Archive for April, 2016

Digest of Education Statistics, 2014

This 50th edition has almost 1000 pages of charts and graphs tracking the state of United States education from pre-k to graduate school. Do you want to see Historical summary of faculty, enrollment, degrees conferred, and finances in degree-granting postsecondary institutions: Selected years, 1869-70 through 2012-13?  How about  Foreign students enrolled in institutions of higher education in the United States, by continent, region, and selected countries of origin: Selected years, 1980-81 through 2013-14? Need figures on Labor force participation and educational attainment? Or parental involvement in education? Look no further than this tome.

International comparisons are also included as well as statistics on libraries and technology.

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Three NJ State Colleges Charged With Misdirecting Mandatory Fees

Read the report from the state comptroller. NJCU is NOT charged.

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Health, United States, 2015

This latest annual edition of a vast compendium of health and health-related statistics provides over 450 pages of data. Dozens of tables and figures explore a wide range of topics: health insurance, mortality rates, number of hospital beds, per capita health expenditures, state health expenditures, etc.; many of these present historical numbers as well as breakdowns by race. A special feature of this report is a separate section entitled Racial and Ethic Health Disparities, an important data-laden report.

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Reading and Math Scores from the Latest Nation’s Report Cards

The results are disheartening: math scores are down and there is no improvement in reading scores for the twelfth graders who took these tests. And again, there are large disparities in achievement along racial lines; a thirty-point gap still remains in both reading and math when comparing black with white students. Numerous studies on achievement gaps are available online from NAEP. Racial and Ethnic Achievement Gaps (Stanford) provides additional data.

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Online Primary Sources: The Easter Rising

For a brief period of time, commencing on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a free Ireland existed in the city of Dublin. It was short-lived as British military overwhelmed the outnumbered Irish; more than 450 people died, along with over 2,600 wounded. Overviews of this event that ultimately led to the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922 and the founding of the Irish Republic in 1923 can be perused at: history.com, the Department of the Taoiseach [Prime Minister], Easter 1916, The Irish Times, the National Library of Ireland, Century Ireland 1913-1923 (RTE), and Dublin Burning: the Easter Rising and its consequences (podcast, Dublin City Council).

Primary sources are readily available; we do not flatter ourselves into thinking this is the ultimate repository of free online source material, but we do vouchsafe for its importance. The Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland is a digitized version of the complete set of British Parliamentary Papers covering the years 1800 to 1922. Over 14,000 documents are available; you can limit by year as well. The Hansard – the official transcripts of debates in Parliament – allows one to search for specific years/months; for the 1910s to 1920s, many speeches involve the “disturbances in Ireland”. Contemporary histories and recollections are available in HathiTrust. Hundreds of links from the National Library of Ireland provide photos and access to participants’ papers. Numerous videos of interviews and contemporary news footage from various sources can be accessed online as well. In 2003, the Bureau of Military History of the Irish Defence Force released its collection of material dealing with Ireland from 1913-1921; it includes over 1700 witness statements, hundreds of documents, numerous press clippings, and thirteen oral interviews. This was amassed between 1947 and 1957 and represents an essential source for those troubled times. A copy of the 1916 Irish Proclamation is here. A Family at War: The Diary of Mary Martin specifically covers this 1916 event. The Easter Rising Newspaper Archive presents for a limited period of time free access to the Irish press of the day. And an eyewitness account from the town clerk of Pembroke (south Dublin suburbs) is online as well. American news coverage can be found at the Chronicling America site from the Library of Congress.

“I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.”

W.B. Yeats, Easter , 1916

 

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2016 Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People

The lists are here with each person being profiled in a short biography/tribute.

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More K-Mart and Sears Stores to Close – None in New Jersey

Anyway, here is the list.

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How Good Is Your High School?

The U S News & World Report’s 2016 iteration of its Best High Schools in America has just been released. Over 28,000 high schools were evaluated; you can search for them by state rankings – New Jersey is here. The methodology employed in this selection is explained. Charter, magnet, and STEM schools are also ranked.

