Laws of Illinois Online Resource

The following information was sent to us from the libraries at Western Illinois University:

Through an award from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) , the Western Illinois University Libraries and Illinois State Library have digitized many volumes of the Laws of Illinois; some of the volumes were digitized through Google’s books digitization project and the Hathi Trust Digital Library.Linda Zellmer, Government Publications & Data Services Librarian, Western Illinois University, has put together a web site with links to this set at:

http://www.wiu.edu/library/govpubs/illinois_laws/

While this is not a complete collection, it is hoped that additional volumes will be added to the online collection over time.

This could be a great resources for students studying Illinois history.

Google, Your Search is Their Business

Over the past decade, Google has morphed into THE superpower technology company. It has become ingrained in our lives. From search, to gmail, to youtube, to advertising, to a whole list of other online tools, Google plays a huge part in our lives and economy. That being said, Google knows a whole lot about you. Google has done a few things in recent years to help promote free speech on the Internet. They are not perfect, but they also are not controlling as they might be.

Well, one interesting site that I wanted to send along is a new site: Google’s Government Trends Request. Google has received 3850 request for data from US government agencies. They have had 123 request for the removal of information by these agencies. You can see how other countries of the world compare. I applaud Google for making this information public. This is the sort of open information that our society needs for a health debate about Internet policy.

Video: The Things They Carried

Thirty five years after the conclusion of the Vietnam War, Tim O’Brien’s collection of stories about an American platoon, “The Things They Carried,” is being reissued as it celebrates its own 20th anniversary. Jeffrey Brown talks to the author about the experiences that led him to write the book.

You can find a copy of The Things They Carried in our library: PS3565 .B75 T48 1991

Here is the video of this interview

Looking Back at the Vietnam War with Author, Veteran Tim O’Brien

The National Parks America’s Best Idea

We just received our copy of the cool film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Ken Burns. This is at once a stunningly beautiful documentary while telling a hidden history of populist efforts to save disappearing landscapes. Ken Burns has the special talent of teaching us something new about ourselves while using things that are so very familiar. Here is the catalog description and a short preview from YouTube:

Traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years. Using archival photographs, first-person accounts of historical characters, personal memories and analysis from more than 40 interviews, and what Burns believes is the most stunning cinematography in Florentine Films’ history, the series chronicles the steady addition of new parks through the stories of the people who helped create them and save them from destruction

YouTube Preview of The National Parks by Ken Burns:

New Health Bill What’s In It For You?

So, the big news these days is the newly passed healthcare bill. There’s all kinds of information flying back and forth out there. I wanted to share this article from the New York Times that tries to answer some questions: New York Times: Consumers’ Big Question: What’s In It for Me?. Here are some of the questions they consider:

  • Q. I don’t have health insurance. How soon will the new law help me?
  • Q. How many people can sign up for the new plan?
  • Q. How is the new federal pool different from what is already offered by state high-risk pools or Medicaid?
  • Q. How will the law affect children with pre-existing conditions?
  • Q. Will Medicare recipients receive any immediate benefits?
  • Q. Will young, healthy adults who don’t have insurance be helped by the reforms?
  • Q. What are the immediate benefits for people who already have insurance?
  • Q. Won’t all these changes increase my health care premiums?
  • Q. Will small-business owners notice any immediate benefits?

137 Years of Popular Science Free Online

The consumer-oriented magazine Popular Science has made its entire 137-year archive available for free online: Search the Popular Science Archive: (http://www.popsci.com/archives).  Here is a short explanation for their site: 

We’ve partnered with Google to offer our entire 137-year archive for free browsing. Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. It’s an amazing resource that beautifully encapsulates our ongoing fascination with the future, and science and technology’s incredible potential to improve our lives. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.