Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost


Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Access: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/.

Krista Godfrey, Memorial University, kgodfrey@mun.ca

The mandate for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is to support Aboriginal people and Northerners in their efforts to improve various aspects of their lives, such as social well-being and economic prosperity. The AANDC website is an essential tool for government information for individuals from these communities, as well as those conducting research in Aboriginal or Northern affairs. In Canada, Aboriginal people include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.

The AANDC website is well organized, dividing information between Aboriginal people and communities, and the North. It offers considerable information on a wide variety of topics, including arts, culture, and heritage; acts, agreements, treaties, and land claims; benefits and rights; environment and natural resources. Researchers and students may also be interested in the forms and funding information available from this site.

A key resource for researchers is the user-friendly department publications database. Publications are free and are usually offered in PDF and HTML formats, with a few available for mailing at no cost. No account is required to access documents. Users can browse by subject or use the advanced search for more refined searching of the database. The advanced search, however, is not available on mobile devices.

Although the database provides easy access by topic, including, for example, 400 documents on “Acts, Agreements and Land Claims,” there is no way to retrieve a comprehensive list of all department documents. Furthermore, while publications on Aboriginal affairs are broken down by a variety of topics, researchers interested in the North only have one option for topic, which includes more than 300 documents.

Information on the website is generally current, and all pages include the date of last modification. AANDC adopted a responsive web design, allowing for easy use of the site on devices of all sizes. As a Canadian government website, information is often available in both official languages, English and French, although it does not appear that information on the website or in the publications themselves is offered in any Aboriginal languages.

The AANDC website is a useful resource for students and researchers looking for government information in both Aboriginal and Northern affairs. They will appreciate the breadth of information available on the website and the publication database, which provides easy access to government documents.

Digital Collections Center. Access: http://digitalcollections.fiu.edu/.

Sarah Goodwin Thiel, University of Kansas Libraries, sgthiel@ku.edu

Anyone with a fascination for Florida—the history, the environment, arts, and culture—will find the Digital Collections Center (DCC) at the Florida International University a true gem. Not only does it provide access to a rich body of digital collections and resources, such as the Coral Gables Memory and Talking Book projects, the Everglades Digital Library, the Frost Art Museum, and Tequesta Online, DCC also offers a friendly interface and clear, well-considered information concerning the creation and preservation of the collections.

The mission of DCC is to “build online collections of enduring value for university and global users by identifying, digitizing, and preserving information resources of scholarly, educational, and civic interest.” Collections are carefully curated, created, and preserved in cooperation with the State University Libraries of Florida initiative, Publication of Archival, Library and Museum Materials, and other local, statewide, and national partners.

DCC provides elegant, consistent gateways into a variety of collections, which make browsing the site a pleasure. Each interface reflects the unique visual richness of the individual collection. Collection contents include high-resolution images, comprehensive text concerning the collection, technical, and rights management information, along with browsing and searching capabilities.

Information providers are encouraged to propose digitization projects for possible inclusion in DCC. Permission and agreement forms, selection and feasibility criteria are available on the site for those wanting to propose new projects.

An added benefit to the DCC site is the access provided to a large suite of digital library development tools. The “URL-odex” of useful links to information concerning meta-data, copyright, scholarly communication, and electronic publishing as well as links to other digital libraries, journals, and organizations are readily available for those interested in the best practices and standards, which provide the foundation for a digital resource such as DCC.

DCC offers a complete package for the digital library visitor: gateways to multiple digital collections representing the state of Florida and comprehensive access to digital library development tools. And for those interested in DCC and the team that creates this terrific resource, a short description of the DCC production lab and the staff members who are responsible for the creation of the extensive site are also found here.

National Organization for Women. Access: http://now.org.

Tarida Anantachai, Syracuse University Libraries, tanantac@syr.edu

Representing more than 500,000 members and more than 500 chapters, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest feminist activist organization in the United States. NOW was originally established in 1966 to address sexual discrimination and inequality in the workplace. Its mission has since expanded to focus on six priority issues: constitutional equality, economic justice, ending violence against women, LGBT rights, racial justice, and reproductive rights and justice. The NOW website serves as a clearinghouse of information about the organization, including its history and structure, conferences and other organized movements, and its latest happenings and varied opportunities to contribute. For instance, visitors can explore NOW’s efforts in addressing each of the aforementioned priority areas within the “Issues” page, such as related news briefs and lobbying calls to action. Additional updates on NOW’s ongoing initiatives and accompanying multimedia can also be found within the “Media Center” page, as well as within its active blog and frequent postings on social media. In fact, much of the website’s design emphasizes NOW’s recent commentaries on a given focus area, giving the website as a whole both the look of a running newsfeed and a sense of topical immediacy.

The website is also a portal to information about two other affiliated groups—NOW PAC (Political Action Committee) and NOW Foundation. As its name suggests, the former serves as NOW’s more political arm, where visitors can find formal endorsements and promotions of feminist candidates in federal, state, and local elections. The latter, on the other hand, is a nonprofit affiliate, offering resources on the foundation’s slate of women’s rights litigation, advocacy, and public education programs (such as its more widely known Love Your Body campaign).

While NOW bills itself as a nonpartisan organization, it has received some criticism for being too liberal and divisive—an observation that is not completely unwarranted given their assertive content and action alerts on various political issues. Visitors will also find it hard not to notice NOW’s solicitations for volunteer participation and donations embedded throughout the website. Yet as the gateway to this prominent and influential group, the NOW website overall serves as a helpful resource for scholars, activists, and visitors in general in keeping up with the latest hot-button developments in women’s rights issues and the national discussions surrounding them.

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