Web Site of the Week
“Web Site of the Week” is a new feature of our blog which will focus on web sites that we believe will be of help or interest to the HCC community. Most of the time we will be discussing web sites on the “internet at large,” but sometimes we will discuss resources available through NCLIVE (because it is, after all, on the Web). (Disclaimer: The name “Web Site of the Week” is not intended to imply that the feature will appear every week, but that the site under discussion will be the focus for a particular week. On the other hand, there may be some weeks when we encounter more than one web site worthy of inclusion in Web Site of the Week.) First up: two sources from NCLIVE.
As of January 1, 2012 there are 9 new resources on NCLIVE. This week we will look at two in particular, because they bring new information that was previously scarce in NCLIVE. The first is the Biography Reference Center, a database of over 450,000 full-text biographies. Many genres are represented, from such typical categories as Current World Leaders and Historical Figures to very specific categories such as First Ladies, Inventors, and, for some reason, Canadians. Entries range from a brief paragraph to an extensive discussion of several pages; many biographees have more than one entry. The biographies are drawn from a wide variety of sources, including books, periodicals, newspapers, and primary source documents. Whether you are a student working on a biography paper, or a faculty member giving an assignment requiring biographical research, you will find this new resource invaluable.
Next, we have Points of View Reference Center. Source materials include periodicals, newspapers, radio and TV news transcripts, primary source documents, images, and videos. Nearly 500 controversial subjects are covered in great detail. Some are topics that we see in the news almost every day: Federal Deficit, Global Warming, and Racial Profiling are a few examples. Some are subjects that don’t necessarily come to mind right away when thinking of issues that are “controversial”: Balancing Work and Family, Highway Carpools, and Decline of Reading are examples. Many of the issues covered have been around for a long time, such as Banned Books or Prisoners of War. Others are much more recent developments, such as Online Degree Programs or YouTube. For anyone working on or assigning a paper dealing with a controversial issue, this is an excellent resource that gives thorough coverage of all perspectives on a given topic.
We encourage you to take some time to look at these new databases and make use of them in your classes…they are outstanding resources!
Something to think about while you’re driving to campus:
Every year around the holidays, we see the Optimists’ Club selling Christmas trees all over town, usually to benefit some worthy cause. Why don’t the Pessimists have a club? And why don’t they sell Christmas trees? Maybe they think it wouldn’t do any good?