design ethic of future park developers and establish guidelines so that successive plans are compatible with the rhythms and spirit of Yosemite’s landscape and scenery.

Story of America’s Wild Horses and Burros. directed by Art Ferraro. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Mgt. (BLM), Wild Horse & Burro Program. 1 videodisc. 65 min. SuDoc# I 53.58:H 78/DVD.

Panoramic landscapes and images of free-­ranging herds of wild horses and burros provide a romantic backdrop to this story of Nevada activist Velma P. Johnston, aka “Wild Horse Annie,” whose lobbying efforts and organizational skills led to legislation protecting these animals from abuse by ranchers and dog food companies. Today, on public lands set aside for them, the herds are humanely managed to prevent land and water degradation that would result from ­overpopulation.

You Cannot Surge Trust: Combined Naval Operations of the Royal Australian Navy, Canadian Navy, Royal Navy, and United States Navy, 1991–2003. Gary E. Weir, principal investigator. Washington, DC. Naval History & Heritage Command. 329p. illus. maps. $38. ISBN 9780945274704. SuDoc# D 221.2:SU 7. GPO Stock# 008-046-00287-8. $38. purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo41608.

The premise of this investigation is that the U.S. military can no longer act alone as the world’s only superpower. Within the context of a general history of the role of naval power in defense policy development and using examples dating back to the Revolutionary War, Weir outlines the increasing dependence nations have on one another and argues that conflicts between partners caused by varying rules of engagement can be overcome.



The Delta Plan. Delta Stewardship Council. Free. deltacouncil.ca.gov/delta-plan-0.

A comprehensive, long-term management scheme for the California Delta required by the 2009 Delta Reform Act and guided by the best available science, the plan grew out of hours of public meetings and thousands of public comments. Among other things, it creates new policies and recommendations that aim to reduce reliance on delta water, protect the delta’s ecosystem, integrate policy and science for the best outcomes, and improve water reliability. The plan notably illustrates how federal, state, and local agencies with separate agendas can strike a balance between sustainability and demand.

Identifying Determinants of Very Low Energy Consumption Rates Observed in Some California Households. by Alan K. Meier & Reuben Deumling. California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resource Board. Univ. of California Davis, Energy Efficiency Ctr. 85p. OCLC # 864453358. Free. www.arb.ca.gov/research/apr/past/09-326.pdf.

California’s AB32: Global Warming Solutions Act puts goals for greenhouse gas reductions into law and directed the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to begin developing early actions to decrease greenhouse gases. Pursuant to the law and in hopes of expanding meaningful customer reduction participation, the ARB began examining residential customers whose emission levels were at or below the designated goals, aiming to chart the demographics of low-energy users and show how the findings could inform policymakers and direct an outreach campaign. Though the diverse nature of the test group resulted in incorrect assumptions about who uses less energy, the study does offer evidence that great reduction in home energy use is possible.

San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Projects. California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans), Bay Area Toll Authority, California Transportation Commission. Free. baybridgeinfo.org.

“On September 2, 2013, the new East Span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. The seismic opening of the new span is more than just an upgrade of one of the country’s busiest bridges—it is an epic transformation of the bridge into a global icon.” The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Projects website offers time-lapse construction video, a tour of the bridge, news and updates about the project, and a wealth of other information, from history to fact sheets.

Work Camps: Historic Context and Archaeological Research Design. Caltrans, Div. of Environmental Analysis. 266p. illus. Free.

Part of a series of statewide, thematic archaeological research programs developed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), this volume presents historic design context for ljx140502webgodort3work camps in California from 1848, at the beginning of the gold rush, through 1941, when the United States entered World War II. Driven by a state statute requiring that federal agencies take into account “the effects of undertakings on properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places,” the series is aimed at improving the process of site-specific research and evaluation. An extensive historical account of the building and maintenance of California work camps and the immigrants and migrant workers who populated them.


Colorado Fishing Atlas. Colorado Div. of Parks and Wildlife. OCLC # 857174246. Free. ndismaps.nrel.colostate.edu/fishingatlas.

This virtual scouting tool allows fishers to locate ideal fishing spots based on criteria including fish species and accessibility. It requires basic online mapping skills, though those without would have only a minor learning curve. Static links to custom maps can be created for easy access on the water. The tool also links to a general Colorado fishing brochure, as well as to information for purchasing a fishing license. A fantastic product for experienced anglers or anyone looking to become a fisherman.

Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal. Colorado Forest Svc. OCLC # 841179159. Free. www.coloradowildfirerisk.com.

Growing out of an increased demand to provide more accurate, up-to-date information about wildfire risks across Colorado, the portal is designed to support wildfire planning needs for government officials through info and data that justify budget and funding requests, help to define priorities and improve emergency response, increase communication and cooperation among government agencies, and create plans to reduce wildfire risks. The professional web-mapping application includes the capability to define a project area, generate a detailed risk summary report, and export and download wildfire risk GIS data. The portal features a web-mapping application for the public including “What’s Your Risk?” which allows users to identify specific risks within a half-mile radius of an interest point on the map.

Task Force Report on the Implementation of Amendment 64: Regulation of Marijuana in Colorado. Colorado Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, Office of the Governor of Colorado, Colorado Dept. of Revenue, Div. of Taxation. 165p. OCLC # 830877987. Free. www.colorado.gov/cms/forms/dor-tax/A64TaskForceFinalReport.pdf.

The task force, created by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, “was asked to identify the legal, policy and procedural issues that need to be resolved, and to offer suggestions and proposals for legislative, regulatory and executive actions that need to be taken, for the effective and efficient implementation of Amendment 64—the constitutional amendment authorizing the use and regulation of marijuana in the State of Colorado.” This report presents those recommendations, which seek to establish a robust regulatory scheme with adequate funding for industry oversight and enforcement, consumer protection, and prevention and treatment programs for youth. The recommendations aim to strike an appropriate balance between state and local regulations and contain suggestions about updates to Colorado’s criminal statutes.

The Value Chain of Colorado Agriculture. by Gregory Graff & others. Dept. of Agricultural & Resource Economics, Office of Engagement, Colorado State Univ. 114p. illus. maps. OCLC # 843913933. Free. outreach.colostate.edu/econ-dev/value-chain.html.

Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to Colorado’s economy. In 2012, Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade issued Colorado Blueprint, a framework to build a comprehensive economic development plan. This document provides analysis that supports the blueprint and creates connections among disparate industries and sectors. It illustrates the reach of Colorado agriculture into farm and off-farm economies, public sector projects, developments in industry and science, and beyond. A vital report to community and government leaders looking for ways to build local economies through ­agriculture.


Racial and Ethnic Groups in the Gulf of Mexico Region: Latinos; Cajuns; Croatians; Native Americans; African Americans; Asians; Vietnamese. by Amanda Cowley & others. Louisiana State Univ. Agricultural Ctr. OCLC # 819743357; 820723366; 828511161; 851080326; 869215042; 820723239; 820720059. Free. www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/publications+catalog/research/community/ndethnicgroupsinthegulfofmexicoregionseries.htm

Though the Gulf of Mexico region has always been a diverse area, like the rest of the United States, it is experiencing demographic shifts. To highlight and illustrate cultural influences and population changes, the Louisialjx140502webgodort4na State University Agricultural Center produced this series examining various racial and ethnic groups within the region. The reports focus on Latinos, Cajuns, Croatians, Native Americans, African Americans, Asians, and Vietnamese and cover origin and history of the group in the region, areas of greater concentration of populations, and notable population shifts, plus the cultural, political, and economic impact the groups have had on the region.


The Bee Lab. Univ. of Minnesota, Dept. of Entomology, Coll. of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resource Sciences. OCLC # 613122165. Free. beelab.umn.edu

Research at the Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota (UMN) fosters creative thought and practical solutions to promote the health and diversity of bee pollinators, and its website supports the work and research of the faculty and students. The site provides access to information about areas of research and academic courses as well as details for the public about how to help grow a healthier and more robust bee community.


General Industry Basic Safety and Health Management Program. by Wanda Lagoe. North Carolina Dept. of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Div. (Industry Guide, #110). 30p. OCLC # 844201259. $3.50/free online. www.nclabor.com/osha/etta/indguide/ig102.pdf.

In North Carolina, the Department of Labor (NCDOL) enforces the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) through a state plan approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. NCDOL offers educational programs to the public and publishes materials on citizens’ rights and responsibilities regarding occupational safety and health. This guide is part of a series designed to assist employers in general industry to develop comprehensive safety and health programs with best practices tailored to a company’s or organization’s operation.

