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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Reference Books You Should Know About

Now is the time of year when many of the almanacs, directories and annuals are updated.  We have just gotten several new titles in that are currently at the Information Desk, but will find their way to the Reference Collection shortly.

There is a new 2012 Time Magazine Almanac full of fun facts to know and tell, and a good companion book, the Sport’s Illustrated Magazine Almanac of sports facts and trivia.  If you are planning to try out to be on Jeopardy, these are great books to memorize!  Roger Ebert is still compiling his Movie Yearbook and the 2012 edition is out just in time for the Oscars. 

The business directory for the Building and Construction trade is The Blue Book and the 2012 issue has just been released.  They also have a website at  This is a yellow pages type directory and the edition we have is for Central and Southern New Jersey.  If you are planning any home improvements this spring, you may want to consult this directory for contractors and building products.   

There are several business directories that are often overlooked in favor of Internet based listings that concentrate on New Jersey based businesses.  These resources include a lot of useful data if you are looking for a job or if you are looking to do business with a company in the state.  The first one is the 2012 Harris New Jersey Manufacturer’s Directory.  The listings in this valuable resource include contact information like phone, fax and toll-free numbers, addresses and websites but it also gives the names of the top executives, the number of employees, the date the company was established, its estimated sales figures and its parent company if it is a subsidiary location in NJ.  The directory is divided into six sections including geographic listings by town and county, alphabetic listings and SIC listings making it easy to use. 

Another business information directory that has just arrived is published by NJBIZ.  This is called the Book of Lists – 2012 and includes some very interesting information that would be hard to find anywhere else, but you may not think of looking in here either.  There are two Tables of Contents – one by category and one alphabetically by the name of the list.  The first section, List Leaders, is a “Summary list of No. 1 companies on NJBIZ in 2011,” a great list of places to start your job search particularly when you are just starting out.  The lists that have been compiled and included are divided into categories such as Banking and Finance, Education, Energy, Heath Care and Pharmaceuticals, and Real Estate to name a few and cover a wide range of information and rankings.  For instance, there is a section called Employment that includes lists of the “Best Places to Work in N.J.” for companies in two size categories, CEO Compensation and the Largest Employers in the state.  There is a Miscellaneous category that includes among others a list of the Best-Selling Automobiles, the Highest Paid Athletes and the Wealthiest Large Municipalities.  This might be a good directory to browse through at your leisure to see what is included so that you might know what kinds of information is readily available.  You never know when you might want a list of the Casinos or MBA programs in our great Garden State. 

The American Diabetes Association publishes The Complete Guide to Diabetes and the 2012 edition is out.  This should include the latest research about the disease and any new information you might need to live comfortably with the disease. 

Another great book that is out in time to make summer plans is Summer Jobs and we have just gotten the Worldwide 2012 edition.  This little directory lists summer job opportunities around the world.  They may be jobs in the tourist industry, such as working in hotels, campsites, resorts or for sports and activities holidays; working in agriculture; teaching in schools and summer camps; and working with children.  The directory also has a nice introduction that gives useful information about the type of work available and how to apply, including how to create the perfect CV to submit. 

One of my favorite resources on the Ready Reference shelf has always been the Statistical Abstract of the United States and the 2012 edition is out which will include data from the 2010 Census.  If you need to know any statistical information about the US and/or many countries, from population to military expenditures and manpower and everything in between and this is the book where you can find it!  It is well indexed, but a word of warning; the numbers in the index are the table numbers, not the page numbers.  All of the statistics are given in table form with a description to follow.  The source of the statistic is listed in the fine print below the table. 

Don’t forget that there is still a lot of information, vetted and reviewed, that can be obtained the old-fashioned way in a book with covers, a spine and actual paper pages!

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