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Dear Colleagues

I am puzzled by this discussion of whether or not SLJ is worth the price. =
a member of the Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College I have =
access to almost every children's book published. Even though I read most =
picture books published during the year and around four to six middle =
readers and one YA book a week, I still read Booklist, Horn Book, SLJ, =
Kirkus and Voya. As time allows I look forward to The Bulletin of the =
Center For Children's Books, Five Owls and Riverbank Review. When I read =
books it is my informed opinion. Each review is only one person's opinion. =
Often reviews add insights on a text that I never would have come to with =
my own meager faculties. I need the collective wisdom of my professional =
cohort to make sound collection development decisions. Especially in these =
times of tight materials budgets. These journals are not an extra but an =
essential tool for my job.  I often discover material I would not =
otherwise have found for curriculum support. Especially video and audio =
reviews. I note with interest that what Booklist points out as the Best of =
The Year are not always the same as SLJ starred reviews. I refer to back =
issues- Do I need to explain what weeding is to teachers and parents- SLJ =
was there for me. Do I need more money for reference materials- I return =
to the editorial about "what an A paper costs" How about those reference =
books reviews? I am grateful to our colleagues who volunteer their time to =
examine these materials and recommend them for my library.  Lisa

Lisa Von Drasek, MLIS
Children's Librarian
Bank Street College of Education
610 West 112th St
NY  NY   10025

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