REVIEWS: Library and Information Science Research
Electronic Journal ISSN 1058-6768
2001 Volume 11 Issue 1; March.
Bi-annual LIBRES11N2 REVIEWS


REVIEWS


 

Reviews in this issue:

Cook, Allan R., ed., Alternative Medicine Sourcebook. 1st. ed. Health Reference Series. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 1999. 737 pp. ISBN: 0-7808-0200-4

Reviewed by Necia Parker-Gibson

Massimini, Kathy, ed. Genetic Disorders Sourcebook: Basic Consumer Information about Hereditary Diseases and Disorders, Including Hemophilia, Huntington's Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, and More; Facts about Genes, Gene Research and Therapy, Genetic Screening, Ethics of Gene Testing, Genetic Counseling, and Advice on Coping and Caring; Along with a Glossary of Genetic Terminology and a Resource List for Help, Support, and Further Information. 2nd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2000. Series: Health Reference Series. 768 p. + xiv. ISBN: 0-7808-0241-1. $78.00.

Reviewed by Dean Hendrix

Muth, Annemarie S., ed. Asthma Sourcebook. Series: Health Reference Series. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2000. 627 pp. ISBN: 0-7808-0381-7.

Reviewed by Dawn Olmsted Swanson

Swanson, Jenifer. Infant and Toddler Health Sourcebook. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2000. Series: Health Reference Series. 600 pp.
ISBN: 0-7808-0246-2. $78

Reviewed by Laurel K. Graham

Thompson, Clifford, ed. World Authors 1990-1995. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1999. 863 pp. ISBN: 0-8242-0956-7. $110.

Reviewed by John R. Burch Jr.

Wasserman, Paul.  The Best of Times: A personal and Occupational Odyssey.  Omnigraphics, Inc., 2000.
ISBN: 0-7808-0433-3.

Reviewed by Ru Story-Huffman

Wenig, Scott A., Straightening the Altars: The Ecclesiastical Vision and Pastoral Achievements of the Progressive Bishops Under Elizabeth I, 1559-1579. Series: Studies in Church History: Vol. 10. Ed. William L. Fox. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2000. 290 pp. ISBN: 0-8204-4437-5.

Reviewed by David J. Duncan

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Cook, Allan R., ed., Alternative Medicine Sourcebook. 1st. ed. Health Reference Series. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 1999. 737 pp. ISBN: 0-7808-0200-4

This volume, like the others in the Health Reference Series, is written for lay readers. It is nicely
organized and not overwhelming in its vocabulary, with line illustrations in chapters where they are
appropriate. There is a short, elementary glossary, and a list of subject-related associations at the back,
and the book is indexed. A number of the chapters are composed of reprints from Alternative Therapies,
or extracted from publications by organizations, such as the FDA and the NIH. The book covers a considerable range of alternative or complementary medical therapies or treatments, from fairly common ones such as chiropractic and osteopathic care, diet and nutrition, to acupuncture and acupressure, herbal remedies, including flower essence therapies, biomagnetic treatments, sound therapy, healing by touch, such as massage therapy, and treatments in a chapter labeled Mind/Body Medical Interventions, including healing by mediation, counseling and prayer, and healing from a distance. It provides useful information about alternative medicine in general, histories of specific treatment practices, how to find practitioners, and issues including insurance coverage for alternative medicine [often, the lack of coverage], the politics of alternative medicine, purity of compounds, research support for various treatments, and efficacy of products or procedures. Recommended for public libraries and other libraries where there is demand.

Necia Parker-Gibson
Associate Librarian
University of Arkansas
neciap@mail.uark.edu

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Massimini, Kathy, ed. Genetic Disorders Sourcebook: Basic Consumer Information about Hereditary Diseases and Disorders, Including Hemophilia, Huntington's Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, and More; Facts about Genes, Gene Research and Therapy, Genetic Screening, Ethics of Gene Testing, Genetic Counseling, and Advice on Coping and Caring; Along with a Glossary of Genetic Terminology and a Resource List for Help, Support, and Further Information. 2nd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2000. Series: Health Reference Series. 768 p. + xiv. ISBN: 0-7808-0241-1. $78.00.

