Archive for July, 2008

All-Star Game

On July 15, the 2008 All-Star Game will be played at Yankee Stadium,  the last time this event will be hosted by this edifice. Listen to a Frank Deford report on Yankee Stadium and Bob Feller here. You are a click away from a  timeline of major events at Yankee Stadium. For more information and history on this game, please consider perusing these sites: the official MLB site and the Baseball Almanac’s page. You should also use SI.com and pull up hundreds of articles on this singular happening.  The Ballparks of Baseball and Baseballparks.com give you histories of all the ballparks both past(we so miss Ebbets Field) and present, and highlight future openings as well. Do not forget the Library of Congress and their popular baseball digital collections either. The baseball Hall of Fame also is contributing to this celebration as 40 of the titans of baseball make their way to the Bronx. And for the true lovers of the game, we give you the National League Green Book and the American League Red Book, both compendiums of baseball facts and figures.

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Library Statistics

 Did you know that in a typical week, over 18 million people enter academic libraries in the United States? That over 470,000 bibliographic instruction classes are presented to 8.3 million people annually? That all U.S. academic libraries hold over 1 billion volumes? That 221 academic libraries hold more than 1 million books apiece? That 26,500 FTE librarians are employed in the 3600+ academic libraries?(We know, it is a small number; in fact, librarians only account for 28% of all FTE staff working in academic libraries.) All these figures and more can be gleaned from the latest NCES report – Academic Libraries 2006: The First Look(released July 2008). The largest academic libraries have their own group, the Association of Research Libraries(ARL); you may peruse their statistics as well. For those who are not sated with these compilations, please consult:  Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2005(released November 2007); and State Library Agencies: Fiscal Year 2006(released November 2007). On a more local level, statistics for NJ public libraries can be found here, while international library statistics are published by IFLA(International Federation of Library Associations). The country reports are extremely informative; the latest IFLA report(volume 7 for 2007) contains profiles on 116 countries.

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Fourth of July

 As we celebrate this national holiday, please visit some of these sites. For interesting facts and trivia, try this Facts for Features from the Census Bureau. Scads of links have been compiled for you at the Fourth of July Celebrations Database. Where are the fireworks/celebrations going to be? New York City will be hosting the Macy’s fireworks display(see you all on the Promenade), Hudson County festivities are enumerated here, Bergen County’s own celebrations are listed here, and Red Bank, NJ will be home to the KaBoom fireworks tonight. Take a look at the document that started it all and read Frederick Douglass’ “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” here. And the parent in all of us recommends this safety site. Be well and enjoy.

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New Jersey’s Budget and Higher Education

Governor Jon Corzine signed the state’s most recent budget hours before the mandated deadline, and New Jersey’s colleges and universities are the poorer for it. Depending on the sources you consult, the budget reductions for higher education range from 3.5% (table A-22) to  6.3% (p.1) . This unfortunately continues a tradition in New Jersey where higher education is given short shrift.  For such a relatively affluent state, New Jersey has some dubious statistics, among them:  42nd out of 50 states for higher education spending as percent of general spending; 43rd out of 50 states for higher education spending per $1000 personal income; and dead last in appropriations for higher education, FY2006-2007.  A June 2008 report from the National Center for Education Statistics- Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2006 -  reveals that New Jersey also leads the nation in out migration of students; we lost 35,363 undergraduate degree-seeking students to out-of-state institutions and attracted only 6,068 out-of-state students for a net loss of 29, 295 students. The next nearest state to this “brain drain” is Maryland which lost an aggregate of 7,913 students. Another comprehensive report – Measuring Up 2006 – indicates additional areas where New Jersey higher education needs improvement. A couple of recent publications should be examined for excellent background information on this parlous state of affairs: New Jersey’s Higher Education Institutions: Excellence Amidst Challenges, and Reducing the Cost of Public Higher Education in New Jersey. A worthwhile statistical compendium on higher education in New Jersey is the  State College/University Accountability Sourcebook 2008, a widely used reference tool.(Look at the profile of NJCU on pp.15-16.) If you are interested, the new budget is located here, while the NJ Office of Legislative Services analysis can be accessed here. (Scroll down for the section on “Higher Educational Services.”) Also, do not forget to consult the NJ Commission on Higher Education’s A Blueprint for Excellence, a statewide plan for higher education which is continually updated.

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