Using the MAA's List of Library Recommendations
The MAA’s list of recommendations for undergraduate libraries, known at the “Basic Library List” or “BLL”, is intended to help mathematics faculty and mathematics librarians choose books for their collections.
How to Search It
To find books on the current list, use the “advanced search”: put in some search criteria, then scroll down and click on “Only show books in BLL.” For example, you might choose a topic, then restrict to BLL books to see what the committee recommends in that topic.
The recommendations carry varying degrees of strength. A book listed without stars is one the committee suggests for consideration. At the other extreme, a book with three stars is one the committee thinks every library should have. If you want to see only books that received one or more stars, search on the string “BLL*” (put it in quotes, and add more stars if you want).
We don’t recommend trying to find all the books in the BLL… but if you must, one way of doing it is to search for books in a sufficiently wide range of prices, say from $0 to $1012.
How to Use It
We hope mathematics faculty can use the BLL in various ways. In particular, it can be used to assess your library’s mathematics collection. You might start by looking at the full list of BLL*** books and checking how many of those are currently in your library, then proceed to examine the books with lower ratings. Keep in mind that books that are listed with no stars are books that the committee “suggests that libraries consider.” In other words, they are good books that libraries might want to have if other factors (local research interests, for example) make them desirable. The actual recommendations start at the BLL* level.
We don’t update the BLL very frequently, as that would just make it very confusing. When we do make changes, we record them and post them to the “about the BLL” page. Check out those logs to find out what books were added or removed, and also whether star ratings have changed.
Can I Help?
Yes. Contact Tamara Lakins, the chair of the BLL Committee.