Favorite Web Sites: Weather and Astronomical
The web sites featured this month have been critically evaluated
and selected by the IU Northwest librarians as well as a group of academic
and public librarians across the United States who compile a yearly Best
Free Reference Web Sites List for the American
Library Association . Here is a list of selection
criteria initially created by the MARS Best Free Websites
Task Force to choose these sites. The Library hopes our readers will
find these web sites useful for locating reliable, accurate and authoritative
information on the Internet.
Using information provided by the National Weather Service, users can locate
weather information and forecasts for over 60,000 US and international
cities. Users may also search by state, ZIP code, airport code or country.
In addition, the site includes historical data back to 1994, as well as
an astronomy area for sun rise, sun set information and the moon phases.
The format is easy-to-use and can be personalized by language, time zone,
metric or English units, and "favorite" cities to display on
the opening screen. For a $5.00 membership fee per year users can access
an "ad-free" version of the site and receive weather forecasts
and weather alerts by email for cities of their choosing. (Summary used
with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)
Weather.Com, the official web site for Weather Channel Enterprises, Inc., is
an excellent ready reference source for current forecasts and weather-related
news stories as well as informational features like "storms of the century." Over
1700 U.S. city forecasts can be retrieved by zip code or city name. The forecast
and current conditions page, which is updated regularly throughout the day, contains
the seven-day forecast in graphic form as well as a link to a more detailed forecast
issued by the National Weather Service. Regularly updated local and regional
Doppler radar and satellite maps are linked from the current conditions page.
The web site contains similar search indexes for locating international forecasts.
(Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)
This comprehensive, practical and easy to use web resource provides a myriad
of information on all types of astronomical phenomena. Data covered includes
phases of the moon, sun and moon positions, eclipses, date of Easter, the Earth’s
seasons, Julian calendar date conversion and information on sunrise, sunset,
moonrise, moonset and twilight times. Ultimately, the link for complete sun and
moon data for one day is the most useful section of this web site. The user simply
has to choose Form A- U.S. Cities or Towns, enter the appropriate date, state
and city or town and the correct sunrise, sunset, twilight and moon data appears.
This section also provides Form B for locating international sun and moon data.
The web site additionally provides a frequently asked questions section along
with a handy site map and index. The U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications
Department’s Data Services web page serves as an excellent web almanac
devoted to all types of astronomical data.
Digital Sanborn Maps for Illinois and Indiana Now Available on the
IU Northwest Library’s Web Page
The IU Northwest Library recently acquired access to Illinois and Indiana maps through
the IU Libraries’ system-wide subscription to Digital Sanborn Maps.
Produced by University Microform International’s Proquest service, Digital
Sanborn Maps 1867-1970 provide electronic access to large scale maps
of hundreds of towns and cities in Indiana and Illinois. According to its web
site, “Sanborn fire insurance maps are most frequently consulted maps in
both academic and public libraries. Sanborn maps are valuable historical tools
for urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers, genealogists,
local historians... and anyone who wants to learn about the history, growth and
development of American cities, towns and neighborhoods.”
IU Northwest students, faculty and staff can view the Digital Sanborn Map collection
from IU Northwest or off campus computers by going to the
Library’s Electronic Information Sources Page and clicking
on the All Databases Listed Alphabetically link. At the next screen,
scroll down to the D section and choose the Digital Sanborn Maps
(Illinois & Indiana link.
- At the database’s main page, click the Browse Maps to
start using the collection.
- At the next screen, select either Illinois or Indiana from the Select
a State pull-down menu and then choose a specific town or city
and the appropriate date to view specific maps.
NetLibrary E-Books Gain Popularity
Since the IU Libraries’ subscription to NetLibrary’s e-books service
began nearly a year ago, the IU Northwest Library was the first regional campus library
to purchase e-books when it acquired Gale’s Encyclopedia of Education.
IU Northwest students, faculty and staff have access to approximately 7,642 books excluding
government publications which constitute about another 30,000 items through this
system-wide contract. Subject areas covered include but are not limited to:
- American Literature
- Family, Marriage and Women
- General Technology
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Theory and Practice of Education
- Transportation and Communication
- United States Law
According to the most recent usage statistics, the most popular titles accessed
electronically through the NetLibrary database were:
- Aeschylus' Agamemnon, The Choephori & The Eumenides : Cliffs notes
- Alex Haley & Malcolm X's The Autobiography of Malcolm X: Bloom's
- American Homelessness : A Reference Handbook
- The Catcher in the Rye : Cliffs Notes On--
- Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn CliffsComplete
- Black Elk Speaks Cliffs Notes
- CliffsNotes Rand's Atlas Shrugged
- CliffsNotes, Adams' The Education of Henry
- Finding What You Want On the Web
- CliffsQuickReview Anatomy & Physiology
- CliffsQuickReview Basic Math and Pre-algebra
- CliffsQuickReview Physics
- CliffsQuickReview Statistics
- CliffsTestPrep Praxis I, PPST
- Companion Encyclopedia of Geography : The Environment and Humankind
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning German On Your Own
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Sign Language
- The Death Penalty : For and against Point/counterpoint
- Encyclopedia of Education, 2nd Ed
- Encyclopedia of Urban Legends
- Endangered Species : A Reference Handbook
- EResumes : Everything You Need to Know About Using Electronic Resumes
to Tap Into Today's Job Market
- Fast Food Nation : The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
- Grant Seeker's Budget Toolkit
For further information about how to access the NetLibrary e-book collection
from on or off campus computers and establish a free personal account, read
the article NetLibrary E-books Now Available Through IUCAT in
the IU Northwest Library Web News’ March 2003 issue.
, Library News Web Editor