The introduction to this annotated bibliography states:
With the collapse of the subprime mortgage market early in 2007, foreclosures reached crisis level, and the crisis continues today. In answer, federal, state, and local governments have implemented programs to help alleviate the problem and stabilize neighborhoods. This bibliography presents a selection of print and online resources about foreclosure and the programs implemented by states and the federal government to help homeowners.
I think the folks at the WI LRB deliver on this promise. A few of the resources highlighted include:
Characteristics and Performance of Nonprime Mortgages / U.S. Government Accountability Office. July 28, 2009. GAO was asked to examine the nonprime mortgage market to help inform congressional efforts to deal with the problems in the mortgage industry. www.gao.gov/new.items/d09848r.pdf
Foreclosure to Homelessness 2009: The Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis / National Coalition for the Homeless, et al. 2009. (347.62/N21) One phenomenon of the current foreclosure crisis is that many homeowners who lose their homes end up not in apartments, but on the street. This report examines how this happens and makes policy recommendations.
"The Giant Pool of Money" / National Public Radio, This American Life, May 9, 2008, episode 355. This podcast of the episode, originally broadcast in 2008, provides a thorough summary of the housing crisis. Available in audio or transcript format. www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=355
Like the resources from the Handout Exchange, I encourage you to check out the whole guide. Regardless of where you live, I think you'll find it worthwhile. I hope you'll also find it just another example of the value that librarians offer over unorganized information.
FGI would like to congratulate Bert Chapman, Lori Bryant and Libby Wahl for their work which has resulted in the Purdue University Libraries Government Documents Department being the Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Depository Library Spotlight for August 2009. This honor is well deserved as this excerpt from GPO's citation makes clear:
The depository has subject guides, course guides, and the maintenance of an ongoing list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that are of interest to people monitoring current events.
The library’s Government Documents Web page also promotes government information through the maintenance of a "Government Documents of the Week" and "Featured Sites of the Week" section. This enables people to explore topics of current or general interest through depository resources. Visitors may not even have known that government information played a part in the topic!
The library’s efforts to connect users to government information supports not only library users, but library staff as well, since much of the information is related to current events and hence may be harder for reference staff to track down.
Finally, the depository coordinator, Bert Chapman, is committed to providing detailed subject help through listserv postings as well as through the online reference service Government Information Online (GIO). By participating in these and other initiatives, he shares his vast knowledge by providing quality information and reference services to both library users and librarians nationwide.
In addition to what GPO has cited, we at FGI would like to thank Bert Chapman for his many contributions to the GODORT Handount Exchange. His willingness to share his excellent subject guides beyond his university to the entire government information community is greatly appreciated. We have featured a number of his guides linked to the Handout Exchange.
In summing up the greatness of the Purdue Government Documents department, we can't do better than how GPO ended their citation:
For all the energy directed to educating both users and librarians alike, GPO would like to thank the Purdue University Libraries. Their willingness to share their expertise benefits us all.
Indeed. FGI salutes Bert, Lori and Libby for all that they do and wish them well in continued efforts.
A Happy Independence Day to all of our US readers! May we live out the values enshrined in our founding document, including a sincere belief that all people are created equal and have inalienable rights no state can take away. Not even the United States.
This is going to be the last regular installment of "Guide of the Week" because I have hit two milestones. With this guide highlight, I will have hit every subject page at least once. With this week, I have done roughly a year's worth of guide highlights as I started on July 12, 2008. I would end with July 11, 2009, except that I will be in Chicago attending the annual conference of the American Library Association. So it seems good to end this regular column today.
This isn't the total end of highlighting materials from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange, which you better have bookmarked by now. As I notice new guides being added, I will try and highlight them here. Additionally, if there seems to be an all consuming news topic that I can identify a relevant guide for, I'll highlight it. We have created an archives page for past Guide of the Week features at http://freegovinfo.info/node/2654.
If you are a govdocs blogger, I hope you will use the Handout Exchange as a source of posts. And like I've been saying almost every week in the past year, if you are a docs librarian with a handout, I expect you to share it on the Exchange.
Housekeeping done, let's move on to our last Guide of the Week:
Gender Equality (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)
This annotated guide is divided into three sections: U.S. Information, International Information and Nongovernmental Sources. Some of the resources include:
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 this the Department of Education's page on Title IX, it contains the law, along with guidance and publications on the law.
- United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) or WomenWatch, is "a central gateway to information and resources on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the United Nations system, including the United Nations Secretariat, regional commissions, funds, programmes, specialized agencies and academic and research institutions."
- Women Working, 1800-1930 is a collection of digitized historical, manuscript, and image collections on working women from the Harvard Library collection.
In addition to this guide on Gender Equality, there are three other guides on women's issues on the Exchange. They date from the late 1990s. Think that is too few from too long ago? Then link to your more current guide or handout on women-related government information resources!
