Kenneth Kister

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Kenneth F. Kister (born November 3, 1935) is an academic, professor of library science and authority in the field of reference and information sources. [1]

Library science is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources; and the political economy of information. Martin Schrettinger, a Bavarian librarian, coined the discipline within his work (1808–1828) Versuch eines vollständigen Lehrbuchs der Bibliothek-Wissenschaft oder Anleitung zur vollkommenen Geschäftsführung eines Bibliothekars. Rather than classifying information based on nature-oriented elements, as was previously done in his Bavarian library, Schrettinger organized books in alphabetical order. The first American school for library science was founded by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University in 1887.



As an academic he taught in the 1960s on "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship". [1] As an author, he edited Kister's Best Encyclopedias and Kister's Best Dictionaries, and has written on the history of librarianship.

He is also the biographer of influential librarian and editor Eric Moon.

Eric Edward Moon was a librarian and editor who had a shaping influence on American librarianship in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s as editor-in-chief of Library Journal, president of the American Library Association, and chief editor at Scarecrow Press. Moon was a trailblazer and influential figure instrumental in transforming library professionalism, polity, and social responsibility.


Kister in 1994 gave a qualitative and quantitative comparison of Collier's Encyclopedia with two comparable encyclopaedias, Encyclopædia Britannica and the Encyclopedia Americana . [2] For the quantitative analysis, ten articles were selected at random (circumcision, Charles Drew, Galileo, Philip Glass, heart disease, IQ, panda bear, sexual harassment, Shroud of Turin and Uzbekistan) and letter grades (A–D, F) were awarded in four categories: coverage, accuracy, clarity, and recency. In all four categories and for all three encyclopaedias, the four average grades fell between B− and B+, chiefly because not one encyclopaedia had an article on sexual harassment in 1994. In the accuracy category, Collier's received one D and seven As. Encyclopedia Americana received eight As, and the Britannica received one D and eight As; thus, Collier's received an average score of 92% for accuracy to Americana's 95% and Britannica’s 92%. In the timeliness category, Collier's averaged an 85% to Americana 90% and Britannica’ 86%. After a more thorough qualitative comparison of all three encyclopedias, Kister recommended Collier's Encyclopedia primarily on the strength of its writing, presentation and navigation.

<i>Colliers Encyclopedia</i>

Collier's Encyclopedia was a United States-based general encyclopedia published by Crowell, Collier and Macmillan. Self-described in its preface as "a scholarly, systematic, continuously revised summary of the knowledge that is most significant to mankind", it was long considered one of the three major contemporary English-language general encyclopedias, together with Encyclopedia Americana and Encyclopædia Britannica: the three were sometimes collectively called "the ABCs".

<i>Encyclopædia Britannica</i> General knowledge English-language encyclopaedia

The Encyclopædia Britannica, formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia. It was written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors. The 2010 version of the 15th edition, which spans 32 volumes and 32,640 pages, was the last printed edition.

<i>Encyclopedia Americana</i> encyclopedic dictionary

Encyclopedia Americana is one of the largest general encyclopedias in the English language. Following the acquisition of Grolier in 2000, the encyclopedia has been produced by Scholastic.


"in-depth evaluations of 77 general encyclopedias, including electronic products; reviews of some 800 subject-specific encyclopedias (covering 29 subjects); and reviews of 44 foreign language encyclopedias covering nine languages."
"..well written, impeccably documented, and extensively indexed. It should be in the collections of academic libraries throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, particularly those serving institutions with graduate programs in library and information science." [3]

Related Research Articles

<i>Chamberss Encyclopaedia</i> book

Chambers's Encyclopaedia was founded in 1859 by William and Robert Chambers of Edinburgh and became one of the most important English language encyclopaedias of the 19th and 20th centuries, developing a reputation for accuracy and scholarliness that was reflected in other works produced by the Chambers publishing company. The encyclopaedia is no longer produced. A selection of illustrations and woodblocks used to produce the first two editions of the encyclopaedia can be seen on a digital resource hosted on the National Museums Scotland website.

