College & Research Libraries News

Internet Reviews

Sara Amato, editor

Foundation Center. Access:http://

The Foundation Center’s mission is to disseminate grant information. In specific, the center offers assistance to grant researchers in identifying “appropriate funders and [in] developing targeted proposals.” This is accomplished via five Foundation Center libraries located in Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. and more than 200 Cooperating Collections across the country, which are located in all 50 states (as well as Puerto Rico) and are open to the public. The center estimates that there are some 37,500 grant sources available to individuals and organizations and seeks to act as a gateway to this content. Support sources include independent, company-sponsored, operating, and communitybased foundations. Support itself can cover research, travel, conferences, lectureships, internships, performances, and/or education—just to name a few.

To accomplish this, the center has a variety of resources it produces, many of which are available through the Internet. Many of the Foundation Center’s most valuable resources are grouped into the Online Library, Training and Seminars, Grantmaker Information, and Philanthropy News Digest sections available on the homepage. The Online Library section contains items such as Links to Nonprofit Resources, an Online Orientation to Grant Seeking, and a Proposal Writing Short Course. The Training and Seminars section contains a list of Proposal Writing Seminars, which are fee-based seminars designed to cover the basics in various cities around the United States, Meet the Grantmakers, as well as other workshops that cover more advanced material, such as effective grant negotiation. The Grantmaker section includes Grantmaker Websites, which provide access to a fairly comprehensive list of foundations by foundation type. Lastly, the Philanthropy News Digest provides current, newsworthy information on donors, IRS regulations/issues, and general information of interest to those in the business of providing foundation monies, as well as those seeking monies.

The Foundation Center also produces a CD-ROM entitled FC Search, which includes “44,000 U.S. foundations and corporate givers, includes descriptions of close to 200,000 associated grants, and lists over 183,000 trustees, officers, and donors.” Additionally, it produces as a series of print publications, which are subject-specific, regional and/or by foundation-type, and some are designed to aid the grant writing process. Many of the latter resources are available at the 200 plus Cooperating Collections (http:// html#coop).

—Amy Tracy Wells, University of Wisconsin-Madison,

The Benton Foundation.Access.- http://

The Benton Foundation was established in 1981 by Charles Benton, chairman of Public Media, Inc., as a legacy of his father, U.S. Senator William Benton, owner of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The foundation is concerned with the use of communications media on democracy and the public interest.

Of particular interest to academic librarians is the foundation’s extensive research on Universal Service and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This far-reaching act touches a range of academic fields, including communications, political science, business, education, and law.

The site features links to government information, such as full-text of the Communications Act via the Federal Communications Commissions Web site, as well as extensive summaries and analysis by the foundation’s researchers. A virtual library features the full text of Benton position papers and other publications in areas ranging from the digital broadcasting debate to libraries and communities in the Digital Age. The most extensive subject area concerns universal service, with information about the communities, government agencies, market forces, and other organizations that are shaping the debate.

Sara Amato is automated systems librarian at Central Washington University;

Other useful items include the glossary of telecommunications terms, which provides definitions of terms frequently appearing in journals and policy papers but not in most standard dictionaries, such as E-rate and V-chip. In their analysis, the foundation has assembled a comprehensive and frequently updated site, useful for background information as well as the patron needing an up-to-the minute report.—Britt Fagerbeim, University of Washington;

CDC World Wide Web Site Review.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) homepage is attractive, compact, and its simplicity belies its wideranging information. Six radio buttons centered on the homepage divide it into sections. Four colorful rectangles near the bottom right provide clickable shortcuts to the MMWR, jEID, CDC prevention guidelines, and the CDC Foundation. Clearly identifying the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases would help laypeople. On the upper right another rectangle labeled “Spotlight” (lamp icon), changes regularly to highlight topics like “STD Prevention Guidelines” or “Emerging Infectious Diseases.” Three rectangles at the bottom center mark the “Search Engine,” “Subscriptions,” and “Other Sites.” An icon identifies the CDC as part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Other areas provide address and telephone information, warnings about information use, and an e-mail feedback address.

The enormous amount of well-organized information appeals to laypeople and professionals. “About the CDC” clearly outlines its pledge and contains a breakdown of its centers and employees, a fascinating history and online tour (Global Health Odyssey), special teachers’ lesson plans, and tables of the agency’s monetary justification by Congress. Non-frames, text, or lower-resolution versions are offered throughout the site and icons are attractive and sometimes animated.

“Media News” features a banner box listing separate telephone and fax numbers for the public or the media. It contains reports recently quoted in the news, newsletters, archives back to 1995, fact sheets, a timeline, and slide sets. Downloading options available include Adobe PDF, ASCII, HTML, and Postscript format. File sizes are clearly indicated and paper subscriptions (e.g., Emerging Infectious Diseases) are available. Despite the seriousness of its subject, there is considerable imagination, appeal, and some humor employed in the presentation of materials. A color cartoon called “Dogs on Cruises”1 shows two dogs discussing the potability of their cruise cabin’s toilet bowl water!2

The “Travelers’ Health” section contains literally lifesaving information on current disease outbreaks, vaccination requirements, links to other health agencies, and a clickable travel map. “Health Information” skillfully fulfills the CDC’s mandate to prevent disease, covering general and women’s health risks, teen pregnancy, injuries, disabilities, and prevention. The CDC’s general search engine for its entire site is easy to use and indispensable for so much information.

“Publications, Software and Other Products” includes hazardous waste information, publications of the CDC’s National Centers (chronic disease, HIV, infectious diseases, injury prevention, safety, and public health), and free, downloadable software of public domain microcomputer programs for handling public health data. The National Center for Health Statistics section features the Statistical Export and Tabulation System (SETS) Designer Kit, and the Public Health Training Network offers satellite video conferences, print-based self-study courses, multimedia series, and videotapes—most fee-based.

“Scientific Data, Surveillance, Health Statistics and Laboratory Information” appeals particularly to the research community. Its own search engine, WONDER, which “provides query access to about 40 text-based and numeric databases for any disease and demographic group, text search facilities and document retrieval for … Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from 1982 to the present and CDC Prevention Guidelines.” The system requires either temporary or permanent registration options, with user ID’s and passwords, and limits access according to registration level. It provides a somewhat mind-boggling number of search limitations for several databases, including FARS (fatal accident reporting), SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results), CDP (Chronic Disease Prevention), and IRIS (Injury Research Information Service). Data use restrictions are clearly listed and user support is available. A huge resource list to other sources is also included, sorted by protocol (ftp, gopher, http, mailto, telnet, etc.).

Training, employment, and funding opportunities round out the site. They include fellowships, research, training, grants, residencies, and conferences. The CDC has developed a complex and seemingly inexhaustible site of information that successfully and artfully achieves its mission and goals.—Elaine Hoffman, State University of New York, Stony Brook; eboffman@ cc


  1. David Farley, University of Chicago, DOCTOR FUN (January 28, 1994).
  2. sanit/vsp/images/images.htm linking to df940Vdf940128.jpg. ■
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