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Introducing the New LLLI Group Bibliography

from LEAVEN, Vol. 32 No. 1, February-March 1996, pp. 5-6
by Diane Beckman
Cary, North Carolina, USA

The Group Library usually takes the form of boxes or crates brimming with paperback and hardbound volumes--years of collective, heartfelt wisdom. It supplements the magic of mother-to-mother contact women experience at Series Meetings. The library table can be the "hearth" of a Series Meeting, a gathering place where mothers browse and select, where they draw sparks of warmth to take home and enjoy in the quiet of a nap-filled afternoon or late night read-fest.

The mother-tested books in a Group Library encourage and educate; they reinforce beliefs and choices. As a Leader, I enjoy playing matchmaker at the library table, putting mothers together with books that address concerns and meet needs for facts, entertainment or emotional support. As an experienced mother and Leader, I trust my Group Library to offer the books I need to face the most recent parenting challenge or continue my breastfeeding education. I look forward to poring over the latest LLLI Catalogue and choosing new books.

Just as we keep our fireplaces clean and stocked with fresh wood and kindling, it is important to keep Group Libraries attractive and current. New books on breastfeeding, childbirth and parenting are published daily; old books are revised or go out of print. Trying to keep up-to-date with publications is like trying to photograph a fast-moving stream. But help is on the way!

The 1995 update of the LLLI Group Bibliography (LLLI No. 460) is now available. This Information Sheet acquaints Leaders with new titles evaluated by the LLLI Book Committee since the last LLLI Group Bibliography was published in 1989. Following the format of earlier editions, the first page explains the purpose of the Group Library and guides Leaders in building a basic library and choosing additional titles.

Section I of the bibliography contains books recommended for Group Libraries, those published by LLLI. (To bring this list up-to-date, be sure to pencil in the new cookbook unveiled at the 1995 LLLI Conference: WHOLE FOODS FOR KIDS TO COOK.) Section II lists additional titles, books from publishers other than LLLI. This section is organized by topic: Breastfeeding, Childbirth and Pregnancy, Parenting, Children's Books, Nutrition, Special Situations, Professional, Technical and Advocacy.

The bibliography provides the following information for books in Sections I and II: title, author, publisher, publication date, whether the title is available from LLLI and whether a summary of the book appeared in the 1984 or 1989 Group Bibliography.

One important change in the 1995 Group Bibliography is the elimination of the "Leader Reference" section. There is no longer a category of books that should not be brought to Series Meetings. Of course, Leaders should use discretion when displaying books at meetings, just as they use good judgment when purchasing books for the Group. For example, in some Groups, technical books may not be of interest to mothers. In another Group where teens or breastfeeding advocacy are popular topics, the librarian could recommend that new books on those subjects be purchased and displayed at meetings.

Building on the 1988 Historical Bibliography, the 1995 Group Bibliography includes a third section of two alphabetical listings by title: "Suitable for Group Libraries" and "Deleted Books." "Suitable for Group Libraries" contains books from Sections I and II arranged by title and author for easy reference. "Deleted Books" lists older titles that may be removed from the Group's collection. As stated in bold print on the first page of the new Group Bibliography, Groups are not required to remove these titles from their libraries at this time. Most of these books were published before 1980; many are out of print. Groups may have favorites on this list that they prefer to keep in their library. However, it is helpful to take an annual inventory of the Group Library and evaluate the collection according to current needs.

If it is appropriate to thin the library and cull books, begin with books on the deleted list. When adding to the library, choose books from "Suitable for Group Libraries." This is also a good time to make sure your Group has the most current edition of recommended books such as the 1991 edition of THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING and the third edition (1992) of A Good Birth, A Safe Birth.

The only books which do need to be removed from Group Libraries are those listed as deleted in the 1988 Historical Bibliography. A list of these titles follows at the end of the article.

A Group librarian may discover books in her library with some version of the following disclaimer: "Not approved by La Leche League." This is not an acceptable practice; these books should also be removed from the library.

Choosing new books for the Group Library

It is helpful to order books published and/or distributed by LLLI from Headquarters or the national office of your Affiliate. Leaders can take advantage of discounts as well as contribute to the financial health of LLLI. These books are listed in the LLLI Catalogue (No. 501) and Leader Order Form (No. 500a). Books listed in the Group Bibliography that are not distributed by LLLI are generally available through bookstores.

