Audience Description Visiting Hale Library at Kansas State University in the summer is a lot like the desertedghost town scenes of old western movies. The usual hubbub of chatter and keyboard typing isnot heard as the tables, computer kiosks, and library stacks stand empty of students. Thereference desk is mostly barren except for one lone soul who mans the counter on the oddchance that a patron wants to check out a book. This scenario might seem a little bleak to thecasual observer, but to a librarian it provides a perfect chance to make a closer connection withthe students who do need the library over the summer. Librarians can actually take the time towalk confused students to their destinations to find a desired book buried deep within thecollection. It also provided me with a chance to browse and observe the library in a changedsetting in order to get a fresh point of view on the library of my alma mater. With Hale Library housing such a large collection with over 2.3 million volumes and over800,000 visits each year, it is a vibrant, living part of the K-State community. Visitors to thelibrary are students, ranging from high school and undergraduate to Ph.D. candidates,professors as well as members of the surrounding communities. During the school year, thelibrarians at Hale have their hands full managing student inquiries and collection maintenanceand development. One key example of an important department of Hale is their humanities collection. TheHumanities Librarian at Hale library is a key mediator between the students and the library’scollection. Students of English at K-State find the library a particular source of comfort andknowledge during their time at the university. These students range in age and ability from thetraditional student straight from high school to the non-traditional adult student and their
abilities and experiences also are a reflection of their unique backgrounds. Their informationneeds include in depth scholarly articles on a wide range of literary movements and timeperiods. They need a vast amount of resources, both in print and online, in order to completepoetry analyses, bibliographies, research papers, and book reviews etc... about any topic in thehistory of literature. Although English students have a preference for the written word, thesestudents can be subject to deadline crunches and procrastination as most students are, so theyalso enjoy the benefits of the Internet and digital copies of books, academic journals, anddatabases that allow for quick access to literary materials. The library’s online catalog is the firstplace students check for materials, either print or digital copies. Stack level E is the place to findbooks on a range of literature studies. The Book Review Digest, Reader’s Guide to PeriodicalLiterature, Norton Anthologies of Literature, and the complete works of Shakespeare are just afew of the references important to the English student. ReferencesHale Library. Kansas State University. Accessed July 12, 2010 from http://www.lib.k-state.edu/geninfo/docs/currentsummarystats.pdfCollections Development ProjectPrint Source EvaluationDictionaryBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:McGovern, U., ed. (2004). Dictionary of Literary Characters. Edinburgh: Chambers HarrapPublishers Ltd.
PURPOSE:For high school age and above for ready reference. For the student and lover of literary studiesfor browsing. This volume meets the needs of a brief, quick reference to literary characters,authors, dates, and literary award winners. As the introduction to the dictionary states, “thisbook pins down these many colourful creations in one accessible collection.”AUTHORITY:The introductory essays are signed and the special contributors hold such positions as editor ofthe Sunday Herald, Head of Education at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, art features writerat The Scotsman and Senior Lecturer in Media Communications at Bath Spa University Collegein Great Britain.SCOPE:Limited by lack of depth and audience: for those who want brief introductions to charactersand their creators. Some fonts in body of volume and introductory essays type is too small printand may be harder to read for the elderly.FORMAT:One not-too-heavy volume; weighs 5 pounds or less; type ranges from large to small. Easy toread and use.ARRANGEMENT:Alphabetical order of character names for ease in finding specific information. Alpha letterheadings are bold and easily found. Literary awards section is chronological. Index isalphabetical by author.ENTRIES:Includes character name, literary work, date and author of the work followed by a briefdescription of the nature, actions or plot overview for each character.SPECIAL FEATURES:Section for Literary award winners from 1901 to through present scope of the volume. Awardsinclude Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker prizes for literature and fiction. Also includes alphabetizedindex by author with explanation for ease of use.USE:
Useful in most libraries for ready reference in literature studies. Can answer literary questionsabout character descriptions and actions as well as “who created that character?” and “whowrote that book?” Also provides an update list of literary award winners for ready referencequestions. Students of English literature at K-State University would use this dictionary as aquick reference guide to literary characters and their actions within a literary work. They couldalso use this source as a helpful study guide for exams. This resource would provide a briefaccurate description to cite in a term paper or on a final exam.CRITIQUE:I would recommend this book to students or lovers of literature for its ease of use, introductoryessays and scope of information about characters from Beowulf to Bridget Jones. Entries arebrief and other resources would be needed for in depth analysis of the information presentedin this volume.BibliographyBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Sheen, B.A., ed. (2004). English Writers: A Bibliography with Vignettes. New York: Nova SciencePublishers, Inc.PURPOSE:For adults, especially literature students of listed authors. To provide easy access to secondaryworks about a number of British authors. The preface of the resources states, “thisbibliography…serves as a research guide to fourteen of England’s greatest scribes.AUTHORITY: Credentials of editor and vignettes author are not given. Due to general medicalscience disclaimer in the books first pages, it is possible to question why volume was publishedunder Nova Science publishers.SCOPE: Limited audience to those who need brief information, not for in depth biographies ofauthors. Limited by amount of authors included. Other resources are needed to locate titlesincluded in this bibliography.FORMAT: Print. Lightweight and medium size for ease of use; type is adequate size for allreaders, divided into chapters. Headings are bold and easy to read.ARRANGEMENT:Alphabetical title index at the front of book. Entries arranged in alphabetical order by authorand sectioned by chapter headings.
