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Ellen Bosman

 
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Reviews of Printed Resources

Characterizing this category are magazines and journals devoted to reviewing. The majority of this section contains publications by religious institutions, library associations, or concerned individuals, which may be obtained via membership or subscription. These sources may not be readily available and, in most cases, lack indexing. These shortcomings are negated because reviews contain a notably religious viewpoint.

Non-religious publication's whose sole enterprise is reviewing are also noted. To be included here, the publication must consistently provide reviews of religious materials. The timeliness, quality, and quantity of reviews in these journals negate the lack of religious perspective.

AJL Newsletter. New York, NY: Association of Jewish Libraries. ISSN: 0747-6175.


Averaging 20 pages and published quarterly to "keep members informed about Judaica library related activities and issues." Primarily descriptive reviews are arranged by genre and age and include all formats. The 50-100 word reviews, which may be signed, are preceded by pertinent bibliographic data. The purpose of the edited column Publications is not clearly stated; however, ordering information is provided for materials ranging from family histories and periodicals to trade paperbacks and small press publications. Essential for synagogue libraries.


Booklist. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. ISSN: 0006-7385.


Issued twice a month by the American Library Association to provide a guide to current print and non-print review materials deemed worthy of purchase; a review constitutes a buy recommendation. Outside subject specialists sign approximately 250 reviews per issue. Reviews are descriptive and critical, provide full bibliographic data and recommended audience. Religion section tends toward brevity. Once a year look for a special issue spotlighting religion and spirituality, with articles and reviews for all formats and levels.


The web site is intended as an introduction to the print publication and is limited in content, searching capability and search results. Only the current month's reviews are available, although hidden gems may be found in Special Lists & Features, Editor's Choice, and Best sections.


Searching is possible, but the feature is disappointing and not readily visible. Follow the Indexes link to find the search feature, which is limited to author or title. The result will be a citation, not a review. For a more complete search, type "religion" in the title box. The cumulative indexes in PDF format are of little help, since it only points you to the print version.


Catholic Library World. Haverford, PA: Catholic Library Association. ISSN: 0008-820X.


Reviews, frequently signed, are arranged by subject and/or audience level: religious, professional, young adult, children, theology, media, etc. Intended reviewing audience encompasses all groups from the parish to the professional academic librarian. Number of reviews and reviewers varies. Lengthy reviews average 150-300 words and range from the descriptive to the critical. Multiple indexing sources provide easy access and are testament to a long, respected publication history. This refereed, official publication of the Catholic Library Association is available by subscription or membership.


Christian Librarian, the Journal of the Association of Christian Librarians. Cedarville, OH: Association of Christian Librarians. ISSN: 0412-3131.


This triennial publication is intended for Christian librarians employed by colleges and universities and is indexed in several sources. The book review section averages two pages of lengthy, descriptive and moderately evaluative reviews. Signed articles by professional librarians contain ordering information. Reviewed items may be selected from publisher submitted books, or the personal selections of the reviewer; a quick survey of 207 publisher submissions showed only eight titles subsequently reviewed, therefore coverage may be uneven. The Journal's intended audience guarantees reviews for scholarly materials. Available through membership or subscription, this publication's strength lies in reviews accessible through indexing.


Christianity and Literature. Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University. ISSN: 0148-3331.


A "scholarly exploration of how literature engages Christian thought, experience, and practice" this publication contains an extensive review section featuring authoritative, signed reviews. Approximately twenty reviews comprise each quarterly issue. Complete bibliographic citations complement the 500-1000 word essays. Indexing available. Recommended for theological and large congregational libraries. For more information about the journal visit their web site.


Church & Synagogue Libraries. Portland, OR: Church and Synagogue Library Association. ISSN: 0009-6342.


The official bimonthly, publication of the Church and Synagogue Library Association features approximately twenty signed reviews per issue. Reviews, which average 150 words, may be either descriptive or evaluative, but always contain ordering information, suggested Dewey classification, and subject headings. Good representation of the various types of publishers. Title index provides quick overview of items reviewed. Reviews are archived and searchable by author, title, and ISBN Available with membership or via subscription to nonmembers. Overall a useful resource.


