Using government publications. Volume 2. Finding statistics and using special techniques

Using government publications. Volume 2. Finding statistics and using special techniques

442 GOVERNMENT INFORMATION 4. archives of the organization 5. other reference sources in the organization; 6. special interest organizations. ...

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442

GOVERNMENT

INFORMATION

4.

archives of the organization

5.

other reference sources in the organization;

6.

special interest organizations.

holdings

QUARTERLY

Vol. ~/NO. 411986

held elsewhere; and

for the history

or origins

of other

international

The Guide is a superb example of a publication that was produced in an area of bibliographic need, that identifies its objective and scope, and that proceeds to accomplish its intention. This is, then, a very “honest” book. It is the principal initial work that any user should consult if interested in pursuing the corpus of works of an IGO affiliated with the United Nations system. Of course, some agency descriptions are fuller than others, but this is usually because the archives are more extensive and the supporting facilities larger. The preface, contents, introduction, abbreviations and acronyms, and index are concise, effective sections that complete a close to perfect tool. Experts in the bibliography of any particular agency may find an omission or error. 1 would put this down to their expertise, rather than to the nature of this generalized work.

Using Government Publications. Volume 2. Finding Statistics and Using Special Techniques By Jean L. Sears and Marilyn K. Moody Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1986, 231 pages, $67.50. ISBN 089774 1242. LC 83-43249.

Reviewed by Micbele McKnelly

Michele McKnelly is Assistant Documents Library, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078-0375.

Librarian,

Oklahoma

State

University

The second volume of this work compiled by Sears and Moody provides instruction on searching techniques for government documents. The volume is limited to searching for statistical sources, and what they “term special techniques,” which deal with the more difficult topics, such as technical reports or patent searching. Chapters include an introduction, a search strategy and a “checklist” of relevant materials, including SuDocs number or a non-depository note, a discussion of the types of material and the specific type of information and the limitations of the information. The format of the chapters makes it easy to read and understand the information discussed. The section dealing with statistical materials is thorough in its coverage. The work is divided into types of searches, such as Business and lndustry Statistics, and Employment. This volume brings statistical sources together and organizes them into limited searchable subset of Federal publications and the indexes to these publications. The authors do not intend to teach the experienced documents librarian about searching statistical sources, but rather provide a work which the experienced documents librarian can skim when trying to locate a particular type of information. This work can also be

443

Reviews

used by non-documents librarians and researchers, since it also includes discussions of the works and gives access points, such as SuDocs and American Statistics Index (ASI) entry numbers. The inclusion of such access points will aid the non-documents librarian by eliminating further look-ups and simplifying the referral process. This work has great potential for use by the non-documents librarian who must make referrals, because of its subject-oriented format. Sears and Moody have provided an excellent tool for building knowledge of the Federal publications at general reference areas, and for providing reference librarians with confidence when referrals are made. The chapters on special techniques are not as informative as the chapters on statistics. The material is much more complex, but the format of the work is not adjusted to allow for additional discussion of the topics. If this work is to be used by a new librarian or a library user, considerable additional explanations will be necessary. For example, the chapter on technical reports does not address the issues of how to obtain NTIS materials or the difficulties.associated with online searching for technical report numbers, both issues are problematic. Additionally, the chapter on patent searching fails to stress the difficulties of patent searching and the special training which is usually necessary to assist a patron effectively. Overall, this work provides an excellent overview of the searching methods one needs for obtaining U.S. government statistical sources and provides a very good framework for dealing with .“special topics.” The volume clearly defines the topics covered in each chapter and includes excellent illustrations and graphics. In addition, as a guide, this work, along with the first volume, can be a valuable training tool for non-documents librarians and researchers. The format lends itself for use as a training manual. Further, the book’s subject orientation, excellent index, and the example pages from reference publications combine to make this a very valuable addition to the literature.

LIST OF TITLESRECEIVED Since the number of titles published each year of potential value to our readers is quite large, only a few can be formally reviewed. Our practice is to list works upon receipt and to include a few of them later in our “Reviews” column. By consulting listed works, readers may be able to identify current titles having possible interest to them. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. Striking a Balance: National Securit)j and Scientific Freedom. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1985. Burton, Dennis A., James B. Rhoads, and Raymond W. Smock. A Guide to Manuscripts in the Presidential Libraries. College Park, Maryland: Research Materials Corporation, 1985. Cleveland, Harlan. 731e Knowledge Executive; L_eadership in an Information Society. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1985. Cobb, David A. Guide to U.S. Map Resources. Map and Geography Round Table, American Library Association. Chicago and London: American Library Association, 1986.