Letter from a School Librarian –
Dear Mr. Malinowski:
Last week I attended the NYLA conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. From time to time over my career I have gone to these conferences. I have always found that one of the most valuable parts of the conference is the time that I am able to spend at the Combined Book Exhibit. it is the one time when I get a chance to actually examine and review for myself new books. I can examine the photographs, the graphics. I can scan the index and table of contents and skim through the pages getting an overview of the content. I can examine the materials for information pertinent to our curriculum and assignments students are given. I can check the size of the print and binding to determine if it will take the wear students will give it. I don’t have to rely on one reviewers point of view.
While perusing this exhibit I discovered one book which had lots of information and would have been well-suited to a middle school but the graphics on the cover would have stopped any but the most determined user. Another had a lot of god information on its subject matter but a particularly gruesome photo of a shooting victim changed my mind about the book. I discovered Eleanor, a most appealing early biography I will recommend to our elementary librarian. I haven’t mentioned the books that had not been reviewed anywhere and were appealing and informative that I have now added to my list to order in the near future.
This exhibit for me is one of the highlights of the conference. I always plan to spend an extended time examining these wonderful new books. Please keep up this most helpful and needed service!
In this day and age when the Internet is constantly in the news and most definitely in our lives as librarians we cannot forget the importance of selecting books wisely for our collections. Your exhibit makes this task easier and more enjoyable.