Archive for Awards

2016 Notable Books List: Year’s best in fiction, nonfiction and poetry named by RUSA readers’ advisory experts

BOSTON—The Notable Books Council, first established in 1944, has announced the 2016 selections of the Notable Books List, an annual best-of list comprised of twenty six titles written for adult readers and published in the US including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The list was announced Sunday during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The 2016 selections are:

Fiction

“In the Country: Stories” by Mia Alvar. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
Exploring the Filipino experience spanning decades and continents, these fully rendered tales express wonder and sadness leavened with humor.

“The Sellout: A Novel” by Paul Beatty. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Poking the underbellies of many sacred cows, this biting social satire examines race, culture and politics in modern America.

“Did You Ever Have a Family: A Novel” by Bill Clegg. Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
The aftermath of a tragedy and its rippling effects in a small Connecticut town.

“Delicious Foods: A Novel” by James Hannaham. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group.
Themes of race, addiction, wage slavery, and corporate greed coalesce in this startling, darkly comic coming of age odyssey.

“Black River: A Novel” by S.M. Hulse. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
This modern literary Western explores a man’s redemptive journey and the possibility (and cost) of forgiveness.

“Fortune Smiles: Stories” by Adam Johnson. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
Humanity: quirky, disturbing, endearing, striving, resigned, and fascinating.

“The Prophets of Eternal Fjord: A Novel”” by Kim Leine, translated by Martin Aitken. Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton.
An epic and evocative tale of colonialism in Greenland; translated from the Danish.

“The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories” by Anthony Marra. Hogarth, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group.
Beauty and humanity are found in the darkest and grimmest of places in these interconnected pieces.

“The Sympathizer: A Novel”” by Viet Thanh Nguyen.Grove Press.
A half-French, half-Vietnamese man serves as a double agent after the war, and struggles with the contradictions of his identity and loyalties.

“This Is the Life: A Novel” by Alex Shearer. Washington Square Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.
Spare prose mixes with heart-wrenching humor in this gem of a story about two brothers coping with terminal illness.

“The Book of Aron: A Novel” by Jim Shepard. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
The perspective of a boy whose only goal is to live another day gives a sharp edge to the mind-numbing tragedies of the Warsaw Ghetto.

“A Little Life: A Novel” by Hanya Yanagihara. Doubleday, a division of Random House.
A visceral, provocative story of four New York City lives marred by ambition, abuse, and addiction.

Nonfiction

“The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission” by Jim Bell. Dutton, and imprint of Penguin Group.
An enthusiastic account of our reach for intergalactic space — and the people who made it possible.

“Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” by Ali Berman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
A sobering and impassioned popular history of the fight for universal suffrage in the United States.

“The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World” by Joel K. Bourne Jr. WW. Norton and Company.
An agricultural revolution supported our booming population in the twentieth century, but we’ll need another one to sustain us in the years to come.

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House.
Framed as a letter to the author’s teenage son, this chronicle of race in America works as memoir, meditation, and call to action.

“The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle” by Lillian Faderman. Simon & Schuster.
An authoritative, affecting account of the effort to establish and solidify legal rights and cultural acceptance in the United States.

“Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter, Mary Shelley” by Charlotte Gordon. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Frankenstein, this dual biography provides fresh insight about these groundbreaking authors.

“Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House. “Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.” (Penguin Random House, 2015)

“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough. Simon & Schuster.
A strong work ethic and keen observation fueled the quest to conquer manned flight.

“The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery. Atria Books, Simon & Schuster.
A charming, revelatory journey into the world of cephalopods.

“M Train” by Patti Smith. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
Part memoir, part travelogue, and ultimately an elegy to her beloved husband, written by an iconic American artist.

“Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War” by Susan Southard. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Bearing witness to hibakusha, those left behind.

“Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva” by Rosemary Sullivan. HarperCollins.
A portrait of a woman unable to escape the terrible shadow of her father.

Poetry

“Bastards of the Reagan Era” by Reginald Dwayne Betts. Four Way Books.
Drugs, violence, and incarceration during a period of fear and chaos told in a brutal and haunting poetic voice.

“Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems” by Joy Harjo. W.W. Norton.
Folklore, history, personal journeys, and modern times are entwined in this absorbing work by a Native American poet.

The winners were selected by the Notable Books Council whose members include twelve expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The Council considers titles based on stellar reviews published in standard library reviewing sources and other authoritative sources.

The Council includes Liz Marie Kirchhoff (Chair); Kristen Rae Allen-Vogel; Rochelle Redmond Ballard; Victoria Caplinger; Craig Allan Clark; Carol Lynn Gladstein; Dr. Vicki L. Gregory; Marlene A. Harris; Stacey J. Hayman; Sarah Jaffa; Elizabeth M. Joseph; Mary Callaghan “Cal” Zunt.

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Year’s most Outstanding Business Reference Sources announced by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

BOSTON—The annual list of the most Outstanding Business Reference Sources was announced by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

Each year, the Business Reference Sources Committee of BRASS selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed 20 entries; of these, two were designated as “Outstanding,” seven were selected as “Notable,” and one was designated as a “Significant New Edition.”

To qualify for the award, the title must meet the conventional definition of reference: a work compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. With print reference materials being used less heavily in most cases, these works stood out based on their content, quality, and utility. The works are examined for the following: authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency; unique addition; ease of use for the intended purpose; quality and accuracy of index; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Each year, more electronic reference titles are published. Additional criteria for electronic reference titles are accuracy of links, search features, stability of content and graphic design. Works selected must be suitable for medium to large-size academic and public libraries.

The list includes:

Outstanding

Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Edited by David Lee Kuo Cheun. London: Academic Press, 2015.

 

Dictionary of Corporate Social Responsibility : CSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance. Samuel O. Idowu, editor-in-chief ; Nicholas Capaldi, Matthias S. Fifka, Liangrong Zu, René Schmidpeter, co-editors. Springer International Publishing, 2015.

Notable

The Oxford Handbook of Gender in Organizations. Edited by Savita Kumra, Ruth Simpson, and Ronald J. Burke. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014.

The Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History. Edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson III. Rowan & Littlefield.

Disaster Recovery, Crisis Response, and Business Continuity: A Management Desk Reference. By Jamie Watters. Apress, 2013.

Guide to Reference in Business and Economics.  Edited by Steven W. Sowards and Elisabeth Leonard. Chicago: American Library Association, 2014.

Handbook of Emerging Multinational Corporations.  Edited by Mehmet Demirbag and Attila Yaprak.  Cheltanham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015.

The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists. Edited by Morgen Witzel and Malcolm Warner.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

The Investment Assets Handbook: A Definitive Practical Guide to Asset Classes. By Yoram Lustig. Harriman House Ltd., 2014.

Significant New Edition

Gower handbook of project management, 5th ed. Edited by Rodney Turner. Gower Publishing, Inc.

The Outstanding Business Reference Sources is produced by the BRASS Reference Resources Committee. Contributing members include Jordan Nielsen, selections editor; Ed Hahn, chair; Naomi Lederer nominations coordinator; Erin Wachowicz; Anthony Raymond; Glenn McGuigan; Valerie Freeman; and Suzanne Freeman.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at www.ala.org/rusa.

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2016 Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration for Adult Listeners revealed

BOSTON—The Listen List Council of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced the 2016 selections of the Listen List Committee. The list was announced Sunday during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The Listen List highlights extraordinary narrators and listening experiences that merit special attention by a general adult audience and the librarians who advise them. Adhering to established criteria, committee members select 12 recordings that are benchmarks of excellence and are available for purchase by libraries. Titles are named to the list because the narration creates a new experience, offering listeners something they could not create by their own visual reading; and because the narrator achieves an outstanding performance in terms of voice, accents, pitch, tone, inflection, rhythm and pace. This juried list, designed for both avid listeners and those new to the pleasures of stories read aloud, includes fiction and nonfiction and features voices that enthrall, delight, and inspire, making one reluctant to stop listening.

