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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Multifaith Stacks: Reading Between the Shelves

People are fond of reading between the lines. And, librarians are not just fond of shelf reading, rather religiously adhere to this as a best practice. A question is how often librarians get an opportunity to read between the shelf reading process? I have no clue. Do you know if any librarians read between the shelves?
The bottome line: In the words of William Faulkner, “Read, read, read.”

Got the new ALA catalog in the mail yesterday, and my 3-year-old son was going through each page yelling: "READ! READ! READ! READ! READ!" through each spread of READ posters. His take: "This is a FUNNY magazine. Why does it say READ so much?" continue reading

I think it is a reminder from to stay current with best practices.

I found one interesting book (thanks to Prof. A Neelameghan):

Reaching Out to Religious Youth: A Guide to Services, Programs, and Collections (Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series) by L. Kay Carman (Editor), Libraries Unlimited (2004) ISBN: 0313320411; Table of Contents @

Book Description
Do religious teens in your community think your library has "nothing for me"? Shouldn't your library be actively embracing all of the diverse populations in your community? For many the teen years are times of intense spiritual and religious growth. Public libraries, charged with serving all facets of their communities, must reach out to all people, including religious youth. If that prospect seems daunting, this book can help. It provides you with a vision and a plan for enhancing your library service to religious teens with pertinent information that helps you understand the different belief systems and traditions of various religious groups and practical guidance for developing services and collections to serve their needs. Chapters cover the major religious groups in the United States today: Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Latter-day Saints, Orthodox Christianity, Seventh-day Adventist, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu. In each chapter, a snapshot summary introduces you to the basic aspects of the religion, such as origins, beliefs, and practices. A discussion of the history and core beliefs and values follows. After describing common misconceptions and stereotypes, the authors detail the formative experiences of teens in these groups, and discuss what types of services they need in the library. Advice on building your collection is accompanied by helpful booklists; and ideas for services and programs supplement the resource. Lists of pertinent publishers and helpful Web sites make this an invaluable guide.

About the Author:
L. KAY CARMAN is Youth Services Librarian at Hillsboro Public Library, Oregon. She also serves the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints as a Stake Relief Society Education Counselor.

From School Library Journal
This resource belongs in the office of all librarians who want to understand the religious backgrounds of their patrons and thus serve them better. Many librarians have at least a basic understanding of Christianity and Judaism but lack knowledge of some of the other major religious followings, and thus aren't sure where to obtain appropriate materials. continue reading:

see also:
  • information seeking behvaior and reading between the shelves
  • An article “The loneliness of a conservative librarian” by David Durant, in Chronicle of Higher Education – Libraries, [includes author’s reaction to ALA’s position following the 9/11 event.]
  • Christian Librarianship: Essays on the Integration of Faith and Profession
    by Gregory A. Smith (Editor), Donald G. Davis (Foreword by). McFarland & Company, 2002. Table of contents
  • Working in the Virtual Stacks: The New Library and Information Science, by Laura Townsend Kane
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