Many new titles in the 1995 Group Bibliography have not appeared in the LLLI Catalogue and are not available from LLLI. It is helpful to actually see these books before considering them for your Group Library. You can preview these titles at LLLI or Area Conferences or look for them in well-stocked bookstores or libraries. I have had good results ordering books through interlibrary loan at my public library.

One newly approved book I obtained in this way was My Precious Child by Mary Williams. This collection of photographs provides, as the subtitle indicates, "affirmations for the child within." This is a lovely book for parents and children. It is a fun book as well as a powerful one, helping you reflect on messages you may wish you had heard more clearly as a child.

It can be beneficial to work with a local independent bookstore. In preparing the revision of the Group Bibliography, I spent many hours using the CD-ROM listing of Books in Print at two local stores. Other benefits include ordering a wide selection of books through the bookstore for Area Conferences. One store in North Carolina, USA, even donates 10% of the retail price to our Area when anyone buys a book and mentions LLL of North Carolina!

However you obtain books, it is well worth your time to follow the guidelines in the LEADER'S HANDBOOK for covering them with clear plastic. As Area Resource Librarian, I can attest that covered books have a much greater survival rate!

How books get included in the Group Bibliography

In addition to the books published by LLLI, books considered for inclusion in Group Libraries are sent to LLLI Headquarters by publishers or recommended to the Book Committee and LLLI Publications Staff by Leaders. If you have read a book that you would like included, the quickest way to bring it to the attention of the Book Committee is to send two copies of the book to Betsy Liotus at LLLI Headquarters.

Books are sent to the chairmen of the Book Committee, Leaders Kathe Catone and Jan Taylor in California, USA. Kathe and Jan in turn distribute these books to Leaders who have volunteered to serve as evaluators for the Book Committee. As evaluators, we read the books and fill out a form with our recommendation. Each book is read by at least three evaluators. Some evaluators also write reviews for NEW BEGINNINGS or LEAVEN.

The Book Committee plans to provide annual updates to the LLLI Group Bibliography. In addition to evaluating new books, we are also at work writing the "Book Summaries" to include in the next update. Volunteers for any of these tasks should contact Betsy Liotus at LLLI Headquarters.

Ed. Note: Book approval procedures may vary in Affiliate countries. Check Affiliate guidelines for Group Libraries.

LLLI Deleted Books (1988)

These books should be removed from LLL Group Libraries.

ABC of Natural Childbirth, The--Gelb
Abreast of the Times--Applebaum
Awake and Aware--Charbon
Baby Dance--Markowitz
Best-Fed Babies--Stewart
Breastfeeding--Media Medica
Breastfeeding and Working--Cahill
Breastfeeding Your Baby--Children's Bureau
Can What a Child Eats Make Him Dull, Stupid or Hyperactive?--Crook
Cesarean (R)evolution, The--Meyer
Childbirth Is Natural--Francis
Children: The Challenge--Driekurs
Commonsense Childbirth--Hazell
Complete Book of Breastfeeding, The--Eiger & Olds
Education and Counseling for Childbirth--Kitzinger
Enjoy Your Child--Hymes
Everything You Need to Know About Babies--McDonald
Exercises for True Natural Childbirth--Hartmann
Experience of Breastfeeding, The--Kitzinger
Family Book of Child Care--Newton
Feeding Your Baby and Child--Spock
Food, The Yearbook of Agriculture
Good Things for Babies--Jones
Grandmother Conspiracy Exposed, The--Coffin
Harvard Developing Child Series--Bruner
How the Maternity Nurse Can Help the Breastfeeding Mother--Countryman
How to Influence Children--Schaefer
Infant Care--Government Guide
Joy of Natural Childbirth--Wessel
Learning for Little Kids--Jones
Management of Successful Lactation--Child & Family
Mentally Retarded Child at Home--Dittman
Montessori in the Home
More Than Sandpaper Letters--Petrutis
Natural Childbirth and the Christian Family--Wessel
Natural Childbirth Primer--Dick-Read
New Childbirth, The--Wright
Nursing Mother, The--Richardson
Please Breastfeed Your Baby--Gerard
Relax! Here's Your Baby--Gamper
Rights of Infants, The--Ribble
White Paper on Infant Feeding Practices--Citizens' Committee on Infant Nutrition
Wonder of Sex, The--Willkie
You and Allergy--Crook
Your Child and Allergy--Crook

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