The 2016 winners are:

“All Involved” by Ryan Gattis. Narrated by Anthony Rey Perez, Marisol Ramirez, Jim Cooper, Adam Lazarre-White, and James Chen. HarperAudio. This cinéma vérité soundscape depicts gang-related murder and retaliation amidst the chaos and confusion of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Seventeen individuals, including a Korean shopkeeper, Latino street hustlers, gritty cops, and sympathetic nurses, are artfully voiced by five actors evoking an emotional range from poetic reflection to brutal violence.

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Narrated by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “City on Fire: A Novel” by Garth Risk Hallberg. Narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Tristan Morris, and Bronson Pinchot. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” by Sudhir Venkatesh. Narrated by Reg Rogers, Sudhir Venkatesh, and Stephen J. Dubner. HarperAudio.

 

“All the Old Knives” by Olen Steinhauer. Narrated by Ari Fliakos and Juliana Francis Kelly.

Macmillan Audio. In a single evening, two CIA agents and former lovers expose old memories and reveal differing perspectives of a terrorist attack. The interplay between Fliakos’ gravelly, world-weary tone and Kelly’s briskly controlled voice intensifies tautly-stretched emotions and engenders a misplaced trust that is shattered by a final plot twist.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “The Dinner” by Herman Koch. Narrated by Clive Mantle. Blackstone Audio.
  • “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “A Perfect Spy” by John le Carré. Narrated by Michael Jayston. Penguin Audio.

 

“And Only to Deceive” by Tasha Alexander. Narrated by Kate Reading. Recorded Books/Tantor Media. After marrying to escape her socially pretentious mother, Lady Emily falls in love with the deceased husband she barely knew while investigating his questionable acquisition of Greek antiquities. Immersing listeners in 19th century English society, Reading’s pitch-perfect accents and vibrant performance capture Emily’s transformation from privileged aristocrat to newly-independent woman.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber. Narrated by Heather Wilds. Tantor Media.
  • “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen” by Laurie R. King. Narrated by Jenny Sterlin. Recorded Books.
  • “Maisie Dobbs” by Jacqueline Winspear. Narrated by Rita Barrington. Blackstone Audio.

 

“Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson. Narrated by Scott Brick. Books on Tape/Random House Audio. Brick’s crisply evocative performance vividly conveys the wartime atmosphere and precise details of the sinking of the Lusitania by German U-Boat 20. His dramatic narration of passenger and crew experiences, as well as military and political machinations, propels listeners ever nearer to the inevitable and tragic conclusion.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” by Alfred Lansing. Narrated by Simon Prebble. Blackstone Audio.
  • “The Guns of August” by Barbara W. Tuchman. Narrated by John Lee. Recorded Books/Tantor Media.
  • “A Night to Remember: The Classic Account of the Final Hours of the Titanic” by Walter Lord. Narrated by Martin Jarvis. Blackstone Audio.

 

“Dracula” by Bram Stoker. Narrated by David Horovitch, Jamie Parker, Joseph Kloska, Alison Pettitt, and cast. Naxos AudioBooks. Stoker’s classic horror tale, which introduces the iconic vampire Dracula, is brilliantly performed by an exceptional assemblage of British actors. Unfolding with quiet intensity, the well-matched voices result in fully-realized characters which combine to create mounting psychological and sexual tension in this revelatory listening experience.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Narrated by Daniel Philpott, Chris Larkin, Roger May, and Jonathan Oliver. Naxos AudioBooks.
  • “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova. Narrated by Justine Eyre and Paul Michael. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Narrated by Martin Jarvis. Blackstone Audio.

 

“H is for Hawk” by Helen MacDonald. Narrated by Helen MacDonald. Blackstone Audio. Gracefully literate and whimsically humorous, MacDonald’s elegiac tone details her journey through depression while nuanced reflections on T.H. White’s The Goshawk provide a counterpoint to her raw grief. In an experience as natural as sharing a confidence, she opens her heart and entrusts the listener with both words and voice.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert. Books on Tape/Penguin Audio.
  • “The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery. Narrated by Sy Montgomery. Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio.
  • “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. Books on Tape/Random House Audio

 

“The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. Narrated by Davina Porter. HarperAudio. In this sequel to The Queen of the Tearling, Kelsea harnesses her strengthening magic and confronts the Red Queen while experiencing visions of an abused woman living in a vastly different civilization. Porter’s regal tone, varied cadence, and commanding delivery intensify the emotional connection of sharply delineated yet intertwined stories.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin. Narrated by Roy Dotrice. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K. Jemisin. Narrated by Casaundra Freeman. Brilliance Audio.
  • “A Natural History of Dragons” by Marie Brennan. Narrated by Kate Reading. Macmillan Audio.