Compton's Encyclopedia and Fact-Index is a home and school encyclopedia first published in 1922 as Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia. The word "Pictured" was removed from the title with the 1968 edition. The encyclopedia is now advertised as Compton's by Britannica.

William Smellie (encyclopedist) Scottish master printer, naturalist, antiquary, editor and encyclopedist

William Smellie (1740–1795) was a Scottish printer who edited the first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. He was also a naturalist and antiquary, who was joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, co-founder of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and a friend of Robert Burns.

Grolier Publisher of educational and reference books

Grolier is one of the largest U.S. publishers of general encyclopedias, including The Book of Knowledge (1910), The New Book of Knowledge (1966), The New Book of Popular Science (1972), Encyclopedia Americana (1945), Academic American Encyclopedia (1980), and numerous incarnations of a CD-ROM encyclopedia (1986–2003).

The New Book of Knowledge is an encyclopedia intended primarily for children from 3rd to 8th grades.

Philip Whitehead Goetz was the Executive Editor for the first version of the 15th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. More importantly, he was the Chief Editor for the second version of the 15th edition, which was a massive revision and re-organization of the Britannica.

David Collier is Chancellor's Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He works in the fields of comparative politics, Latin American politics, and methodology. His co-authored and co-edited methodological work includes Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards, 2nd expanded edition; Statistical Models and Causal Inference: A Dialogue with the Social Sciences; and The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. Collier is engaged in ongoing projects on the challenges of integrating quantitative and qualitative methods and of using this integrated perspective to gain new leverage in conceptualization, measurement, and causal inference.

<i>Everymans Encyclopaedia</i> Encyclopaedia from 1913

Everyman's Encyclopaedia is an encyclopedia published by Joseph Dent from 1913 as part of the Everyman's Library.

<i>The Sesame Street Dictionary</i> illustrated childrens dictionary featuring Muppets from the TV show Sesame Street

The Sesame Street Dictionary is an illustrated children's dictionary featuring Muppet characters from the popular television show Sesame Street. First published in 1980, it contains short definitions and sample sentences for around 1300 words, each accompanied by an illustration featuring a character from Sesame Street. In 1986, the dictionary was also issued as an 8-volume set under the title Big Bird's Sesame Street Dictionary. Kermit the Frog's nephew Robin the Frog makes a cameo in this book on the page "frogs", also Miss Piggy makes a cameo in the book on the page "magazines" on a book called "Stars".

This is intended to be as comprehensive as possible list of encyclopedias and encyclopedic/biographical dictionaries ever published in any language. The list will not include reprinted editions but it is intended to list an alphabetical bibliography by theme and language to anything which resembles an A-Z encyclopedia or encyclopedic dictionary, both print and online. Entries are in the English language unless specifically stated as otherwise. Several entries may overlap and be listed under several different topics. For a simple list without bibliographic information see Lists of encyclopedias.

This is a list of encyclopedias and encyclopedic/biographical dictionaries published on the subject of astronomy and astronomers in any language. Entries are in the English language except where noted.

This is a list of encyclopedias and encyclopedic/biographical dictionaries published on the subject of art and artists in any language. Entries are in the English language unless stated as otherwise.

This is a list of encyclopedias and encyclopedic/biographical dictionaries published on the subject of business, information and information technology, economics and businesspeople in any language. Entries are in the English language except where noted.

This is a list of encyclopedias and encyclopedic/biographical dictionaries published on the subject of geography and geographers in any language. Entries are in the English language except where noted.

The New Standard Encyclopedia was the most common name for an encyclopedia that ran from 1910 to the mid-1960s.

The Volume Library was a one volume general reference work that was published from 1911 to 1985. It remained as a two or three volume reference work until at least 2004.


  1. 1 2, available on Internet Archive  :
  2. Kister, KF (1994). Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias (2nd ed.). Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press. ISBN   0-89774-744-5.