ENTRIES:Includes complete, accurate bibliographic information for title; name of author, birth year anddeath year of author, published works, publication dates, Library of Congress classification,Dewey classification, related keyword search terms, and in some entries a brief description oftitle. Vignettes include brief biography of the author.SPECIAL FEATURES:Title index in front, author index for quickly finding information; subject index for browsing andease of use.USE:For adults of literary studies. Useful for academic libraries and special literary libraries. Cananswer questions such as “I need primary works by a specific author” and “where can I findsecondary works about a specific author” as well as subject specific bibliographic inquiries.Students of British literature would be able to use this source to find related works forbibliographies and research papers. The in depth scope of each entry for the authors wouldprovide access to accurate sources to read and cite in papers and examinations.CRITIQUE:I found the lack of author credentials unnerving; extensive, accurate bibliographic informationfor included authors. Needs to include more authors to be a must-have source for libraries.Recommended for literature students but other resources are needed to locate titles in entries,and to supplement further, in depth inquiries.EncyclopediaBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Serafin, S.R., & Grosvenor-Myer, V. (Eds).(2003). The Continuum Encyclopedia of BritishLiterature. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.PURPOSE:For adult browsers and scholars of literature, high school age and older. The introduction of theencyclopedia states, “incorporating entries for authors and works from Anglo-Saxon Britain tothe present with a cross-section of topical articles pertaining to genre, period, ethnicity,discipline, the present Encyclopedia, is a collaborative scholarly effort that represents the most
extensive single-volume treatment of its subject available for the general and specialized readeralike.”AUTHORITY:Editors are from the Hunter College of the City University of New York and CambridgeUniversity. Includes board of advisors information with background credentials ranging fromUniversity of North Carolina, Cambridge University, Loyola College, and Suffolk University.Offers explanation for bases of selection of included articles, reasoning for omissions, crossreferences and contributor information. Entries are signed.SCOPE:Limited to specific, nationalized audience. Limited by inclusion of solely British authors.FORMAT:Print. Heavy, one volume edition. Type is small to medium with headings in bold. Easy to readand locate information.ARRANGEMENT:Introductions in front, followed by guide to topical articles, abbreviations for periodicals,alphabetical entries of authors and literary movements and concepts; chronological section ormonarchs of Great Britain, Scotland and Wales; chronological Historical-Literary Timeline;chronological Literary Awards and Prizes; list of contributors; alphabetical index;ENTRIES:Author name in bold; birthdates, birthplace, death date, death place; extensive or shortbiography and accurate description about significance of author/person or movement to Britishliterature; bibliographic information for entries and signature of author of encyclopedia entry.SPECIAL FEATURES:One volume. Chronological section or monarchs of Great Britain, Scotland and Wales;chronological Historical-Literary Timeline; chronological Literary Awards and Prizes; list ofcontributors; alphabetical index for quick referenceUSE:Useful for academic libraries and scholars of literature. Can answer ready reference questionsinvolving British literary history. Answers biographical inquiries for British authors, and readyreference questions for literary movements and concepts in British literature. Can answer
questions such as “who won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1952?” and “what novels werewritten around the time of the War of 1812?” This resource is great for students of Britishliterature at K-State because it provides lengthier entries about a variety of topic related to theBritish literary history. The biographies, bibliographies, definitions and special features such asthe literary award list, included in the encyclopedia provide English students with one-stopaccess to information about British literature for their assignments as well as for pleasurereading.CRITIQUE:Overall, accurate information, easy to use; recommended for subject specific searches.Historical timeline, index of British Monarchs, and literary awards lists make this volume greatfor ready reference.Ready ReferenceBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Magill, F., ed. (1996). Masterplots: 1,801 Plot Stories and Critical Evaluations of the World’sFinest Literature. 2nd ed. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, Inc.PURPOSE:For adults, high school and older. To meet the needs of persons needing brief, concise synopsesand critical evaluations of longer literary works. Currency ranges from 8 -20 years betweenpublications. The publisher’s note to this sources states, “*the editors+ have attempted tocreate a collection of important literary texts drawn from as many sources as are accessible inEnglish.AUTHORITY:Critical essay contributors are listed with college or university affiliations from all over theUnited States as well as independent scholars. Essays are signed.SCOPE:Limited by multivolume set. Need complete set to be useful for ready reference librarians.Limited mostly to English and American literature, with the inclusion of multicultural works innewest editions.FORMAT:Print. Multi-volume. Lightweight books for quick reference; easy to read font;