 

The Jaguar’s Children” by John Vaillant. Narrated by Ozzie Rodriguez and David H. Lawrence XVII. Books on Tape/Random House Audio. Locked inside a tanker truck, abandoned in the desert, nineteen Latino immigrants are left to die. With authentic Spanish accents and riveting pacing, Laurence and Rodriquez capture visceral feelings of claustrophobia and desperation. Flashbacks reveal exploitive agribusiness practices while frantic rescue appeals are made to an unanswered cell phone.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free” by Héctor Tobar. Narrated by Henry Leyva. Recorded Books/Macmillan Audio.
  • “The Devil’s Highway: A True Story” by Luis Alberto Urrea. Narrated by Luis Alberto Urrea. Hachette Audio.
  • “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi. Narrated by Jonathan Davis. Brilliance Audio.

 

“The Knockoff: A Novel” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Books on Tape/Random House Audio. Haute couture and social media collide in an absurdly entertaining face-off between Imogen, a 40-something magazine editor, and tech-savvy Eve, her power-hungry former assistant. Kellgren nails technophobe Imogen’s elegant tone as well as Eve’s sharply contrasting Millennial vernacular, adeptly capturing New York City’s fast-paced publishing world.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “The Devil Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “Funny Girl” by Nick Hornby. Narrated by Emma Fielding. Books on Tape/Penguin Audio.
  • “The Status of All Things” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Narrated by Amy McFadden. Dreamscape Media.

 

“The Strangler Vine” by M.J. Carter. Narrated by Alex Wyndham. Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio. Carter creates a ripping good listen, weaving together a rich tapestry of adventure and historical authenticity in this captivating tale of a search for a social rebel. Wyndham’s narration conjures the oppressive atmosphere and constricting formality of 1837 British Colonial rule through expert class inflections, Indian accents, and masterful pacing.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “The Curse of the Pharaohs” by Elizabeth Peters. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. Recorded Books.
  • “The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel” by Anthony Horowitz. Narrated by Derek Jacobi. Blackstone Audio/Hachette Audio.
  • “The Perfect Murder” by H.R.F. Keating. Narrated by Frederick Davidson. Blackstone Audio.

 

“‘Til the Well Runs Dry” by Lauren Francis-Sharma. Narrated by Ron Butler and Bahni Turpin. Recorded Books/Tantor Media. Marcia and Farouk, married but rarely together, share a love that spans decades despite being buffeted by a strict social hierarchy and a need for independence. Ideally-paired narrators Turpin and Butler create an immersive listening experience capturing the characters’ unique dialects, from lilting Trinidadian rhythms to subtle East Indian tones.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Recorded Books.
  • “Land of Love and Drowning” by Tiphanie Yanique. Narrated by Cherise Boothe, Korey Jackson, Rachel Leslie, and Myra Lucretia Taylor. Recorded Books.
  • “Unburnable” by Marie-Elena John. Narrated by Robin Miles. Recorded Books.

 

“True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa” by Michael Finkel. Narrated by Rich Orlow. HarperAudio. Disgraced journalist Finkel is thrown a lifeline when he learns accused murderer Christopher Longo, one of the FBI’s most wanted, has been using his identity. Orlow’s absorbing presentation is unobtrusive yet chilling and generates an emotional response as he gives voice to both author and accused in this riveting memoir.

 

Listen-Alikes:

  • “Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America” by Erik Larson. Narrated by Scott Brick. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation” by Dean Jobb. Narrated by Peter Berkrot. Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio.
  • “Out of Orange” by Cleary Wolters. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. Blackstone Audio/HarperAudio.

