These reviews are for 4 useful books for librarians working with the music collection.
Carli, Alice. 2003. Binding and Care of Printed Music. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc.
The strength of this book lies in Carli's expertise and passion for what she does. This is a true how-to manual for the care of music, and it achieves the goals it sets. The one perceived weakness of the book could be in the specialized nature of the topic. Not all librarians are conservators within their libraries. The information may be erroneously interpreted by some as not useful to their daily work.
In application, this book is a fitting resource for people involved in more than one area of the music library besides the obvious archival duties because part of the unique challenge with music libraries, as all special libraries, is addressing the unique needs of the collection within the library.
Davis, Elizabeth A. 1997. A Basic Music Library: Essential Scores and Sound Recordings. Chicago: American Library Association.
The strength of this tool is that it has great ambition and does try to identify what is a core collection for a music library. This core collection information comes from many different sources and not one to eliminate bias. Further, it helps identify three levels of collection development for the music library.
A possible weakness in this book is that the scope is perhaps too grand. The reviews and recommendations are minimal, though that is understandable with such a sheer volume of works to list. Another weakness is not a direct fault of the book itself. Sometimes recommended items on the list are no longer in print. The resourceful librarian will take that information and make an appropriate substitution in the collection.
This tool is a practical one that can help a music collection development librarian pinpoint weaknesses in the collection and which items to chose to strengthen it. This tool is especially valuable in evaluating a collection when one is new to the work assignment, but it is handy to use at other times as a point of reference.
Elliot, Paula, ed. 2004. Careers in Music Librariainship II; Traditions and Transitions. Lanham: MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc.
A strength in this book is that the essays cover different subjects. To a novice music librarian, or one in study to be one, this is enlightening to the different possibilities and problems that come from working with this chosen facet of librarianship. A possible weakness in the book if there is one is that it is an edited work, and the nature of such is that the different essays contained therein may not show a unified consistency.
The intended audience for this book is the group of people who are studying library science or those who are new into the field. It also deems itself to be a work that can inspire those who have been in the field for quite some time. While it may possibly work for the second group, it achieves its first goal of being something of practical use to people new to the profession. Being a book of practical information, it can be used frequently as a personal reference for professional growth.
Maple, Amanda, and Jean Morrow. 2001. Guide to Writing Collection Development Policies for Music. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc.
One of the strengths of this book is that it was the first organized guide for collection development policies specific to music. The language is practical and down to earth, and the book is easy to use with examples from existing collection development policies. A weakness to this book is that the original content is very sparse, and most of the pages of the book are appendices which have examples of existing policies. Many of those same policies are ones which can be easily found online. [See Policies Online]
This book has been a definite resource for personal coursework at TWU. Its clear examples are appropriate to the beginner and were a friendly introduction; and it has helped increase knowledge of collection development policies.