Archive for March, 2008

New Jersey Teenagers and Driving

steering_wheel.jpg The facts speak for themselves: needless loss of life, untold injuries, and billions of dollars in insurance payments. Teenagers and driving are a potent mix; according to this representative study, the very limited behind-the-wheel instruction time needed to secure a driver’s license presents a grave danger to anyone who rides the roads, and another report reinforces the supposition that parental management at the earliest stages of driving has beneficial effects. The New Jersey Teen Driver Study Commission has just recently issued its report with many recommendations. Among them are: increase the permit phase from six months to one year; require a certain number of hours of professional driving instruction during the permit phase; scale back the driving curfew from midnight to 11PM; and require parents to attend orientation classes with their children. These and other proactive measures will hopefully drive down the horrendous statistics that our children face when they get behind the wheel. And as NJCU’s Health Department offers Driver Education Certification, it behooves all of us here to be aware of this problem and what can be done about it. To paraphrase a New York Times editorial, we all want our children home safely.

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This Sporting Life

sports.gif Thanks to the folks at Time, Inc., we now have free access to the past fifty-four years of Sports Illustrated, the main chronicler of sports in this country. This easy-to-use site offers access to every article published either in the magazine or its online sibling. Also, you can peruse cover galleries, selected videos, as well as thousands of photographs. This is truly a treasure trove of sports information; Frank Deford’s articles are a must read. We would be remiss if we did not mention the annual occurrence of “March Madness” for which there is no known cure. It would appear to the uninitiated that EVERY college basketball team is involved in some tournament or other at this time of the year. However, those are but tune-ups for “The Big Dance,” the yearly NCAA basketball ritual of determining the top team in the country through elimination rounds. Related facts and figures are available here. Did you know that NJCU fields many teams at the NCAA Division III level from men’s baseball to women’s volleyball? That the men’s soccer team made it into the sweet sixteen? That pending tomorrow’s rankings, the women’s bowling team may earn a fifth consecutive appearance in the championships? That two women track members qualified for the NCAA and earned All-American status?  You can follow their exploits from the NCAA site, but we prefer to get our NJCU sports fix from NJCU Sports Information Director Ira Thor’s informative and ever-updated Gothicknights page.

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Artists’ Biographies

pencil.jpg We have been notified of a new free web site that provides extensive biographical information on contemporary artists – Artists’ Gallery – brought out by the publishers of Who’s Who in American Art which the Library receives. This got us to thinking about other free sites which may provide a similar service. So here goes: Crossing the Threshold highlights”… thirty-two women artists, ranging in age from 70 to 95 years, who have persevered throughout the twentieth century….”; Women Photographers; They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of World War II; Women Artists in Canada; Clara Database of Women Artists, containing information on over 18,000 individuals; Artists in the American Imagist Collection, featuring artists from the Golden Age of American Illustration, 1870-1965; Masters of American Comics; the Artist Index from the WebMuseum, Paris; Women Come to the Front, dealing with journalists, photographers, and broadcasters during WWII; Women Artists of the American West: Past and Present; the Artcyclopedia section on over 8700 artists;  biography.com‘s artist search; and lastly,  the Getty Union List of Artist Names Online, providing standardized name entries for over 200,000 artists along with brief but important biographical entries. These sites, in concert with the Library’s subscription database Grove Art Online , will give the researcher ample information. Before we leave this electronic dispatch, we have to point out a tangential site which we found in our meanderings, the wonderful Prints and Photographs Online Catalog(PPOC) from the Library of Congress. You have access to sixty-one collections, many of them fully digitized, comprising hundreds of thousands of images from baseball cards to British satirical prints. Well worth a look.