Although I've now hit all of the guide subject pages from A to Z, there is much more to explore in the Handout Exchange Wiki. So go forth and explore. And if you're a docs librarian, please link your favorite handout (or 12) to the Handout Exchange.
This page links to all of our blog entries highlighting librarian produced guides linked to the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable (ALA GODORT) Handout Exchange Wiki. The bulk of entries accessible from the link below came from our "Guide of the Week" series produced from July 12, 2008 - July 4, 2009. More recent entries will come from occasional blog posting highlighting selected new or newsworthy guides.
From their website, here is a description of the purpose of the Exchange:
The goal of this GODORT Education Committee project is to gather into one place the many tools available to government information librarians to assist in the successful management of electronic government information and in building advocacy skills to promote access to this information.
Please feel free to add your handouts, guides, and tutorials to the Exchange to assist your government information colleagues. We don't need to reinvent the wheel. We can provide templates for one another to save time, share models, and work smarter.
Here are the most recent titles:
By now, most FGI readers should know about the coup in Honduras.
You may not know that the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange has some resources to help people learn more about Honduras:
- Honduras Country Guide from the University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library
- State Department microfilm documents on Latin America from the University of California at Berkeley.
While not a handout nor in the Exchange, people interested in historic interactions between the United States and Honduras should check out the cross-agency Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Search put together by Stanford University's Social Sciences Research Group and hosted by Archive-It.
Librarians - If you want to use library/govdoc resources in highlighting news stories or themes important to your audience, you don't need to work alone. The Handout Exchange is there to help.
Treaties exist between many nations on many subjects. From mutual defense to copyright to exchanging meteorological data, chances are there is at least one treaty between at least two nations on almost any subject you can think of. This week's Guide of the Week will help you navigate this crowded field:
Treaty Research: Sources and Tips (Debbi Schaubman, Michigan State University, 1999) Last updated 10/27/2006 by Terri Miller.
This guide aims to be a starting point for the most important sources to treaty finding. It is divided into five sections:
- General Bibliographies and Indexes: World Coverage
- General Bibliographies and Indexes: Regional/National Coverage
- Treaty Texts
- Treaties between Native Americans and the United States or Canada
- Tips for Tracking Recent Treaties and Treaty Actions
Some of the resources include:
- Treaties and Alliances of the World
- Canado-American Treaties
- United States Treaties and Other International Agreements
- Avalon Project: Treaties between the U.S. and Native Americans
- Texts of Recently Deposited Multilateral Treaties
In addition to Terri's guide, there are currently at least six other guides on international treaties. Explore them all at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Exchange_Subject_T#Treaties.
With North Korea once again pushing its way to the front of the headlines, this is a good time to show off a librarian produced resource guide from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki on this pariah nation:
North Korea Country Guide (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)
Like the other excellent country guides produced by the UCB govpubs library, this guide is broken into the following sections:
- Government Information
- Country Profiles
- Articles & Databases
- Diplomatic Relations
- Peacekeeping & Military Information
- Resources in the Catalog
- Related Topics
The Government Information section indicates that the main official page for North Korea is a dot com and appears to be linked to an organization called the Korea Friendship Association. In addition there are two unlabeled portraits on the North Korea home page. I suppose they are current leader Kim Jon Il and his father Kim Il Sung. But I guess the North Korea web authors feel that only people who know that for sure will be visiting the North Korea web site.
As mentioned in other highlights of UCB country guides, the Country Profiles section features profiles of North Korea from many international organizations and a number of individual countries. If you question the impartiality of US assessments of North Korea, this section may give you a more well rounded view.
One of the resources featured under "articles and databases" is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Declassified Documents database at http://www.foia.ucia.gov/. Typing in North Korea yields 1,154 results. Some of them serious and some of them light-hearted like "Agency hosts movie premier and sneak preview" which talked about a showing of the movie In the Company of Spies at CIA headquarters. This particular document also shows the ridiculous secrecy practice by the CIA as this movie press release has a number of redactions, including this bizarre one in the following paragraph:
No visit to the agency would be complete without a trip to the [REDACTED] reports that between 9:30 and 10:55pm, guests spent 2/3 of an average day's sales, carting away cart-loads of t-shirts, caps, and infants/children's outfits.
The secret's out. The CIA has a gift shop. The redaction would look somewhat less silly and pointless if they had just redacted the gift shop manager's name.
But I digress. The good librarians at the University of Colorado at Boulder have provided a wealth of resources for anyone who wants to take a peak behind the screaming headlines of this deeply insular and often confusion producing country.
Are you a librarian with a handout or guide to an issue in the news? Then link it to the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki.
Patent research is one of more obscure things one can do. It is hard enough to determine whether there is a US patent for a given invention, and today's globalized world often requires looking at international patents as well. Where to begin? One place to start is this week's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki:
Patent and Trademark Information (Univ. of California--Berkeley, 1999) Last updated 2/9/2007
This guide is divided into the following sections:
- Pre-1872 Patent Information
- Foreign and International Patent Information
- Other Patent Collections
- Bibliography of Patent & Trademark Sources
- CD-ROM Sources
- Internet Sources
- Step by Step Patent Research
They use a mix of print and electronic resources with varying date coverage. A small set of the resources they highlight include:
- Japan Patent Office: A searchable database of Japanese patent abstracts, which includes the patent number, title, inventor, company, and abstract of the patent.