The field of genetics is on the cusp of revolutionary change. As we enter this brave new world of gene therapies and the Human Genome Project, having straightforward consumer health texts on genetics and related subjects for the general public is critical for library collections, especially public libraries. Genetic Disorders Sourcebook, from the acclaimed Health Reference Series published by Omnigraphics, serves as an excellent example of an introductory reference on the subject of genetic diseases.

Intended for a general audience, this book discusses the "basic causes, treatments, and health care currently available for the most prevalent, widely known and even rare genetic disorders." Providing information on screening tests, special dietary concerns and emergency situations, this practical manual assists with day-to-day issues of those affected by the disorders. Additionally, the psychological needs of people stricken by genetic disorders and their caretakers are covered as well.

Much of the information in the book is taken directly from research by medical associations, prestigious medical research centers and various disorder-specific support groups such as the American Medical Association, the National Cancer Institute and the National Down Syndrome Society. Reports or articles used for each chapter are cited at the beginning of each chapter.

Divided into eight parts and sub-divided into 62 chapters, the Sourcebook supports easy retrieval of highly specific information on a particular disease by merely glancing through the table of contents. A subject index is also provided.

Part I introduces the reader to the fundamentals of genetics including the Human Genome Project, genetic screening, gene therapy and the ethical dilemmas of the burgeoning field.

Parts II through VII examine the individual disorders. More prominent diseases such as Down syndrome, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, and phenylketonuria (PKU) have multiple chapters devoted to issues surrounding the disorders. The chapters within these parts contain a list of resources that are mostly directory listings of research facilities and support groups for the specific disorder. In a few chapters, bibliographies are also provided for further reading.

Part VIII is devoted to providing support and aid to families dealing with particular genetic disorders. Included is a glossary, advice to parents and cumulative directories of organizations, associations, U.S. government agencies, foundations, research institutes and support groups.

It is obvious that the editor has attempted to make this work accessible to all readers. This is evidenced by the extensive glossary, definitions for medical terminology throughout the chapters and minimal use of medical jargon, even though much of the subject matter is technical in nature. In many cases, frequently asked questions about a particular disease are utilized as headings within the text. This question and answer technique is very effective in providing definitions and addressing common concerns.

There is a lack of organizational consistency throughout the book. Each chapter is arranged differently. Some chapters use bullets, some use questions, some use italicized headings and others use a combination of various tools. It should be noted that this is a minor quibble, as the text as a whole is well-organized into logical divisions. All of the chapters employ bold text and line breaks to separate different concepts, which affords easy navigation despite the inconsistency.

Due to the rapidly changing field of genetics, the 2nd edition was a necessary update to the 1st edition (1996). Expanded and updated coverage of newly developed treatments, disease management techniques, the rarer genetic disorders, psychological support information and directory information are included.

Accomplishing the series' mission of providing "high-quality health information to the lay-person," I highly recommend this reference work for all libraries that serve the general public including public libraries, college and university libraries as well as medical libraries.

Dean Hendrix
Biological Sciences Librarian
Colorado State University
dhendrix@manta.colostate.edu

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Muth, Annemarie S., ed. Asthma Sourcebook. Series: Health Reference Series. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2000. 627 pp. ISBN: 0-7808-0381-7.

Despite major advancements in its treatment, asthma cases and deaths are on the increase. At the same time deaths from most other causes are declining. In 1998, an estimated 17.3 million people in the United States were reported as having asthma; this was up from 13.7 million in 1993. This Sourcebook brings together current information about possible reasons for the rise, including improved diagnosis and reporting of the disease, increased exposure to environmental allergens and irritants, increased exposure of children to parents’ tobacco smoke, and psychosocial and socioeconomic factors. In addition, statistical data, reports on research and prevention measures, and new treatment programs are presented. A comprehensive glossary, index and directory of organizations and online resources are provided to guide readers seeking further help and information.

