Berge, Z., and Clark, T. (Eds.). (2005). Virtual Schools

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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 20 Berge, Z., and Clark, T. (Eds.). (2005). Virtual Schools: Planning for Success. New York: Teachers College Press. ISBN 0-8077-4571-5. $29.95 The terms distance education, online learning, e-learning, online education, virtual education, and virtual schools are now almost interchangeable in everyday dialogue pertaining to web-based learning. In the introduction to Virtual Schools, the editors define a virtual school as a K-12 school in which the majority of teaching and learning takes place online. Virtual schools may be differentiated from traditional schools that supplement their curriculum by offering one or more web-based courses; however, the majority of instruction in a traditional school takes place on-site. Virtual schools are one form of distance education, an umbrella term used to describe instruction beyond the walls of traditional classrooms. The book is divided into three parts. The first six chapters encompass curriculum development, teacher preparation, the function of technology, student services, costs and funding, marketing and public relations, policy and administration, and program assessment. Another important issue that determines the success or failure of the virtual school involves equitable access to virtual instruction. The effect of race, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status is discussed. The next seven chapters contain case studies of diverse virtual schools. Among the schools profiled are the Florida Virtual School, Virtual High School, K-12 Incorporated and Colorado Virtual Academy, Cumberland County Schools Web Academy, University of Missouri-Colombia High School, Large Unit District Association Virtual High School, and South Dakota’s Statewide Distance Education Project. The benefits and challenges inherent in schools, predicated on the school choice movement, are considered. Advantages of virtual schools include enhanced access to education, amplified learning opportunities through web-based delivery of instruction, better student outcomes, and a choice of educational alternatives. Virtual schools face challenges comprised of facilitating student access, student readiness, student retention, program costs, accreditation, and a lack of public and stakeholder support. The closing chapter develops a specific and incremental plan for success, drawing upon the lessons learned by administrators and teachers who have pioneered successful virtual schools described in the text. It concludes with a discussion of the implications for the future of virtual learning at the K-12 level. A table of contents and a comprehensive index are included. Tables, figures, screenshots, and checklists are incorporated throughout the volume to facilitate the reader’s understanding of complex issues. A complete list of all references is located at the end of the text, rather than itemizing references at the end of each chapter. Biographical information on the editors Berge and Clark, along with 21 other experts on virtual schools, may be found prior to the index. This book furnishes readers with a fair and comprehensive look at the key issues associated with virtual schools, offering guidance to students, teachers, administrators, and parents who may be considering virtual K-12 education. This text will be a valuable addition for all libraries, and an excellent resource for K-12 administrators charged with the responsibility to plan, implement, and manage virtual schools. Warren Jacobs is a Reference/Instruction Librarian at California State University, Stanislaus. E-mail: [email protected] _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 21 Boostrom, R. (2005). Thinking: The Foundation of Critical and Creative Learning in the Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press. ISBN 0-8077-4569-3. $44.00 In Thinking author Robert Boostrom writes perhaps more about non-thinking and its pervasiveness in American classrooms than about thinking. He suggests how thought and intellectual engagement are discouraged by driving students to pass standardized measures of their education. The book is divided into three main sections, each of which contains two chapters. The sections present the teaching or learning activities of defining, telling, and believing. In the first section, Boostrom discusses how thinking and knowledge have been defined and categorized. The second section covers the telling of stories, or how teachers convey information in the classroom. The third section discusses searching for truth and meaning, particularly in personally relevant ways. Beginning with such broad concepts could signal a lack of focus, but this book does not wander. Boostrom uses his concepts as frames for concise discussion of thinking and non-thinking. Defining, telling, and believing are presented as paradoxes: they are necessary parts of classroom teaching and learning, they restrict thinking or even allow students to not think, and yet they can and should foster the creative thinking that should be a desired outcome of education. The ideas of philosophers and scholars familiar to those who study education pepper Boostrom’s text. Among others he quotes Plato, John Dewey and Bertrand Russell. He discusses Bloom’s taxonomy, E. D. Hirsch’s ideas on cultural literacy, and Howard Gardner’s concept of multiple intelligences. Boostrom deftly examines this work on the nature and aims of education to illustrate his points and paradoxes. He also presents useful ideas on plagiarism in light of the vast amount of information available online to students. For example, how does instruction on citing and paraphrasing coincide with learning and thinking? Boostrom does not provide a template for bringing creative thinking into the classroom so much as encourage or challenge teachers to examine critically their methods and