Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chronicling America - historical newspapers

From the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities, Chronicling America is a welcome addition to ProQuest's selection of historic newspapers (via Bunche) and NewspaperArchive , for those who have a subscription there (cheap, interesting...and there's lots of free stuff there too!). Excerpt from LOC on this new product:
Welcome to Chronicling America, enhancing access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Readex archive of FBIS

This will surely be of interest to reference librarians...
NAPLES, Fla./Tuesday, March 27, 2007Readex, a leading publisher of online historical collections, announced today that it will launch a Web-based edition of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report in Fall 2007. The Daily Report, issued by the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, has been the fundamental record of political and historical open source intelligence for the United States government for nearly 75 years.

Citizendium goes live

Citizendium is open for's a bit of yesterday's press release: "Citizendium, a project aimed at creating a new free encyclopedia online, announced today that a beta version is now available to the general public. The project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, aims to improve on the Wikipedia model with accountability and academic-quality articles as cornerstones of its work. To achieve this, Citizendium requires contributors to use their real names. As a result, the four-month pilot project has created a thriving, productive and vandalism-free community."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Advertising Democracy

In the 12 minute film "Selling America" at the PBS POV (Point of View) American ID website, Gregory Warner "charts a brief history of efforts to advertise democracy — then and now." The main focus of the film - of course - is the USIA library program, and its evolution from early days through the current administration. Very interesting and concise presentation - and a good primer for that question libaries, ircs, or whatever we now call ourselves need to be asking - how do we remain relevant? The film includes an interview with Donald Hausrath, for those who might remember him, and the webpage also includes an 8 minute mpg with former USIA librarian Aggie Kuperman (picture) talking about "the USIA Library program... one of the most ambitious efforts at cultural diplomacy that America ever attempted." The American ID website is an impressive presentation of public diplomacy history and issues....check out subsections...

American ID | Freedom | Democracy | Choice | Border Talk | For Educators | Resources | Credits | Site Map

Instructional materials about the U.S.

A selection of IIP's publications that are most suitable for students are now collected in the "Student Corner" page. Publications can be downloaded in pdf format - should a useful resource for teachers and students alike.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Great read about reading

Alan Bennett's "The Uncommon Reader" is a charming and at times laugh-out-loud funny novella about the delights of reading, and their discovery - to the detriment of her royal duties - by HM the Queen. The novella is published in full in the March 8, 2007 London Review of Books, but is not (as far as I can tell) available online. Reprints of the story can be ordered cheaply from LRB.

U.S. Embassy goes Green

ABC News reports that the U.S.embassy in Sofia is the first embassy to be designated a "green" building by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The story suggests that the Sofia chancery may be a model for future embassy buildings..."New guidelines for embassy construction meant to address security concerns have resulted in the building of embassies far from large population centers, behind tall walls and layers of security, adding to the perception that the embassies are cold, distant diplomatic fortresses. The U.S. State Department is hoping that one of its newest embassies can buck that trend."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

International Human Rights Research Guide

Grace M. Mills, Director of the Law Library at Florida A&M University, has compiled this thorough guide to information resources about human rights.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I was alerted to this UK site via mention of their recent report on cultural diplomacy, but it has a wealth of other information that is also relevant to the larger topic of public diplomacy. The Cultural Diplomacy report concludes with synopses of cultural diplomacy as practiced in 5 nations, including the U.S., and has this to say about new developments in U.S. cultural diplomacy: "...there is a clear sense that any statefunded cultural diplomacy must be strictly in the national interest. The emphasis is very much on promoting immediate US interests overseas."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Washington Daybook

Gary Price, posting to the Freegovinfo blog reminds us of The Washington Times daybook service, a concise overview of the day's agenda in Washington. Another excellent collection of "what's on" information is the compilation of calendars at Resourceshelf.

Service Arranges U.S. Government Sites by Topic

Here's something from beSpacific: A GPO & OSU Library Partnership: "This service arranges U.S. Government sites by topic. The main list of topics is based upon the current Guide to U.S. Government Information, also known as The Subject Bibliographies Index."
This looks useful, and while you're over at OSU check out the Government Documents Page, which has some interesting things, including a link to the USG Blue Pages, which were new to me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"The Promise of Xrefer"

Might be worth checking out for American Corners or IRCs with public access internet terminals. Writing in the January 2007 edition of Library Journal, reviewer Savannah Schroll Guz notes:

"If you are looking for a tool that answers some of the concerns that Google raises, look no further than Xrefer. This online platform provides both Google's swift, electronic convenience and an accuracy and focus that the search engine's web-scouring mechanisms cannot deliver. It is a portal to a multitude of highly regarded reference sources, drawing on 244 titles by 55 publishers and providing access to tens of thousands of images and audio clips. "

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ten Tech Trends for Librarians

Michael Stephen's Tame the Web blog identifies 10 trends that the librarian profession will need to follow in 2007, and which will have an impact on the essential duties of a librarian according to Stephens: Learn to Learn, Adapt to Change and Scan the Horizon. If you're confused about all the talk of web 2.0 and library 2.0, this might be helpful.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Librarian's Nosegay

Thanks Laura for the tip about Shifted Librarian's post on keeping up when you don't have time. There's already an rss feed from Shifted Librarian over on the left, but I've also now made a composite RSS feed from some of the other sites the Shifted Librarian recommends, plus another favorite, Phil Bradley's blog I've dubbed this redolent little bouquet the Librarian's Nosegay, and you'll find it among the others in the column of RSS feeds (you have to scroll quite a ways down, but that's because there's so much good stuff there!). In addition to Phil's blog, Librarian's Nosegay retrieves rss from Librarian in Black, Library Garden, Library Link of the Day, and Tame the Web. If you'd like to subscribe to the Librarian's Nosegay rss feed with your favorite feedreader or rss enabled browser rather than check it here during hourly visits to ircworld, use the url

Here's a great English language site for following European stories. The site doesn't clarify whether the pun on Sein und Zeit is intentional, but it does say that " translates outstanding articles by non-English language authors bringing them to a worldwide audience. gathers voices from across Europe on a variety of topics, aiming to foster trans-European debates and the creation of a European public space."

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

2 handy handouts

2 recent CRS handouts that might be particularly useful for correspondents departing for the U.S. (or others interested in following legislation) are
Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources (02/28/07) and
Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade: Key Issues for the 110th Congress

Monday, March 5, 2007

Consolidate your email addresses

Gmail has a new feature that allows you to funnel mail addressed to various internet email accounts (gmail or any other service that supports pop3)into a single Gmail inbox. This is useful when you have many mailboxes to check - personal mail, family mail, user-response mailboxes attached to specific blogs and websites, etc., and checking all of them regularly becomes an easy-to-forget nuisance. You can also choose to retain the original address (e.g. as the "From" address, even when replying from Gmail. To add additional accounts to Gmail, select settings/accounts/add another email address. Note that you must enable pop3 in the email accounts before they can funneled to your default Gmail account.

Friday, March 2, 2007 is a useful and graphically pleasing site that explains how the U.S. raises and spends $3 trillion per year.

Webmasters at play will find lots of neat stuff at