ARRANGEMENT:Alphabetical by title, list of titles in volume 1, critical evaluation of title follows each title entry.ENTRIES:Includes work title, genre, author, dates, type of plot, setting, initial performance or publicationdates, principal characters, plot and critical evaluation of the author and literary work,bibliography of secondary works.SPECIAL FEATURES: Critical evaluation essays and bibliography of secondary works. Over fourhundred new non-English titles added in newest editions.USE:Useful in academic and school libraries, as well as public for ready reference. Can answer plotinformation, and author identification for included literary works. Can answer “I needsecondary works about Hans Christian Anderson” and “when was Anna Karenina firstpublished?” Students of English at KSU would use these volumes for plot analysis and could citethe critical essays in research papers. Also, they could use the bibliography of secondary worksto engage in further research about the author/book of choice.CRITIQUE:Overall accurate plot descriptions are great for adults and students for ready referenceinformation. Great for last minute book reports and detailed analysis of a literary work. The sizeof each volume makes it a great resource to use, but the need for the complete multivolumeset might hinder some libraries from making this resource a necessary part of their collection.GeographicalBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Mckenna-Schmidt, S. & Rendon, J. (2008). Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from JaneAusten’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.PURPOSE:For high school ages and older. Purpose is as a travel guide for lovers of literature, travelers,and adventure seekers. In the introduction, novelist Matthew Pearl writes, “sometimes a bookinvites a journey, sometimes we invite ourselves.”AUTHORITY:
Authors have published in National Geographic Traveler magazine, BookPage, Arrive, ShelfAwareness and contribute to ReadingGroupGuides.com. They have also held editorial positionsat publishing house such as Simon & Schuster and Hyperion Books.SCOPE:Limited by the selection. The authors have chosen which literary works to include, and whichplaces are must-see spots. Entries are limited to short descriptions of landmarks due.FORMAT:Print. Font is easy to read. Book is easy to use as travel guide.ARRANGEMENT:Unclear organization scheme.ENTRIES:Includes Name, City/Country, Address, Telephone number, website URL, and dates of operationfor each site listed. Also contains a description of the current exhibits at each landmark andprovides extra tidbits of information about relevant/connected sites.SPECIAL FEATURES:Includes contact information for each landmark; description of current landmark; extrainformation regarding other sites travelers might be interested in visiting; quotes from literaryworks; historical facts; pictures; “Don’t Miss” sections; List of literary festivals in the UnitedStates and Europe; information about where films were made from the literary works; Literarylodgings and dining places;USE:For most libraries in the travel guide or nonfiction/literature section. For travelers who also loveliterature. English students at KSU could use this book to plan trips to important places in thelives of their favorite authors. Filled with facts and epithets about each author, students ofEnglish could also use this guide for light reading as a jumping off point for further research intothe lives of their favorite authors. Teachers could use this work to find information about andplan educational field trips.CRITIQUE:The index and page numbers at the back of the volume surpass the unclear organizationscheme throughout the rest of the book. Authors and places of interest seem scattered around