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Emerald Isle

4evangelists-thumb.jpg For those who are Irish or those who wish they were, here are some sites of value. For facts and figures on the Irish in America, go to this Census Bureau site. The BBC has its own web pages devoted to Ireland, St Patrick, and St Patrick’s Day. Irish texts can be found at the redoubtable CELT site; online works on the Irish Famine, otherwise known as the “Great Hunger,” are here while additional information can be gleaned from both The Great Irish Famine: 1845-1850 as well as the Irish Resources in the Humanities sites. The Irish History Online bibliography, containing over 63,000 items and still growing, should also be consulted. Celtica-Journal of the School of Celtic Studies has its most recent issues available for free here. And do not forget the Royal Irish Academy; its site allows you to read recent issues of their various periodical publications, including the fascinating Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C which covers the history and archaelogy of Ireland and is available full text back to 1996. The illustration above is from the Book of Kells.

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Impact of the Wireless World

wireless-diagram-2.jpg Two recent reports have reinforced the notion that wireless technology has indeed impacted peoples’ lives and habits. The IMLS National Study on the Use of Libraries, Museums and the Internet reveals, among other tidbits of information, that “The public benefits significantly from the presence of museums and libraries on the Internet.” It goes on to state that “Internet use is positively related to in-person visits to museums and libraries.”(Both quotes are found in the Conclusions Summary.) Another study, this one from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, shows,  perhaps surprisingly or not depending on your generational outlook, that people would rather give up television and the internet than their cell phone. Cell phones and/or PDAs are no longer regarded as just  voice communications tools but are now utilized for texting, emailing, photography, video recording, looking for directions, and accessing data. The mobility of this form of device has ingrained itself into many peoples’ lives; its ubiquity and portability are other attractive aspects of this technology.

 Depending on the surveys employed, you can find lists of most wired cities, countries, and campuses. Of course, all surveys are creatures of their times, so the results will change year to year. NJCU is also wired for wireless; check here for locations both indoors and out where you may partake of this ethereal resource. Guarini Library has wireless access on the first and fourth floors.

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Database Trials

databases.jpg These are not, as one faculty wag remarked, databases on trial law or court procedures. What we have here are four databases uniquely configured for diverse needs and audiences. Computer & Applied Sciences Complete provides indexing and abstracting to 1470 journals and publications; of that number, over 660 are available full text. History Reference Online Premier has as its basis the publications of ABC-Clio, a leader in history reference books. Currently, over 450 titles are available covering every aspect of history. The title, International Security & Counter Terrorism Reference Center, just about says it all. It contains congressional hearings, monographs, articles, news feeds, special background briefing summaries, and other publications. Nursing Reference Center covers over 3500 evidence-based lessons on procedures, legal cases, diseases and conditions, as well as patient education documents in both English and Spanish. There are also over 100 CEU modules available.  We have these databases until May 1, so please give us your comments. Try ‘em, you’ll like ‘em!

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Women Writers on the Web

writing.jpg Admittedly, there are an almost infinite number of sites on women authors. The following are among the best; they either contain full text works, biographical information, or examine particular time periods or ethnicities. And another criterion – these sites are free. The New York Public Library hosts the African American Women Writers of the 19th Century, truly a groundbreaking site. We would also recommend Voices from the Gap: Women Artists and Writers of Color which examines both American and Canadian authors, as well as Las Mujeres which concentrates on Chicana and Latina writers from Latin America and the United States. Other noteworthy sites include: American Women Writers Index; British Women Romantic Poets, 1789-1832; A Celebration of Women Writers which lists hundreds of works and is searchable by name, century, country,or ethnicity; Early Modern French Women Writers which has the authors’ writings in French but has biographies and other materials in English ; Emory Women Writers Resource Project which concentrates on the 17th through 19th centuries; Italian Women Writers which has the texts in Italian but has the extensive biograhical information in English; Scribbling Women which takes stories by American women and dramatizes them;  Victorian Women Writers Project; and Women’s Travel Writing: 1830-1930. Please bear in mind that the digitization of printed material continues at a fast pace. If you want to see what new works might be available online, check out the Online Books Page and the Internet Archive: Text Archive. The latter two sites are among those you will find on the Library’s homepage dealing with books.

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