The Asthma Sourcebook consists of 68 chapters divided into 8 parts. Each part focuses on broad areas of interest. Chapters are devoted to single topics within each part. The parts are: the Nature of Asthma and Related Ailments; Asthma Statistics; Theories about the Causes of Asthma; Triggers and Risk Factors Associated with Asthma; Diagnosis and Treatments; Asthma Management; Other Aids to Wellness and Prevention; and Additional Help and Information.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by intermittent, recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and cough. One reason for the increase in asthma may be tightly sealed homes and workplaces that trap and recirculate contaminants. Another reason may be the greater awareness and diagnosis on the part of physicians. Many state and national organizations have formed to learn more about Asthma. Asthma is responsible for over 1.8 million emergency room visits, 470,000 hospitalizations and more than 5,000 deaths a year. There is no known cure for asthma. Most cases of asthma can be controlled by strategies aimed at preventing acute episodes and halting those that do occur. Diagnosing asthma is based on repeated measurements of how efficiently the patient can force air out of the lungs. Finding the triggers to the attack are very important, but sometimes impossible to discover.

This Sourcebook furnishes detailed and easy to understand information about drugs used to help asthmatics. It differentiates between medicines for children and adults. The text discusses controllers and relievers, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. It also mentions that illnesses such as Vocal Cord Dysfunction and Chronic Cough can be mistakenly labeled as asthma. Unfortunately, the medications will not help when a misdiagnosis is given. Other illnesses such as sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis and emphysema can lead to asthma attacks.

Educating asthmatics about triggers associated with asthma, and how to avoid them, is an important component of this Sourcebook. Some of the triggers mentioned are: allergies, nitrogen dioxide, the ozone, passive smoking, fragrances, occupational exposures, agricultural allergens, latex, and food.

The population is broken into three sections when discussing how to manage asthma: children under the age of five, children over the age of five, and adults. Management of asthma consists of preparing a stepwise management approach; using the inhaler effectively; and receiving allergy shots. The pharmacist and allergist are very important in preventing and treating asthma. Special topics are also included, such as: managing asthma in a child care setting, managing asthma at school, and managing asthma while pregnant. Aids to wellness and the prevention of asthma are given in depth coverage. Details are also provided for the following aids: home air cleaners, vitamin supplements, vitamin C, flu vaccine, training in breathing, and exercise.

The Asthma Sourcebook is a wonderful resource for detailed and complete information on asthma. I would highly recommend it for all libraries. This book should be available to every individual and family trying to cope with asthma.

Dawn Olmsted Swanson
Kettering University
dswanson@kettering.edu

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Swanson, Jenifer. Infant and Toddler Health Sourcebook. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2000. Series: Health Reference Series. 600 pp.
ISBN: 0-7808-0246-2. $78

As a parent of a toddler and a health science reference librarian, I was anxious to read Infant and Toddler Health Sourcebook  (1st
ed., 2000) from the Health Reference Series edited by Jenifer Swanson, to compare our parenting practices to those of the experts.
Parenting is a sacrosanct vocation, discussion of it and recommended practices of it debated with theological fervor. That last
sentence is a bit of a disclaimer to the reader of this review. All parents have their biases. That said, Infant and Toddler Health
Sourcebook is a compilation of basic consumer health information regarding the physical and mental development of newborns,
infants and toddlers from a variety of public and private sources. The book is comprehensive in its breadth of child health
coverage, but lacks much in depth. Without creating a multi-volume set, the topics touched upon in this book cannot be
adequately discussed. Subjects covered include newborn screening to gastroesophageal reflux. Chapters are culled verbatim from
authoritative pediatric web sites, government publications and national organizations.  This portends to portray a balanced view of
subjects covered but ignores grass-root parenting movements such as home schoolers and attachment parenting advocates.

