Archive for August, 2015

Hurricane Katrina Ten Years Later

Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. It was not the fiercest storm ever to hit the Gulf Coast, but it so severely battered the inadequate levee system that that protective barrier putatively shielding New Orleans was breached at a tremendous loss of life and property. NOLA has not returned to its former state. Here are updated reports: Fact For Features: Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary: Aug. 29, 2015 (Census Bureau); Database of Katrina Federal Spending (Times-Picayune); New Orleans: Ten Years Later (Atlantic); 10 Years After Katrina (The New York Times); An Unfinished Riff (The Wall Street Journal); Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years on (The Guardian); Katrina, 10 Years Later: Three Documentaries to Watch (PBS); and Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Of Recovery And Reflection.

Selected government reports are here. Also consult Key Documents Regarding the Government Response to Katrina (NYT) as well as Hurricane Katrina: DOD Disaster Response; and Hurricane Katrina: The Public Health and Medical Response (both CRS reports from September 2005).

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NJCU Ranks #7 out of 402 in Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck – Northeast

Washington Monthly has issued its latest “Best Bang for the Buck – Northeast” edition in which NJCU ranks near the top. Several factors go into the calculation, among them net price. You can also sort this list by state or by name. See what company NJCU is in.

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Announcing “New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal”

This new journal, published by the New Jersey Historical Commission and sponsored by Rider and Monmouth Universities, is a peer-reviewed, semi-annual publication that just issued its first number. It will contain articles, book reviews, graduate student essays, and the like across a wide gamut of academic disciplines.

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Thousands of Pre-1800 American Imprints Freely Available Online

Based on Charles Evans’ American Bibliography, the Evans Early American Imprint Collection presents almost 5,000 items (with publication dates from 1470 to 1790) ranging from books to pamphlets covering a diverse variety of topics from witchcraft to American protestations against British rule. Read such works as No standing army in the British colonies; or An address to the inhabitants of the colony of New-York. Against unlawful standing armies (1775); Proceedings of a general court martial of the line, held at Raritan, in the state of New-Jersey, by order of His Excellency George Washington, Esq. general and commander in chief of the Army of the United States of America, for the trial of Major General Arnold, June 1, 1779 (1780. How many of you knew the trial was held in New Jersey?); The Charters of the province of Pensilvania [sic] and city of Philadelphia (1743, printed and sold by B. Franklin); and Inoculation of the small pox as practised in Boston (1722). This collection is a value to practically anyone with an interest in the early activities of this country.

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According to Newsweek, These Are the Best New Jersey High Schools for 2015

Of the top ten best, New Jersey has 6; they are all “specialized” (magnet or academy) schools. McNair High School in Jersey City comes in at #172. The list can be arranged by state, college readiness scores, graduation rate, college bound, and the number of students in poverty. Clicking on a school’s name brings up additional salient information. This site also has a section entitled “Beating the Odds“: “Newsweek’s “Beating the Odds” list seeks to identify schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage. A star next to a school’s name indicates that it meets our Equity measure by helping low-income students score at or above average on state assessments.” The ranking methodology is included.

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Form 990 Database – Tax Filings for Nonprofits

Did you ever want to look up a nonprofit’s financial health, how much it pays its officers, what expenses it incurs? What is the general financial health of a nonprofit? This database from ProPublica – Nonprofit Explorergives one access to almost 2 million filings and 8 million documents dating back to 2001. You can search by name, state, category or organizational type; the results are listed in reverse chronological order and supply some relevant data in case you do not want to download the entire filing. However, while private higher education institutions must file (and their filings can be quite voluminous – here is Yale’s 300+ page filing), state colleges/universities are exempt from filing: “State institutions: A state institution that gets a free tax ride because it provides essential government services (a university for example) doesn’t have to file a Form 990.” (ref here or if you want to, you can go through this portion of the Internal Revenue Code. Good luck with that.)  So you cannot look up our sister schools, but you can look up their foundations. This database site also provides links to additional valuable resources on investigating nonprofits.

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What Challenges/Trends Are Ahead for Academic Libraries?

According to the NMC Horizon Report – 2015 Library Edition, open access research models and the reconfiguration of existing library space to accommodate changing study patterns are a couple of near-term scenarios that will impact libraries over the course of the next five years. Hundreds of notes and examples of implementation at academic libraries contribute to the value of this document. A must read for those interested in the future of libraries as they are further changed by technology.

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