the book, but this does not take away from the overall effectiveness of the travel guide itself. Itreads like a novel, so English students at KSU would enjoy the light reading and perhaps decideto visit some of the places described in the travel guide.Governmental PublicationBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Library of Congress. (2010). Retrieved July 14, 2010 from http://www.loc.gov/index.html.PURPOSE:For middle school age and above for ready reference and information purposes. This websitemeets the needs of any person in need of accurate information regarding any aspect of UnitedStates history as well as current events that will further shape our history. The website providescustomized links to information for a variety of customer types including kids/families,librarians, teachers, and researchers.According to the website, the Librarys mission is “to make its resources available and useful tothe Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection ofknowledge and creativity for future generations,” and also “develop qualitatively the Librarysuniversal collections, which document the history and further the creativity of the Americanpeople and which record and contribute to the advancement of civilization and knowledgethroughout the world, and to acquire, organize, provide access to, maintain, secure, andpreserve these collections.”AUTHORITY:Provided by the U.S. Library of Congress. Governmental website. Authority is provided bycredentials of entries of authors and contributors with varying educational backgrounds andexperiences.SCOPE:Wide-ranging; encompasses historical information about the United States; celebratesAmerican achievements in past and present, looks forward to the future. Contains collectionswith content from outside of the U.S. as well.FORMAT:Website. Type is easy to read; site is easy to navigate; prominent search engine; free onlineARRANGEMENT:
Clear and concise text and images; tabs on left and top for quick links; search engine at top rightfor quick searching; library highlights of current eventsENTRIES:Search results include location of book within online or physical catalog, title of entry,publication information, LC control number and permalink, call number, current status, optionto save, print or email entry,SPECIAL FEATURES:Incorporates a variety of formats from articles, videos, podcasts, RSS feeds, interactive games,webcasts; Ask a Librarian chat; Braille/Audio materials; ability to search multiple cataloguingdepartments simultaneously; online format for a wide range of the LOC’s physical collectionUSE:Useful for libraries for free access to an enormous wealth of accurate information. Englishstudents at KSU could use the LOC website to read books online, stay current on the latestissues in the literary community, learn about literature festivals around the country, and accesssuggested reading lists through the link http://www.read.gov.CRITIQUE:Excellent source for people of all ages and backgrounds. Provides accurate information in avariety of formats to attract different types of learning styles. Although a variety of sources areavailable through online access, the breadth of others can only be shown through the physicalcollection at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. To gain access to these resources, onewould have to go to the actual Library of Congress to fully satisfy their information needs.Indexing and AbstractingBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Marra, J. ed. (1997). Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature: 1997. New York, NY: H.W. WilsonCompany.PURPOSE:For students university age and older. To provide a bibliographic listing by subject of the books,articles, and journals published in the years surrounding each volume. Published every 1-2years.AUTHORITY:
The H.W. Wilson Company is a reputable publishing house backed by decades of experience ineducational publishing.SCOPE:Limited by numerous volumes in set. Subjects are numerous. Limited by lack of depth onentries.FORMAT:Multivolume set. Volumes are large, 10-12 pounds each. Font is small. Headings are bolded.ARRANGEMENT:Periodical list is alphabetical. Entries are alphabetical by subject then by author within eachsubject.ENTRIES:Alphabetical by subject/author; bibliographic information about entry; date of publication;SPECIAL FEATURES:Abbreviation section to aid in deciphering entries; suggestions for using the Reader’s Guide.Includes book and journal reviews. Lists alphabetical periodicals included in volume.USE:Useful for college students for bibliographic information. Because it is alphabeticallycategorized by subject, it is useful in finding books, journals etc. that have information aboutthat particular subject. English students at KSU would use this volume for research, to find outwhat books have been recently published about their area of research, to find key words for indepth search inquiries.CRITIQUE:Reader’s Guide is daunting at first glance; would be a good resource once the user learns theproper use for it; overall it is a great resource because it packs a lot of information into eachvolume; a one-stop shop for reference needs.Libraries must purchase numerous volumes to make it worth owning for their patrons. Alsobecause this volume is an index, access to the books within the entries of the Reader’s Guidewould also have to be provided by the library in order to answer the patron’s inquiry. I likedthat it listed the periodicals included in each volume at the beginning for quick reference.
