School Library Connection (SLC) and American Reference Books Annual (ARBA) have announced the winners of the 2019 SLC/ARBA Best of Reference Award, which recognizes the best reference resources of the previous year, including books, databases, and eBooks that encourage K–12 student research and learning.
SLC and ARBA both provide school librarians with reviews for building the collection that best complements school curricula, enables comprehensive student research, and promotes critical thinking.
For the Best of Reference Award, a hand-selected panel of respected reviewers evaluated all submissions to identify outstanding resources in the areas of resources for children (elementary grades), resources for youth (secondary grades), electronic reference (database or eBook), and professional guides for school or youth librarians. While making their selections, judges considered curriculum connections, authority, objectivity, organization, depth of coverage, and currency.
Best Resource for Children (Elementary Grades)
Winner: Timelines of Everything (DK)
"Looking for a text that helps make cross-curricular connections? Look no further! History, civics, geography, science, art, and language are all woven together in this comprehensive guide to what human beings have accomplished so far."
Dr. Sylvia Vardell, Texas Woman's University
Honorable Mentions: We Travel So Far (Firefly) and the Getting Started with STEM series (Ruby Tuesday Books)
Best Resource for Youth (Secondary Grades)
Winner: U-X-L Protests, Riots, and Rebellions: Civil Unrest in the Modern World (Gale Cengage Learning)
"This three-book set published by UXL . . . is a wonderful series with which to begin learning about real research . . . The topics presented in the series fall into various social studies standards. Many are sure to be popular with students . . . This is an excellent and useful series for any middle or high school."
Liz Deskins, Hilliard Bradley High School, OH
Honorable Mentions: Animal Rights and Welfare (Gale Cengage Learning) and Genetics, Second Edition (Gale Cengage Learning)
Best Electronic Reference Resource (Database or eBook)
Winner: Teen Resource Center (Omnigraphics)
"Teen Resource Center . . . is a stand-out resource for teenagers looking for accurate, current, and reliable information. The variety and extensiveness of relevant and contemporary information for today's young adults and the manner in which it is presented makes [this] . . . an excellent choice for all physical and virtual libraries serving young adults."
Angela Wojtecki, Nordonia Hills City Schools, OH
Honorable Mentions: The World Almanac for Kids (Infobase) and Issues & Controversies (Infobase)
Best Professional Resource for School or Youth Librarians
Winner: The Stories We Share: A Guide to PreK-12 Books on the Experience of Immigrant Children and Teens in the United States (ALA Editions)
"Simultaneously, The Stories We Share is a collection development tool and a quick resource for essential questions from which to build lesson plans and book club discussions . . . School Librarians seeking to build collections that reflect the diversity of their school population and shed light on the immigrant experience will find The Stories We Share a tool they will turn to time and again."
Hollyanne Ruffner, School District of Palm Beach County, FL
Honorable Mentions: News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News (Libraries Unlimited) and National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (ALA Editions)