School Librarianship: Past, Present, and Future

208p. (Beta Phi Mu Scholars). bibliog. chart. index. photos. reprods. Rowman&Littlefield. Feb. 2017. Tr $70. ISBN 9781442272071.
The stated mission of Beta Phi Mu, the society that lends its name to this series, is to "recognize and encourage scholastic achievement among library and information studies students," and this title exemplifies that goal. As with any collection of essays, readers will find some of the pieces more applicable than others. Alman has scoured the field and assembled a cast of 12 luminaries, including such notables as Joyce Kasman Valenza, Barbara K. Stripling, and Karen Gavigan. The first chapters offer an overview of the history of school libraries and the development of standards associated with information literacy. The next two chapters present the history of children's literature—though a discussion of young adult literature is noticeably absent—and a valuable essay about fostering inquiry. Chapters five through seven introduce readers to a more global perspective, covering participation in international library organizations and the state of school libraries throughout the world. The final chapters focus on teacher librarian preparation programs and collaboration, ending with a look at the future of school libraries. Readers will find quick pieces of information that provide a springboard for future professional inquiry, though those seeking depth may be disappointed. Thoughtful insights are augmented by generally helpful photographs, charts, and reproductions. Each chapter concludes with references, and the end matter includes a biography for each contributor.
VERDICT This cerebral collaborative effort contains several useful gems for the scholarly minded practitioner.

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