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October 2013

Help! I've been asked to recommend some Childrens' Picture Books! Argggh!

October 20, 2013 | Bhowatson | Comments (0)

Books photo clip artHere you are at the Reference Desk happily ready to serve the public when you are asked to recommend a story about firefighters for a child in grade 2.

The Children's Librarian has gone for lunch.  Crazy Librarian clip artYou...are Alone!

This is when I turn to the latest edition of "A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books".  This reference title is one I've been using for many years and still is the best source for finding that special picture book.  It's divided up into various sections:  Subject Headings, Subject Guide, Bibiliographic Guide, Title Index and Illustrator Index.  I sailed directly to the Subject Guide and easily found that "Firefighters" has a 'see reference to "Careers- firefighters".  So I headed over there to find a long list of 60 picture books that contain something to do with firefighters.  

The 8th Edition of "A to Zoo..." contains 13,755 titles that are catalogued under 1,215 subjects. 

When I search on-line, I find a list of 34 titles on but this list includes fire safety non-fiction titles that I don't want.

At Barnes and Noble, they have a very long list of 118 titles but include items published by Lego and Little Golden Books.  The last time I saw a Golden Book title, it was in a yard sale, so I'm not convinced about the quality of the items listed and also this publisher won't usually be found in a public library collection.

There are lots of entries when I Google, " Picture Books about Firefighters", but still the listings and information in "A to Zoo..." appear to be of the best quality and you know the source - a reference title in publication for the last 30 years.  A real Book!  Wow!





WorldCat Identities Network for Research

October 3, 2013 | Richard | Comments (0)


WorldCat has much to offer, including an experimental venture called WorldCat Identities Network:

The basic idea is to show the publication relationships between authors and their work. Let's say we are conducting research on communication theory in Canada and our key starting point is Harold Adams Innis.

By conducting a search for Harold Innis, and following the links, we can find his name in a 'tree cloud' of other names or authorities:


The names in the boxes around the subject are important and relate strongly to the search: they can include editors, co-authors, organizations, critics, subjects, and even things. Each of these boxes is clickable and will result in a new 'tree cloud'. For example, clicking on McLuhan produces an additional set of results which can identify further interesting research areas:


The information under the 'tree cloud' is descriptively listed in chart form in two categores:


Each of Innis's networked relations is listed by name with a sampling of 5 related works. These related works are clickable for further bibliographic information and searching options.

Importantly, each entry includes the WorldCat identity page where we can find  an "Overview"; a "Publication Timeline"; "The Most Widely Held Works About the entry"; "The Most Widely Held Works By the entry"; the "Audience Level"; "Related Indentities"; "Useful Links"; and "Associated Subjects".


In this section we can search for materials by Innis and see that there are a 171 results: these references can be sorted by 'format', 'year', 'language', and 'topic'. We can also search for materials about Innis and see that there are 84 results which similarily can be sorted by the criteria above. And finally, we can view the WorldCat identities page for Innis which provides an excellent overall picture of his published work.

Any references found in WorldCat should be crossed-checked with the TPL website.

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