Texas Reference Source Award

History of the Texas Reference Source Award


With the completion of the fourth edition of Texas Reference Sources, the successful establishment of the Lois Bebout Reference Service Award, and the existence of some important American Library Association book awards, RRT attention turned to the possibility of offering an award for a new reference source about Texas. At the RRT Executive Board meeting 21 April 1994, Joyce Hopkins was named to chair an ad hoc committee to consider such an award, with Ron Glass and Cherry Luedtke as committee members.

Joyce Hopkins' report for the ad hoc Committee for the Texas Reference Source Award at the 30 July 1995 RRT Executive Board meeting indicated the award should be established and projected the first award be given in April 1997. The proposal and procedure for the award were to be submitted to the TLA Executive Board for approval. If approved, a plaque would be presented to an award recipient at the annual conference and the fall newsletter would carry the award announcement. TLACast and the exhibitors' newsletter were mentioned as additional venues for publicizing the award. The committee was changed from ad hoc status to a standing committee of RRT. A new Annex B addendum to the bylaws would be drawn up by Joyce Hopkins to be published in the next newsletter and voted upon at the next annual conference. The unanimous TLA Executive Board approval of the bylaws change and the award was announced at the RRT Executive Board meeting 24 April 1996. Although Annex B referred to the "Texas Reference Award Standing Committee", RRT records generally favor "Texas Reference Source Award" as the designation. When the RRT bylaws were revised in 1998 and the annexes were eliminated, the committee name in the list of standing committees was given as "Texas Reference Source Award".

The Texas Reference Source Award would be bestowed annually "if warranted" to recognize an outstanding new reference tool in "Texas history, culture, or commerce". Recipients of the award were to be announced after TLA Annual Assembly meetings and a plaque would be formally presented at the RRT business/program meeting during the following TLA annual conference. Criteria for the award included that a work had to be a reference tool, need not be a print resource, and must be published within three years preceding the closing date for recommendations. A reference tool was defined in the bylaws and publicity as including, but not limited to, a bibliography, an index, an encyclopedia, a handbook or another scholarly aparatus designed to assist the user doing Texas research. A "significantly" revised edition of a prior publication could be considered for the award. Evaluation of items would be based on scholarship, style, ease of use, and contribution as a Texas reference source. The deadline for recommending titles to be considered was set at May 1 of each year. It was felt that this would allow adequate time to permit review and decisions about items and be able to announce any winner after the summer annual assembly meeting. Winners would first be announced to the Reference Round Table, the author and the publisher.

The Texas Reference Source Award Committee met 23 April 1996 to discuss criteria and procedures. The discussions continued through committee meetings held 28 July 1996 and 8 April 1997. The committee recommended May 1 as a cut-off date to allow the committee to review and discuss nominated titles during the TLA Annual Assembly. The Annual Assembly committee meeting needed to be scheduled before the RRT Executive Board meeting. Criteria for nominees were discussed. Thomas Mann's definition of a "reference tool" from his Guide to Library Research Methods (Oxford, 1987) guided their deliberations: "those that point the way into the core literature contained in journals, reports, monographs, dissertations, etc.; or those that summarize, abstract, digest or review it ... those forms of [materials] that are simply consulted rather than read from cover to cover". Using the definition, the committee considered that recommended works could be, but were not limited to, encyclopedias, indexes/abstracts, multi-media, directories, guides to the literature, yearbooks or almanacs, collective biographies, dictionaries, databases, bibliographies, or handbooks. They also determined the target audience could be anybody and the price range could be anything but would be more favorably received if the item could be purchased by most public, academic, and high school libraries.

