Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘dictionaries

It’s easy to think that it’s other people who are the movers and shakers, those who change history and the world. Yet one way we are all agents of change and creativity is in our use of language. According to David Crystal in a blog post Speaking Shakespeare Today:

Conversation is “unpredictable in its subject-matter, and keeps us on our toes. It is unpredictable in its participation: in a group we never quite know who is going to talk next. It is interactive, and therefore unpredictable in the reactions we encounter. It requires us to read between the lines, as people bring their individual backgrounds, presuppositions, and assumptions to bear.”

We could all learn a thing or two about communicating using better presentation skills and interesting words. We could take David’s suggestion and look at what Shakespeare does with words – such as turning a noun into a verb like I did with this blog post title. Tips straight from the Southwark wordsmith.

If you are interested in linguistics and language we have a number of books in the reference collection including the fascinating: From bonbon to cha-cha: Oxford dictionary of foreign words and phrases.

 

 

Religious booksOver the past week we’ve been busy adding dictionaries and books on different religions and beliefs to our Quick Reference section. Ideal for thoughtful contemplation over the festive break…

Here are the dictionaries we’ve added which give explanations of concepts, terms and theories and include biographies of key figures:

Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

The Oxford Dictionary of Saints

Oxford Dictionary of the Bible

The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

The Oxford Dictionary of Popes

A Dictionary of Hinduism

They are supplemented by the excellent A Very Short Introduction series we’ve highlighted before:

God: A Very Short Introduction by Joun Bowker

The New Testament: A Very Short Introduction by Luke Timothy Johnson

Catholicism: A Very Short Introduction by Gerald O’Collins

Rastafari: A Very Short Introduction by Ennis B Edmonds

Islam: A Very Short Introduction by Malise Ruthven

Judaism: A Very Short Introduction by John Solomon

Tibetan Bhuddism: A Very Short Introduction by Matthew T Kapstein

If you are not religious or interested in researching religion then these two from the series on paganism and spirituality will appeal:

Paganism: A Very Short Introduction by Owen Davies

Spirituality: A Very Short Introduction by Philip Sheldrake

 

 

 

 

 

Religious books and dictionaries

We mostly turn to Google when in need of a piece of information.

What is the date for the next bank holiday? (factual information) Who is my MP? (current information)…What is the definition of psychology (subject specific information)?

What did people do before Google? Often they went to the library quick reference shelf. This section of a library or LRC is for consultation only. The books are often heavy tomes because they include many many lists and indices. You have dictionaries, encyclopaedias, almanacs, atlases, handbooks and more. The books on the quick reference shelves aren’t intended to be read cover-to-cover. Instead you can find specific information by looking up a key word (such as date, name or place) in the index which points to where the information is in the main pages (which then may point you to other books to be found elsewhere in the library).

One key thing to bear in mind about Googling is that companies can make a lot of money when you click on the link to their website, there are some extreme examples as to how Google results are not to be trusted. Many of the links are commercial and the information may not be that relevant or authoritative enough for study purposes. Quick reference books are more reliable sources of information than most of the results that Google conjures up. This is because, in getting published regularly, they have gone through a very careful selection and editing process by experts. However you have to keep your critical thinking hat on when looking at all information sources.

Quick reference books need a bit of getting used to again. Most people have forgotten how good a reference book can be and the skills to use them. Although a bit old, a really useful book is the ‘Guide to the use of libraries and information sources’ which offers great advice on using reference books. One illuminating idea is that: “…research begins when the first encyclopaedia the student consults fails to provide the information needed to answer a question or to carry out an assignment, and it becomes necessary to consult several sources.”

We have lots of dictionaries and encyclopaedias on specific subjects with new ones arriving every day at the moment. Don’t be put off by library terminology, the quick reference shelf could be thought of as a starting shelf much like we turn to Google to answer quick queries.


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