Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Developing an Outstanding Core Collection: A Guide for Libraries. (Professional Materials)

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Developing an Outstanding Core Collection: A Guide for Libraries. (Professional Materials)

Article excerpt

By Carol Alabaster. Chicago: ALA, 2002. 192p. $38 (ISBN 0-8389-0819-5). www.ala.org

In this book, Carol Alabaster provides instructions for libraries interested in creating a core collection. She discusses the philosophy of having a core collection, and its creation and maintenance. The work is divided into five sections focusing on the core collection: philosophy, development, selection, creation, and implementation. Included is a sample core list with selection criteria and sources that libraries may use as guides, as well as a bibliography of core selection resources and works cited. The bibliography contains numerous print and online sources, and should prove of value as a starting point for selectors.

Alabaster, who spent thirteen years as the collection development coordinator at the Phoenix Public Library, is able to offer both knowledge and personal experience on an interesting topic, and the result is a book that fills a need in the professional literature. She does an excellent job of providing instructions for each step of the core collection development process, speaking in plain language and simple terms. Her experience at Phoenix also serves as a valuable case study.

Unlike too many professional works that seem to target only large or small libraries, this book speaks to libraries of all sizes, and the author does her best to be inclusive. …

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