INLS 501: Reference Collection Development

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See Phil Edwards' assgnments for 513:

Assignment #1: Resource evaluation/review

Assignment #2: Community-based resource collection

The purpose of this assignment is to help you become familiar with review sources for reference materials and provide you with experience in evaluating and selecting the best materials from a pool of items. This assignment may be done individually or in pairs.

Traditionally, reference librarians selected items based on, among other things, the quality of reviews those items received. For the purposes of this assignment, imagine yourself in the following situation: You are faced with a decision to select or deselect The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, edited by John Bowker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). Address the following:

  • How many reviews did this item receive? You may not be able to access the text of every review you find cited. Locate at least 10 reviews and list their bibliographic information.
  • Which sources (e.g., indexes & abstracts, reviewing sources, etc.) did you use to find these reviews? List them and indicate the format − print or electronic − of each source you used.
  • Based on the Guidelines for Evaluating Reference Materials, discuss in 250 words or less which review you think is the best and why. To answer this question fully, you must explain who your audience is.
  • Given the audience you have selected, would you select this source or not?

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