 

The Listen List Council consists of six librarians who are experts in readers’ advisory and collection development. Members include Renee Young, NoveList, NC, (chair); Mary Burkey, Library Consultant, OH; Diana Tixier Herald, Garfield County Libraries, CO; Pam Spencer Holley, Library Consultant, VA; Lucy M. Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library District, MO; Dodie Ownes, Douglas County Libraries, CO.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at www.ala.org/rusa.

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RUSA’s Emerging Technologies Section selects annual list of Best Free Reference Websites

BOSTON—The  annual Best Free Reference Websites list was announced at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Sunday.

The list made its first debut in the Fall 2015 issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), RUSA’s research journal. Each site is selected based on, but not limited to: quality, depth, usability, usefulness of content and authority of producer.  Succinct and insightful annotations were written by the selection committee and reflect all subject areas useful for ready reference and value in most libraries.

The list includes:

Open States: Discover Politics in Your State http://openstates.org/

Open States allows users the opportunity to find information on politics happening in each state. The user can search by their address or browse by state. State political information includes the demographics and information on legislators, current and past bills, and committees. Searching for upcoming legislation and tracking bill progress is made easy with the bills page providing filters that can be applied by the user to narrow their results. On the legislator page, the user can find information on the legislator’s committee memberships, bills they sponsored, recent votes and contact information. Whether you are a voter or student looking for research, this website is a must for researching politics in your state. The website works with all widely used browsers.

Author/Publisher: Sunlight Foundation

Date reviewed: March 5, 2015

Crime Statistics http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats/

The FBI Website gives access to Uniform Crime Reports of interest to citizens. The site claims that the Crime in the U.S. publication “is the most comprehensive analysis of violent crime and property crime in the nation.” The report also includes arrest and clearance data. Another useful publication is Hate Crime Statistics which includes information on the number of incidents, offenses, victims and offenders. The publication of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted provides data for officers assaulted or feloniously/accidentally killed in the line of duty. Finally, there’s the National Incident-Based Reporting System which includes information from state law enforcement agencies. Information includes aspects such as age, race, sex, relationship, location, time of day, type of weapons used and more. This publication also has sections on statistics for schools and colleges, measurement of white collar crime, the structure of family violence and more information on victims and offenders.

Author/Publisher: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2015

Travelers’ Health wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

The CDC’s Travelers’ Health website provides information and health recommendations for US residents who are planning to travel abroad. The site helps travelers understand the risks involved with traveling to certain parts of the world. Visitors start by selecting the country they want to travel to, as well as select extra options about their health or who they’re traveling with (traveling with children, etc.), and next receive a customized report containing things they need to know. The traveler is first briefed about any health warnings that may be issued for that country (whether serious or not). Further information includes diseases travelers should be most concerned about and what types of precautions (vaccinations, sanitation recommendations, etc.) need to be taken either before or during their travel. There are also educational sections on how to keep safe while in the country (eating and drinking safety tips, germs, medical care, transportation, personal security, etc.). There’s even a Packing List to recommend what to bring on your trip. The CDC site has a great deal of useful information for travelers.

Author/Publisher: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2015

Famous Trials, UMKC School of Lawhttp://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/ftrials.htm

“The Web’s largest and most visited collection of materials relating to famous trials, from Socrates to Clinton. The site includes original essays, images, primary documents, maps, transcript excerpts, chronologies, video clips, court decisions, and other materials to aid readers in understanding the significance of historic trials.”

While suitable for a general audience, this site is particularly useful for high-school and college-age history or criminal justice students. The look of the website is dated, but there is an abundance of information, including primary source documents and extensive bibliographies and links, that more than make up for the site’s appearance. The site is revised frequently with additional trials added, the most recent of which is the George Zimmerman trial.

Author/Publisher: Douglas Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

Date reviewed: March 16, 2015

Country Statistics http://www.unicef.org/statistics/index_countrystats.html

The world’s leading advocate for children’s rights and health allows access to a wealth of statistical information on these topics. Visitor’s start by selecting the country they’re interested in and get statistics on such topics as child mortality rates, nutrition, health, education, demographics, protection, disparities and much more. The main statistics page also gives access to UNICEF’s flagship publication called The State of the World’s Children. Each year’s report focuses on a key issue affecting children around the world (children with disabilities, child rights, etc.). Anyone needing information or statistics on the state of children internationally will find useful information on UNICEF’s Website.

