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Wood, Melody.

Ottawa, Canadian Library Association, 1988. 16pp, paper, $6.00, ISBN 0-88802-226-3. (Library Service to Children, 6). CIP


Bernard, Lynne.

Ottawa, Canadian Library Association, 1988. 12pp, paper, $6.00, ISBN 0-88802-223-9. (Library Service to Children, 3). CIP


Petrie, Kathleen.

Ottawa, Canadian Library Association, 1988. 15pp, paper, $6.00, ISBN 0-88802-230-1. (Library Service to Children, 10). CIP

Reviewed by Adele Ashby

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

These are three new titles aimed at small- and medium-sized libraries in the successful "Library Service to Children" series from the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians. Collection Development begins by pointing out the necessity for more careful collection development and maintenance in these days of decreasing budgets and purchasing power. Its purpose is "to help define a path to follow in developing a book collection for those libraries with limited time, space, personnel and money," but as with all the titles in the series, it will be of interest to children's librarians in any setting.

Bernard stresses the need for an acquisitions policy statement or collection development plan that should be reviewed frequently in the light of changing needs. She states that it "may" mention what will not be selected. In my view, it should always do so. The booklet goes on to show how to assess an existing collection to determine needs and budget allocations for new and replacement titles. The sections on current and retrospective building discuss various selection tools, and they are followed by one on weeding.

My only quibble is its somewhat idealistic viewpoint. My experience as a teacher of selection and acquisitions is that at least half of those buying books for children at present use no tools and depend almost wholly upon some sort of pre-selection such as that done by a wholesaler. While this form of collection development is, in my view, extremely regrettable, I feel that any book on the subject should deal with it, if only to point out its dangers.

Programming for School-aged Children provides "guidelines on planning, implementing, maintaining, evaluating, and improving programs for school-aged children...from specialized bulletin boards and displays, book talks, contests, crafts, reading clubs and school visits." School-aged is defined as five to twelve, and Wood emphasizes the importance of grouping audiences according to varying interests and abilities. She covers the setting of goals and objectives, scheduling to take advantage of seasons, special days, and events such as the Children's Book Festival. She discusses the advantages and disadvantages of registration. Under budgeting, she makes a remarkable statement: "Never let your program budget determine your activities." I wonder if it is a misprint, since surely budget must place some limitations. Publicity and promotion and evaluation are also discussed. In order to provide a model for the Implementation of a program, she lays out in some detail a summer reading club.

In my view, the most important activity around which many different kinds of programming should be planned is book-talking. It is certainly the activity about which I receive the greatest number of requests for workshops. Having mentioned it once, Wood drops it. Perhaps book-talking will be the subject of a separate volume in the series. It certainly deserves to be.

Community Outreach begins by stressing the importance of public relations and proposes to outline "methods to ensure public knowledge and therefore public use and support of the children's department in the library." It provides a check-list to help develop a public relations policy and goals and objectives, then covers planning in terms of research, budget and personnel, implementation in terms of community cooperation, fund-raising, media publicity, community outreach and library publications, and evaluation. It includes a sample public relations project.

Each title concludes with a bibliography and should be in the hands of children's librarians across the country.

Adele Ashby, Toronto, Ont.
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