Monday, July 24, 2006

Full text government documents

another tip from Resource Shelf: GPO allows you to limit searches of the catalog of USG publications to those that are available in full text. You can also browse the monthly list of new full-text accessible publications - excellent resource if you're doing a document alert service!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

McCarthyism and Libraries

Stephen Francoeur's thesis on McCarthyism and Libraries includes an interesting discussion of the controversy that surrounded USIA's overseas libraries. McCarthyism and Libraries: Intellectual Freedom Under Fire, 1947-1954

Deep Quote

Deep quote is a useful tool that creates a link to a specific line of text on a remote webpage - in other words, it allows you to create in-document links (anchors) to pages on the web. For example, if you wanted to make an argument for the International Visitor's Program by quoting Karen Hughes, you could do it like this: "As Karen Hughes has remarked, it is important not only that other nations learn about the U.S., but also that Americans learn more about other nations." For Firefox users Deepquote also provides a bookmarklet that enables you to generate a deepquote-link with your right mousebutton.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Locating expertise

Jack Vinson's "Knowledge Jolt with Jack" blog had an informative and richly-linked posting last month on the important issue of how to locate expertise on a given topic. Includes referrals to several "find an expert guides," notes on the etiquette/ethics of getting people to share their information, and the growing importance of social communties of knowledge (e.g. Knowing who is in the know can be useful for everything from really tough reference questions to identifying participants for speaker programs.

Interesting gov-pub site

Here's another useful tip form Marylaine Block's Neat New Stuff:
"Government Publications Library Blog : Gov docs librarians at the University of Colorado-Boulder help you follow current events through current and historical government documents, maps, and photos: Bush's veto of stem-cell research funding, the extreme heat, the crisis in the Middle East, the Geneva Convention, urban legends, etc."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fallows on Web 2.0

James Fallows has an article in the July/August issue of Technology Review that nicely summarizes some of the collaborative tools - and underlying principles - that are commonly referred to as "Web 2.0". Curiously, an earlier ircworld posting that reviewed some of these same tools referred back to Fallows 1996 article "The Java Theory", which presented a scenario wherein computing applications would move from personal computers to the net - the article would have been even more foresighted had it been entitled "The Ajax Theory."

Latest PEW report

The latest report (06/16/2006)from the Pew Global Attitudes Project concludes: "America's global image has again slipped and support for the war on terrorism has declined even among close U.S. allies like Japan. The war in Iraq is a continuing drag on opinions of the United States, not only in predominantly Muslim countries but in Europe and Asia as well. And despite growing concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the U.S. presence in Iraq is cited at least as often as Iran - and in many countries much more often - as a danger to world peace."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Zoho provides an attractive "office suite" of web-based collaborative tools, including a word processor Zoho Writer that appears to be a good competitor for Writely

More on where to get photos...

Here's a posting to print-pubs-l that Mary Ann alerted me to...thanks!
"Many tourist bureaus throughout the U.S., including the Washington
Convention and Visitor's Bureau, have Websites or CDs available with photos
of buildings and sites in their state. In the case of the Washington
Bureau, anyone can use the images as long as the Washington Convention and
Visitor's Bureau (WC&VB) is given credit. Among the listings for other free
links to many individual state and local government sources including DC, the Convention & Tourism Corporation pressroom page,
where 300 dpi jpeg downloads may be accessed directly by post or clients
upon registration from any country in the world. . . . . "

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Wex, according to Wex, is "an ambitious effort to construct a collaboratively-created, public-access law dictionary and encyclopedia. It is sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School ( Much of the material that appears in Wex was originally developed for the LII's "Law about..." pages, to which Wex is the successor."
Wex has a clean and attractive interface, and each article includes, on the right side of the page, a nicely ordered "menu of sources" for further reading. (See for example the menu accompanying the death penalty article).

Friday, July 7, 2006

World Almanac e-newsletter

The World Almanac Education Group provides a free monthly e-newsletter. A typical issue includes an overview of the previous months events, birthdays, obituaries, anniversaries, a special feature (this month it's on the death penalty: Thirty Years of Gregg v. Georgia), sports, quotes, and other factual and quick-reference information. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: with the subject line reading "SUBSCRIBE." What's in this issue?

More photo stuff

Here's a tip from Marylaine Block's Neat New Stuff: " is a search engine for creative commons photos, located in Vancouver, BC. We aim to be a community for designers, developers, photographers and other media publishers who want better, easier access to license-specific media on the web."

Once you've found a good photo, have some fun with Polaroidinizer - you just enter the url of the image, add a text, and Polaroid-o-nizer produces a signed snapshot like the one on the right. Polaroidonizer can also be used for more legitimate purposes, e.g. promotion of embassy/irc events, email invitations, or personalized photos for thank-you notes the Ambassador wishes to send to people he/she has met.

Monday, July 3, 2006


NativeWeb is a portal to information about indigenous peoples and issues. Here's the annotation from the June 30 issue of the Scout Report :
"A number of websites are dedicated to providing information about various groups and organizations, and NativeWeb just happens to be one of the best known sites dedicated to disseminating information from and about indigenous nations, peoples, and organizations around the world for the past ten years, the site has grown tremendously, and it functions as a very nice clearinghouse for materials ranging from ongoing archaeological excavations to higher education grants for organizations that serve indigenous peoples. With its relatively clean design, the site is easy to navigate, and first-time visitors will appreciate the "In the News" section, which offers selected recent news items that relate to indigenous and native groups around the world. The real substance of the site can be found in the tremendous "resources" section, which contains thematically organized links to high-quality online materials. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive updates when new resources are added to the site.

Abraham Lincoln: The Lincoln Institute provides support to scholars studying the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln: The Lincoln Institute provides support to scholars studying the life of Abraham Lincoln.

See America local

Thanks to a posting by Tara Calishain in the ResearchBuzz newsletter, I found the TurnHere site. It hosts a large number of viewable digital videos about three to five minutes long, each featuring a small town or city neighborhood. Nearly all are in the US, though there is a smattering of films from other countries. Many are frankly commercial, and boost local businesses. (One slightly too cute pet shop is called "Muttopolis.") But the sense of place you get from watching them is remarkable, and I find them far more effective at conveying a sense of America's variety than any number of big-screen travelogues concentrating on the usual tourist places.
The site should go down well with a young audience: many of the videos are aimed at the arts and urban chic crowd. It could be suggested to contacts being sent to the US for the first time as well, to help prepare them for what they will see. Or pass it on as a fun site, which it is.
Access it at:

Tel Aviv IRC

4th of July facts from Census Bureau

In the Census Bureau's series "Facts for Features," a compilation of quick facts for July 4th statistics/trivia buffs.

bibliography: Islam, the People, Culture, and Politics

Here's a new bibliography from the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center at Maxwell Airforce Base: Islam, the People, Culture, and Politics