Friday, April 9, 2010

Reference 350's

I'll bet if I asked most of you what's in the Ref 350's you'd have to look it up. I would have. Anyway there's not a whole lot here, and what is here is not used much, but most of it is nice to have. A lot of it falls in the category of "We are a library--where else are you going to find this stuff."

The discards:
New Jersey Budget and Budget in Brief - All online
Government Agencies - too old (1983) , no update and info can be found elsewhere.
The Presidency A to Z - Really don't need this with the two volume Guide to the Presidency plus it's 10 years older.
United States Government Manual - this is a standing order that I think we can do without. It's only about $40 but I can't remember when I used it last. This info is readily available online and is much more likely to be up-to-date.

On the other hand, the Washington Information Directory I think we should keep. Take a look at it if you haven't for a while--the value here is in the arrangement of the information. It is much easier to get a composite picture of a government department here than it is from the comparable website, even though the website has tons more information.

The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History is a gem, and the military biography titles do not really overlap. Webster's American Military Biographies seemed extraneous until I realized that it had some very different entries than the 3 volume set, like women, for example, plus spies, scouts, etc.

Let me know what you think.


Cynthia said...

I agree on the government stuff--it is avaialable on-line, easier to use and stays up to date.

Biographies are always helpful for that question you get once a year.

mlh said...

Ditto on the Washington Info Directory and the Harper History. I hate to discard the Naval Terms Dictionary but we can probably get all that info on line.

Kristin said...

Could we put The Presidency A to Z and the latest US Government Manual in the circulating collection, and cancel the standing order of the Gov Manual? The A to Z Presidency book looks like a good book for a student to check out if they needed to.

I agree with your "keepers" like the Washington Info Directory, Book of the States, Naval Terms Dictionary, Guide to Military Medals and Ribbons, etc.

Jane said...

GS says: I actually enjoyed revisiting some of the books on this cart, remembering pre Internet days and how often we used the Government manual and the print version of the New Jersey budget. I don’t see any reason to keep the hard copies any longer since everything is online. In reviewing the books, I don’t think I realized how wonderful the Guide to the Presidency is and the amount of information it has in it. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History is great for timelines and the Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography has something positive to say about everyone, even the worst of the worst. I do think that the biographical sources are lost in this call number. I think we should create a biography section and pull all the biographical sources from the various call numbers and put them all together in one spot. I think they will be used more. I think we should keep both The Presidency A to Z and the Guide to the Presidents in the reference collection. When students need to write a paper, they often need more than one source and this provides an easy way to provide that. Plus, if it goes into circ and doesn’t circulate, it will get weeded and then be lost. It can still be checked out as a reference book since we allow that now.

Catherine Harper said...

The Presidency A to Z and Guide to the Presidency are very different--the first is a good source for basic info and quick facts and the other for encyclopedia-length articles. PAZ’s age is definitely a drawback, but it still has useful information. I’d vote for keeping it--or we could buy the 4th edition (2007) for as little as $32.95 on Amazon.

I would put County Governing Bodies in New Jersey in the circulating collection. Same with The New Jersey Initiative.

Otherwise, I agree with all of JB’s decisions.

Jane said...

Thanks for your comments. In the meantime I have decided to keep the U.S. Government Manual because Kristen had a question that was best answered by it. Also, I'm going to keep Presidency A-Z in the ref collection since it can circ from there. Everything else the same.

Jane said...

GS says:
I agree with all of Jane’s comments in the reference books. I think we should broaden the call number range for the Health Reference to include the books on homelessness, health care policy and suicide.

I think we should keep the smaller Social Security handbooks even though most of it is online. Since the target audience for these publications is the one least likely to want to use the Internet, I think we should have a print copy handy.