Established in 1990, the ReferenceUSA Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is a citation and $1,500* monetary award presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs. The resource can be a bibliography, a guide to the literature of a specific subject, a directory, a database, or any other project that has helped the library meet adult or children’s reference needs. Tools, guides or databases that have been developed for reader’s advisory or adult service questions and needs are also eligible for the award. This award is sponsored by ReferenceUSA.
*Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.
The materials should include a letter of nomination stating in detail how the resource has contributed to meeting patrons’ or users’ reference needs.
In particular, the letter should include:
• A description of the resource and its format(s), for example, database, multi-media, etc.
• A list of sources or related materials used to compile the resource.
• The target audience for the resource and how it is promoted and used
• Criteria used in selecting material for inclusion. (If the resource is inclusive, please state so clearly.)
• The scope and breadth of coverage, for example, the time and subject, of the resource.
• An explanation of what makes the resource imaginative or unique.
• A representative sample of the resource (or entry, pages, printout, links, etc.) must accompany the nomination.
2017: Queensborough Community College (New York), for “The Jacket from Dachau” Libguide
2016: San José Public Library (SJPL), for the Virtual Privacy Lab
2015: Queens Library, for “Where in Queens?” database
2014: Northville District Library (Mich.) Northville Historic Records
2013: Palo Alto College Library’s (Calif.) Library a la Carte
2012: Richland County (South Carolina) Public Library Job Center
2010: J.Y. Joyner Library Digital Collections, East Carolina University, for “Seeds of Change: The Daily Reflector Image Collection”
2009: Robert A. Aken II, web administration librarian, and Reinette F. Jones, diversity and multicultural activities librarian, for University of Kentucky Libraries’ Notable Kentucky African Americans (NKAA) Database
2008: Digital Services, Libraries and Educational Technologies, James Madison University, for ” Research Databases and Resources,” Harrison (Va.)
2007: Springfield-Greene County Library, Springfield (Mo.)
2006: Orange County Library System, Orlando (Fla.)
2005: Smithsonian American Art Museum
2004: North Carolina State University Libraries
2003: Richmond (British Columbia) Public Library
2002: No recipient chosen this year
2001: University Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha
2000: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library
1999: New Orleans Public Library
1998: Queens Borough Public Library
1997: Bay Area Library and Information System for “Jobsmart”
1996: Rochester (MI) Hills Public Library for their homepage on the Web
1995: Pikes Peak Library District for “Arts Database”
1994: Wichita Public Library for “The Legal Connection”
1993: Kalamazoo Public Library, Michigan, for its “Online Community Information Database”
1992: Morton Grove Public Library, Morton Grove, Illinois, for ORRIS (On-Line Ready Reference System)
1991: University of Arkansas Library, Fayetteville, for its “Arkansas Periodical Index”