Desert Island Reference

Back in the days before iPods, there was a program called Desert Island Discs. The concept was that you were stranded on a desert island and had to choose only eight albums or CD’s to listen to forever.

Well, I am working a on a project I call Desert Island Reference. In a world where the Internet is the preferred method of beginning any reference search, followed by databases and then print sources, I am trying to plan a small and useful core print reference collection for cruise ship libraries.

Cruise ships sometimes have slow or limited Internet access. Therefore, it is important to have 25-50 volumes on hand to help Librarians answer a wide range of general reference questions. I know I need an almanac, atlas, biographical dictionary and single volume encyclopedia, regular dictionary, thesaurus and Leonard Maltin’s movie guide.

What would you put in your Desert Island Reference collection?


1 thought on “Desert Island Reference”

  1. I’d probably add a Biblical concordance, some sort of music and art sourcebooks (dictionary of art and artists, Oxford dictionary of music & musicians), and what about language dictionaries? Depending on where the cruise ship is going, Spanish/English dictionary, French/English, etc.Fun question! Made me think quite a bit. It would be hard to pare down a reference collection to 50 volumes!

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