13_internet_reviews

Internet Reviews

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

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Access: https://www.aecf.org/.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation was founded in 1948 by Jim Casey and his siblings in honor of their mother, Annie. Annie Casey was a single parent who raised four children in Seattle, Washington. The foundation’s website notes that its initial focus was finding homes for foster children, however, it has expanded its mission to a grantmaking organization that helps develop innovative programs focused on juvenile justice, education reform, community change, economic opportunity, and child welfare.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation website is clean and easy to navigate. Four sections are clearly identified at the top page menu and lead to informational content pertaining to the improvement of the lives of children. For example, the section labeled “Topics” provides information on issues such as “Adoption,” “Fatherhood,” and “Racial Equity and Inclusion,” just to list a few. The content format in this section includes streaming video, reports, and blog posts. Most of the content here is brief, sourced, and provides a good introduction to the topic at hand.

The “Publications” section takes a deeper dive into topical information by providing access to comprehensive reports, data books, and program manuals. Some content found here is created by the foundation, whereas other material is created by external authors. In all the examples reviewed for this article, the material was well-written and clearly sourced. Additionally, this section allows the user to filter by topic, program, initiative, or series, and different filters can be combined into a string of filters. This search feature is a powerful addition to the website and allows the user to quickly find needed information.

The remaining sections are labeled “Data Book” and “Grants.” The former leads to the foundation’s annual Kids Count Data Book, which ranks child well-being by state, and the latter gives comprehensive information about the foundation’s grant application process and areas of grant interest.

Overall, the Annie E. Casey Foundation website provides easy access to quality information on child wellbeing, as well as access to grants that improve the lives of children. Recommended for both public and academic libraries as well as anyone interested in learning about the betterment of children.—Brad Matthies, Gonzaga University, matthies@gonzaga.edu

Discovering Literature, British Library. Access: https://www.bl.uk/discovering-literature/.

Discovering Literature provides an immersive experience into five different historical periods of British literature, focusing on the social, cultural, and political context of iconic and lesser-known works. Featured as a section on the British Library’s main website, Discovering Literature is divided into five periods of British literature: the 20th Century, Romantics and Victorians, the Restoration and 18th Century, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, and Medieval literature. Each time period is explored through featured articles, thematic essays, and biographical sketches. Several thousand digitized items from the British Museum, British Library, and other repositories are interwoven into each time period.

The Medieval section is representative of how well this website is designed. The section begins with a series of featured articles that provide context for the literary works, exploring such topics as “Monsters and heroes in Beowulf,” Arthurian legends, the Exeter Book, “Saints and sanctity in medieval England,” “Travel, trade, and exploration in the Middle Ages,” Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and an essay on Old English. The Beowulf essay briefly examines the poem’s main characters as well as moral themes explored in the poem. Interspersed in the essay are several image collections, including images from the Southwick Codex of Beowulf. Descriptive metadata abounds, along with links to other digitized copies of the poem.

Digitized medieval texts follow in this section, including a rich collection of 89 works, such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain, but also the 1484 William Caxton edition of Aesop’s Fables, the 11th Century Anglo-Saxon Mappa Mundi, and a 14th century traveler’s guidebook for St. James Way, also known as El Camino. A detailed list of linkable metadata terms for themes, creators, dates, languages, formats, and host repositories runs along the left side of the collection items. The layout and accessibility provides a superb and enjoyable way to explore these treasures.

Additionally, the section also includes biographical sketches of period people such as Chaucer, Julian of Norwich, the hermit Guthlac, and theologian John Wycliffe. A final section includes concise summaries of representative literary works, including Le Morte Darthur, Piers Plowman, The Canterbury Tales, and others.

The other time periods in Discovering Literature receive similar treatment to the Medieval section, providing context and content for each literary period. There is much here to relish and study. Highly recommended.—Gene Hyde, University of North Carolina-Asheville, ghyde@unca.edu

OutRIght Action International. Access: https://outrightinternational.org/.

OutRight Action International’s mission, as stated on their webpage, is to fight “for the human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere.” It’s a fight that has grown in urgency as LGBTIQ rights are under new assault from Poland to the United States after years of steady progress, just as nations with ongoing policies of repression seem to be doubling down on anti-queer policies. OutRight Action International’s website has a simple, easy-to-navigate layout, with the most important links, such as their mission, approach, and issues, front and center, with additional links such as information on COVID-19 and a blog along the top.

OutRight Action International takes on a wide range of issues impacting the queer community, shining a light on the dark corners of discrimination and oppression throughout the world. The website includes an “Issues” page, with topics such as “Legal Discrimination,” “Crackdown on Activism,” and “Safety and Security.” Under the issue “Criminal Injustice,” we find both small victories and ongoing fights, from Sudan’s repeal of the death penalty for same sex couples to the failure to prosecute anti-gay attackers in Chechnya.

The website also serves as a clearing house for international LGBTIQ life, activism, and research. Recent articles include a study on survival strategies for queer women in the sexually repressive North Caucasus to the special concerns of LGBTIQ folks in the COVID-19 era. The site includes the typical information of a nonprofit—staff and board members, vision and inclusivity statements, and donor solicitation. Included in the “Ways to Give” section is information on joining local committees, supporting activists, and partnering opportunities. Informative and necessary, OutRight Action International’s website provides a global look at the LGBTIQ community, revealing the vulnerability of queer life in countries with few, if any, protections. It also shines a light on the growing repression in seemingly welcoming democracies.—Bart Howard Everts, Rutgers University-Camden, bart.everts@rutgers.edu

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