Keeping up with the thousands of resources that are published each year is a challenge! As we run a library that serves students in grades 1 through 12, as well as staff, it can be difficult to keep up with new books, additions to series, new formats, as well as changes to the curriculum that demand new print and online resources.
There are a number of print and online sources that I use to stay up to date about new releases, and items that should be in our collection. Here are a couple of my favourites:
We subscribe to the Children’s edition, the Middle and Junior High edition and the High School edition. These are wonderful resources, which list recommended books by Dewey number, as well as fiction for different age groups. The recommendations are always excellent, and I use the volumes frequently. Updates come once a year for each of the editions, so I am always able to see what has been recently published in a certain area. This resource is also available online, but I far prefer the print version, which I can annotate, add sticky notes to, and photocopy to distribute to faculty. There are a couple of drawbacks to this source, however; sometimes the books they list are out of print or difficult to find, and it has a US focus (although, obviously, that is not quite such an issue for many readers of this blog). If a Canadian version were available, I would be thrilled!
Quill & Quire is ‘Canada’s magazine of book news and reviews.’ Published monthly, it features publishing industry news, and reviews for all ages. Their reviews of children’s books are particularly good.
Resource Links is published six times a year, and focuses solely on Canadian resources, both fiction and non-fiction. All of the reviewers are librarians; the reviews are informative, and always contain useful information about age-appropriateness / potential issues associated with a source. Resource Links also regularly publishes lists of award winning books from across Canada, so is a good source for staying up to date with popular material. Resource Links also reviews French materials, so if you are looking to build your French language collection, it is a good place to start.
I find Booklist superb for adult fiction and non-fiction, but less good for children’s books. They always review unusual books, however, and I do often one or two excellent recommendations in every issue.
We all have our favourite Kids Lit and YA Lit bloggers; here are a few that I subscribe to via my Feedly reader:
Other excellent sources of book recommendations are our students (who are well-read and vocal about it!), browsing at the bookstore, booktalks at our regional library group meetings, awards announcements, meetings with vendors etc etc. It’s not surprising that it’s difficult to keep up!
What are your favourite sources for book recommendations? And are there any you avoid?