chapter  1
8 Pages

in a Hundred: Choosing the Year's Outstanding Reference Sources

The first annual list, "Reference Books of 1958-a Selection," was published in the March 1, 1959 issue of Library J oumal. I Each of the five years previous to that Louis Shores had selected a group of notable reference books for LJ. When the work became too much for one person, an RASD committee was formed for the purpose and continues to this day. The yearly lists appeared in Library J ournal for twenty-five years. This year, and in the future, however, "Outstanding Reference Sources" will be published in the May issue of American Libraries. In the past quarter century over 200 librarians have served on the Reference Sources Committee (RSC) and have named 1,739 Outstanding Reference Sources. 2

The other duty of the RSC is less frequent, but just as important and time consuming. Since 1981 the committee has assumed the responsibility of compiling Reference Sources for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries. The fourth edition, edited by Fr. Jovian P. Lang and Deborah C. Masters, will be available from the American

Library Association in May, 1984. By evaluating thousands of reference sources each year, and publishing its results, the committee attempts to meet its ultimate objective-giving guidance to reference collection development librarians.