Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Whole Library Handbook 5

The American Library Association (ALA Editions) has just published The Whole Library Handbook 5 edited by George M. Eberhart. Like its four predecessors this encyclopedia of library information contains an unbelievable amount of useful and interesting information about libraries and librarianship. I highly recommend it. As a library history buff and collector of librariana, I am especially appreciative of the many items in the handbook that relate to library history. Not to mention an entire section on "Librariana". It, of course, also includes up to date information on library statistics, technology, and dozens of other topics. The handbook would make an excellent text for an introduction to librarianship course in library schools. The handbook can be used as a reference source for all kinds of elusive information about libraries, but it can also just be read as an entertaining overview of our library profession. The material contained in this edition according to Eberhart is 98 percent new or substantially revised from previous editions. I have all of the previus editions and continue to find them very useful. The first edition contains Eberhart's article on "Biblio-philately" which had a life changing impact on me. It was the stimulus for my becoming a collector of postal librariana which led in turn to my becoming a library history buff and ardent promoter of library history. I was pleased that my article "Bibliophilately revisited" was included in the third edition of the handbook. I also have an article on postal librariana in the fourth edition. In each edition, Eberhart has invited a collector of library postcards to pick out their ten favorite library postcards. I was honored to be asked to take on this task for the fifth edition. The Whole Library Handbook 5 has two "Web Extras".  One is a list of 100 great libraries of the world and the other is a compilation of libraries and librarians in film and TV

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