practices in hopes that their students will be enabled to do the same – that is, that the students will be enabled to think, to really think, as they learn. This book would benefit teachers at any level of education. It employs examples from the early grades through graduate school. It would serve well as reading in courses for pre-service teachers, and in continuing education courses. Any teacher who seriously pondered the implications presented in Boostrom’s book, and brought that thought into the classroom consistently, would become more adept at increasing students’ abilities to learn. Boostrom, states, “Thinking does not settle anything; it unsettles”(137). The book has its unsettling aspects, too. It questions much of today’s classroom activity. Boostrom challenges educators and those who set education policy to consider again fundamentals. Thinking could be of great benefit to students and to society if it was carefully read by administrators, legislators, school board members, engaged parents – any decision makers - who participate in driving schools ever further into a standards-based maelstrom of stifling conformity. Les Canterbury is Collection Development/Reference Librarian at the University of Redlands. Email: [email protected] Catherall, P. (2005). Delivering E-Learning for Information Services in Higher Education. London: Chandos. ISBN 1-84334-088-7. $59.95. This book covers the whole range of e-learning, from a broad introduction and summary of virtual and managed learning environments, training and support requirements, accessibility, other online learning tools to quality assurance and maintenance. It consists of eight chapters which seem to blend and overlap in content much like its subject matter. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 22 Chapter One includes an overview of the history, definitions, and issues of e-learning, and discusses the concept of e-learning, the various delivery systems and the pedagogy. The author discusses the difficulty of defining the term e-learning as it includes varying types of technology both traditional and cutting edge. He puts forth basic principles and interpretations, including methods of delivery and pedagogical considerations, with the growth in computer and Internet technology. He discusses the impact of technology on higher education, drawing upon statistics from the UK, which parallel trends in the U.S. Chapter Two concerns virtual learning environments and the nature of communication and interaction in an e-learning environment at individual, course and university levels. The author provides examples of various learning management systems available to or run by universities, including commercial and noncommercial virtual learning environments such as BlackBoard and Moodle. Chapter Three deals with managing a virtual learning environment and issues that might be encountered in the selection, deployment, pedagogy and assessment for system administrators and faculty. It also discusses security issues. Chapter Four involves training and user support through the initial and long-term use of the e-learning system along with documentation and training modules for faculty, staff and students, including those with disabilities. In Chapter Five the author discusses and provides resources concerning ethical and legal issues. He introduces and explains legislation from the UK, the US, and international body of the W3C organization with global standards and recommendations concerning accessibility of websites and elearning tools. The chapter also deals with copyright issues and resources for web developers and institutions. Chapter Six, titled “Other Online Tools”, is devoted to a discussion of various electronic tools such as HTML software, office suite software, scanners, and OCR software, which are used to develop, convert and edit content, “learning objects,” for online viewing and interaction. Chapter Seven concerns steps an institution can take to assure the quality of the elearning environment from its inception through its deployment to its continual use in terms of providing a successful support system that continuously meets all users’ needs. The author discusses basic quality assurance principles and the importance of developing a vision, mission, and value statement; he also explains effective feedback mechanism for faculty, staff and students. In Chapter Eight the author concludes the book with his reflection on various trends in higher education and technology that could possibly shape the future of e-learning in higher education, including the growth in mobile technology leading to more ubiquitous learning environments. He notes, as with all technologies, that they will only be as effective as the institution or faculty is in using them. The author provides appendices of useful URLs and accessibility standards, an index, a glossary of terms and a bibliography for more directed searches for those using this book as a reference text. If using this as a reference resource, one should note that the author writes from the standpoint of conditions in the UK. This is a minor consideration in this context, but one of which the researcher should be aware. This volume provides useful information to institutional personnel considering or planning a learning management system as it provides general guidelines and some valuable resources. Yet, it is somewhat difficult to determine the book’s target audience. It is too simple for programmatic improvement or development; while it has coverage of the topic of e-learning in higher education, it lacks depth and detail. This book serves to provide general considerations and some guidance in the implementation, deployment and assessment of a virtual learning environment. Dr. Jennifer Lamkins is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at California State University, Long Beach. Email: [email protected] _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 23 Clyde, Laurel