Online encyclopedia NCPedia wins 2011 RUSA reference award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/22/2011


Elizabeth Markel

CHICAGO — The NCPedia, an online encyclopedia of North Carolina history and culture, is the winner of the 2011 Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services.

Established in 1990, the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons' reference needs.

This year’s winner, NCPedia, is a rich source of information about North Carolina history and culture that exemplifies how a library can present accessible local or regional information for researchers at all levels, from elementary school on up. The site utilizes Drupal, an open source content management system and currently contains more than 675 Web pages with more added each month. Information is added based on requests by fourth and eighth grade students for their North Carolina-related school projects, as required by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Standard Course of Study. Other topics added were identified as being of interest to researchers, students, educators and the general public via a 2009 survey.

The NCPedia is also interactive: users are able to comment on and rate content, adding an additional level of interaction with librarians and peers and indicating where additional entries are needed. It is solely managed by the Digital Projects Manager in the Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina and is hosted by NC LIVE.

Michelle Czaikowski, digital projects manager at the Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina, serves as the editor-in-chief and website architect for the project. Czaikowski will receive the award, a citation and $3,000 cash prize at the RUSA Awards Reception, scheduled for 5 - 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26 as a part of RUSA’s events at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The exact location of this event will be announced in late spring. For more information, visit RUSA’s website or the Annual Conference website.

The Reference and User Services Association, 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.  Not a member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at