Church Libraries. Glen Ellyn, IL: Evangelical Church Library Association


CL, formerly known as Librarian's World, is the official quarterly publication of the Evangelical Church Library Association. Average issues, approximately 50 pages, contain articles and a bestseller list, but consist primarily of short, 50-65 words, signed reviews with credentials supplied. Topical arrangement includes separate areas for children, juniors, teens and non print reviews. Reviews generally conservative and reflective of the Protestant faith. Entries provide brief bibliographic information. Subscription included with membership. Currency is compromised by quarterly format.


Jewish Book Annual. New York, NY: Jewish Book Council. ISSN: 0075-3726.


Published since 1943, the Annual is a comprehensive review of the year's publishing. Bibliographic information provided for each entry. Chapter divisions and various authors contributes to unevenness in annotations. Special topics are treated with scholarly articles and bibliographies. Hebrew and Yiddish, works included. National Jewish Book Award winners reviewed in separate section. An index and required annotations would be useful additions. Table of Contents, Introduction, Contributors, and Editors. Last visited: 09/2003


Jewish Book World. New York, NY: Jewish Book Council. ISSN: 1083-8341

Devoted solely to books, this triennial publication features signed descriptive reviews of varying lengths. "New Books" section begins with scope statement, and includes 50-70 word summaries for over one hundred works divided by title into fiction and nonfiction categories. Longer reviews, averaging 500-1,000 words, are similarly arranged in the "Book Reviews" area. Complete bibliographic data provided.


Judaica Librarianship. NY: Association of Jewish Libraries. ISSN: 0739-5086.


The official publication of the Association of Jewish Libraries contains two issues per volume and is indexed in eleven sources, in addition to an annual index. Guidelines for reviewers published in each issue. Twenty to fifty unsigned, descriptive reference book reviews averaging 100 words are arranged by subject. Bibliographic information and title index in English and Hebrew. Lengthier, evaluative reviews and bibliographies may be located throughout the journal. Available with membership or a subscription. A focused, consistent publication.


Library Journal. New York: Reed Business Information. ISSN: 0363-0277.


Signed reviews are divided by subject and format. Brevity, approximately 100-150 words, characterizes these descriptive and critical annotations; recommended titles are starred. Entries contain bibliographic information. Religion section complimented by Spiritual Reading column in which all reviews are from one source. Except for the occasional spotlight in the monthly Collection Development column, reviews for fiction, children's and non-print religious items are rare. Issued twenty-one times a year.


Visiting the publisher's web site yields a brief summaries of books, but only as part of thematic articles. Trying a specific title is not the best way to use this site. Use the search engine and try broad searches, such as religion or Christian.


Libraries Alive! Minneapolis, MN: National Church Library Association. ISSN: 0024-7472.


The National Church Library Association's official quarterly publication. Table of contents and title index. Issues feature short articles and reviews. Reviewed items, approximately forty per issue, selected according to cost and suitability. Signed evaluations arranged by format (e.g. AV) and subject tend toward brevity and description. Suggested Dewey classification and multiple Sear's subject headings are pluses. Available with membership. Formerly entitled Lutheran Libraries.


Publisher's Weekly (PW). New York: Reed Business Information. ISSN: 0000-0019.


Intended for publishers and booksellers, this widely circulated weekly publication's reviews contain ordering and pricing information. Special sections, however, focus on specific subject areas, such as religion, and may be useful to larger congregational libraries. The publication's web site is only available to subscribers.


School Library Journal (SLJ). New York: Reed Business Information. ISSN: 0362-8930.


SLJ is geared toward public and school librarians. Audiovisual and software reviews are arranged by subject and religious items are often reviewed. A table of contents precedes a large book review section, divided by audience level and genre, and contains signed reviews and ordering information. Author, illustrator, and title indexes included in each monthly issue. Noteworthy books are featured in a special section, and the Curriculum Connectors column focuses on a unique subject per issue. The publication's web site is only available to subscribers.


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