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Evaluating Specific Resources

Book Publications


There are many types of books written for many different purposes:

  • To inform (non-fiction publications)
  • To entertain (fiction publications)
  • To provide a topical overview (Textbooks, encyclopedias)

Book Evaluation Points

Click this link and take a few minutes to bowse this PG Library eBook. Pay attention to the information on the detailed record page, including the Abstract and Details information, as well as the Full Text link on the left of the screen.

Things to consider:

  • Author/Authority: What is the author's background? Is the author a subject expert? Has the author written anything else? 
  • Appearance/Content: Is there a table of contents? Are there section headings? Are there charts, graphs, and other illustrations? Is there an index and/or appendices
  • Publisher: Was the book published by a university press? Commercial? Government? Professional/Industry trade association?
  • Citations: Does the book include footnotes and references?
  • Audience: Who is the book written for? (general readers, students - high school, college, graduate-,industry professionals, researchers or scholars?

After browsing this item, can we trust that it passes the criteria as a credible publication? If answering yes, then chances are it is a source of credible information. If answering no, then you may want to consider an alternate source. 

Detailed record of a book called College Libraries and Student Culture : What We Now Know.  The authors are highlighted: Lynda M. Duke, & Andrew D. Asher. The publication information is highlighted:  Chicago : ALA Editions. 2011. The book description is highlighted.  Here is the book description:  How do college students really conduct research for classroom assignments? In 2008, five large Illinois universities were awarded a Library Services and Technology Act Grant to try to answer that question. The resulting ongoing study has already yielded some eye-opening results. The findings suggest changes ranging from simple adjustments in service and resources to modifying the physical layout of the library. In this book Duke and Asher, two anthropological researchers involved with the project since the beginning,Summarize the study's history, including its goals, parameters, and methodologyOffer a comprehensive discussion of the research findings, touching on issues such as website design, library instruction for faculty, and meeting the needs of commuter and minority studentsDetail a number of service reforms which have already been implemented at the participating institutionsThis important book deepens our understanding of how academic libraries can better serve students'needs, and also serves as a model for other researchers interested in a user-centered approach to evaluating library services.