Wouldn’t you rather have a buick? 1969 TV advertisement

Although many television ads can be found on youtube, there is a news database called the Vanderbilt University Television News Archive which has indexed the major networks’ news and its ads. Most content can be viewed online. 

An example is this Buick ad which if you replaced the video could still work in a modern ad.

April is National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month logoDid you know that April is National Poetry Month? Many poets celebrate by writing a poem every day throughout the month, and many readers celebrate by reading a poem every day. However you choose to celebrate, here are a few great links to get you started.

Poems Out Loud
From the publishing company W.W. Norton, this site offers interesting links, audio poetry from well-known poets like Rita Dove (who just visited the IU campus last week), and a blog by former poet laureate Robert Pinsky.

The Academy of American Poets
Look up individual poets or poems, sign up to receive a poem a day in your email during National Poetry Month, find poems by theme (holidays, nature, love & romance, etc.), read essays and interviews about poetry, find poetry audio and video.

The Poetry Foundation
Also offers poetry by theme, as well as news, articles, podcasts, essays, and a blog written by several published poets. The Poetry Foundation is also the home of Poetry Magazine, one of the oldest poetry journals in the world, and much of the published content of Poetry Magazine is reproduced on the website.

IU’s Creative Writing Program
Find information on graduate study in creative writing here at IU, read about the amazing writers on IU’s faculty and the books published by IU graduates, and learn about upcoming poetry and fiction readings on campus. Check out the “Links” option in their menu for more goodies.

“The Dailies”
Poetry Daily (
Verse Daily (
Each of these sites will give you a new poem every day, 365 days a year. You’re bound to find something you like!


Country reports in our databases

Several databases offer written country analysis or profiles. They range from a couple of pages to over a hundred. Following is the name of the database (hyperlinked), the number of countries covered, and an example of their report for France.

  1. Mergent Online (34) France – Country Profile (29 pgs)
  2. GMID: Global Market Information Database (74) Consumer Lifestyles – France (118 pgs)
  3. EIU (Country & Business Intelligence) (194) France Country Profile (54 pgs)
  4. Facts on File World News Digest (217) Country Profile France (10 pgs)
  5. Europa World Plus (+200) France (60 pgs)
  6. eHRAF World Cultures (108) Basque Culture Summary (10 pgs)
  7. Encyclopaedia Britannica (+200) Country Snapshot – France (2 pgs)
  8. Encyclopaedia Britannica (+200) Main Article – France (332 pgs)

Additionally, there are a number of government and organizational siites that offer free reports. See the Libraries’ pages Countries Cities and States and Country Resources: The Green Boxes.

European TV channels and programming

With the growth of satellite, cable, and IPTV programming, finding basic information on European televesion can be difficult. A great reference book is Television in 36 European States Volume 1. It lists all the channels one can get in a country as well as the influence of neighboring nations. Each country has a recent history narrative. It also has a breakdown of programming by genre for channels, not specific shows. Data and graphs over time are in each volume. The producer, the European Audiovisual Observatory, also has a nice website that compliments the yearbook called MAVISE. Volume 2 covers new trends and Volume 3 studies film and home video including dvds and on-demand data.

Find new products marketed as ‘good’ for the environment

If you are trying to find what products globally companies are creating in response to environmental awareness, explore the database Product Launch Analytics.

Search for terms as biodegradable, green, environment, etc. The results are global and can be delivered directly to excel, powerpoint, and word. The two examples above for dinner plates are sold in Australia and the United States.

Is there a town called Bedford Falls in the U.S.?

The movie It’s a Wonderful Life takes place in a town called Bedford Falls. Is there such a place? The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)  contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types in the United States, associated areas, and Antarctica, current and historical, but not including roads and highways. The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the feature location by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates. Other attributes include names or spellings other than the official name, feature designations, feature classification, historical and descriptive information, and for some categories the geometric boundaries.

Search: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/

Download Data: http://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/download_data.htm

Life magazine pictures available

[left] Hair Styles; Spring Flowers, Life Magazine, 1951

[right] That Young New York Look, Life Magazine, 1969

This is really cool – an archive of photos from LIFE magazine is now searchable on Google. Just go to http://images.google.com/hosted/life and you will find photos that are browsable by decade, from the 1860s to the 1970s; you can also search for specific subjects or people (and there is a list of suggested keywords as well – people, places, events, etc). Looks like a nice supplement to some of the image databases the Libraries subscribe. See http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=5776 .

Hello Undergrads!

Welcome to the blog for the Information Commons/Undergraduate Library Services. This blog is dedicated to helping all you undergrads find the books, articles and anything else you need for your classes. We will post tips and strategies to help you search library databases (specialized search engines) such as Academic Search Premier, Lexis-Nexis and ABI/INFORM.