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Using Bibliographic Sources in a Library Media Program

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

A big part of being a library media specialist is maintaining a strong, diverse and up to date collection of resources. This lesson discusses how to use bibliographic sources in your library media program.

Why Bibliographic Sources Matter

Jack is a new librarian at Smithtown Elementary, and he wants to do the best he can by his new school and community. The library collection at Smithtown is large, but Jack notices that it is not particularly up to date.

Going through his collection, Jack identifies a few needs that he believes are important for any library. He wants to diversify the collection, making sure that different authors, genres, and perspectives are represented.

He also wants to make materials available in a variety of formats. In other words, he wants to make sure that there are audio books, digital resources, and journals available, as well as books and magazines.

As Jack sets out to improve the Smithtown collection, he knows that the bibliographic sources he uses to acquire new materials will be crucial. Jack wants to work with sources that will give him access to contemporary and diverse materials, support his pursuit of intellectual freedom for his patrons, and supply a wide variety of formats for the fiction and informational texts he wants to maintain in his library.

Using Titlewave

In library school, Jack learned to work with Titlewave, a website, and app, that provides a tremendous resource for school librarians. Jack knows that Titlewave works with a wide variety of publishers, and thus offers access to different kinds of materials.

One of the things Jack loves about Titlewave is its organization. Materials on the website are tagged for different uses across the curriculum, making it easy for Jack to find resources to support what teachers are working on in their classrooms. Titlewave also has software for assessing the reading levels of different texts.

Jack can also use Titlewave to analyze his own collection and choose the right books and other resources, to assist with his development goals. He also subscribes to get a regular newsletter from Titlewave, so that he can keep on top of the new titles and resources that are available.

Using Vendor Catalogues

Sometimes, Jack also works with the catalogues from different vendors to order materials for his library. A vendor catalogue is essentially a magazine, sometimes in print format and sometimes online, of all of the materials available from a third party seller.

Though vendors are more traditional than using a platform like Titlewave, Jack finds these catalogues useful when he is looking for specialized materials. Also, catalogues can be helpful ways for him to find specific kinds of formats, like music or e-books, for his library.

Jack knows that there are many vendor catalogues available for school library media specialists to use, and sorting through these possibilities can be overwhelming. He chooses five catalogues that tend to provide materials teachers and students at his school will be interested in, and he peruses each of these catalogues on a monthly basis.

Some of the vendor catalogues Jack uses include:

  • The Children's Book Council
  • Barnes and Noble
  • W. T. Cox
  • Overdrive
  • Mackin Educational Resources

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