A. (2004). Weblogs and Libraries. Oxford: Chandos. ISBN 1-84554-085-2. $55.00 In fewer than 200 pages, the late Laurel Anne Clyde presents an approachable introduction to weblogs (blogs). Clyde uses the generic definition of a weblog developed by Peter Scott, “a web page containing brief, chronologically arranged items of information” (2). The Drudge Report is one of the most familiar examples of a weblog. Since the publication of the book in 2004, the term “blog” has supplanted “weblog” in popularity. Clyde provides concise definitions of technical terms which make the text easy to follow. The first four chapters are very useful to beginning technophile-librarians. Clyde presents a set of evaluation guidelines for blogs, an annotated subject listing of social science, library-related and other blogs, and a guide to blog directories with search capabilities. Many of the websites are still current. Clyde also explores the technical side of blogs in chapters five through eight. The author gives assessments of blogging software, and covers the establishment, management, and maintenance of library blogs. Clyde reports the results of her research into the reasons library blogs are established and their most common functions. Chapters six and seven specifically deal with the advantages and disadvantages of using commercial or in-house software in blog creation and maintenance (in tabular form for easy understanding). The book also contains flow charts for strategic planning and tips for the promotion of library blogs once they are started. For those who get lost in technobabble these chapters are a godsend. This is a comprehensive little guide for the novice and the technically challenged. It is well researched, presenting critical reviews and evaluations of current software and sites, a review of the professional literature in the field, and the results of Clyde’s research on the topic. The bibliography contains recent books, articles and websites of note. An index is included. This is an admirable addition to the professional literature and one of the first books on this topic. Weblogs and Libraries is a small but potent introduction to the subject with jargon-free text and an appealing layout. Sheila Kirven is Education Services Librarian at Frank J. Guarini Library, New Jersey City University. Email: [email protected] Cronin, B. (Ed.). (2004). Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. Vol. 39. Medford, NJ: Information Today. ISBN 1-57487-209-1. $99.95 The American Society for Information Science and Technology are well known for their cutting-edge coverage of issues in the field. The 39th annual edition provides a broad sampling of topics in its fourteen chapters, although the web emerges as the leading motif. The contributing authors, from North America and Europe, range from academic program deans to doctoral students. Although the process for selection is explicitly stated, the strong editorial board implies a high-quality product. A review of the recent research on information (retrieval introduces the first section. Some of the new issues include statistical language modeling and fusion techniques. Building on the topic of bibliometrics, webometrics is discussed in another chapter. The second section deals with technology and systems. The chapter on information visualization is a particularly useful introduction to the theory and best practices in this burgeoning area, although the technical aspects are largely ignored. This volume includes bioinformatics for the first time, reflecting its increasingly significant status; the chapter provides an excellent synopsis of the underlying issues and current efforts. The third chapter in this section explains current practice in electronic records management. The third section covers social informatics. A lengthy chapter on interface design and culture notes varying methodologies to address cultural research and interface design solutions. Haythornthwaite and _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 24 Hagar discuss social worlds for the web, focusing on situating web use. Large’s chapter on web use by youth includes issues of access, information seeking, web design, social interaction, and safety. National intelligence, particularly in response to crime, is the focus of the fourth section. The two chapters investigate national security issues, with an in-depth examination about the nature of intelligence gathering and security balanced against civil liberty. Theory constitutes the final section. The topics include managing social capital, labor in information system, and the relationship between poststructuralism and information studies. A detailed name and subject index concludes the volume. It should be noted that this annual effort is finally being indexed cumulatively; it is available online at The chapters are uniformed well-written; most include lengthy bibliographies. Some chapters have a more introductory or summary tone, while others provide in-depth analysis. While no one volume can cover this growing field exhaustively, this annual review does a fine job of offering valuable information about representative trends. Dr. Lesley Farmer is a professor of library media at California State University, Long Beach. Email: [email protected] Daiute, C., and Lightfoot, C. (Eds.). (2004). Narrative Analysis: Studying the Development of Individuals in Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-2798-0. $34.95 As qualitative research methods have gained status, interest in narrative analysis has also grown. This collection of essays reflects varying definitions for processes of interpreting variety of discourse as well as varying contexts of meaning. The editors highlight the usefulness of narrative analysis as a way to reveal relationships between individuals and societies. They also emphasize the developmental qualities of narrative analysis: in terms of life journey, cultural tool over time, complexity, and skill