Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ask not what your college can do for you....

but what your college can do for your country! Washington Monthly's College Guide rates U.S. colleges according to the following criteria: "Universities should be engines of social mobility, they should produce the academic minds and scientific research that advance knowledge and drive economic growth; and they should inculcate and encourage an ethic of service." Makes an interesting contrast to the better-known U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

When Is Not Enough

For book reviews and a lot more about the book and publishing world, try some of these sites: is a spiffy array of book tools and includes a precision search engine to extract titles from a treasure chest that cross matches books by plot, era, character, and even mood.

Dead Trees Review is the work of a single reviewer who reads voraciously and writes solid, short reviews.

The Book Report Network pulls together,, and others -- all sites where there are reviews and other interesting book features. adds author interviews to the mix of reviews. covers the territory for authors of African heritage.

And if you never have visited the sites of the New York Review of Books ( or the New York Times Book Review ( then skip your coffee break and go there today. The wonder pen-and-ink sketches of David Levine are there for the asking and the NY Times archive goes back to 1997.

School Matters

SchoolMatters, at, seeks to "give policymakers, educators, and parents the tools they need to make better-informed decisions that improve student performance." Provides detailed information for public schools down to the zip code level, as well as comparative statistics and data.

Monday, August 22, 2005

View 26,000 Operas at Once!

New York City's Metropolitan Opera, known to listeners worldwide for its radio broadcasts of live performances, has now created a free database that has entries on all performances since the Met opened in 1883. Find your favorite singer, find reviews, find cast lists, find photos - it's all there in a user-friendly fashion. Go to Select Met History from the toolbar and click on Launch Database.

Public Agenda Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index: Americans Perplexed and Anxious About Relations with Muslim World

"The American public sees the web of issues surrounding relations with the Islamic world as the fundamental foreign policy problem facing the nation — but they have little idea what to do about it. The inaugural edition of the Public Agenda Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index finds the public's concerns are dominated by issues that all lead back to the central theme of Islam and the West: the Iraq war, the global war on terrorism, and the public image of the United States abroad. To be issued regularly by Public Agenda, the Index is designed to explore the public's long-term judgments and beliefs about America's role in the world. Supported with funding from the Ford Foundation and produced as a joint project with Foreign Affairs magazine, the index covers more than 25 different issues through more than 80 different survey questions."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Religion Facts

This looks like a good site for facts/info about religions:


Dear all,

I am in Oslo IRC in Norway. I have just found an interesting blog site for all of us. Please visit RSS4LIB for Innovative ways libraries use RSS.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Book tips from Teens Worldwide

While visiting "Youthink! Action=Results ", a site the World Bank runs for their youth audiences, I came across this link to Unicef where kids from all over the world make suggestions about books to read. The posts are pretty recent and the kids add interesting insights like "Don't read the hard classics". Try these out when serving possible audiences of secondary school age. The book site comes in English and French.



IRO Moscow

Islamist extremism in Europe

New CRS report: "Islamist extremism in Europe" can be found at:

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Smithsonian Wonderland of Global Sound

Smithsonian Global Sound is a part of Folkways Recordings where you can download world music at 99 cents per unit. While music inquiries are a rarity at most IRCs, you will probably be able to think of innovative uses for this extraordinary resource. A search of US resources revealed 1250 entries from the last 50 years or so. Give it a listen!

Posted by IRO Moscow

Guide to blogging software

If you're confused about blogging software and technology, Susannah Gardner's article "Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool" is helpful. Includes a "blogging software comparision chart" and a glossary of common blogging terms.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 provides politics and policy news, state by state. The site was created by the Pew Institute in 1999 and was intended primarily for reporters covering state issues. Information can be sorted by state or by issue, and the site provides both email alerts and rss feeds.

Monday, August 08, 2005


The Internet is a treasure trove of information for business research -- if you know where to look. You can spend hours surfing through meaningless Web sites, or pay subscription fees for information that's useless to you, and end up with nothing to show for your efforts. That's why I like this next site. WebEc's International Trade Page ( ) has tons of links to some of the best international trade research on the Net. WebEc has been around for 11 years, and it's a site for economists, but don't let that scare you off. As I said, it's got some of the most useful, and cost-effective, research online, in all areas of economics. Scroll down the list of links to international trade, and you'll see a Who's Who of organizations, institutions, and publications, with research and reports you can download for free. In addition, there are plenty of other categories of economic research you can look at, simply by clicking on topics in the left column.

Redesigned NARA site (and soon a new Thomas?)

NARA launched its redesigned website on July 20. Lots of interesting stuff there, including much useful information for genealogists. A redesigned Thomas site was announced last fall, with rollout scheduled to coincide with the convening of the 109th Congress. It was supposed to look like this , but we're still waiting...

LOC New Site for Cataloging Training

Cataloger's Learning Workshop is a clearinghouse portal for cataloging and metadata training resources for information workers. The scope of Cataloger's Learning Workshop includes bibliographic information training in the context of formal library and information science degree programs, as well as continuing education for library practitioners. Cataloger's Learning Workshop is a cooperative project of the Library of Congress, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association. View it at:
Posted by IRO Moscow

Friday, August 05, 2005


This site, at is worth checking when looking for publications from defunct govt. agencies. I looked for OTA, for example, and found a great many publications in full text, dating as far back as to 1972. Excerpt from the site: "The University of North Texas Libraries and the U.S. Government Printing Office, as part of the Federal Depository Library Program, created a partnership to provide permanent public access to the Web sites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions. This collection was named the "CyberCemetery" by early users of the site."

Some recent PD articles

Mark Lynch, Watching al-Jazeera. Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2005

The June 2005 issue of American Quarterly includes 3 articles about public diplomacy:

Liam Kennedy and Scott Lucas, Enduring Freedom: Public Diplomacy and U.S. Foreign Policy
Penny von Eschen, Enduring Public Diplomacy
Ron Theodore Robin, Requiem for Public Diplomacy?

Both American Quarterly and Wilson Quarterly are available to the IIP community through that wonderful resource, the Ralph Bunche Library.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Center for Global Development

The Center for Global Development is " is dedicated to reducing global poverty and inequality through policy-oriented research and active engagement on development issues with the policy community and the public." The CGD's Ranking the Rich survey ranks the wealthy nations in 6 categories:

# Quality of foreign aid
# Openness to developing-country exports
# Policies that influence investment
# Migration policies
# Support for creation of new technologies
# Security policies
# Environmental policies

This provides a different and more nuanced picture of wealthy nations' commitments to international development than the standard comparisons of per capita aid volume.

Monday, August 01, 2005

John Brown's PD Press Review

John Brown, a former foreign service officer and now a faculty member at USC's Center on Public Diplomacy, provides an RSS feed of his public diplomacy press review. (excerpt from the website): John Brown aggregates all the most recent public diplomacy related news, including current issues in U.S. foreign policy, international broadcasting and media, propaganda, cultural diplomacy, educational exchanges, anti-Americanism, and the reception of American popular culture abroad.
This USC site has much information and many interesting projects regarding public diplomacy, including a public diplomacy wiki and a project on anti-Americanism