Suggested resources for publicity to solicit nominations included TLACast, the fall issue of RRT Newsletter, articles and/or advertisements in the TPALS Newsletter, an initial article followed by full-page or half-page advertisements in Texas Library Journal, flyers distributed at District Caucuses and sent to publishers, announcements posted on the TLA website or an RRT website, and announcements posted to appropriate listservs. One of the concerns of the committee was the expense of the publicity options and whether the committee would have a budget allocation to cover the expenses. Nominations could be sent in writing via email, US mail, or fax, but nominations through telephone calls would not be accepted. Any committee member receiving nominations would forward them to the committee chair, who would solicit exam copies from the publishers using a form letter stating the purpose of the award and requesting multiple copies, one to be distributed to each committee member. The publisher had to agree to send at least one copy which would become the property of the Reference Round Table. The acquisition of exam copies was expected initially to the the hardest task until the prestige of the award was established. Review copies, except for one to become part of an archival set to be used in RRT booth displays at conferences, could be kept by committee members for their libraries or used as door prizes at the RRT booth and/or at RRT program meetings.

Procedures for the selection and announcement of award winners also were determined during the three meetings. A form was developed to be used by committee members as they reviewed titles. All review forms were to be shared during the Annual Assembly committee meeting and all exam copies were to be brought to the meeting. In a closed session, the committee members would discuss their findings and vote on a title to be presented to the RRT Executive Board for final approval. After a winner had been selected at annual assembly, a letter would to be sent to the publisher and a carbon copy to the author/editor announcing that they had won the award and allowing them to publicize the notification. Announcements would also be submitted to TLACast, Texas Library Journal, RRT Newsletter, and the TPALS Newsletter. Formal presentation of the award would take place at the RRT business/program meeting during the next annual conference.

With the upgrade from ad hoc to standing committee, composition of the committee was set at five persons, one of whom would serve as Chair. Mainly academic and public libraries were expected to be represented on the committee. The original members of the committee would remain in service until the first award had been presented. The timetable finally settled upon for the first award included a nominations deadline of 1 May 1997, selection of a winner during Annual Assembly in July 1997, notification of the winner in August 1997, and formal presentation of the award during the RRT program at the 1998 annual conference.

By the 28 July 1996, RRT Executive Board meeting, Ron Glass was developing a flyer about the award for distribution and publication. An advertising blitz in all TLA round table newsletters, Texas Library Journal, the RRT web pages, and at district meetings was planned. The nomination deadline for the first award was set at 1 May 1997, with selection of a winner in a closed committee meeting during the July 1997 annual assembly. Nominations could be faxed, mailed or emailed but must contain full bibliographic citations and a statement about why the work should be considered. Publishers could nominate their own titles. A ratings form was developed to assist in evaluating nominees. The award announcement and nominee solicitation appeared in the fall 1996 RRT Newsletter and forms for nominations were provided at the RRT exhibit booth during the 1997 annual conference.

$100 was unanimously approved by the RRT Executive Board 10 April 1997 to cover expenses of the award. The publisher would be presented with a plaque and the author/editor with a certificate. One official entry had already been received and fourteen more were nominated before the committee began deliberations during the Annual Assembly meeting. The first winner selected by the committee was the newly-published New Handbook of Texas, which was being provided in both print and web formats. The RRT Executive Board voted approval of the selection. Announcements of the award recipient would be made in the September 1997 TLACast and the fall RRT Newsletter. Some of the review copies provided to the committee were to be placed in the RRT booth for door prizes during the annual conference. Ron Glass noted that one of the nominees had been a CD-ROM product and two more had been web pages. It was discussed that a list of all nominees be added to the RRT web pages.

Douglas E. Barnett, managing editor of the New Handbook of Texas, accepted the first Texas Reference Source Award from Joyce Hopkins during the RRT business meeting 3 April 1998.

Pat Stinson-Switzer succeeded Joyce Hopkins as Chair of the Texas Reference Source Award Committee. Even by summer of 1999 the committee was emphasizing that they needed more titles nominated and more librarians doing the nominating. Despite publicizing the award routinely in the RRT Newsletter and providing information and forms at conferences and on the RRT website, nominations for the award were coming generally from publishers and committee members rather than from reference librarians as originally expected by the committee. Sometimes few titles were nominated for consideration. Acquiring enough review copies of books for the committee had also been a problem occasionally. Despite the problems encountered by the committee, worthy winners have been selected every year.

