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When I was in the public schools, I chose SLJ and Booklist as MY two
professional journals for selection of materials in my library.  I still
believe that SLJ gives me a variety of information (as well as articles
relating to school libraries, trends, and viewpoints), but Booklist was by
far my favorite to use for straight-forward recommended of books for

When I took a position as an assistant professor in a university (I
supervised a branch library that served the education majors, so our library
had primarily K-12 materials for future educators to utilize in lesson
preparation), I had a variety of resources from which to select materials.
Again, my favorites (and the ones I turned to first) were SLJ and Booklist.
Even though I used the others, I found that the book reviews regarding
materials that were consistently recommended usually came from Booklist
first and then SLJ.

I agree that if you need to reduce your professional selection tools budget
(which I hope you don't), then Booklist would be the best replacement for
the price.  However, if you need to justify the continued purchase of SLJ,
just wouldn't go to a doctor or a dentist if they used
"inferior tools" on you when you came for a "check-up," so don't use
"inferior tools" to select materials for your library.  Those who visit your
library want to leave with materials that meet their needs.  When they ask
for your assistance, it is your responsibility to meet their "literary or
informational needs" just as you expect your doctor or dentist to meet your
health needs when you visit them.   The use of current selection (and
retrospective) tools ensure that your library patrons will have their needs
met at your library.

These selection tools are just  You get what you pay for and
despite the increase in price, this tool is consistently worth the
investment. (Especially when you need to justify selections made regarding
challenged materials.)

Just my thoughts.

~Shonda Brisco
Teacher / Librarian
Ft. Worth, TX

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