North Carolina and the Two World Wars. by Sarah McCulloh Lemmon & Nancy Smith Midgette. North Carolina Office of Archives & History. 245p. illus. ISBN # 9780865264441. OCLC # 828860274. $15 + s/h.

Lemmon’s North Carolina’s Role in the First World War (1966) and North Carolina’s Role in World War II (1964) are combined into this one document. Based on extensive research within the North Carolina State Archives, this work offers a look at the Tar Heel experience in these pivotal events of the 20th century. For this volume, Elon University’s Midgette provides extensive updates to the original texts. Also included is a new chapter discussing the interwar period between 1918 and 1941. Compelling coverage of North Carolina’s role in world events.

North Carolina Health Statistics Pocket Guide 2011. North Carolina Dept. of Health & Human Svcs. OCLC # 8503350. Free. www.schs.state.nc.us/schs/data/pocketguide/2011.

This issue of the North Carolina Health Statistics marks the 100th anniversary of the North Carolina Center for Health Statistics and its collecting, analyzing, and disseminating of data on the health status of North Carolinians. This convenient pocket guide provides a demographic snapshot of North Carolina and how the state relates to the whole of the nation, as well as where it ranks among other states in overall health and health outcomes.

Remote Testimony and Related Procedures Impacting a Criminal Defendant’s Confrontational Rights: Administration of Justice Bulletin, No. 2013/02. by Jessica Smith. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Sch. of Govt. OCLC # 33454555. Free. sogpubs.unc.edu/electronicversions/pdfs/aojb1302.pdf.

The Administration of Justice Bulletin discusses issues involving criminal law and procedure. This notable volume explores U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to the Confrontation Clause and North Carolina’s prosecutors’ and defendants’ use of the notice and demand provision. The paper examines other Supreme Court cases as well as North Carolina statutes that impact and call into question Confrontation Clause procedures. Of interest to North Carolina attorneys and legislators for its new ways to allow defendants the right to confront their accusers.


The Coach and the College: The Role of Athletics in the Financial Survival of a Small Liberal Arts College. by Robert D. Sawrey. North Dakota Inst. for Regional Studies. 200p. illus. ISBN 9780911042771. OCLC # 839686418. $20.

It is often presumed that academics take a backseat to athletics on many American college campuses. Nestled within North Dakota farmland and known for its athletics, Jamestown College has the distinction of marrying academics with athletics. This publication tells the story of Rollie Greeno, the football coach who recruited hundreds of talented student-athletes and worked with key administrators, faculty, and donors to build collaborative relationships that kept the college open during hard financial times.

The People of the Upper Missouri: The Mandans. State Historical Soc. of North Dakota. 2012. DVD 77 min. OCLC # 814018524. $24.95 + s/h.

Though their exact origins are unknown, the Madan people have lived on the Upper Missouri River since before European settlers began exploring what is now the Dakotas. This production documents their history, traditions, and material culture through the integration of ethnographic and archaeological data and historical imagery with interviews with historians, researchers, and residents of the Fort ­Berthold Reservation, ND. The film offers a look at contemporary Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara life and travels back to the height of the Mandan population in the 16th century.


Ohio’s Geological Walk Through Time: At the Ohio State Fairgrounds Natural Resources Park. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Div. of Geological Survey, Ohio Secretary of State. 20p. illus. OCLC # 859596761. Free. www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/10/pdf/EL/el20.pdf.

This brief pamphlet accompanies a set trail and takes walkers through the 540 million–year geologic history of Ohio with each foot of path equaling one million years. Designed as an educational tool for younger students, this guide will appeal to anyone interested in exploring the long geologic history of the state. In addition to an examination of geology, walkers are given information about creatures from each period and led to look for specific rock samples.

Ohio’s Lake Erie Public Access Guide. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources. 285p. illus. maps. OCLC # 855907391. Free. www.dnr.state.oh.us/Coastal_Main_Menu/PublicAccess/LakeEriePublicAccessRiversEdition/tabid/23609/Default.aspx.

This guide covers more than 870 field-checked river miles, features 220 public access sites, and is a comprehensive resource for exploring recreational areas in Ohio that border Lake Erie. From well-known parks and beaches to secluded shore vistas, the book maps 164 locations and outlines the amenities, activities, and services available at each site. A wonderful resource for experienced river-goers or those looking to begin exploring Ohio and Lake Erie ­waterways.


