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Almanacs Class Presentation
 

Almanacs Class Presentation

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  • Hello everyone. My name is Eric Robinson and my team is here to talk about ready reference resources. We created this presentation to address patrons or new reference staff in small public library setting in an effort to educate them on the use of the most commonly used ready reference materials.
  • Ready reference provides a compilation of information into a single volume for the purpose of answering a specific type of question or questions on a specific subject. Compiling related or often consulted information in one place means that that information can be accessed easily and often.
  • In order to evaluate Ready Reference materials, one should consider a variety of factors: First is the accuracy of the information. Second, does the reference document the studies or reports from which the information came. Third, the issues should be as current as possible. Finally the reference should have usable indexing and contents for locating information, as well as an visually accessible layout so that information can be found easily.
  • Almanacs, our first form of ready reference, compile a variety of information. They may cover a range of topics or be devoted to a single topic, and they usually include facts, statistics, and events information often arranged in chronologies. These are usually published annually compiling the information from the previous year. Most importantly, this information is reliably researched so it can be expected to be authoritative.
  • The most widely used general almanacs are The World Almanac and Book of Facts and the TIME Almanac—formerly known as Information Please.
  • These provide very similar coverage of a wide variety of topics. They typically include demographic and economic information on world nations, annual chronologies useful for identifying key dates for world events, facts on significant people, and other useful information. The volumes are arranged by topic and contain tables of contents and indexes. Unless browsing, you will usually rely upon the index to locate specific information.
  • Here is a page from the chronology for January, 2008. Chronologies are useful for pinpointing the date of important events.We can see significant events listed by date, including the fact that on January 9, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone to the world at the San Francisco Macworld Expo.
  • This slide shows an entry for Iran listed in the Countries of the World section. This section gives overviews of each nation of the world, including demographics, economic statistics, governmental descriptions and other information. This is just a brief sampling of the types of information included in these almanacs. Other information includes: lists of academy award winning films, sports figure statistics, listings of US Congressman, lists of calories in given foods, and metric conversions, among many, many other details.
  • This slide shows an entry for Iran listed in the Countries of the World section. This section gives overviews of each nation of the world, including demographics, economic statistics, governmental descriptions and other information. This is just a brief sampling of the types of information included in these almanacs. Other information includes: lists of academy award winning films, sports figure statistics, listings of US Congressman, lists of calories in given foods, and metric conversions, among many, many other details.
  • The Bowker Library and Book Trade Almanac represents an example of a subject-specific almanac. This annual publication covers information and statistics on the library and publishing industries. It also includes institutional reports, coverage of governmental legislation, and lists of distinguished books. The directories that list contact information for library and book trade organizations are particularly very useful.
  • There are a wide range of subject specific almanacs, each with specialized coverage of their topics. The Almanac of American Politics profiles ranking government officials and political analyses of U.S. states. The Sports Illustrated Almanac offers player and team statistics, as well as historical information on all types of sports. And the African American Almanac provides an enormous range of coverage of the African Americans in history
  • The Statistical Abstract of the United States is another source of statistical information on nearly every topic imaginable. It compiles data from national agencies like the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. It is very usable with both a search window for entering keywords and a topical menu with popup submenus.
  • By searching on keywords or drilling down through these menus, you will find lists of tabulated data. Most of these tables include both a pdf file, like that shown here for Electricity Retail Sales, and an Excel spreadsheet file of the same data which allows for easy importation into applications for analysis.
  • So now, lets have a little test of your new ready reference knowledge. Which of these resources would you use to locate statistics on trends in ebook sales. If you have never used Elluminates polling feature, you should see the letters A-D at the top left of your screen. Just click the letter for your answer. Ill give you just a few more seconds. And let’s lock them in, Ryan. And the answer is….
  • Bowker’s Library and Book Trade Almanac. While the Statistical Abstract does provide a wide range of statistics they cover the US from economic and social perspectives. The fact that the question is specific to the publishing industry makes Bowker’s a better choice.
  • Now ElaineThielstrom will present information on Handbooks.

Almanacs Class Presentation Almanacs Class Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • Ready Reference
    Ryan Noble, Eric Robinson, LaineThielstrom, & Annie Thomas
  • What is Ready Reference?
    Compile information consulted regularly into a single resource
    Serves as a resource for a specific group of question types
    Arranges information for easy access
  • Evaluating Ready Reference Resources
    Accuracy of information
    Documentation of sources
    Currency of resource
    Adequacy of indexing
    Layout of information
  • Almanacs
    Eric Robinson
  • What are almanacs?
    Almanacs compile recent statistics and facts often on political, cultural, or current events
    Coverage may be general or subject specific
    Include facts, statistics, lists, and annual chronologies
    Usually published annually
    Information is well researched and authoritative
  • Source: (2009) World almanac and book of facts. New York: World Almanac.
    Source: (2009). Time almanac. Boston: Information Please, LLC.
  • General Almanacs
    Address many fact-based questions:
    • Population demographics, economic information, or other statistics about a given country
    • Tables of statistics, chronologies, and lists and descriptive information
    • Facts on hundreds of public figures
    Arranged Topically for browsing
    • People
    • Nature/Science
    • World
    • United States
    • Business
    • Sports
    Information typically accessed through index
  • (2008). Time almanac. Boston: Information Please, LLC.
  • (2008). Time almanac. Boston: Information Please, LLC.
  • Comparing General Almanacs
    World Almanac
    Time Almanac
    • Better visual arrangement within topics
    • Excellent visuals
    • Better indexing of personal names
    • Online version is free but laden with ads
    • Online version much more browsable
    • Longer text entries
    • fewer illustrations, maps, etc.
    • Online version requires subscription
    • Online version requires subject and key word searches
  • Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac
    • Presents information and statistics on libraries and publishing
    • Reports from national agencies, associations, and organizations
    • Information on recent legislation affecting these industries
    • Bibliographiesand distinguished book lists
    • Directories of libraries, library organizations and book trade organizations
    Source: (2009). Library and book trade almanac. New York: Information Today.
  • Chronologies
    African American Firsts
    Historical documents
    Political analysis
    State by state coverage
    Profiles of officials
    Player statistics
    Histories of all types of sports
    Team histories
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    (2009) The 2009 statistical abstract. Retrieved from: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/
  • Source: (2009) The 2009 statistical abstract. Retrieved from: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/
  • Test your knowledge
    Which resource would you use to locate statistics on trends in e-book sales?
    A. Time Almanac
    B. World Almanac and Book of Facts
    C. The Bowker Annual
    D. Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
    ?
  • Test your knowledge
    Which resource would you use to locate statistics on trends in e-book sales?
    C. The Bowker Annual
  • References
    (2008). Time almanac. Boston: Information Please, LLC.
    (2009) Infoplease.com. Accessed on June 27, 2009 from: Infoplease.com
    (2009). Library and book trade almanac. New York: Information Today.
    (2009). Time Almanac. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
    (2009) World almanac and book of facts. New York: World Almanac.
    (2009) World almanac Online. Retrieved June 18, 2009 from Academic Search Premier: http://web.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/search?vid=1&hid=107&sid=2d5637b1-2ede-4e47-918f-ce9e0db4c55d%40sessionmgr104
    (2009) The 2009 statistical abstract. Retrieved from: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/