Monday, July 06, 2009

Book Reviews--We Need More of Them

Sanford Levinson has a wonderful article in the May 2009 Texas Law Review, "The Vanishing Book Review in Student-Edited Law Reviews and Potential Responses." What he does not mention in his excellent article is how much a librarian like myself relies upon book reviews for collection development and reference. A good review compares a book to others in the field and points out its strengths and weaknesses. The New York Law Journal's book reviews have helped me develop reference skills. I would like more reviews of practice books, something Levinson does not mention. I don't like relying on publishers' blurbs. Law reviews from the 1950s and 1960s evaluated practice books. Those articles are so valuable. I have used them to help me weed collections. I need reviews on current publications.

1 comment:

Betsy McKenzie said...

Don't overlook the book reviews being posted on the AALL Spectrum blog. This is covering more of the practice type materials. Visit
Or go to
and look for book reviews under the categories on the right hand side of the main page.