Bats of Oklahoma Field Guide. by Rachel Bradley & Melynda Hickman. Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation. 34p. illus. maps. OCLC # 847228496. Free. www.wildlifedepartment.com/wildlifemgmt/Batfieldguide.pdf

Published by the Oklahoma Bat Co­ordinating Team in cooperation with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this field guide is intended to aid the appreciation of bats in Oklahoma. It will also assist with bat identification among those who work closely with these nocturnal flying mammals, including biologists, naturalists, wildlife control agents, and rehabilitators. Each profile is complete with a photograph, a range map, and general information about the species and its ­behaviors. n


Art for Art’s Sake? The Impact of Arts Education. by Ellen Winner & others. OECD, dist. by Renouf. 266p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9789264180772. pap. $35.

This comprehensive review of studies about the impact of arts education on the development of critical thinking and creativity is clearly written, despite the presence of technical terms and concepts. Mainly of interest to arts educators, college students, and academics.

Child Well-Being in Rich Countries: A Comparative Overview. by Peter Adamson. UNICEF Office of Research, dist. by Renouf & UN Pubns. 56p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9788865220160. UN sales # E.13.XX.3. pap. $20.

Snapshots of child welfare in 29 of the world’s wealthiest countries are reported here through tables and graphs accompanied by text. Part 1 addresses a wide range of topics, including many for which data is hard to find, such as bullying, fighting, and eating fruit. Part 2 assesses the well-being of children by considering what they say about their lives. Part 3 identifies trends in child welfare at the country level by comparing data on child well-being in 2001 and 2002 with data collected a decade later. The only flaw is the lack of a table of contents.

Deep Sea Minerals. 2 vols. ed. by Elaine Baker & Yannick Beaudion. Secretariat of the Pacific Community. 273p. illus. maps. bibliog. Vol. 1A: ISBN 9788277011196; Vol. 1B: ISBN 9788277011202; Vol. 1C: ISBN 9788277011219; Vol. 2: ISBN 9788277011226. Free.

The age of deep-sea mining has arrived. In Volume 1, the Deep Sea Minerals Project—an endeavor of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community—has brought together information on the geology of sea-floor mineral deposits, the habitats and organisms associated with these deposits, the potential environmental effects of mining particular resources, and the related technical processes. Volume 2 identifies the drivers of deep-sea mining and discusses legal rights, sustainability and socioeconomic effects, the management of these mineral resources, and the Pacific region’s policies regarding deep-sea mineral development. Though policymakers are the primary audience, anyone who is concerned about the state of our oceans will benefit from reading this ­succinct ­publication.

Early Childhood Education and Development in Poor Villages of Indonesia: Strong Foundations, Later Success. ed. by Amer Hasan & others. World Bank, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 128p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9780821398364. pap. $25.95.

Indonesia has made remarkable economic and social progress in the 21st century, but many of its children have been left behind. Stunting, which limits cognitive development, is still widespread ljx140502webgodort5among Indonesian youth, and many students drop out of school after the primary grades. Indonesia has begun to address these problems through an early childhood education and development program. This document considers the results of this effort and their implications. A scholarly study, but most readers will find it clear and accessible.

Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security. by Arnold van Huis & others. Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 187p. illus. map. bibliog. ISBN 9789251075951. pap. $40.

Human beings in both developed and developing countries must find new sources of protein for themselves, their livestock, and their pets, and insects may be the best available option. The authors discuss the potential contribution of insects to global food security and address related issues, such as insect nutrition, food safety, and raising and preserving insects and their products. Global case studies add spice to this intriguing title.

Elephants in the Dust: The African Elephant Crisis. UN Environment Programme & others, dist. by Renouf. 77p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9788277011110. pap. $30.

This introduction to the illegal ivory trade explores elephant population trends and the forces behind ivory trafficking, as well as ways of reducing the carnage. The text is crisp, and each of the many maps and illustrations conveys its message clearly. Numerous photographs depict not only the horrific aftermath of elephant poaching but also the beauty of these animals.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Statistical Overview and Exploration of the Dynamics of Change. UNICEF. 184p. ISBN 9789280647037. Free.

This is the most complete statistical resource on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and attitudes toward the practice in the 29 countries where it is concentrated. It also reviews the development of national and international law and policies regarding the practice; discusses the views on it of men, women, and children; and examines the relationship of FGM/C to ethnicity, educational attainment, and religion. This title is richly illustrated with photos, thematic maps, and graphs.

