- Reference Book Reviewing
- No.9, p.287-300
The book review of reference books is of vital importance, for it is a primary guide to librarians in choosing titles for their collections. But there is no reviewing journal of Japanese reference books per se. Accordingly, the writer of this article examined the desirable way of book reviewing in Japan. after the example of well-established reviewing journal, Subscription Books Bulletin (SBB).
No principle of evaluation can apply equally to every reference book. Nevertheless, since all reference books have the same basic purpose as the book of information, they share several features in common. In order to set the pattern of reference book reviewing, it is necessary to evaluate these features concerning scope, treatment, arrangement, proposed audience and format.
Judging SBB in terms of its own stated objectives and the reviewing Practices, it is an example of successful venture. While the quality of reviews appeared in SBB is usually considered among the most reliable to be found, the small number of books reviewed and the time lag between publication of the book and appearance of the review are disappointing.
Fortunately, however, there are other reviewing media which make up drawbacks of SBB. For instance, the regular column of Wilson Library Bulletin,“Current Ref6rence Books,”reviews larger number of books and certainly more promptly than SBB.
From the above it is desirable for us to have at least two types of reviewing media. One is the lengthy, critical type of review preferably published under professional association’s auspices. The other is the short type of review which is usually geared for specific kind of libraries.
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