Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Best FREE Websites!

The American Library Association has put together its eleventh annual list of the best FREE reference websites for 2009. The current list contains 29 websites that the ALA has recognized as outstanding sites. Topics include presidents, careers, countries, the Bible, books, newspapers, health, scholarships, language, hiking, gardening, science, sports, and more!

Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

Title: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

This site is one of the fastest ways to find information about the exploitive practices of 4000 businesses worldwide, which would be difficult to locate by other means. Users can begin searching by company name, issue, country, or topic. Balanced coverage is provided via news, announcements, and special resources while providing responses from the accused companies. By making negative enterprise behavior more transparent, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre may help stop companies’ human rights abuses.

Title: PDRhealth (TM)

Drawing on the trusted Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR®), this site provides information for prescriptions drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbals/supplements. Included are recommended dosage, side effects, possible food and drug reactions, and in many cases pictures to assist with drug identification. It also offers excellent overviews of numerous diseases and conditions, from kidney stones and migraines to teething and Cushing Syndrome. And there is even of listing of clinical trials, searchable by region and illness, for those living with cancer or rare diseases.

Title: Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Writing Lab at Purdue houses 200 free writing resources and instructional materials for students, teachers, and trainers. Included are formatting and style guides, grammar and mechanics, internet literacy, ESL, job search and technical writing, and research. There are sections geared to writing for specific disciplines (e.g. experimental report writing in psychology) and forms (e.g. writing about poetry).

Title: Sports Reference

This valuable resource provides statistics for four major sports: baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, and each sport’s section is browsable and searchable in many ways. Baseball aficionados will find regular season box scores back to 1957 along with minor league stats back to 1992. Football lovers can look up draft picks and review single season and career leaders in passing, rushing, and kicking. Basketball devotees can find the top performers and award winners of the NBA and WNBA. Hockey enthusiasts will be able to find all players who wore the sweater number 25. With all of this and an additional section focused on Olympics history, Sports Reference hits the ball out of the park!

**Since the Web is constantly changing, readers should note that these Web sites were as annotated on the date the member reviewed the site**

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