Author/Publisher: UNICEF

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2015

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experiencewww.inmotionaame.org/sionid=f8303293501426480205999

“The website is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation. Each migration is presented through five units: a narrative, about 100 illustrations with captions and bibliographical information, from twenty to forty research resources consisting of essays, books, book chapters, articles, and manuscripts, maps, and lesson plans.” There is extensive material covering all migrations of African-Americans from the initial transatlantic slave trade through the return south migration, along with African immigration. All in-text cited articles appear to offer full-text accessibility. The site can be viewed in non-flash version and is fully searchable.

Author/Publisher: New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2015

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy www.360financialliteracy.org

“360 Degrees of Financial literacy is a national volunteer effort of the nation’s Certified Public Accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances and develop money management skills. It focuses on financial education as a lifelong endeavor-from children learning about the value of money to adults reaching a secure retirement.” Advice is available according to your choice of individual life stages or specific financial topics. Questions may be posted to the Money Doctor and are answered by volunteer CPAs. The option is also offered to create individual accounts which will display a personalized dashboard of tips and targeted financial information.

Author/Publisher: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2015

Video ETA http://videoeta.com/

VideoETA allows users to find “DVD and Blu-ray release dates for upcoming movies.” VideETA posts release dates once the studio has given its Official Consumer Announce Date (OCAD) which is the exact release date of the item. With a sleek design users are able to narrow searches by type (Blu-Ray or DVD), timeframe (weekly or monthly) and by genre (action, comedy, documentary etc.). VideoETA is a customer friendly and in-depth resource.

Author/Publisher: VideoETA, Inc.

Date reviewed: March 12, 2015

Index of Economic Freedom http://www.heritage.org/index/

This site provides an annual guide to raise awareness of economic freedom and opportunity in countries world-wide based on ten measures or “freedoms:” Business, Trade, Fiscal, Monetary, Investment, Financial, Property, Freedom from Corruption, and Government Spending. Features include a heat map to show how countries stack up with each other, a highlighted list of countries with the highest overall rank along with a link to the entire list in rank order, along with a graphing feature to see data for up to three counties and one indicator from 1995 to present. A world average is shown for additional comparison. This site is useful for students, scholars, and the general public-anyone who is concerned about the fundamental right to control his or her own labor and property.

Author/Publisher: The Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Wall Street Journal

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2015

Woodall’s North American Campground Directory http://www.woodalls.com/

Also known as Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Directory, this website features descriptions and ratings of campgrounds with an emphasis on travel by RV (recreational vehicles). The facilities rated include RV parks, resorts, and rentals in addition to private tent campgrounds. The directory can be searched by location, names, or browsed and is an excellent resource for families or retired persons planning vacations or extended winter travel. Each entry has detailed information about the facility, sites, nearby recreation, and other amenities. Includes National Forest and National Park campgrounds as well with detailed information about fees and facilities.

Author/Publisher: Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory

Date reviewed: February 23, 2015

State Tax Forms and Filing Optionshttp://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/default.php?lnk=2

This site provides links to all 50 states’ websites for income tax forms and filing sites. Clicking on the state on the United States map or on the name of the state opens a list of links to that state’s current year tax forms, filing options, and main tax or revenue department. It is useful for anyone who needs forms and filing information for particular states. Since all state-level tax agencies are members of the Federation of Tax Administrators, this site provides an authoritative and up-to-date source for quickly locating state tax forms and filing options for all fifty states.

Author/Publisher: Federation of Tax Administrators

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2015

Constitute www.constituteproject.org

Subtitled “The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search, and Compare”, this site provides constitutions in force as of September 2013 from most of the world’s independent states. Constitutions are updated as they are amended. A user can browse using an alphabetical list, read in html, download in pdf, search by keyword or phrase, see where specific topics occur in each constitution, and select two to eight constitutions to compare side-by-side on a particular topic. The site has a clean, uncluttered design, with date of the constitution in effect and date of last amendment shown next to each country’s name. It is appropriate for students, scholars, and anyone interested in this topic. Constitute is an outstanding source for learning about and comparing the constitutions of most countries of the world.

