ACRL

College & Research Libraries News

Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts and Carol A. Drost, editors

Center for Watershed Protection. Ac- cess: http://www.cwp.org/.

Founded in 1992, the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) provides information and technical tools for small watershed protection. Watersheds are regions of land that channel rainwater into streams, river systems, and lakes.

Urban sprawl and poor community development plan- ning threaten these fragile land- scape features. Be- cause damage to small watersheds adversely affects the quality of our drinking wa- ter, impairs recreational and commercial fish- ing, contributes to severe flooding, and threat- ens fragile ecosystems, responsible watershed management is a crucial component of com- munity development planning.

A nonprofit corporation, CWP disseminates multidisciplinary technical tools and information designed to help protect small watersheds “from the detrimental effects of sprawling development.” Through workshops, articles on current watershed protection research, development of plans to protect and restore watersheds, response to requests for watershed advice, and advocacy for improving local development rules, CWP has achieved notable success. In the past decade, CWP has trained 15,000 people, completed 30 watershed research projects, disseminated 30,000 copies of technical publications, and published 150 technical articles.

CWP’s site is a rich resource of information useful in mitigating the impact of development. The site will be of interest to local government staff, environmental activists, students, researchers, and small watershed managers. Watershed assessment, water resource planning, land conservation, use of aquatic buffers, responsible site design, erosion control, stormwater treatment practices, control of nonstormwater discharges, and watershed stewardship are the focus of CWP’s site, publications, and programs. University, college, high school, and public librarians will find the site to be a valuable information resource.

The CWP site is newly designed. Simple to navigate, it is well organized and attractive. The primary navigation tool is a banner of wildlife photos at the top of the page; the borders of the banner contain clearly worded links to the Web site’s components. Links on the homepage lead to information about CWP products and publications, the CWP newsletter, and a calendar of current workshops.

Unfortunately, the site does not provide links to other useful sites, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds site (http:// www.epa.gov/owow/), the American Water Resources Association (http://www.awra.org/), and Purdue University’s “Know your Watershed” (http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/KYW/). Links to maps and sources for information about local, state, and national watershed laws and regulations would also be useful. Despite the limitations inherent in self-contained sites, the CWP site is quite useful and is a highly recommended resource.—Susan Case, University of Kansas, scase@ku.edu

Jewish Virtual Library. Access:http:// www.us-israel.org/index.html/.

The Jewish Virtual Library, formerly known as JSOURCE, is a division of the American- Israeli Cooperative (AICE). Established in 1993, AICE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to strengthen U.S.-Israeli relations. Mitchell G. Bard, a foreign policy analyst, is the executive director of AICE and the Jewish Virtual Library (JVL).

The JVL bills itself as “your source for information about Jewish history, Israel, U.S.-Is- raeli relations, the Jewish Holocaust, anti- Semitism and Judaism.” With access to categories ranging from “The Library” and “New This Month” to the “Virtual Israel Experience," one has the ability to explore numerous areas of Jewish/Israeli information. Recent additions to the “New This Month” section include “Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict” and “The Bush Peace Plan.” Prior editions to this section are archived for easy access.

Joni R. Roberts is associate university librarian for public services and collection development at Willamette University, e-mail: jroberts@willamette.edu, and Carol A. Drost is associate university librarian for technical services at Willamette University, e-mail: cdrost@willamette.edu

The “Virtual Israel Experience” is an amazing encounter for the viewer. From checking for an El Al flight to traveling the roads to Jerusalem and Caesarea, one can feel the history and culture in this extraordinary country. The virtual travel experience is very realistic due to the excellent descriptive text and superb pictures. Links within the text lead to additional information on the country and culture.

“The Library” is the “most comprehensive online Jewish encyclopedia in the world,” according to the Web site. The 13 sections of “The Library,” including “Biography,” “Reference,” “Maps,” “Israel,” “Women,” and “The Holocaust,” contain a wealth of information for the researcher or lay person. Although “The

Library” contains more than 8,000 articles and 3,0 photographs and maps, locating material is easy. For example, the section on “Women” contains subcategories on “Women in Israel” and “Women in Judaism.”

Additional aspects of the JVL include a “Glossary.” Here one can locate terms from A to Z on all aspects of Jewish history and culture, from proper Hebrew terms to a succinct definition of Zyklon B (the gas used at Auschwitz). The “Bibliography of Web Sites” and “Breaking News” round out the vast amount of information available.

This is a comprehensive Web site on Israel, Jews, and Jewish culture; no attempt is made to shy away from uncomfortable subjects within the history or current events of Jewish life. If you are looking for easily accessible, balanced information, this site is worth a visit.— Karen Evans, Indiana State University, libevak@ isugw. indstate.edu

Economic Policy Institute. Access: http://www.epinet.org/.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute (or think tank) engaged in research, analysis, and advocacy. Its stated mission is “to provide high- quality research and education in order to promote a prosperous, fair, and sustainable economy.” Frequently labeled “liberal” or “progressive” when referred to or quoted in the news media, EPI is especially well known for its research on issues related to working people and labor markets.

As is the case with many think tanks, its publications are often impossible to locate using reference tools such as indexes; this may cause them to be overlooked by students and other researchers who are not aware of EPI’s presence on the Web.

EPI’s five primary areas of research include “Living Standards and Labor Markets,” “Government and The Economy,” “Trade and Globalization,” “Education,” and “Sustainable Economics.” Icons across the top of the homepage provide access to research in these areas, including links to publications and a section called “Datazone,” which includes statistics on topics such as the labor market, family earnings, wages, and consumer prices. These statistics are available in either PDF (for individual tables) or Microsoft Ex- cel format. In all five research areas, EPI produces publications of various types, many of which are available on the site in full-text at no charge (an important exception is its best-known title, a biennial publication called The State of Working America, which appears to be available only in print).

Navigation of the EPI site is straightforward. A menu on the left side of the homepage facilitates access to research content through the following links: “Search,” “Publications,” and “Web Features.” All three of these are valuable tools for investigating the content of the EPI site. The “Search” and “Publications” features are simple and self-explanatory, and especially useful for topical searching. The “Web Features” section facilitates browsing for particular types of documents such as “Issue Guides,” “Economic Snapshots,” “ Viewpoints, “Datazone,” “Economic indicators,” and “The Pulse.”

With substantial free content, the EPI site is an appropriate and convenient resource for investigating facts and statistics, along with interpretation and policy recommendations. In addition, the center section of the homepage is devoted to selected issues of current interest, with links to EPI documents; this feature makes the site useful for maintaining current awareness as well as investigating specific topics.—Cheryl Gunselman, Washington State University, gunselma@wsu.edu ■

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