Some of the texts employ language that may confuse readers as for example "otoacoustic emissions," which is not found in the
limited glossary. Much of the text is taken from publications written for physicians, Chapter 2 for example is excerpted from
Clinician's Handbook of Preventive Services. Other chapters seem completely out of place in a handbook for parents like "Infant
Mortality Statistics" and "Risk Factors for Infants Most Likely to be Homicide Victims."

One strength of the book is its many authors. The reader is able to locate, in one volume, elusive information about "Labeling Rules
for Young Children's Food" in Chapter 12 from the FDA Consumer Magazine and in another find, information on "Temper
Tantrums" in Chapter 38 from a pediatrician's web site. This book is not appropriate as a lay guide to parenting. I would recommend
this book to academic health science libraries looking for a compendium of standard pediatric guidelines and to public libraries as a
desk reference.

Laurel K. Graham, MLS
Media Librarian
Galter Health Sciences Library
Northwestern University
wfb_2@yahoo.com

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Thompson, Clifford, ed. World Authors 1990-1995. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1999. 863 pp. ISBN: 0-8242-0956-7. $110.

Utilizing a broad definition of the term "author," to include among others poets, essayists, novelists, biographers, and journalists, this latest addition to the World Authors series contains biographical entries for individuals whose work gained prominence during the first half of the 1990s. The diverse group of 317 authors selected for inclusion is drawn from a number of different backgrounds and ethnic groups.

Readers familiar with the format of previous volumes will notice that each article now begins with an introduction, designed to put the author’s work into context within their genre. Approximately one-third of the introductions also include autobiographical statements provided by the biographees, composed specifically for this work, which provide enlightening insights into their work.

The vague criteria used to select the authors, "critical attention and Acclaim" (page v), allows for some curious choices. One would reasonably expect to find entries for authors such as E. Annie Proulx and Jonathan Raban. The inclusion of popular authors such as John Grisham and Terry McMillan is also justifiable, but it stretches credulity to believe that there weren’t worthier candidates for this work than Brad Meltzer, who technically shouldn’t even have been considered for inclusion since his
first book wasn’t published until 1997.

This work would have also benefited from more judicious editing. For example, in the preface the editor states that the work "comprises biographical articles on 320 novelists'", yet the dust jacket puts the number at 317, which is the correct number of entries. Another example can be found in the entry for Cornel West. Special mention is made of West's editorial work on the five-volume Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (Macmillan 1996), noting that it is a "single-volume reference
book" (page 826).

One major deficiency is that there is no index, which would be helpful in locating authors who write using multiple pseudonyms. An index would also compensate for errors in the table of contents, such as misspelling Hedrick Smith's last name in the volume under review.

Despite its shortcomings, this overpriced title's inclusion of specially commissioned autobiographical statements makes it a unique reference. It would be a worthwhile addition to reference collections in school, public and academic libraries.

John R. Burch Jr.
Director of Library Services
Campbellsville University
jburch@campbellsvil.edu

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Wasserman, Paul.  The Best of Times: A personal and Occupational Odyssey.  Omnigraphics, Inc., 2000.
ISBN: 0-7808-0433-3.

Paul Wasserman is well known in the field of Library and Information Science. He is an author, professor, and researcher and may be best known for beginning the School of Library and Information Services at the University of Maryland. In this book, The Best of Times, readers are presented with another treasure from Mr. Wasserman – his autobiography.

Currently serving as University of Maryland Professor Emeritus at the College of Information Studies, formerly known as the School of Library and Information Services, Mr. Wasserman leads the reader down the path of his varied and important accomplishments. The hefty tome, 458pp, includes a list of publications and a lengthy index, which can be separated into two distinct areas: his personal life and his professional achievements.

Mr. Wasserman was born in the early 1920’s and chronicles the world of New York City during this time. He treats the reader to detailed accounts of his parents, growing up and his family. Through his words, we are introduced to his mother, Sadie, and her appreciation of his educational goals. We also meet Mr. Wasserman’s father, Joe, who loved cigars and hot peppers, his sister Marilyn, and various other relatives. Through exposure to his family, Mr. Wasserman has provided us with a direct link to himself.