acquisition. The editors drew upon a number of academic disciplines and approaches, although the underlying assumption is research-based practice. An Anglophile perspective is apparent, which limits the global implications of this topic. Part I focuses on literary readings as they draw from the humanities to social science practice. Several themes emerge: the resonance of text beyond the individual and context, the researcher’s own reflexivity, and the historical and cultural limitations of legitimate interpretation. The last essay in this part, “Data are Everywhere,” reminds the researcher that narrative fabric is ubiquitous, ready to be recognized. Social-relational readings comprise Part II, emphasizing the conversational aspects of reading narrative texts. The essays in this part show how linguistic devises and psychological “markers” are used as tools to uncover meaning and individual-societal tension. For example, power relationships and their development can be profiled authentically through narrative. Childhood development and expression is especially telling, both theoretically and in case studies. Part III locates narrative analysis within history, particularly World War II and the Holocaust; and collective experiences based gender, age, and ethnicity. Issues of normalization and counter-narratives are also examined. The last chapter traces a researcher’s autobiographical development, and questions narrative’s role in personal coherence and self-identity. While it cannot serve as a basic textbook about narrative analysis, this volume does provide a number of interesting approaches to this complex methodology. As such, the work can be a useful supplement to core collections in this area. Dr. Lesley Farmer is a professor of library media at California State University, Long Beach. Email: [email protected] _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 25 Dias de Figueriredo, A. and Afonso, A. (2006). Managing Learning in Virtual Settings: The Role of Context. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing. ISBN 1-59140-488-6. $84.95 Written by 34 authors, mostly university educators, from ten different countries, this work offers an international take on a topic that, by its very nature, crosses boundaries. Chapter one sets the background with a brief history of context in learning, especially as learning activities migrate to the online world. Each of the following chapters - with individual abstracts and references - could easily stand on its own. A traditional reading from beginning to end might feel a little repetitive with each chapter's re-enumerating various background theories; however, the dense material does benefit from repetition. While the book is divided into two sections - "concepts" and "experiences" - understand that this is not truly a hands-on book. There are no exercises for subject-based instructors to implement in their online classrooms, nor are there CD-ROMs enclosed or websites suggested for use. Several chapters, including 9 and 14, do offer course planning tools at the instructional design level, but for the most part, this is extremely theory-based writing. As a textbook, students would learn much about the pros and cons of online learning - from a theoretical standpoint. While not spelled out, most of the theories discussed here are drawn from traditional face-to-face instruction. One fascinating aspect of this book is that the authors do not necessarily assume the online learning environment to be the best solution in all cases. Some of the authors deride the "reductionist tendency" to place knowledge to be taught over method of instruction, calling it "context stripping" (25). Others express puzzlement over the lack of discourse about context in terms of educational tools (41). Some even suggest specific times when in-person meetings might be preferable to online interactions in collaborative work (108). The breadth and depth of research condensed into this single volume is impressive. Chapter 4 alone summarizes 1400 studies. At the same time, the experiences of individuals are also recognized via case studies and interviews. A variety of subjects are also covered, from graduate level computer science and open source code development to early education and nursing. The editors have set up a mailing list for interested parties to discuss the topics covered in the book with the authors and one another. Julie Shen is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Email: [email protected] Hart, C. (2005). Doing Your Masters Dissertation: Realizing Your Potential as a Social Scientist. London: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-4216-5. $97.95 This British text presents a thorough review for students who want to incorporate the role of social scientist into their daily lives. It describes practical implications of completing a master’s degree, and helps students to frame their work as a researcher in social science within broader research traditions. Yes, the author writes about a master’s dissertation, which may be a source of confusion for some users of this text who do not use this terminology. The author states that in the U.S., a Ph.D. usually includes a dissertation but that “when used in a research proposal or monograph, the word ‘thesis’ means theory maintained by an argument… In the doctorate theory and argument are used more extensively to discuss and evaluate ideas, concepts and data in depth as well as breadth” (7). For this reason Hart says that the term “thesis” is more appropriate for doctoral level capstone research and the term “dissertation” applies more to the master’s level. While the rationale for this use of terminology is well-stated, it may not be _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 26 enough to resonate with users of the text as they progress through the following chapters, particularly as some experiences may be unique to British universities. The structure of the text is a