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November/December 2006 Web News

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Favorite Web Sites: Entertainment

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 Committee 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.

According to the IBDB Web site, this resource offers “a comprehensive database of shows produced on Broadway [dating from the 1700's to the present], including all ‘title page’ [program] information about each production. IBDB also offers historical information about theaters and various statistics and fun facts related to Broadway." Simple search allows you to search by show, people/organization, theatre, and season while advanced search allows many more options including function (director, actor, playwright, etc.), gender, opening and closing dates, character name and more. From serious research to more trivial pursuits, the IBDB is a excellent source for Broadway production information. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

The database is a highly comprehensive and easy to use movie reference tool. The core of the database is the over 2,250,000 filmographies covering some 180,000 movie titles and over 560,000 people. The hyperlinks within the database make cross-referencing the following categories effortless: actors, directors, writers, composers, cinematographers, editors, production designers, costume designers, and producers. Award and biographical information is also readily available. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Billing itself “the web’s largest movie script resource,” The Internet Movie Script Database contains over 600 full text movie scripts mainly in draft form. Scripts can be accessed by genre, alphabetically or by a well placed keyword search index. One can also browse the entire list by selecting the “All Scripts” link. Since all scripts are displayed in HTML format, users can read or download the documents for free without using any additional software. The Internet Movie Script Database is an essential online tool for any film buff.

Metacritic is a searchable database of individual reviews of film, video/DVD, television, music, books and games. The database can be searched by the title of a specific work, the name of an individual involved, a genre, or by "metascore," a number derived by Metacritic from a weighted formulation of rankings by individual reviewers. Metacritic takes into account the prestige of individual critics and publications in calculating weighted averages. Metascores are color-coded green (favorable), yellow (mixed or average), or red (unfavorable). Added features in the site allow easy determination of new releases with the most favorable reviews. Coverage of individual works includes a synopsis, information about its creator, publisher, distributor, or producer, technical information such as running time or number of pages, and excerpts from individual reviews. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

The Academy Awards® Database is a one-stop source of information about the Academy Awards. Intended for all users, the database contains a plethora of information from the first Academy Awards® in 1927/28 to the present. Users can search one of three search screens: Basic, Advanced and Statistical. The Basic screen allows searching by film title, nominee, over 40 award categories, song title, winners only, and award year. The results can be displayed in either chronological or alphabetical order. The Advanced screen allows Boolean searching and contains additional searchable fields. The currently updated award statistics page is organized by subject category. Before the current year's Oscar® winners are announced, the web site provides a link to Oscar®.com where current year nominees in all categories are listed. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Rotten Tomatoes is an unique, alternative web site for locating objective movie reviews from all genres and time periods. According to its web site, this web resource features "more than 127,000 titles and 644,000 review links to its ever‑growing database." Rotten Tomatoes contains movie criticism and film reviews from America's top print and online film critics. Movies are rated by using the Tomatometer(TM). Good films receive a "fresh" rating while bad ones earn a "rotten" one. Although the main web page is a bit cluttered, it does contain a well placed search box and an easy to use quick navigation pull‑down menu. In addition to film reviews, the site also offers the latest information on top box office movies, video game and DVD/VHS movie rentals as well as entertainment news. (formerly TV provides information on most current and many older television series and their casts. Volunteers who have an interest in a particular television show can apply to become editors, responsible for adding information about a show and editing others' contributions. Included are guides to episodes, reviews, information about the casts and crews, and forums on which users can discuss the shows. Clicking on the name of an actor or actress brings the user to biographical information and a list of other appearances. An appealing site for those who are interested in finding information about or discussing their favorite television show, also provides a venue for dedicated fans and aspiring editors and reviewers to share their work. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

GrantStation Offers Online Access to Thousands of Grants

The IU Northwest Library in partnership with the IU Northwest Non-Profit Institute has had access to the GrantStation database for the past few months. According to its web site, GrantStation "includes instant access to thousands of pre-screened National and International grantmakers. PLUS access to more than 2,000 hard-to-find local and regional funders that have a specific geographic focus within a state or region."

In addition to grant research and proposal building, this comprehensive electronic resource also contains the following features in its Grantseeker's Toolkit:

  • Common Grant Forms
  • The GrantStation Insider- a weekly e-newsletter that provides the latest information on new funding programs, seminars and conferences.
  • Federal grant deadlines updated daily
  • Recommended philanthropic, international, federal and state-specific web sites for grant resources that offer the newest ideas and information.

IU Northwest faculty, students and staff as well as the local community may access GrantStation ON CAMPUS ONLY by visiting the IU Northwest Library Reference Desk during normal business hours. The Reference staff will log in users into the web site from IU Northwest Library public access computers. For more information about  GrantStation, contact the IU Northwest Non-Profit Institute  at 219-981-5673 or 219-981-5629.


, Library News Web Editor