Dr. Wasserman, who earned his PhD at Michigan, is considered by many to be a pioneer in the field of library and information science. He was awarded the 1997 Gale Research Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship, and the second portion of The Best of Times offers the reader an understanding of his endeavors. Some of his posts include founder and former dean of a library school, professor of library science, editor of the daily newspaper of the American Library Association Annual Conference, project director of the Kellogg Foundation Project and work in Sri Lanka at the Institute for Fundamental Study.

A lifelong interest in travel has perhaps fueled Dr. Wasserman’s research. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, and his experiences have presented a variety of opportunities to enhance the field of information studies. Also, through his travel, he has had opportunities to meet others in his field and discuss new innovations and ideas. In addition to his work in libraries, traveling and research, Dr. Wasserman has published extensively. A short-listing of his publishing accomplishments includes journal articles, reference works, and his work as an editor of a variety of reference resources, as well as his work as an editorial consultant. Dr. Wasserman also has been active in a variety of American Library Association roundtables, divisions and committees.

As an educator, Dr. Wasserman may best be known for his work in the founding of the School of Library and Information Services at the University of Maryland in the mid 1960’s. At the time, Dr. Wasserman was at Cornell, and was chosen to be the dean of the new school. Dr. Wasserman was very involved in developing curriculum, recruiting faculty and students, and preparing the necessary forms for enrollment. All this work was done in a matter of nine months, in preparation for the start of the academic year in September 1965. Meetings were conducted with local librarians and the Maryland Department of Education’s Division of Library Extension. The Best of Times encourages the reader to reflect on the early years of the Maryland library school and the dawning of the world of librarianship, as we know it today.

As mentioned, the book is quite lengthy, and can be a bit disjointed at times. Dr. Wasserman must have an extraordinary memory, as he is able to recapture events, times, places and people with amazing clarity. At times, the prose jumps from one topic to another and then back, though this tends to add to the entire collection, rather than detract. Dr. Wasserman looks forward with passion and back with knowledge, leading to understanding. By the time the reader is finished with this book, not only has he gained an understanding of Dr. Wasserman and his work, but also an understanding of humanity and life.

Paul Wasserman is considered by many to be a pioneer in the field of library and information science. As a student at the Columbia University’s School of Library Service first master’s degree class, Dr. Wasserman began his travels to the betterment of library and information science. Wasserman ends his book with a story in which he addresses the issue of "change." Given as a commencement address, the story is one that Wasserman lives by. He maintains that in order to understand society, we need to understand that the only constant in our life may be change. In order to enhance our lives, Wasserman extols the need to utilize change as a means to change. An essential part of the book is the "marching orders" that Wasserman uses to stimulate professional librarians. Anyone reading the orders will be stimulated to re-examine their work, beliefs and goals for their chosen field.

Readers of this book are to expect an intellectual read, as the story of Paul Wasserman is not to be taken lightly. Portions of this book would make for excellent inclusion in library administration and management classes at all library schools in our land. In all, this book can be read a little at a time, and the reader will still discover treasures to aid in the understanding of not only Dr. Wasserman, but also the field of library science.

Ru Story-Huffman
Public Services Librarian
Cumberland College
Williamsburg, KY

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Wenig, Scott A., Straightening the Altars: The Ecclesiastical Vision and Pastoral Achievements of the Progressive Bishops Under Elizabeth I, 1559-1579. Series: Studies in Church History: Vol. 10. Ed. William L. Fox. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2000. 290 pp. ISBN: 0-8204-4437-5.

During the mid-sixteenth century, England underwent a series of religious upheavals as the social pendulum swung back and forth between traditional Roman Catholicism and the newer Protestant faith. The skirmishes over religious practices involved monarchs, Parliament, clergy, and the laity. As Patrick Collinson has pointed out in the past, the Reformation occurred from both above and below. Accordingly, scholars need to consider every factor in order to have a clear picture of the events as they occurred. In his work, Straightening the Altars: The Ecclesiastical Vision and Pastoral Achievements of the Progressive Bishops Under Elizabeth I, 1559-1579, Scott Wenig examines these issues in a concise yet detailed manner. The discussion involves the Elizabethan episcopate, the progressive bishops’ vision, the resistance on the part of the Crown and the Puritans, portraits of the Reformers, and lastly, an analysis of unsuccessful and successful conversion efforts by the bishops at the diocesan level. Through these points, Wenig constructs a useful model for analyzing these points.