particular strength. Chapters begin with a delineation of the key concepts to be covered in the chapter as well as the guiding questions that frame the chapter. Each chapter ends with a summary and set of further references. The text also covers a breadth of topics, from effective time management to finding strategies for saving paper and ink when printing multiple drafts of the research project! The coverage of real-life implications of conducting a capstone research project is excellent but may be too detailed for some readers’ needs. The text is divided into three sections. The first section helps the student to frame his or her experience as a master’s student including managing the transition as noted above and “imagining your dissertation,” which provides excellent information on choosing a topic and reviewing the literature. The second section, on research methodology, provides a thorough review of different approaches to science and different research traditions. The historical review of research traditions and the kinds of assumptions that theorists have “made about the nature of social reality” (194) can assist students in placing their own research efforts into a broader context. The roots of positivism and phenomenologicalism are presented with the insight that this is “definitely not a ‘quantitative-qualitative’ comparison, which is a commonly mistaken assumption” (212). The author also presents a compelling chapter on the consequences of methodological choices by showing how the work of five researchers has -- and has not -- impacted other researchers and society. The third section of the text covers writing the proposal and dissertation. The shortness of this section implies where the focus of the text lies. Nevertheless, this brevity is, in some way, a strength. It nicely covers key topics for the actual writing of the master’s research project, including a time table for completing the project. Another strength of this text is the multiple tables and graphic organizers presented throughout. In addition, a thorough graphic in the appendix depicts the skills, capabilities, attitudes and qualities important for a student in a masters program. For those students and faculty who need a broad, thorough approach for writing substantive studies, this book will be an excellent resource. Dr. Jennifer Coots is Associate Professor in the Special Education Program at California State University, Long Beach. Email: [email protected] Howard, C., et al. (Eds.). (2005). Encyclopedia of Distance Learning. Hershey, PA: Idea Group. 4 volumes. ISBN 1-59140-555-6. $995.95 Distance education has taken a major advance in import in the global education marketplace, and the need for research and understanding is paramount for its effective and meaningful growth. The editors of The Encyclopedia of Distance Learning have put together a four-volume set designed to address the major issues facing educators around the world when it comes to distance education. To this end, they have selected original articles from experts in the field of distance learning from around the globe. The editors claim The Encyclopedia of Distance Learning is designed primarily as a reference book that harkens back, according to the editors, to the original intent of the encyclopedia which was a collection of work organized as such to spur the reader to look at other areas or read further about a related subject. Like the broad topic of distance learning, the editors hope to reach a wide audience of researchers, designers, administrators, educators and students in the field of distance learning in order to provide a comprehensive look at all aspects of distance learning and thus promote further understanding, thought _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 27 and research in the field. The encyclopedia consists of four large volumes with an alternate online version available to the purchaser. The online version can also be purchased alone at a discounted price with publisher-provided user and password access. The encyclopedia had six editors and nineteen editorial advisors from various institutions worldwide involved in assemblage of material. More than 400 university academics from several countries contributed to the work, but the majority reside in the USA. The entries are actually a compilation of original manuscripts presented in alphabetical order by title. Volume 1 consists of 73 articles titled A-C. Volume 2 consists of 76 articles titled D-H. Volume 3 consists of 84 articles, I-Q and Volume 4, 83 articles, R to Z. The editors’ notes together include the areas addressed by the volumes in totality as transitioning to distance learning, effective pedagogy and practices, technology, administration, and regional and global issues. The contributors to the work provide exceptionally inclusive research and reporting on the subject of distance learning, specifically as it applies to online learning. Within these contributions are more than 2000 terms, definitions and clarifications of concepts, theories, practices and technologies of distance education and over 6000 references to existing research literature on distance learning. The mere existence of the breadth of this research in one resource should benefit those new to teaching online or researching online education. For this reviewer, this is where the value and strength of this work ends. This work had too many fundamental difficulties in organization to peruse without confusion and irritation in varying levels. - What these volumes cover in breadth, they lack in depth and structure. A student or researcher could waste a lot of time looking for applicable articles and find specific content somewhat sparse or light. - Each contributor provided his or her own definition of terms and resources particular to the article provided. It was interesting but somewhat confusing to see several definitions of the same term or the same definition used for several different