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May 2012

I want government documents

May 28, 2012 | Ranald | Comments (0)

I want demographics. I want numbers about people. I'm in grade 12 (it's a Jirō Taniguchi comic set in Ontario) and my homework for the "Health Care and Society" part of my course is to "identify current health care issues from recent media coverage and describe their societal implications" (The Ontario Curriculum, grades 11 and 12. Technological Education (2009), C2.2, p. 244).

It's the government that normally publishes demographics and numbers about people, the material basic to describing "societal implications." So to want this base material is to want government documents.

To find them, without having to be as clever and stubborn as a librarian, I can use a Google search engine that has been customized to search only Canadian government documents.

Such an engine is available on the MADGIC (Maps, Data & Government Information Centre) page of the Queen's University website and on the Government Information page of the Carleton University Library website.


Queens Madgic
The health care issue with recent media coverage I'm going to identify is obesity. As recently as May 23, The Globe and Mail published an article on obesity, "War on child obesity."

Searching with the Queen's search engine, and merely entering the keyword "obesity," the first page of results...

Queens Madgic obesity 2
... includes the useful report Obesity in Canada (2011). No cleverness, no stubbornness, needed.

Note 1. The Queen's and Carleton search engines will become more and more useful as more government documents are published only online, as all federal documents will be by 2014.

Note 2. There is, of course, already an abundance of not only Canadian government documents but also documents published in other jurisdictions, intergovernmental documents and non-governmental documents available online. You can alter the scope of the search on the Queen's site from the menu under the search window.

E.g. merely re-entering the keyword "obesity" (with perhaps a dawning stubbornness, if with as little cleverness as before) and selecting "Intergovernmental organizations" from the menu under the search window, the first page of the "19,100,000" hits (2:50 pm, May 26) yielded a WHO fact sheet, "Obesity and overweight" (May 2012), that I could use to put Canadian numbers into perspective.


JSTOR – a Digital Archive of Journal Articles

May 14, 2012 | Mary-Beth | Comments (0)

Jstor_logoDid you know you can read an article online describing ancient Egyptian mummies that was written in 1825, or read what the Belfast Monthly Magazine had to say about the education of female children in 1810? 

JSTOR (short for journal storage) is a digital archive of important scholarly journals, starting with the very first issues, some dating as far back as the 1600s.  JSTOR contains high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed, and illustrated.

The journals archived in JSTOR span many disciplines such as African American Studies, Architecture & Architectural History, Classical Studies, Film Studies, Palaeontology, Zoology and more.

Note it does not have the current issues of journals.  There is a gap, typically from 3-5 years, between the most recently published journal issue and the back issues available in JSTOR. 

Find JSTOR through the Toronto Public Library’s A-Z list of all databases.  Sign in with your Toronto Public Library card and browse by subject or journal title, or search for specific topics.  To find out more on how to search, click on  Help .



Reading is Easy with Gale Virtual Reference Library eBooks

May 2, 2012 | Joanne | Comments (0)

Gale Virtual Reference Library, available through the library's A-Z list of databases, provides reference eBooks on a wide range of topics. This online tool has been used to find literary criticism of Yann Martel's Life of Pi. Relevant articles were found in Literary Newsmakers for Students.

This resource also includes the 2011 Business Plans Handbook, titles in the popular DK Eyewitness series and Rough Guides travel guides. Some updated titles will be added soon.

Reading Gale Virtual Reference Library eBooks

You can scroll through book covers on the home page or view titles from the subject list on the left. Searches can also be conducted. Search results consists of articles from eBooks.

  • Click on the cover of the book and an eTable of Contents appears

Dinosaur cove4-20-2012 9-14-35 AM

Initially the article will be displayed as Text but you may want to switch to the PDF view


  • Displays the text of the article and any images as one continuous page
  • Use this view to print, email, download, listen to the article or search within the publication
  • Page numbers appear to the right and correspond to the print page numbers


Text and PDF4-20-2012 9-20-37 AM


  • Displays the article as it appears in the corresponding print publication
  • Use this view when you want to browse and read pages like in a book
  • Click the Facing pages tool to display side-by-side pages
  • The Full screen maximizes the viewing window. Press the ESCAPE key to return to the normal screen mode
  • The magnifying tool lets you zoom in and out


Zoom in and out4-20-2012 9-25-33 AM

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a great electronic reference tool of use to students in high school and up.  






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