Published every year, The Reader’s Guide makes an excellent addition to any library that canafford it; however, a digital version of this index would be helpful to all libraries.BiographyBIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION:Chamber’s Biographical Dictionary. (1997). Retrieved July 20, 2010, fromhttp://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/features/chref/chref.py/main?title=biog&queryPURPOSE:For high school ages and older. For quick reference biographical information. Current edition is1997, new edition to be published in Aug. 2010.AUTHORITY:Chambers Publishing is part of the Hodder Education Group, the second largest secondaryschool publish in the UK. The Chambers group is also a division of the Hatchette Livre publishingcompany from the United Kingdom. Chambers publishing has almost 200 years in theeducational publishing area. Copyright for Chamber is current through 2010. Biographicalentries are not signed.SCOPE:Limited by brief biographies. Limited to patrons who need brief descriptions of the lives ofindividuals. Limited by currency; 1997 edition contains Free online version is not an in depthresource for information. A subscription is needed to delve further into the biographies ofhistorical figures.FORMAT:Online resource. In depth access to Biography is available through online subscription.Dictionary, Thesaurus and Biography available in print versions. Type is easy to read,information is easy to find within the entry.ARRANGEMENT:Online version arranged by search engine. Home page with linked tabs on the left for easyaccess.ENTRIES:
Include extensive or short biography for historical persons including birthdate/deathdate;significant aspects and events in the person’s life; bibliographic information as well assecondary information such as quotes by and about the person, excerpts from published works,SPECIAL FEATURES:Can search either Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Biography by the simple click of a drop down menu.Provides search tips and abbreviations to aid in searching for desired person. Chambers offerse-books and e-dictionaries to a wide range of sources such iphones and the smartphones anddownloads for the PC.USE:The paid subscription would be good for most public libraries where patrons would need quick,brief, and accurate information about the lives of a wide range of historical figures. Can answerquestions such as “when was Henry James born?” and “who Students of English at KSU coulduse the information from this website as a jumping off point for further research. For example,to get an idea of the scope of author Jane Austen’s early life and career as a writer, theChambers website search result for “Jane Austen” provides a brief biography, bibliography andpublication dates as well as quotes about Jane Austen by other notable authors. The studentwould then be able to use other resources for further information on Jane Austen’s life.CRITIQUE: Overall accurate information, Not for in-depth research into the details of the lives of historicalfigures. I think the search function should include an A-Z section to encourage browsing.
Collection DevelopmentBlogAs students of English literature at Kansas State University, you are used to a high standard ofexcellence in choosing resources to read, analyze, evaluate and choose to include in yourresearch papers. Whether it is writing an 8-10 page research paper, or completing abibliography for an author or studying for an exam, two resources stand out in their particularcategories of reference sources in providing English students with an extra edge in shaping newideas and eventually helping them to meet their information needs. These two resources arethe extensive Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature and a current edition of Masterplots:1,801 Plot Stories and Critical Evaluations of the World’s Finest Literature.The Reader’s Guide allows quick reference to sources under numerous headings to aid in thesearch for books, academic articles, and journals in conducting research for a lengthy paper. Anew volume is produced yearly to ensure currency and inclusion of the finest and most up todate sources available. As an English student, you will be able to use the Reader’s Guide as aplace to generate ideas and keyword search terms, as well as gather bibliographic informationfor sources on a wide range of topics.English students will also find Masterplots to be a helping hand during their time at the KSU.College life is hectic with all the schoolwork, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities andsocializing that must be crammed into a few short years at the university. Masterplots, with itscharacter lists, plot summaries and critical essays, is a useful source for saving time whenreading and analyzing the entire assigned novel just isn’t possible. It also allows the student tolearn and remember key aspects of a novel for the purpose of studying for exams, and popquizzes. Also because the series is an accurate and reliable resource, English students can besure to use Masterplots and the included critical essays for citations in their research papers.Check out both of these great literature resources, and many more, available at the Hale libraryon campus in Manhattan, KS as well as online through databases and the interlibrary loansystem.