terms. This is decidedly “unencyclopedic” organization of material. A glossary of terms is sorely needed, possibly as its own volume with an index and bibliography. - The existing indices (key terms and subject) need to be edited. There are entries out of alphabetical order. Also, proper names are organized alphabetically by FIRST name; for example, one must find Malcolm Knowles by looking under M. - While there is an index of subject matter, there is no reference to what articles contain which subject. This may be available in the online version but it is definitely needed in the print version. - Arranging articles alphabetically by title may seem like a novel, free-flowing idea to the editors, but it wastes an overburdened academic’s time as these are not the sort of volumes, despite the editors’ intents, that someone relaxes with on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The editors could have taken a lesson from Moore and Anderson’s (2003) Handbook of Distance Education, a well-organized in- depth treatment of the subject matter. On the whole, the editors of The Encyclopedia of Distance Learning had an overwhelming vision and came up a bit short, although the results of their efforts are impressive in their breadth. This reviewer would encourage the reader with an interest in researching distance online education to access the online version of this “encyclopedia” in the hopes that it is a more usable, manageable compilation of timely research than its print counterpart. Dr. Jennifer Lamkins is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at California State University, Long Beach. Email: [email protected] _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 28 Indrisano, R. and Paratore, J. (Eds.). (2005). Learning to Write, Writing to Learn: Theory and Research in Practice. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. ISBN 0-87207-576-1 $28.95 A series of essays honoring Dr. James R. Squires, this book is based on the belief that changing the way teachers teach writing requires changing the way they understand the whole process of writing. The essays cluster around two main themes: writing in the early and elementary years, and writing in the middle and secondary years. What makes this volume most helpful is that it contains both theory and practice, and targets both university researchers and classroom teachers. Hardly a dry tome, the essays come alive with examples taken from real classrooms and from the teaching practice of classroom practitioners. The “theory into practice” approach used by the authors lends both authenticity and real guidelines to each essay. Each authorship team reviews the research and theory related to a particular area of writing development. They then apply the evidence to instructional practice. Further, each team supplies descriptions of recommended practices. Finally, all of this is supplemented by transcripts from classroom discussions, samples of student work, and teacher responses to particular instructional practice. It should be noted at this point, that the book seems clearly delineated into two sections as mentioned above. However, in practice, the fundamental ideas contained in each chapter can be easily applied across a range of ages or even grade levels. The chapters on emergent writing and writing in immigrant families can easily be used in a variety of settings based on where one is teaching and the level of student one is trying to reach. There is also the use of storytelling and poetry writing as methods of writing in the classroom. The authors are quick to point out that students learn best when presented with a variety of learning exercises. Some of the practices used in the first half of the book are also built on in the second half in chapters dealing with students in middle and secondary schools. All of the essays work together to provide teachers with many ideas and examples of what to try in their own classrooms. One final note about this book is necessary. People interested in using this book need to read each of the chapters separately to feel the full impact. Each chapter has so many good ideas and suggestions that it is important to read the whole book slowly. If teachers are interested, there is an epilogue with professional development ideas for improving literacy instruction. For those who teach writing, this is one book not to miss. Kris Veldheer is Instruction Librarian at Graduate Theological Union. Email: [email protected] Kraat, S. B. (Ed.). (2005). Relationships between Teaching Faculty and Teaching Librarians. Binghamton, NY: Haworth. ISBN 0-7890-2573-9. $24.95 Instruction librarians face many obstacles as they seek to integrate information competence into discipline curriculum. One of the most challenging and meaningful components of a successful collaboration between instruction librarians and teaching faculty is the concept of collegiality. Respect for each party in a librarian-faculty relationship is vitally important to student learning. Relationships between Teaching Faculty and Teaching Librarians considers many issues regarding collaboration in course design, teaching, and administrative tasks associated with information literacy instruction. The text includes a table of contents, an introduction written by the editor, ten chapters, and an index. Each chapter contains the authors’ biographical information, and references or notes on the authors’ sources. Tables, diagrams, and appendices may be found in selected chapters to facilitate understanding. In chapter one, collaboration between librarians and faculty at California State University, Northridge, led to a CSU Information Competence grant to address the need for graduate students to improve the quality _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 29 of their research. Students have six conceptions of the literature review process (13). Assessment of graduate students’ research competencies through their literature reviews