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Cybersecurity and International Relations

The crossroads of information technology and international affairs is highlighted in a new site – Net Politics from the Council on Foreign Relations. A recurring feature is Cyber Week in Review (here is the April 15, 2015 iteration) that is replete with links embedded within stories having both national and international connotations. A larger CFR cybersecurity section has additional reports, but not necessarily a weekly round-up of events.

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2015 “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” Released

Issued annually by the State Department, this report allows one to explore by country or topically across countries. The quite lengthy reports detail all manner of violations. Access to previous reports are also available. Compare this with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

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Projections of Education Statistics to 2023

This annual tome provides both historical as well as forward-looking figures from the primary grades through college. Numerous tables and charts supplement this valuable planning tool.

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Demographic and Economic Profiles of New York Voters

With Tuesday’s primaries looming, you can find a great deal of data courtesy of the Census Bureau.

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The Election of a New UN Secretary-General

Usually shrouded in secrecy and featuring deal-brokering among many governments, the campaign for United Nations Secretary-General will be conducted this time with transparency. The eight announced candidates will appear before the entire assemblage to present their cases; it will be broadcast live on UN WEB TV. Their biographies, letters of recommendation, and vision statements are all here. More information can be found at: the Council on Foreign Relations, the BBC, the House of Commons Library, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

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A Seaborne Librarian

Ever get the hankering to be a librarian aboard a ship? (We admit we do.) Read this informative piece – The Skinny on Cruise Ship Librarianship as well as The Floating Librarian: A Duke Librarian at Sea. Also, check out the Military Libraries Division of the Special Libraries Association. The Navy maintains more than 300 libraries aboard ships through its Navy General Library Program

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What Was America’s First Library?

Quite honestly, it depends on the criteria you employ. This informative piece from the Sturgis Library shows how different institutions can claim that title when using different “first” questions. Most consider the Library Company of Philadelphia to be the first subscription/lending library. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, it still exists as a vital/valuable tool to those who work in Americana; it has extensive collections in 17th to 19th century American texts. You can peruse its Bulletins to see how extensive and active its acquisitions program was with both monographs and serials; a reprint of its 1741 catalog offers additional insight into the first years of collection development; and this 1807 catalog includes the charter, laws, rules and regulations of the library. In addition, this catalog lists all the monographs in alphabetical order by author, but the books are arranged on the shelves by size: folio, quarto, octavo, and duodecimo!

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AAUP 2015/16 Annual Salary Data Released

The AAUP has issued its latest annual report on faculty salaries; New Jersey figures are here. However, NJCU is not among the institutions included.

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State of America’s Libraries, 2016 Report

From the American Library Association, this report examines the current concerns among various types of libraries in this country. For example, the need for student collaborative space is still a high priority in academic libraries while school librarians grapple with the lack of access to technology in their institutions. Issues and trends are discussed, and  links are provided to relevant reports and documentation. Reports back to 2006 may also be consulted. Pew Internet & Libraries is a valuable site for library-related research and surveys.

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Congressional Directory, 114th Congress

This contains a profile, district description, office address, chief of staff of every Congressperson. In addition, biographies of Federal justices and descriptions of non-Congressional offices, and committee assignments are also included.

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Old School Research

Before the Internet, before electronic catalogs and networks, how did researchers find the locations of books they needed? They relied on printed union catalogs – tools that listed the combined holdings of libraries. The largest one produced was nicknamed “Mansell” in honor of the publisher who produced the massive 754-volume The National union catalog, pre-1956 imprints ; a cumulative author list representing Library of Congress printed cards and titles reported by other American libraries. The title, however, is a misnomer; it was not a truly a “national” catalog but rather a guide to the holdings of major public and private libraries. This is not the place to have found what your town library held. But it was of immense help to scholars trying to track down copies of needed works; we can personally attest to its importance. An article detailing the history and the continued usefulness of this paper product in the electronic age can be found here.

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National Security Reports – March 2016 Update

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