Core Books – Reviewing Current Lists

Review the current list for the following:

  • Are the titles still in print?
    • Out of print titles will need to be deleted.
  • Is the information still accurate?
    • Mistakes will need to be updated.
    • Changes in publication information (e.g. hardcover/paperback edition availability, new publisher for same title) will require updates.
    • NOTE: We no longer list each ISBN for each edition availability. One record per title, with one ISBN. Links to all related editions are one click away in LibraryThing, including e-books. Do not duplicate titles for different editions. You are saying “THIS TITLE” is a core book in Women & Gender Studies and the record for that title should be a current and available edition. If the edition/ISBN in LibraryThing is for a hardcover that is no longer in print and there is still a paperback available, delete the record for the hardcover and add a record for the paperback.
    • If there is a new (2nd, 3rd, etc.) edition of the book, that will be a new record. If the earlier edition is no longer in print, you should delete the earlier edition. If the earlier edition is still in print and still core, you can keep it in the database until those factors change (in print, core).
  • Are the titles still “core” for your subject?
    • Delete titles you think are no longer core.
  • Are “essential titles” still deemed as such?
    • Update the record as necessary.

Defining your subject scope and selecting core titles:
With editorial oversight, curators determine the general scope of the subject(s) they maintain. This may vary depending on the subject and the availability of titles within that subject area. The basic understanding of the Core Books project is that titles included are:

  • Books (really!) – This is a Core Books Database. Please do not include journal issues, databases, or media titles.
  • “Core Books” have generally been defined as: books that an academic library supporting an undergraduate or master’s degree in women’s studies should own. Highly esoteric or narrowly-focused doctoral-level titles are generally not included.
  • “Core” is, by definition, not a comprehensive list. Be selective.
  • Each subject has an implicit women’s studies or gender focus and titles should relate to feminist, gender, or women’s issues within that particular subject.
  • Non-academic titles should only be included if the nature of the particular subject truly calls for it. Juvenile titles should not be included. This is an ACRL project geared primarily at academic libraries.
  • Each subject area should include 5-10 titles selected as “Essential titles” in that subject. Think in terms of helping those with limited collection budgets: “If you can’t get all the titles: spend your money on these essential ones.”

Scope notes are provided on the WGSS website home for the database. All lists have the overall scope definition of “in-print” titles. You do not need to include this information in individual scope notes, rather your scope note should focus on the decisions you make about the parameters of the subject itself.