Reference Tool Evaluation

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Reviews allow librarians to evaluate the quality of the potential items that are being considered for purchase (Ross and Dewdney 246). They help make decisions about the suitability of a particular item for a collection and in choosing one item over other similar items (Bopp and Smith 317). The manner in which reviews from Choice and the American Reference Book Annual evaluate the Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature will be critiqued and compared. The Choice review reveals the intended purpose and audience of this reference work is as a resource for students and readers. The review from ARBA neglects to include a statement of purpose or to describe the intended audience. The scope of the work receives attention in both reviews. The ARBA review provides a description of the material covered. The Choice review provides a concise statement of scope asserting that the work focuses on British literature, emphasizing “novelists, poets, dramatists, and their works,” (Loe 1856). Both reviews comment on currency with focus on changes made for the current edition. The ARBA review highlights contemporary authors added to this edition and areas that lack currency. The review from ARBA does not evaluate the accuracy of the work’s content, while the Choice review places emphasis on this evaluation. The Choice review asserts this work is descriptive in nature and suggests that while information is presented accurately, the concise nature of the work tends toward omission of some facts. While the ARBA review briefly comments that the content is “beautifully organized…,” (Lindgren 445), neither review explains how content in this companion is arranged. Special features included in the work receive brief mention in the... ... middle of paper ... ...Works Cited Bopp, Richard, and Linda C. Smith. Reference and Information Services: An Introduction. 3rd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2001. Print. Cassell, Kay A, and Uma Hiremath. Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: An Introduction. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2009. Print. Drabble, Margaret, and Jenny Stinger, eds. The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print. Lindgren, Charlotte. “Oxford Concise Companion to English Literature.” American Reference Book Annual. Ed. Shannon Graff Hysell. Vol 40. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. 445. Print. Loe, MH. “The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature.” Choice 41.10 (2004): 1854-1856. Print. Ross, Catherine Sheldrick, and Patricia Dewdney. Communicating Professionally. 2nd ed. York: Neal-Schuman, 1998. Print.
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