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Title:Problems of Selection in Science
Author(s):Budington, William S.
Subject(s):Libraries --Special collections --Science
Abstract:Identifying the problems of selection in science has something in common with trying to decide how to vote for the next president. You can go just by the picture on your television screen, or you can review his existence back to the time when his father first smiled at his mother. Book selection can be considered a simple, daisy-picking game of love-you, loveyou- not, or you can bring into the picture the entire world of publishing, selling and readingand the lives of humankind, our readers. In this discussion, a selection will be made from the general as well as the particular, from aspects of library administration as well as the peculiarities of science literature. Problems there are many, of solutions there are some. Many of the problems attributed to the selection of science materials are common to selecting in any field. Indeed, one may say that there is no special problem with the science books; the real problem is with the librarian who is trying to do the selection. When dealing with fiction or family life or politics or history, the librarian wades right in (sometimes with his useful aids, of course), winnowing the harvest. Science, however, carries the stigma of a mysterious and impenetrable region, which only the initiated dare enter. The barrier is primarily one of terminology; the words are esoteric and meaningless, by themselves or together in a sentence. In the social sciences, we hear no complaints of trouble, even where words, perhaps meaningful when alone, are strung together in incomprehensible titles. There, we cope; with science, we give up. The basic fear, then, is that because we do not understand science, we cannot even begin to select materials on it. None of us is an expert in all the other fields of knowledge, yet we do select in them. There is no overwhelming reason to get fluttery or hysterical about science.
Issue Date:1960
Publisher:Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In F.B.Jenkins (ed). 1960. Collecting science literature for general reading; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, November 6-9, 1960. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 138-149.
Series/Report:Allerton Park Institute (7th : 1960)
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1959.
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-07-16

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