The Global Climate 2001–2010: A Decade of Climate Extremes. World Meteorological Organization, dist. by Renouf. 2013. 110p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9789263111036. pap. $60.

This summary and analysis of meteorological and climatological results of global warming provides detailed explanations of various weather- and climate-related phenomena, such as atmospheric and oceanic oscillations, and presents case studies on the effects of climate change. It contributes sound, succinct inquiry and historical abstracts of a broad range of data. The clarity of the text and the use of illustrations make this work accessible to the general reader.

Journeys to School: A Global Human Concern. UNESCO, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 2013. 180p. illus. ISBN 9789230011406. pap. Bernan $50; Renouf $52.50.

Eighteen photojournalists, over the course of two months, documented the challenges children and teenagers encountered as they try to reach their classrooms. The images tell the stories of students who travel to school by boat, canoe, donkey, and train; on foot through rugged terrain; and past bombed-out buildings, land mines, and unexploded ordnance. The captions are engaging, and every photo in this tribute to the determination of these students is clearly reproduced, colorful, and eye-catching.

Late Lessons from Early Warnings: Science, Precaution, Innovation. European Environment Agency, dist. by Renouf. 2013. 760p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9789292133566. pap. $75.

In the 2001 work Late Lessons from Early Warnings: The Precautionary Principle 1896–2000, the authors examined 14 occupational, public health, and environmental hazards and asked how policymakers could have taken action early enough to prevent harm. In each instance, clear evidence of danger was ignored. Twelve “late lessons” for better decision-making were drawn from these cases. This 2013 publication builds on the earlier work by considering additional threats, such as radiation from mobile phones, the feminization of fish by contraceptives, genetically modified products, and the effects of insecticides on honey­bees. The text is clear and appropriate for a wide audience, and though the title is lengthy, readers need not start at the beginning: each case study stands alone.

Lumbini: Birthplace of Buddha/Lumbini: lieu de naissance du Bouddha. UNESCO, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 242p. illus. ISBN 9789231000034. Renouf $63; Bernan $65.

Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of the Buddha in Buddhist tradition, has been a pilgrimage center for over two millennia. The sites associated with the Buddha’s birth and the archaeological remains of monasteries, shrines, and other structures dating from the third century BCE have earned this site a place on the World Heritage List. This first comprehensive pictorial work on Lumbini deals with themes such as the people of Lumbini, the flora and fauna of the area, dangers to the site, and Buddhist beliefs, each in a single-page introduction in English, Chinese, French, and Nepali, followed by gorgeous photographs. Unfortunately, there are no captions. Readers might also be interested in UNESCO’s The Sacred Garden of Lumbini: Perceptions of Buddha’s Birthplace.

A Million Voices: The World We Want. UN Development Group. 160p. illus. Free.

In response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call in 2012 for an inclusive exchange of views concerning the United Nations’ development vision, the UN Development Group asked a wide range of stakeholders to share their concerns. The result was a global conversation involving more than one million people. The process was carried out through a variety of channels, including the web-based My World survey (www.myworld2015.org). One of many discoveries shared is a worldwide hunger to be involved not only in shaping the development agenda but also in monitoring its implementation. The text is lucid, and the charts, images, and page layout help make this an engaging work.

Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans. UN Environment Programme & UNESCO. 53p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9788277011110. Free.

According to the authors, more than 22,000 chimpanzees and other great apes were illegally removed from the wild between 2005 and 2011. This resource provides the first overview of the extent of the illicit trafficking of these animals and suggests how stakeholders can fight it. The stories, clear text, and moving photographs make this title appropriate for a wide audience.

Zambia: Atlas of Our Changing Environment. Zambia Environmental Mgt. Agency & others. 124p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9788277011127. Free.

The authors use satellite images, photographs, and thematic maps to identify changes in the environment, determine their causes, and persuade policymakers and the public to take steps to mitigate the damage. The “then and now” images showing undeniable losses over the course of 20 to 40 years are especially effective. This beautifully illustrated work also covers Zambia’s economy, population, and culture.



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Marianne Ryan (marianne-ryan@northwestern.edu) is Chair of the Notable Documents Panel of the American Library Association’s Government Document Roundtable (GODORT) and Associate University Librarian for Public Services at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

This article was published in Library Journal's May 15, 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.