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Dictionary of Development; Third World Economy, Environment, Society.
Edited by Brian W. W. Welsh and Pavel Butorin.
New York: Garland, 1990.
ISBN: 0–824–01447–2, two volumes.

It is satisfying to observe the flow of valuable new reference works about the Third World. Recent additions to the information shelf include a revised edition of the Third World Economic Handbook (London: Euromonitor, 1989), and the World Bank’s latest issues of development indicators, Poverty; World Development Report 1990 (New York; Oxford University Press, 1990). Let us now welcome a strong newcomer to the ranks, this 1,194 page compilation of data, definitions, descriptions of organizations, explanations of acronyms, and concise topical articles. A useful list of about 750 periodicals devoted to development topics appears in the second volume, probably the most thorough such inventory available.

Among the topical entries we find good treatments of anticipated subjects like “Development Planning,” “Tobacco,” and “Women and Development”; but also essays on the unexpected, like “Child Sale,” “Gene Banks,” and “Mud Stoves.” Readers of this journal will be disappointed, however, to find no entry on Libraries, although there is a three–page article on “Computers and Development.” The computer essay is rather general and does not mention the most promising technology for Third World purposed, CD–ROM. Another disappointment is the lack of an index — a curious defect in a modern encyclopedic work. Cross–referencing is generous, but it cannot take the place of a professional subject index.

A good notion of “Developing Country Indicators” gives basic data on each nation, and adds some useful figures not generally found (e.g., percent of population with access to drinking water, literacy rate for women, and arms expenditures as percent of GNP.) Sources are given for all these figures. It is convenient to find also, for each country, the “degree of international participation” — a list of affiliations and agreements the country has entered into.

It appears that the two editors have written all the articles (no other authors are indentified) — an impressive achievement indeed. They have maintained a balanced point of view in controversial subjects, and have provided current, if brief, bibliographies after many of the entries. Altogether this Dictionary is to be commended. A second edition will deserve even more commendation if it is indexed.

About the Author

Guy A. Marco, editor of Third World Libraries, has two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Rosary College School of Library and Information Science. Dr. Marco has been a Librarian in the Chicago City College, Dean of the Kent State University Library School, Director of the San Jose State University Library School, Chief of the General Reference and Bibliography Division at the Library of Congress, and Chief of Library Activities for the U.S. Army at Fort Dix. His international activities have included consulting on library and library education matters for governments of Tanzania (then Tanganyika), Malta, Iran, Nigeria, Finland, and Hungary. He was a senior partner in the British–based firm Library Development Consultants International, which had contracts in 42 countries. His publications include five books and about 150 articles and reviews. He has been active in IFLA, and taught three summers at the International Graduate Summer School, College of Librarianship Wales.

© 1991 Guy A. Marco.

 

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