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.
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.
Anecdotes are not data. If you want data, you should turn to today's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki:
Finding Statistical Resources (Sherry Engle Moeller, Ohio State University, 2005) CC Last updated 9/6/2006
I especially like this guide because it is more than a list of statistical resources. Sherry Moeller has a whole set of questions to help guide people to the right resource. She starts out with:
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the subject of interest? (Topic)
Examples: Crime, Economics, Education, Health
- Who or what is being counted? (Unit of Analysis)
Examples: Individuals, Families, Households, Businesses, Farms, States, Countries
- What level of geography is desired?
Examples: World, Country, State, County, City, Census Tract, MSA, Zip Code
- Do you want data for a single location or multiple locations?
Examples: Ohio, Great Lakes Region by State, All U.S. States
- What time period should the data cover?
Examples: Most recent available, 1870, 1900-1950
- What frequency of data do you need? (Are you looking for figures for a specific point in time or are you comparing data over a period of time?)
Examples: One time, decennially, annually, monthly, daily
- What variables are of interest?
Examples: Race, Sex, Acreage, Gross National Product
Sherry also gives this practical suggestion:
If you don't know who collected or produced the data, can you make an educated guess? (Who would need this kind of information?)
Examples: Number of airplane crashes in the U.S. - U.S. Department of Transportation?; Number of AIDS cases by country - World Health Organization?
Once she has given you some focus, Sherry's guide moves into the following sections: General Sources, International Resources, Foreign Government Resources, U.S. Government Resources, State and Local Government Resources and Other Resources. Among the many annotated resources listed are:
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
- World Development Indicators (World Bank)
- Statistical Agencies [By Country]
- Energy Information Administration (DOE)
- Statistics at the State and Local Level
The full guide is well worth your time if you have any interest in statistics whatsoever.
Aside from this guide, there are about three dozen other guides to various kinds of statistics available from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange. Go check them out at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Exchange_Subject_S#Statistics
Did you know that today (June 6, 2009), asteroid Asteroid 2004 FY15 is flying by the earth at 35 times the distance to the Moon? Or that the 52nd Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is going on this week? You would have if you had spent some time exploring this week's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki:
Space and Astronomy (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)
The events above came from the Space Calendar listed in the "US Government Information" section of the guide. This is also the section to pay close attention to if you're at all interested in highlighting Apollo Program resources in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
Other sections in UCB's guide include: International Information, Nongovernmental Sources, Resources in the Catalog and Related Topics. Some of the resources highlighted in these sections include:
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
- Hubble Space Telescope Images
- Electronic resources on space exploration or astronomy from UCB Library's Chinook catalog
- Image Databases
There is a lot to explore. I hope you will boldly go and explore the rest of this guide. And if you are a documents librarians with a handout or guide, I urge you to confidently go and link it to the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki.
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.
A fair amount of news coverage has revolved around the regulatory activity of the Obama Administration -- whether it is to keep Bush era regulations or to propose new regulatory schemes. Today's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki will help you keep the process straight and help you find regulations past and present:
Administrative Law: The Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations (Hui Hua Chua, Michigan State University, 2008)
Hui Hua's excellent guide starts out at the beginning, by explaining what a regulation is. Then she links people to four separate places that explain the complex federal regulatory process. Chances are at least one will make sense to you. Then she moves on to provide tips on searching for regulations online (1996-present) and in print.
I've worked with documents for well over a decade, but this guide taught me something new (or helped me to remember). You can get from the US Code to the Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) by using the index volume of the CFR, labeled "CFR Index and Finding Aids." The "Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules" to link a US Code Section to a section of the CFR. She also tells us what I did know, that sections of the CFR will state their statutory authority, linking us back to the US Code.
Hui Hua concludes her guide with ways to keep with proposed regulations. If your work or study touches on federal regulation in any way, you'll want to take a close look at this guide. And if you're a librarian with a guide or handout of your own, please link it to the Handout Exchange.
This week's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki will be useful in stimulating critical thinking about public policy:
Public Policy Matrix (Grace York, University of Michigan, 1999) CC Last updated 5/12/2008 - Noncommercial copying and adaptation of this guide is permitted if the original author is cited as stipulated under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License
This guide is structured differently than many of the librarian produced guides we have highlighted before. Instead of the usual list of resources with or without annotations, we have a guide that this broken down by types of questions:
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? | WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
Legislative Process | Influences on Legislators
EXECUTIVE BRANCH SOLUTION
Executive Branch Options | Influences on Executive Branch
MONITORING THE RESULT
For each question or type of solution, subsets of the session are offered along with resources that might answer that question. For example, for "Who is influencing Congress?" We have:
- Journal and Newspaper articles
- Political Parties
- Committee Chairmen
- Congressional Hearings for Lobby Group and Executive Branch Testimony
- Executive Branch
- Interest Groups
- Campaign Finances
Along with resources that help people document these influences. At the end of the guide is an alphabetical listing of resources and an annotated list of related University of Michigan guides.
All in all, it looks like a good citizen resource despite its understandable reliance on some propriety resources. The questions and pointers are great in their own right and many free resources are included. If you have someone trying to wrap their brain around a policy problem, Grace's guide would get them asking good questions. Good questions are the first step to good answers.
Next Saturday (May 2nd) is my 17th wedding anniversary, so there will be no "Guide of the Week" next week! So you'll want to take part of your morning next Saturday to explore the Handout Exchange on your own.