Author/Publisher: Comparative Constitutions Project, University of Texas

Date Reviewed: March 8, 2015

Copyright Tools www.ala.org/…copyright-tools

The five copyright tools presented on this site are useful for anyone who uses copyrighted materials in his or her work, education, or leisure activities. Two of the tools, Public Domain Slider and Copyright Genie, help determine if a work is in the Public Domain. The Fair Use Evaluator and Exceptions for Instructors e-Tool help teachers and others determine whether use of a particular copyrighted work may fall under fair use or one of the other educational exceptions to the rights of the copyright owner. The Section 108 Spinner helps libraries and archives decide whether, under certain circumstances, they can make reproductions of copyrighted materials. Overall these tools will help anyone become more comfortable reusing copyrighted works. Only by using the valuable exceptions to a copyright holder’s rights, can “we strengthen copyright’s primary purpose-“to promote the progress of science and useful arts” (U. S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8).”

Author/Publisher: American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2015

Internet Bird Collection ibc.lynxeds.com

The Internet Bird Collection contains videos, photographs and sound recordings of all the birds of the world. The IBC is the YouTube of Birds and contains more than 200,000 materials and is constantly growing. The site’s goal is to post at least one video or photo per species and eventually include material offering a variety of biological information (feeding, breeding, etc.) for every species. Users can perform a species search, geographic search, and global search for particular birds. Each bird record available on the site provides a map, taxonomy and geographic information, videos, photos and bird sounds.

Author/Publisher: Lynx Edicions

Date reviewed: March 5, 2015

Open Culture: The Best Free Cultural & Educational Media on the Webwww.openculture.com

Open Culture is an online information portal that brings together freely available cultural and educational materials on the web. Resources on the site include links to online courses, certificate courses like MOOCs, movies, audio books, language learning tools, ebooks, and educational resources for children. The content on the site is keyword searchable or browsed via categorized links at the top of the page. Additional links on the right-hand side of the home page provide access to the sites most popular content. Also included is a blog of cultural topics on subjects ranging from art, music, literature, anthropology, science, and more. Overall, the site offers a wealth of information compiled in one place that otherwise would need to be searched for individually.

Author/Publisher: Open Culture

Date reviewed: February 27, 2015

AFI Catalog of Feature Films www.afi.com/catalog

The AFI Catalog of Feature films is a research database providing access to information “on every feature-length film produced in America or financed by American production companies” from 1893 to 2011. Basic and Advanced search functions allow users to locate information about the cast, crew, plot, production dates, music, subjects, genres, historical notes, and review sources for each film. Also included as a part of the AFI site are the American Film Institute’s Award honorees from 2000 through 2014 and the Institute’s top 100 films in twelve categories.

Author/Publisher: American Film Institute (AFI)

Date reviewed: February 27, 2015

WikiArt: Visual Art Encyclopedia www.wikiart.org

WikiArt is an ongoing project to create a free online repository of art images, from the classical to modern periods. Images in the collection are of works in both the public domain and those protected by copyright. A copyright notice warns users that protected images are for instructional purposes only and should not be copied or downloaded. Artists can be browsed by alphabet, art movement, school or group, genre, nationality, or century. Artworks can be browsed by style, genre, or technique. Artist pages include brief biographical information, a link to a Wikipedia article (when available), and links to individual artworks. Pages for individual artworks include the name of the artist, the completion date, style, and genre.

Author/Publisher: WikiArt

Date reviewed: February 26, 2015

The Best Free Reference Websites selection committee consists of Ashley Rosener, co-chair; Paul Victor, co-chair; Christine Barnes; Georgia Baugh; Ava Marie Brillat; Jessica Cerny; Allyssa Guzman; Laura Hall; Brian Kooy; Yaniv Masjedi; Autumn Mather; Sue McFadden; Sheena Sewell; Jeremy Walker.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about RUSA’s Book and Media Awards at www.ala.org/rusa/awards.

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