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Our Mission honored alongside other rich online reference resources including Google Art Project and World Databank has been selected as one of the “Best Free Reference Web Sites” for 2012 by a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is part of an annual series initiated by the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the ALA to recognize outstanding reference sites on the World Wide Web. is one of 26 other web sites to be recognized this year by a committee of member librarians from across the United States.

Selection criteria include the quality, depth, usefulness, and uniqueness of the content, as well as the ease of accessing the information. MARS noted that “addresses a vast number of topics related to the physical and mental health of children ranging from prenatal to young adult” and calls the site “a modern day Dr. Spock's guide, with much much more!”

Other notable recipients of this year's award include the Google Art Project, an interactive experience that brings together thousands of works of art from hundreds of museums, the Kahn Academy, which offers free educational content for K-12 subjects, the World Databank, the World Bank’s statistical database on the economic and financial health of countries, and Common Sense Media, which provides ratings and detailed information for parents about the suitability of movies, books and video games for children.

The American Library Association established MARS: Emerging Technology in Reference Section in 1978 to track important developments in the use of technology for library reference services. MARS is charged with researching and representing the interests of those concerned with attaining the highest possible quality in planning, developing, managing, teaching, or conducting all forms of computer-based reference information services in libraries. They work to explore the impact of new technologies on users, services and collections, and find ways to educate and prepare library personnel for new developments, emerging trends, and best practices in library reference. This was the 14th year of the award; a full index of all websites that have won the award can be found at the American Library Association.


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American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2012)
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