SLC and ARBA Announce Best of Reference Award Winners!


School Library Connection (SLC) and American Reference Books Annual (ARBA) have announced the winners of the 2018 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 10 respected reviewers and editors 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.

“We had dozens of excellent submissions this year and competition was stiff,” said SLC Managing Editor David Paige. “The librarian leaders on our judging panel truly had their work cut out for them! The winners and honorable mentions are the cream of the crop, and we’re  delighted to be able to recognize the achievement of the authors and editors whose hard work and expertise shaped these exceptional resources for our young researchers.”

These are the 2018 SLC/ARBA Best of Reference Award winners and honorable mentions, listed by category:

Best Resource for Children (Elementary Grades)
Winner: Dinosaur A to Z (DK) 

Dinosaur A to Z… will be a sure-fire hit with nearly every primary grade student. Just open the book to any double-page spread and be drawn into the prehistoric world of dinosaurs from Abelisaurus to Zuniceratops… It’s a book to browse, pore over, and revisit—a hallmark of the very best reference books.”—Dr. Sylvia Vardell, Texas Woman’s University

Honorable Mentions: Get Coding! Learn HTML, CSS, and Javascript and Build a Website, App, and Game (Candlewick) and Exploratorium of Nature (DK)

Best Resource for Youth (Secondary Grades)
Winner: College Financing Information for Teens, Third Edition (Omnigraphics) 

“A book such as College Financing Information for Teens, Third Edition should be on every school and public library shelf to provide valuable assistance for planning a successful college experience… A comprehensive yet concise text, it is purposeful in its content without extraneous information that could be distracting. ”—Liz Deskins, Hilliard Bradley High School, OH

Honorable Mentions: Supernatural Literature (Gale/Cengage Learning) and The Arduino Inventor’s Guide: Learn Electronics by Making 10 Awesome Projects (No Starch Press)

Best Electronic Reference Resource (Database or eBook)
Winner: Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy (Gale/Cengage Learning)

Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy allows middle and high school students to interact with human body systems in a way that is more personalized, easy to use, understand, and review… [This] is a comprehensive resource that school library professionals and educators will find to be a valuable addition to their curriculum and database resources.”—Angela Wojtecki, Nordonia Hills City Schools, OH

Honorable Mentions: Spotlight on Kids Can Code Interactive eBooks (Rosen) and Spotlight on Explorers and Colonization Interactive eBooks (Rosen)

Best Professional Resource for School or Youth Librarians
Winner: Engaging Teens with Story: How to Inspire and Educate Youth with Storytelling (Libraries Unlimited)

“Though storytelling is a very traditional topic in librarianship, this volume makes new contributions to the field by assembling knowledge from a wide variety of perspectives. From cognitive science to digital media to blockbuster movies to treatment centers for at-risk youth, this title includes a diverse array of topics designed to expand and deepen practitioners’ knowledge of how and why storytelling programming should be implemented in service of their learners, audiences, and users.”—Sarah Searles, Knoxville County Schools, TN

Honorable Mentions: Leading for School Librarians (ALA) and Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace (Libraries Unlimited)

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