Librarians Contribute to Engineering Reference Book

January 17, 2012

More and more transportation engineering information is a mouse click or two away, but just how good is that information?

Who would know better than a transportation librarian? Which is why two of UC Berkeley’s transportation librarians were tapped to write the chapter on transportation engineering for the newly released second edition of Using the Engineering Literature.

The 526-page reference book, published by CRC Press, breaks down engineering into 18 subspecialties, from aeronautical and aerospace engineering to transportation engineering, and offers up a thorough guide to where the best and most up-to-date information can be found: online or in print.

Bonnie Osif, an engineering librarian and editor of the book, first approached UC Berkeley’s Transportation Library Director Rita Evans in 2003 and asked her to contribute a chapter on transportation engineering resources for the book’s first edition, which was published in 2005.

More recently, Evans and Kendra Levine, Reference and Outreach Librarian, were asked to update and revise the chapter for the second edition, which was published last month.

“We strove to identify the best—most authoritative, most complete, most up-to-date—resources,” said Evans, including the addition of many more electronic entries.

Resources include websites and portals, databases and datasets, journals, conference proceedings, handbooks, manuals, and textbooks.

The authors provide not only a description of what is covered in each reference, but categorize them according to transportation mode. For example, in the section devoted to handbooks and manuals, there are subsections on highways and traffic, nonmotorized transportation, pipelines, public transportation, railroads, and vehicles.

“The fact that we have been asked to make this contribution is a testament to the reputation of the Transportation Library,” said Evans. “We really are a national resource for transportation engineering information.”

A copy of the book is available—where else?—in the Transportation Library.