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Goshen Public Library and Historical Society

Across the Reference Desk

by Anita Whitehead

October 20, 1999

One of the many benefits of belonging to the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) is the ability to call upon experts for assistance. At the end of this summer, we did just that. At our request, Newburgh Free Library, which serves as the main reference library for all RCLS libraries, sent their Head of Reference, Jim Halpin, to the Goshen Public Library to evaluate our reference collection.

Over a period of several hours, he examined each reference book and explained its value, or lack of value, to the Goshen community. He also looked at the collection as a whole and picked out areas of strength and weakness. Overall, Halpin thinks that the Goshen collection is in good shape. He pointed out that our medical books need to be constantly updated and that we could eliminate some business titles now available for free on the Internet. He also commented on physical aspects of the reference collection, noticing that our books are overcrowded and that some of the shelves we use are too high or too low for comfortable use. Clearly we need more space for reference services.

Relying on his many years of reference experience and his excellent memory for titles and content Halpin was able to recommend individual books that would help round out our reference collection. We would like to add his suggestions to our "Adopt-A-Book" program. New titles include: Nolo's Everyday Law Book, $21.95, Peterson's Sports Scholarships, $24.95, Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, $39.95, Medical Directory of New York State, $125, Physicians' Guide to Rare Diseases, $115.25, Country Music Encyclopedia, $40, Sports Illustrated Almanac, $12.95, Persian Gulf War Almanac, $35, Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms, $10.95, Torah: The Five Books of Moses, $18.95, Butlers Lives of the Saints, $299, Every Landlord's Legal Guide, $34.95. The complete list of books we would like to own is on display near the reference desk.

The "Adopt-A-Book" program has been very well received by our patrons. To date seven titles have been adopted. We would like to thank those who have generously agreed to purchase a reference book: Rudy and Karen Krack, in honor of Charles Larger, Jr.; Martha Bowman, in honor of Pauline Bowman; Judith Farrell; Marie Merlo, in honor of Ben Gentile, Sr.; Rudy Krack in honor of Marie M. Krack; Pauline Jaemi, and Chris Kehoe, in honor of Elsie R. Jung; Karen Brock, in honor of the Sarah Wells Girl Scouts Board of Trustees.

If you are interested in participating in our adoption program, stop by the library and select a book. Books could be related to your field of work or hobby or interests, or just be something that you agree we should own. Books may be adopted by individuals or groups or clubs and may be a memorial or tribute to someone special. Book donation forms are available at the circulation desk. The completed application may be left, with your check payable to the Goshen Public Library & Historical Society, at the circulation desk for the attention of Pauline Kehoe, Director.

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