2024 Outstanding References Sources List Announced

BALTIMORE- The most noteworthy reference titles published in 2023 have been named to the 2024 Outstanding References Sources List, an annual list selected by experts of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA. The list was announced today at the Book & Media Awards Ceremony.

The Outstanding Reference Sources Committee was established in 1958 to recommend the most outstanding reference publications published the previous year for small and medium-sized public and academic libraries. The selected titles are valuable reference resources and are highly recommended for inclusion in any library’s reference collections.

The winners are:

African American Activism and Political Engagement: An Encyclopedia of Empowerment Editor Angela Jones .Bloomsbury Publishing  ISBN 9781440876318

This encyclopedia would be useful for any reference collection.  The resource starts with essays discussing a variety of topics.  Each entry is easy to read and includes further readings. The resource includes a glossaries of films and organizations as well as a bibliography and index.

The Encyclopedia of LGBTQIA+ Portrayals in American Film Editors Erica Joan Dymond and Salvador Jiménez Murguía. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538153901

The Encyclopedia of LGBTQIA+ Portrayals in American Film is a useful and well-constructed resource.  The descriptions of the selected movie titles are thoughtful and insightful and go beyond simple plot summaries.  This is a good resource for librarians in creating helpful lists of LGBTQIA+ movies.

 Executive Speech Doctor: Engaging with Community Audiences in Person and Online by Robert J. Weis. McFarland. ISBN 9781476691664

Executive Speech Doctor outlines how to communicate effectively with an audience in a wide range of instances. It separates out fundamentals, finer points, delivery, and special events in different sections. Although geared towards business professionals this book would be a useful resource for speech classes, business classes, and English classes.

 Forgotten African American Firsts: An Encyclopedia of Pioneering History by Hans Ostrom and J. David Macey Jr. Greenwood. ISBN 9781440875359

Forgotten African American Firsts describes the achievements of 18th to 21 century African American pioneers who were the first to do something in artistic, scientific, political, athletic fields. The 149 well written entries contain brief description of subject’s primary contribution and information on the life and importance.

Global Dishes: Favorite Meals from around the World by Caryn E. Neumann, Lori L. Parks and Joel G. Parks. ‎ Bloomsbury Academic ISBN 9781440876479

Global Dishes presents a variety of favorite dishes from throughout the world. Each entry focuses on one dishes and includes an overview, history, preparation, legacy and cultural significance, recipe, and further readings. The entries are organized alphabetically within larger sections divided into regions. The resource includes a bibliography and index.

Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students Edited by Christina Soto van der Plas and Lacie Rae Buckwalter Cunningham. ISBN 9781440875915

Latino Literature is a well written encyclopedia resource.  The entries cover Latino authors as well as movements, genres and historical events within literature and their importance to Latino Literature and Culture.  Each signed entry contains just enough description to be useful and a reading list for further study.   

Martin Luther King Jr.: A Reference Guide to His Life and Works (Significant Figures in World History) by Peter J. Ling and David Deverick. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538113585

This publication is organized like an encyclopedia of people and events connected to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The entries are easy to read. The resource includes a chronology, acronyms and abbreviations, and a bibliography. This would be a broadly useful resource in any collection.

The New International Volunteer: A Hands-On Guide to Sustainable and Inclusive Development by Elizabeth C. Medlin Toplight Books. ISBN 9781476691077

International volunteer programs will find this book valuable to prepare volunteers to ensure that their actions provide the intended impacts and avoid negative impacts to the local community due to a lack of awareness of the local population whom they are trying to help.

The Scopes Trial: An Encyclopedic History by Randy Moore and Susan E. Brooks. McFarland. ISBN 9781476685441

First encyclopedic treatment of “the trial of the century”. Contains lengthy, readable entries (with sources) about the people, places, events, and ideas of the trial based on information from media/newspaper reports, family interviews, and Scopes’ personal correspondence. Appendix on Scopes family, bibliography, and chronology from Darwin in 1859 to 2025.

Women in Popular Culture: The Evolution of Women’s Roles in American Entertainment by Laura L. Finley. Greenwood. ISBN 9781440874123

This collection of timelines and essays examines various depictions and concepts of women in popular culture. The entries include individuals, movies, tv shows, and time periods.  This is an excellent study of the changing and unchanging views of women as reflected in movies and television. 

The Outstanding Reference Sources selection committee consists of Jean-ann Stump, Ahrens Memorial Library Holloman AFB, chair; Joshua Newport, Illinois State University; Jodie Borgerding, Amigos Library Services: Rebecca Freeman, University of South Carolina Lancaster; Phillip Ballo, College of Southern Maryland; Dona Helmer, Anchorage School District

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 at www.rusaupdate.org.