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largely of unreadable books; books nobody wants to own but anybody may need sometime
The least valuable volumes in a library are those with finest bindings. The most valuable are those with no bindings at all. The serviceability of a library may be measured by the proportion of unbound literature it contains”. In buying books the librarian should begin at home and work outward, should begin now and work back. Files of local newspapers and every publication of importance relating to local history should be preserved. Then material pertaining to the history of the state, including books, reports, documents, catalogues, and pamphlets, all of importance should be obtained. Then again books, government documents and other publications giving recent an authoritative information about the United States and foreign countries should be added. A collection of recent atlases and maps, files of the leading English and American periodicals, especially those for the last ten years, some late scientific and technical works and technical journals of interest to workmen and others of the community should all be obtained as funds permit. Lastly a “tolerably complete set of the standard works of history, biography, fiction, poetry and morality, which form the subsoil of our modern literature" and "recent and authoritative works on pending questions" – such questions as prohibition, race problems, tariff, immigration, socialism, and labor problems.
Miss Julia A. ROBINSON 1) in an article on "Stretching a small book fund" makes the following suggestions: That the librarian make use of periodical literature instead of buying books on some subjects; that he watch the lists of government publications and secure the useful ones at little or no cost; that he subscribe for industrial and scientific journals and use them for reference instead of trying to buy many books on those subjects; that he buy the books the community needs rather than attempt a well-rounded collection; and further, that he should buy few complete sets of works, no expensive editions, nothing from subscription agents, and should not permit a local bookseller to select books or periodicals for the library. Lastly, the librarian should purchase no books without having full knowledge of their worth.
1) ROBINSON, JULIA A. A few suggestions for stretching a small book fund. Wisconsin Library Bulletin, Nov. 1914.
Mr. F. G. LEWIS ") in a paper on the subject of selecting religious books for a public library, read at the meeting of the American Library Association, 1922, suggests the following: First, there should be the sacred books, including the Bible and the New Testament of which there should be different editions and versions; a copy of the Koran, and translations of the corresponding books of India, China, and Japan; second, there should be dictionaries, encyclopedias and commentaries, which explain the sacred books; and third, there should be literature, both books and periodicals, on recent discussions of religion.
This same plan, in a general way, may be followed in the selection of books on other subjects.
Questions and References.
Find the publisher's price of three of your text books.
American and English catalogues? If so, how do the prices
compare? What books of John Fox Jr. are offered for sale by
publishers ? Who publishes the works of William E. Gladstone? What publishers reprint some of the late novels ? How do
the prices compare with the original editions ? Locate and select a copy of A Tale of Two Cities at a
1) LEWIS, FRANK G. Selecting religious books for a public library. Library Journal, 47: 645–46.
Find publisher and price of selections from Browning's poems. Locate, and find price of, a good reader for third grade, and
an elementary history of the United States. What publisher makes a speciality of agricultural books?
Medical Books ? Engineering books? What publishers maintain houses in both New York and
What is a custom house?
Lord, Isabel. Some notes on the principles and practices
of book buying, for libraries. Library Journal, 32:
3-II; 56-67. A. L. A. Committee on importing. How to import. Library
Journal, 46: 883–84. Jordon, Lois M. Adventures of a bookbuyer. Public Li
braries, 36: 173-78. Bacon, Corinne. Principles of book selection. Wilson bul
letin, 2: 339—42.
Definition of Some Terms Used in Cataloguing.
author, subject, or title. Author entry. The record of a book under the author's name; often called the main entry. The author may
be more individuals, a society, corporation or government. Added entry. Any other than the main entry; for example,
title, subject, or translator. Analytical entry. The entry for some part of a book or
periodical either by author, subject, or title. Books are sometimes written by two or more different authors some of whom write on important subjects not revealed by the title of the book; or they may contain important essays or stories. In such cases entries may be made for parts
of the book. Imprint. The imprint includes the place of publication,
name of the publisher, and date of the book; all usually
given on the title page. Collation. The term collation is used to denote the number
of volumes, pages, illustrations, plates, maps, portraits, diagrams, tables and size of book; information obtained by an examination of the book. Only the largest libraries record all the items of collation in their entries.
Edition. All the copies of a book printed from a set of
type, or plates. A new edition implies corrections and revision of previous edition and consequently a change
of some of the type. Date. The imprint date is given on front of title page;
the copyright date usually on back of title page. Series. A number of volumes of uniform size and style,
and usually related subject matter, issued successively by
a publisher. Reprint. The reproduction of a book from a new set of
type. Articles appearing in a periodical and then printed
separately are also called reprints. Editor. "One who prepares for publication a work or col
lection of works not his own" (A. L. A. Rules). Anonymous. Meaning without a name. An anonymous
book is one in which the name of the author is not
given. Alternative title. Some books have a double title, the parts
being separated by the word "or". The alternative title is the second part, as for example, "Twelfth knight; or,
What you will”. Bibliography. A list of books or articles on a particular
subject, or by a particular author. All the publications of a country for a definite period of time, properly entered,
is called a national bibliography. Continuation. The succesive parts of an incomplete publication.
A book issued in parts, or a periodical. Illustration. The term illustration is sometimes used to in
clude portraits, pictures, plates, and drawings. In exact cataloguing the separate items are recorded in the entry. A plate is usually on heavier paper than that used for the printed page, and is pasted in the book.