May 22, 2007

"Using the Engineering Literature" Wins ELD's Best Reference Work Award 2007

.: The 2006 publication Using the Engineering Literature, edited by Bonnie A Osif, is the recipient of the 2007 ASEE Engineering Libraries Division's Best Reference Work Award (previous winners listed here). The award will be presented at the 2007 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition in Hawaii in late June.

Congratulations to Bonnie and to the many authors (my University of Alberta engineering librarian colleague Jerry Kowalyk and myself included!) who contributed to this significant work. It is an honour to receive such recognition.

January 15, 2007

Using the Engineering Literature, Bonnie Osif, ed - A Review

.: Happy New Year everyone! I am pleased to report on a very positive review for the book, Using the Engineering Literature, edited with love and care by the amazing Bonnie Osif at Penn State. (Having a chapter in the book myself has nothing to do with my enthusiasm!) :-)

The review by Roddy MacLeod appears in the Internet Resources Newsletter, n146, December 2006. Roddy writes:

As Bonnie Osif, the editor of this impressive work, points out, quality information retrieval skills are often lacking in the engineering profession. The publication of Using the engineering literature will hopefully go some way to rectifying this situation, and will help those within, and without, the profession to discover and exploit the many information tools that exist – some of which are at present unfortunately underused.

This book is targeted at practicing engineers, engineering librarians and library school students. It consists of twenty chapters, written mostly, but not exclusively, by engineering librarians in North America, and amounts to 614 pages, including an excellent 65-page index. Each chapter covers a sub-discipline within engineering, apart from the first two (which provide an Introduction by the editor, and a chapter covering general engineering resources). The remaining chapters consist of an introduction to the sub-disciplines in question (Aeronautical and aerospace engineering, Agricultural and food engineering, Architectural engineering, Bioengineering, etc) and a full analysis of the most important information resources by format.

The basics are covered very well. There are hints on searching library catalogues (relevant Library of Congress subject headings are suggested). The main abstracting and indexing services are listed and described, as are subject specific databases, bibliographies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopaedias, handbooks, textbooks, journals, websites, search engines and portals, conference proceedings, reports, gray literature, professional associations, data compilations, standards and yearbooks.

A lot of work has gone into compiling this book, and the resulty is an extremely useful reference work which should be purchased by all libraries serving engineers of any kind.

© 2006 Heriot-Watt University

My thanks to Roddy on behalf of Bonnie, my chapter co-authors and myself for this very positive review. Roddy writes, "A lot of work has gone into compiling this book", and having experienced this first hand, I can tell you he knows of which he writes. I put more work into my chapter (on petroleum engineering and refining) than on anything else I have ever written. It was well worth the effort, however, to be able to give something back to the world of engineering libraries.

The book is also mentioned briefly in ASCE News, v31 n9 September 2006. The review suggests that "It is hoped that this publication will guide all ASCE members, whether students or practicing engineers, to resources that will enhance their work and studies."

August 29, 2006

Using the Engineering Literature - Edited by Bonnie Osif

.: The new book, Using the Engineering Literature, edited by Bonnie A Osif, has finally appeared, and it is a title you will want to add to your engineering reference collections. For novice engineering librarians, it is a must read.

Before I continue, I need to preface any and all remarks made here with the following disclosure: I am the author of one of the chapters in the book, "Petroleum Engineering and Refining", and my good friend and fellow U of Alberta engineering librarian, Mr Jerry Kowalyk, is the author of the chapter, "Mining Engineering". (In fact, a number of good friends and colleagues contributed other chapters as well!) As a result, my enthusiasm for this volume is quite subjective, but that said, I must report that this is a work of critical importance to the field of engineering librarianship.

At 614 pages, Using the Engineering Literature covers a lot of ground. It is divided into 20 chapters, and offers extensive detail and coverage of the following topics and disciplines: general engineering resources, aeronautical and aerospace engineering, agricultural and food engineering, architectural engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, engineering education, environmental engineering, history of engineering, industrial and manufacturing engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, mining engineering, nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering and refining, and transportation engineering.

I hope to return with another post soon, with further details and a brief review. I want to congratulate Bonnie for her support, encouragement, and brilliant editing and indexing, and for putting up with (way too) many e-mails from me asking when the book would be published. As well, the most heartfelt and well-deserved congratulations to fellow friends and colleagues who contributed chapters to this seminal work. It does feel good to be able to give something back to this great profession. - Randy