- Foreign patents: a guide to official patent literature by Francis J. Kase. 1972.
- Code of Federal Regulations, Title 37: Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights.
- Finding List for United States Patent, Design, Trademark, Reissue, Label, Print, and Plant Patent Numbers. - Gives the volume number of the Official Gazette in which a given patent number will be found for the years 1872-1993. Includes information on earlier patents.
- Google Patent Search - Access over 7 million patents from 1790-2006. Does not currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months. Includes tips for advanced patent searching.
Finally, since the librarians at Berkeley realize that no one has all the answers, they end with links to several other helpful patent searching guides:
- Searching for pre-1976 U.S. patents via University of Maine
- Patent Search Tutorial and Information via University of Texas
- The 7-Step Strategy via the U.S. Patent Office
- U.S. Patent Searching via Oregon State University
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) has launched a set of videos on the FDLP Desktop, "What Does the Public Know About the FDLP? GPO Takes to the Streets". Staff members of GPO "took to the streets" of D.C. to ask the public what they know about the FDLP and Government Publications. What do they know? Not much, as evidenced by these videos! These videos can be embedded on your website, so let's take a look at them here, shall we?
The marketing plan website states that "As evidenced by the Person on the Street videos, promoting the FDLP to the public is essential and necessary".
I agree. However, is the FDLP Marketing Plan as it stands now, up to the job? Feedback was requested and the results of these findings were published. I think they need to ask for more feedback and publish more results soon, especially for those that did not get to take part in this feedback opportunity before.
One problem I have with the marketing plan is the slogan itself, "Easy as FDL: Free Dedicated Limitless" which I believe means absolutely nothing to the average person, which they proved in these videos! They don't know what a FDL stands for. They don't know what a Federal Depository Library is. So why use Easy as FDL as one's slogan to market itself?
Case in point: A couple of months ago, I left a bunch of the most recent "Easy as FDL" marketing promotional materials on our library brochure table for patrons to take, but I also left a bunch of the older GPO/FDLP promotional materials on the table as well (i.e. the brochures that have images of our nation's capitol building, stating "Make the Connection for Government Information", etc). Which ones were completely gone by the end of the week? The older materials. Which were left still sitting on the table? The newer "Easy as FDL" materials. From what I can deduce, patrons grabbed the visuals that had the "government information" phrase on it and the visual of a capitol building or an American flag because those images and phrases "spoke to them" more and they knew exactly what the brochure was about. Hopefully they took the time to read the brochure and learn more about what an FDL is, but I feel the term "government information" grabs their attention a whole lot more!
The marketing plan website also states that "GPO designed The FDLP Marketing Plan to empower Federal depository libraries with the tools they need to market their valuable services to all audiences in the most effective way possible."
I disagree. I don't think they designed the marketing plan to empower Federal depository libraries in the most effective way possible and I don't think we did a very good job of giving them enough feedback. I think that we ("we" meaning librarians, patrons, GPO, FDLP, etc) still need to improve and redesign the marketing plan in a more effective way. What do you think? Let's give GPO our feedback and ideas! A lot of work was put into this but lets make this a labor of love and really work to improve it even more.
The ALA GODORT Handout Exchange has librarian-produced guides using resources from every level of government, from international to local. Today's guide is a case in point:
Official Links for Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County (Mary Finley, California State University-Northridge, 2008)
This guide is broken up into six sections:
- Official Links: City of Los Angeles - Los Angeles County
- Directories and Guides: Services & Help - Business Assistance - Transportation - Education & Culture
- L. A. City/County Statistics & Facts: Economic/Demographic - Crime - Environment - Education - Health - Other - Budgets
- Election Issues & Results
- Politicians: Who represents you? - Contact the politicians - Lobbyists and Campaign Contributions
- Local Codes and Regulations
I am particularly impressed with the "statistics and facts" section as it draws Los Angeles related information from several levels of government. Sources here include:
- American FactFinder (Census Bureau)
- Airport Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data (Federal Aviation Administration) - Reports include data on several Los Angeles area airports.
- California Department of Finance - Site includes demographic as well as financial and economic data.
- Residential Vacancy Data (City of Los Angeles Housing Dept.)
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services Statistics - Statistical reports, caseload characteristics, and various research reports about social assistance programs and welfare reform from the Research, Evaluation and Quality Assurance Division of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.
When you take all of the linked resources together, there are dozens of them. So if you have any interest in Los Angeles or large urban areas, go check out Mary Finley's guide.
Are you a librarian with a guide to local government information? Then post a link to the Handout Exchange. Don't know of a guide to your area? Then go create one. Your patrons and your peers will thank you.