and survey instruments determined that students require instruction in information retrieval and critical writing skills. Through faculty-librarian communication and revision of course curriculum, students are receiving information literacy instruction that enhances these competencies. The second chapter addresses one of the impediments to successful collaboration with faculty. Through qualitative analysis of information literacy listservs, librarians’ misconceptions of the teaching faculty’s work role and attitude towards the library have been identified. Librarians feel that teaching faculty view librarians in a negative light, and see the library an obstacle. Finding common ground between instruction librarians and teaching faculty requires a positive attitude towards collaboration, outreach, and a willingness to accept frustration from time to time while remembering that the faculty member’s students are the library’s clients. The issue of respect is explored further in chapter four. The author makes a distinction between the focus of teaching faculty (content) versus the focus of instruction librarians (process). Misunderstandings between faculty and librarians result from dissimilar cultures (65-67). Faculty culture places an emphasis on research, content, and specialization. The culture of librarians may be characterized as managerial, highlighting goals, collegiality, and concern for the broad educational needs of the student. To encourage the acquisition of lifelong information literacy skills by students, instruction librarians should seek to embed information literacy instruction within discipline-specific credit courses through an incremental approach such as team teaching. For true collaboration to take place, librarians must first be viewed as information experts by faculty. Outreach and instruction to teaching faculty will aid in this process. Other case studies include librarians grading assignments, collaboration between an administrator, thesis advisor, and instruction librarian in a credit course supporting thesis research; and a graded library research project for first-year engineering students as a component of a required course. Chapters on librarians teaching in an academic discipline outside the library, faculty members’ value of information literacy instruction, and the development of a resource kit for library liaisons round out this volume. Relationships between Teaching Faculty and Teaching Librarians is a concise and impartial look at the many issues associated with successful collaboration between instruction librarians and teaching faculty. It will be a worthy addition to all academic library collections, useful as a professional resource, and may also be utilized as a supplementary text for graduate study in library and information science programs. Warren Jacobs is a Reference/Instruction Librarian at California State University, Stanislaus. E-mail: [email protected] Knowles, E. and Smith, M. (2005). Boys and Literacy: Practical Strategies for Librarians, Teachers and Parents. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1-59158-212-1. $35.00. The topic of boys and literacy has been addressed frequently in the news media over the past year, with many studies looking at the statistical decrease in reading as boys get older. Having boys engaged and interested in reading is important in developing vocabulary and higher-level thinking skills, and this book aims to assist teachers and parents in working to improve literacy among boys. This book takes a very brief look at research on the topic, and outlines a list of strategies to increase literacy among boys. However, the book’s main focus is the genre chapters, which provide lists of between seven and fourteen annotated titles with an additional bibliography that includes titles only. The authors have assigned grade levels to each book, and each genre has a separate picture book listing. Each genre chapter also includes a short list of suggested questions for further discussion. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 30 The eleven genre chapters include: humor, adventure, non-fiction, fantasy/science-fiction, horror/mystery, sports, war, biography, history, graphic novels and realistic fiction. The listing for graphic novels is particularly helpful as a resource for boys who are reluctant to read and as such this resource supplements Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean (Ballantine Books, 1998) which does not include graphic novels. For a more comprehensive listing of graphic novels, the authors suggest Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A Definitive Guide by Allyson Lyga and Barry Lyga (Libraries Unlimited, 2004). While the listings in each genre provide a good, but limited, selection of titles, a useful addition would have been for the authors to give us a clear idea of the criteria they used to select each title, as well as information on how the distinction was made between those accorded annotations and those that were not. The strategies section was somewhat disappointing, both in content and length. Two pages of short one- liners (“always allow choice in book selection”; “be accepting of the reading needs of boys”) address strategies for schools, and another page addresses strategies for parents (“model reading”; “read the newspaper with boys”). However, little detail is provided. The strategies are supplemented by a short “Whole School Reading Plan,” which incorporates suggestions for incorporating reading activities across the school. The book does include a helpful appendix of author information that includes brief information about the author, a list of all their book titles (useful for those who have read one by the author and want more) as well as web site links and contact information (even some author e-mail addresses) to encourage writing to the listed authors (for this reason, all those listed are living). A second appendix contains a list of