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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. 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).

How to Search It

To find books on the current list, use the “browse MAA Reviews” page: if you choose a BLL rating, the list will be restricted to books in the BLL and having that rating. If you choose "Has BLL" you will find all books that are on the list. The listing can also be filtered by topic.

It is currently not possible to find all the books in the BLL on one page… but if you really need such a list, contact the MAA for availability.

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.

Can I Help?

Yes. Contact Tamara Lakins, the chair of the BLL Committee.

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