At the 30 March 2001 RRT Executive Board meeting, timing of the award presentations at annual conferences was discussed. The 2001 award was presented at the start of the RRT business meeting after the conclusion of the RRT program and many people who had attended the program left before the award presentation. It was decided to present the award at the beginning of the RRT program time slot to take advantage of a larger audience. For some time, the design of an award logo or decal publishers could place on winning books (similar to decals used for ALA Newbery and Caldecott books) had been under consideration. Gulf publishing created a design they had used and Lynn Hambric was going to discuss an award design with them. Despite what the committee originally intended, publishers generally had not been displaying their individual award plaques in their exhibit booths during conferences. Patricia Stinson-Switzer suggested a general award plaque, which could be displayed at the RRT exhibit booth, be created listing all the winners. Despite what was originally intended, authors and editors had not been receiving certificates from RRT for their award-winning resources. One suggestion presented during the 15 July 2001 RRT Executive Board meeting to award plaques to both the publisher and authors(s) was not accepted because of the costs involved. Copies of award-winning books would be displayed at the RRT exhibit booth during annual conferences.

At the 25 April 2002 RRT Executive Board meeting, Pat Stinson-Switzer proposed a change in the distribution of review copies for books being considered. In the past, review copies were sent by the publisher to each individual member of the committee. Pat proposed that all the review copies be sent to the Chair of the committee instead to provide better monitoring and control of the distribution. She also proposed investigating the possible use of the RRT logo as a seal for TRSA winners. Using review copies of the nominated books as booth prizes could advance publicity of the award. She also noted that scholarly works tended to be nominated and she would like to see more juvenile works included, possibly by advertising through the TLA children's and young adult round tables.

The low number of nominations for the award was discussed again at the 4 April 2003 RRT Executive Board meeting. In addition to the current provision of calls for nominations in the RRT Newsletter and on the RRT website, additional calls could be sent through the RRT listserv, sent directly to publishers (especially university presses), and providing lists of publications for publishers on the RRT website. Listing nominated titles in the fall issue of the newsletter also might inspire nominations, as well as alerting potential nominators to the types of publications being considered for the award.

Lynn Hambric took over as Chair of the committee in 2004. At the 11 July 2004 RRT Executive Committee meeting, she announced that the nomination form would be updated.

At the 7 April 2005 RRT Executive Board meeting, Jeffrey Levy reported for the committee that a spelling error on the plaques prepared to be presented at the conference had been caught late but that they would be repaired and delivered. He also discussed the possibility that review copies be delivered to a committee member rather than the Chair of the committee to take some of the committee workload off the Chair.

At the 10 July 2005 RRT Executive Board meeting, Lynn Hambric reported that the 2006 award winner was a set of 5 books and that 5 plaques would be presented, one for each book in the set.

When RRT Operating Procedures were accepted in 2013 to replace prior RRT Bylaws, the General Editor of TRSOnline was added to the committee membership.

Texas Reference Source Award Winners




Pictured: Comptroller Susan Combs accepts the 2012 Texas Reference Source Award from RRT Chair Erin O'Toole.

 FAST: Financial Allocation Study for Texas

Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Austin: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2010-

Print & Electronic at http://www.FASTexas.org






Pictured: A. Ray Stevens (Author), Steven Baker (Managing Editor, University of Oklahoma Press), and Carol Zuber-Mallison (Cartographer) sign copies of Texas: A Historical Atlas at the RRT exhibit booth.


Texas: A Historical Atlas
A. Ray Stephens; Cartography by Carol Zuber-Mallison.
Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2010.




Management and staff of the Research & Analysis Division of the Comptroller's Office.


Texas In Focus

Texas. Comptroller's Office.

Austin: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Research and Analysis Division, 2008- .


A Statewide View of Opportunities

Alamo Region

Central Texas Region

Gulf Coast Region

High Plains Region

South Texas Region

Upper East Texas Region

Upper Rio Grande Region




The Energy Report 2008

Texas. Comptroller's Office.

Austin: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Research and Analysis Division, 2008.







