Author Archives: recourtney

Anchorage Information

The Consortium Library offers an increasing number of wonderful databases and information sources that cover the country, the world, and beyond, but what if your interests are a little more local?  Like right down the street?  Google provides the amazing Street View, but that doesn’t help much with more in-depth knowledge.  (Unless, that is, all you’d like to do is use Google Earth to find the distance from your home to campus measured in Smoots – a Smoot being the length of one Oliver R. Smoot, Jr., an undergraduate and fraternity member who was used to measure the length of Harvard Bridge in 1958.)  No, what you really want is Anchorage Indicators, updated in 2012 and available on the Municipality of Anchorage’s website as a pdf:

http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/Publications/Pages/2012AnchorageIndicators.aspx

There’s information on demographics, education, economics, crime, labor, government, housing, and more in a 305-page document.  And much of it can be directly compared with Anchorage Indicators reports from 2000, free downloads for which are available here in the Anchorage Indicators section:

http://www.muni.org/departments/ocpd/planning/publications/Pages/default.aspx

In fact, some comparisons are provided in the appendices to Anchorage Indicators 2012.  Unfortunately, the Municipality hasn’t updated the wonderful and even more focused Anchorage Indicators: Neighborhood Sourcebook since 1997, which provided extensive and easily compared neighborhood-by-neighborhood information; there’s no current link, so if you’d like a look, ask for it at the Reference Desk (REF HC108.A46 A525 1997).

The Municipality does offer the very localized My Neighborhood online fact finder:

http://neighborhood.muni.org/

but while useful, it doesn’t touch the depth or ability to compare neighborhoods of Neighborhood Sourcebook by a long shot.  There is another site, Anchorage Live:

http://www.anchoragelive.com

that can provide a surprising amount of detailed public information on an individual basis, but again, not on a neighborhood basis.

We have other local and historical information sources for Anchorage and Alaska, but Anchorage Indicators is always a good place to start.  And for those of you who have decided that, all things considered, it actually sounds like a good idea to start measuring things in Smoots, you can find out more both at this website:

http://aether.lbl.gov/www/personnel/smoot/smoot-measure.html

and in Smoot’s Ear: The Measure of Humanity by Robert Tavernor.  We have that title in the General Collection at QA465.T38 2007.  To measure using Smoots in Google Earth, just click on the measurement tool, choose Smoots in the dropdown menu, and start measuring away!

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eBooks in the Reference Collection

We have been purchasing ebooks for the Reference Collection for some time now, but this past year we have been selecting ebooks over books when possible. Here are a few interesting ebook titles we’ve added in recent months; search on their titles in the Library Catalog to find the links:

Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability (in 10 vols.)
Handbook of Psychology (in 12 vols.; from Wiley)
Encyclopedia of Sports Management and Marketing (4 vols.; from Sage)
Historical Dictionary of Tibet
Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan, 4th ed.
Bloggers Boot Camp
Encyclopedia of Arthritis
Almanac of American Politics 2012
Cities, Cultural Policies, and Governance
Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought
A Green Vitruvius: Principles and Practice of Sustainable Architectural Design
Civil War Naval Encyclopedia
American Indians and Popular Culture
Substance Abuse in America: A Documentary and Reference Guide
Brazil Today: an Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic
History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008
Mexican Political Biographies, 1935-2009
Open Access

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