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.