OP5: Indexing children’s books

K.G.B. Bakewell and Paula L. Williams, Indexing children’s books (Society of Indexers Occasional Paper 5)

ISBN 1 871577 21 7; vii + 66 pp

Available in the SI-Shop

The fifth in the Society of Indexers’ series of Occasional Papers, Indexing children’s books, based on the authors’ investigation of indexes to children’s information books, makes thought-provoking reading and is still relevant today. The paper contains many ideas for making indexes as child-friendly as possible, with examples of good and bad practice. The role of indexing in the National Curriculum is discussed: the authors examined the use of indexes by children at Key Stage 2 as part of their research. Indexing children’s books will be useful to librarians, teachers and others concerned with helping children to assimilate information, as well as to those working in publishing.


  • Written in clear, jargon-free language … a thoroughly useful book. (Newsletter of the Education Librarians Group)
  • Children still need to use books with indexes, and skill in using indexes will help them in searching the internet. (The Indexer, April 2001)
  • … valuable reading for anyone who is interested in the use of information books by children …. Deserves to be read widely by everyone with an interest in children and their learning. (Gill Swash, in New Library World, No. 1162, 2001)
  • … written in clear, jargon-free language, is easy to use and has a very good index of its own … a thoroughly useful book … (Val Rowland, in ELG News – Newsletter of the Educational Libraries Group of the Library Association, Spring 2001)
  • … an eye-opening read to anyone who would like to think more about indexes and their use with children. (Geoff Dubber, in School Librarian, Spring 2001)
  • The findings of this careful study … will be of great help to teachers, librarians and parents, as well as writers and publishers of children’s information books. (Margaret Mallett, in Times Educational Supplement, 11 Nov 2000)
  • It does provide an array of useful suggestions for making indexes in nonfiction books for young audiences as child-friendly as possible  … will stimulate a greater awareness among publishers, authors, and indexers of children’s nonfiction books of the value of indexes as educational tools. (Phyllis Schwager, in IASC/SCAD Bulletin, Summer 2001)
  • … informative and well-written … (Marcy Brown, in Key Words, Jan/Feb 2001)
  • This study threw up some important points … useful feedback on what the index users found useful in index entries and layout. (Cheryl Lanyon, in Copyright, March/April 2002)