recommended children’s magazines culled from the Children’s Magazine Guide. Complete author and title indexes complete the volume. While this book has little that is new or in-depth, it is a useful tool for teachers, librarians or parents looking for additional lists of books that will interest boys. The authors have previously written other titles on such topics as setting up book clubs and motivating teens to read. However, this particular book falls short on the promise of its sub-title, providing little in the way of practical strategies. Those looking for additional instructional/classroom ideas might also look at To Be a Boy, to Be a Reader: Engaging Teen and Preteen Boys in Active Literacy, by William Broza (International Reading Association, 2002), which includes instructional vignettes. Librarians should also look at Connecting Boys with Books: What Libraries Can Do by Michael Sullivan (ALA, 2003). While the latter book is aimed at public libraries, many of the ideas represented would translate equally well to school libraries. Jacqueline M. Borin is Coordinator, Public Services at Cal State San Marcos Library. E-mail: [email protected] Langley, A., Gray, E., and Vaughan, K. (2003). The Role of the Academic Librarian. Oxford: Chandos. ISBN 1-84334-057-7. $55.00 So you have your first job in an academic library and come with your newly minted library degree in hand. Aside from being eager to get going in your new career what don’t you know about working in an academic library? If you are in a situation like this, then here is a book you need to read. The authors hope their work can bridge the gap between the librarian knowledge received in library school and the practical realities of working in an academic library. All three authors bring many years of their own experience to this book, coming from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What they cover is very much a practical guide to working in the library starting with time management and organizational skills and concluding with tips on advancing your career. In the beginning there is still a lot to learn about being a librarian even after you receive your MLS. Their claim is that in library school no one offers a class on how to meetings work or the practical side of managing your email. If you have had another career before becoming a librarian, some of the information might seem obvious or repetitive. However, the authors believe it is important to be able to _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education Libraries Volume 28, No.2 Winter 2005 31 model good information management skills if you want library patrons to do the same. So they give tips and tricks in every chapter on time management, organizing your desk, communication, and how to attend meetings. This occupies fully the first half of the book. The second half turns to library related chapters and then information on building your career. The two library-centric chapters deal with collection development in an electronic world and with public service in an electronic world. They outline what skills you need to have as well as what questions to ask as you begin taking on these responsibilities in your work. The better chapter is the one on public services because it discusses many of the latest issues, including the need for instruction skills and savvy searching in the course of doing reference. This book ends with three chapters on networking, career advancement and leadership issues in management. Therein, the authors talk about the importance of networking with other librarians beyond your own library and what an important role that plays in career advancement. They also give tips on breaking into the world of publishing and research, an important advancement tool for many librarians. There is even a section on what to include in your C.V. and keeping it current. The last chapter covers leadership, which these authors equate with library management. Whether you choose to agree with their suggestions or not, many current library managers would do well to read this chapter as well since it contains practical wisdom for managing others in a library setting. Overall, the book has many good ideas and tips for making the most of your career as a librarian. At the end of each chapter is a reading list with many additional sources to help you expand on any chapter. For those of us already well into our careers, the next step would be the publication of another volume giving advice about mid-careers. Kris Veldheer is Instruction Librarian at Graduate Theological Union. Email: [email protected] MacFadden, R., et al. Eds. (2005). Web-based Education in the Human Services. Published simultaneously as Journal of Technology in Human Services, Volume 23, Numbers 1/2 and 3/4. New York: Haworth. ISBN 0-7890-2629-5 hardcover. $69.95; ISBN 0-7890-2630-9 paper. $34.95 The editors present a collection of articles dealing with particular aspects of bringing human service education to the web, give case studies of a few programs, and provide a compendium of web-based courses available. According to Brenda Moore, who authored a literature review that begins this volume, social work education had been slow to come to distance education. Marilyn Herie follows this with an analysis of the pedagogy of online education. Jan Steyaert addresses accessibility issues that limit use of web-based education for those with physical impairments, including such simple things as choosing colors not visible to those with color-blindness. Robert MacFadden addresses the emotional response (something often thought irrelevant to web-based learning) and the importance of using universally recognized methods of bringing emotion to a text-based environment. Case studies of current projects are presented some several different locations around the world, and some describe cross-cultural projects. Karen Ford and Rina Rotgans-Visser discuss their course offered in the US and the Neth...