Doug Welsh's Texas Garden Almanac
Doug Welsh.
College Station: Texas A&M Univ. Pr., November 2007.
ISBN 1-58544-619-X
ISBN13 978-1-58544-619-3







Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas
George Oxford Miller.
St. Paul, MN: Voyageur Press, March 2006
ISBN 0-7603-2539-1
ISBN13 978-0-7603-2539-1






Author Geyata Ajilvsgi accepts the 2007 Texas Reference Source Award from TRSA Committee Chair Lynn Hambric at the RRT program, Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wildflowers of Texas

Geyata Ajilvsgi.
Fredericksburg: Shearer Publishing, December 2002.
ISBN 0-940672-73-1
ISBN13 978-0-940672-73-4








Pictured: Texans All displayed in the 2006 RRT exhibit booth.


Texans All Series
College Station: Texas A&M Univ. Pr., March 2004.


The African Texans
Alwyn Barr.
ISBN 1-58544-321-2; ISBN13 978-1-58544-321-5 (cloth)
ISBN 1-58544-350-6; ISBN13 978-1-58544-350-5 (paper)


The Asian Texans
Marilyn Dell Brady.
ISBN 1-58544-311-5; ISBN13 978-1-58544-311-6 (cloth)
ISBN 1-58544-312-3; ISBN13 978-1-58544-312-3 (paper)


The European Texans
Allan O. Kownslar.
ISBN 1-58544-351-4; ISBN13 978-1-58544-351-2 (cloth)
ISBN 1-58544-352-2; ISBN13 978-1-58544-352-9 (paper)


The Indian Texans
James M. Smallwood.
ISBN 1-58544-353-0; ISBN13 978-1-58544-353-6 (cloth)
ISBN 1-58544-354-9; ISBN13 978-1-58544-354-3 (paper)


The Mexican Texans
Phyllis McKenzie.
ISBN 1-58544-306-9; ISBN13 978-1-58544-306-2 (cloth)
ISBN 1-58544-307-7; ISBN13 978-1-58544-307-9 (paper)








Trees of Texas: an Easy Guide to Leaf Identification.
Carmine Stahl and Rita McElvany.
(W. L. Moody, Jr., Natural History Series, no. 34)
College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2003.
ISBN: 1-58544-242-9 (cloth), 1-58544-243-7 (paperback) OCLC: 50919920






Ruthe Winegarten (l.) and a representative from University of Texas Press (r.)
accept the 2004 Texas Reference Source Award
from Lynn Hambric at the RRT Program,
Thursday, March 18, 2004.

 Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

Teresa Palomo Acosta and Ruthe Winegarten.
(Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture, no. 10)
Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003.
ISBN: 0-292-74710-1 (cloth), 0-292-70527-1 (paperback) OCLC: 50064976






Lynn Hambric and Dr. John Reagor
display the 2003 Texas Reference Source Award
at the RRT Program, Thursday, April 3, 2003.


Toxic Plants of Texas: Integrated Management Strategies to Prevent Livestock Losses.
Charles R. Hart, et al.
College Station: Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A&M University System, 2000.
OCLC: 47015135 TexDoc Z TA265.7 B873 no.6105






The Texas Almanac on display in the RRT Booth.


The Texas Almanac: Millennium ed. [60th ed.]

Mary G. Ramos, Editor.
Dallas: Dallas Morning News; distributed by Texas A&M University Press Consortium, 1999.
ISBN: 0914511297 OCLC: 47698862






Dr. John A. Jackman and Lynn Hambric
display the 2001 Texas Reference Source Award
at the RRT Business Meeting Thursday, March 29, 2001.

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects.
Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.
Houston: Gulf Publishing, 1998.
ISBN: 0877192634 OCLC: 37928461






Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, and Adjacent Waters. 2nd ed.
H. Dickson Hoese and Richard H. Moore.
College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998.
ISBN: 0890967377 OCLC: 37245400




A Field Guide to Spiders and Scorpions of Texas.
John A. Jackman.
Houston: Gulf Publishing, 1999, c1997.
ISBN: 0891230483 OCLC: 40660203






The New Handbook of Texas. 6 v.
Ron Tyler, Editor in Chief ; Douglas E. Barnett, Managing Editor ;
Roy R. Barkley, Editor ; Penelope C. Anderson, Mark F. Odintz, Associate Editors.
Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.
ISBN: 0876111517 OCLC: 34471325



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Created on Jun 18, 2011 | Last updated August 12, 2013