The "Introduction" provides an insightful opening to Wenig’s discussion. His historiographical summation includes great historians whose views span all sides of this area. His figures include a timeline as well as a diagram of Collinson’s point noted above. Indeed, through these devices, the author serves notice to the reader that he intends to discuss a variety of viewpoints in his work.

Chapter 1 looks at the episcopate. The discussion focuses first on the composition of this body in light of the Elizabethan legislation of 1559-1571. Then, the author shifts to the various instances where reforms were enforced namely Episcopal visitations, Church Courts, the Convocation of 1563, the Parliament of 1566, and the Canons of 1571. Finally, the discussion moves to the reformer’s efforts to bring their clerical brethren into the fold.

Chapter 2 focuses on the reformers’ vision and the need for compromise. In this regard, the author analyzes the revolutionary effects of these forces on the English Church: Continental reformist theology, the change in authority over the episcopate from Pope to monarch, the differing nature and function of this body, and the changes in the Prayer Book dating from 1559. To his credit, Wenig also considers the arguments of the reactionary forces to the Episcopate’s changes. Due to the need to have both the Crown and the Catholics with them, the Bishops reformed their vision accordingly.

Chapter 3 details the issues within the Protestant camp. First, the issues with the Crown receive consideration. Elizabeth I had issues pertaining to clerical vestments, the eradication of images, and clerical marriage. In her own view, while church reform held vital importance, she did not want to totally abandon the past. As the author notes, she wanted to maintain a via media. Then, the Presbyterians’ issue of vestimental conformity receives attention. Finally, the chapter also discusses the Puritans’ concerns with the reformers’ conceptual Church government. Within the reformist camp, many issues needed to be addressed before reforms could be applied at the diocesan level.

Chapter 4 details the accomplishments of three leading reformist bishops during the 1560s. John Jewel’s efforts in Salisbury are detailed first. Then, Edwin Sandy’s career in Worcester receives attention. Finally, James Pilkington. In each case, the author covers the individual’s background, the condition of the diocese prior to the person’s arrival, the person’s plan to reform the area, and a summary of the plan. To his credit, the author picked two examples where the dioceses in question remained Catholic (Durham and Worcester) in addition to his example of his success story (Salisbury) and accounts for the factors affecting these processes.

Chapter 5 provides an account of the career of Richard Cox in the Diocese of Ely for the whole period of this study. In addition to giving those details, which were in the other accounts, Wenig created a more longitudinal study of the Ely situation. The reform process occurred in two parts (1560-67 and 1568-77) consisting of four and five phases a piece respectively. The situations with the Puritans and Familists are included as well.

The Conclusion combines the historiography (from the Introduction) with some summations and questions for the reader. In this section, Wenig provides a solid departure point for further discussion on this topic.

The tables contained in Wenig’s Appendix A are very detailed and include presentments from Episcopal visitations as well as from Church courts. In these tables, the reader finds a listing of offenses as well as quantities of each individual type of case. His bibliography is substantial.

The work has one weakness—and that is in its length. The author has provided us with a solid argument and model for consideration. However, some of his points remain underdeveloped. For instance, why were Durham, Worcester, and Salisbury only given short accounts while Ely received greater coverage? In addition, adding other longitudinal studies in regards to another Protestant diocese and at least two recusant areas could strengthen the work.

Straightening the Altars provides a solid framework for addressing the social implications of the English Reformation. This reviewer eagerly anticipates the further development of his ideas in future works.

David J. Duncan
Wichita State University
duncan@twsuvm.uc.twsu.edu

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