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September/October 2005 Library News

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Favorite Web Sites: Business and Financial Information

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. provides consumers with financial data, research and editorial information on investment and non-investment financial products. Information on mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity lines and loans, and online banking fees is gathered from more than 2500 financial institutions in 120 markets in 50 states and Puerto Rico. Credit union rates are also included. Six calculators also assist patrons with mortgages, credit cards, savings, auto leasing, loans and relocation. In existence since 1982 as a banking newsletter, Bank Rate Monitor went on the web in April of 1995 and is updated weekly. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

BigCharts is an investment charting and research web site that provides access to stock quotes, industry analysis, market news and commentary. The Historical Quotes area contains stock price information as far back as 1985. The BigReports section provides up to date information on the "Bigmovers," the "Bigpics," etc. "MarketPulse" news bulletins appear on the home page and pertinent news articles are linked to individual stock quotes and profiles. Of course, one of the major appeals of this site is the quality of the graphics used to present business information. It is not unusual to see BigCharts tables and graphs on other financial web sites. The interactive charting feature allows the user to customize charts to exact specifications, including the comparison or overlaying of data. Big Charts seems to set the web standard for graphic presentation of business data. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

CI: Corporate Information, which merged in January 2000 with the Wright Research Center site, offers both company profiles and more extensive research reports on selected companies. The global scope of CI: Corporate Information is especially noteworthy; it is an excellent jumping off point for finding international business information. In addition to providing a search engine for approximately 300,000 public and private company profiles drawn from sites around the world, the site provides access to research reports on approximately 15,000 companies in over 50 countries. It should be noted that most of the linked sites are free, but the user will run into a few that are fee-based. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Through its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval site EDGAR, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) makes all submissions by U.S. public companies since 1993 available in full-text. Beginning in November 2002, all foreign companies listed on U.S. exchanges are also required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Filings include annual (10k) and quarterly (10Q) reports, annual reports to shareholders, and other filings that provide a comprehensive overview of a company's financial condition and business practices. Users may search by company name, the SEC's CIK (Central Index Key, File number, State or SIC (Standard Industrial Classification code). EDGAR is a key source for detailed company financial information for business and investment research. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Calumet Regional Archives Co-Sponsors a Photography Exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center

Lake Michigan’s Steel Shores:  The Heritage of Steelmaking in Northwest Indiana, a photograph exhibit, is now on display at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond.  Developed by IU Northwest Fine Arts Professor Gary Wilk and IU Northwest Archivist Steve McShane, with funding from the Center for Cultural Discovery and Learning, the exhibit depicts scenes from three Northwest Indiana steelmakers:  Inland Steel Company’s (now Mittal Steel) Indiana Harbor Works, The Steel and Tube Company (later known as LTV Steel) and U.S. Steel’s Gary Works.  The selected images were taken from photograph collections preserved in the Calumet Regional Archives, housed in the IU Northwest Library.  The display offers a visual documentary record of over a century of steel production in Indiana’s Calumet Region. 

According to a Welcome Center press release, "over 20 exhibitors have been selected to represent the ingenuity that’s helped Northwest Indiana make its manufacturing mark and is pushing the region in new directions. The free exhibit, open to all weekdays during business hours, will run from September 17 through November 6, 2005. A highlight will be a unique “gallery of regional innovations and innovators.” The exhibit is co-sponsored by US Steel Gary Works and Mittal Steel U.S.A. with the Ivy Tech Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center.

The Welcome Center, one of the area’s architectural showpieces is conveniently located off of the Kennedy South exit of I-80/94.  For information and directions, phone (219) 989-7979 or (800) ALL-LAKE.


, Library News Web Editor