The David Lam Library just received a new video on entrepreneurship and social networking from season 2 of CBC’s Fortune Hunters. Facebook Factor: Social Networking for Profit looks at how entrepreneurs use social networking sites like Facebook to generate income. This 20 minute DVD examines the experience of Mike Tan, whose TeamPages helps amateur sports leagues manage their teams online.

We owe another shoutout to Christina at Lam for telling us how much she likes FedFlix!  We agree – it’s terrific!

FedFlix is a collection of US government public information and training films hosted over at the Internet Archive:  FedFlix is a “Joint Venture NTIS-1832 between the National Technical Information Service and Public.Resource.Org. Here we feature the best movies of the United States Government, from training films to history, from our national parks to the U.S. Fire Academy and the Postal Inspectors, all of these fine flix are available for reuse without any restrictions whatsoever.”

  • The content covers a wide range of topics, from forest fire control to workplace integrity, military etiquette, mining safety, cold war, homeland security/civil defence and culture, religion and communities training courtesy of the Chicago police department.
  • Here are just a few sample titles you can watch: Why Vietnam (1965, Dept of Defense); the much spoofed Duck and Cover (1951, Federal Civil Defense Administration); Central Intelligence Agency True Stories (1963; and Assessing the Madoff Ponzi Scheme Part 1 and Part 2 (2009, US House of Representatives)

You may wonder – does Canada have a repository like this?  Not exactly, but we do have a couple of great sources of film clips that cover a wide range of social and political topics:

  • The CBC Archives is a wonderful source of CBC radio and television clips.  Topics include Federal and Provincial elections;  the path to Canada’s Constitution; separatism; abortion; women politicians; and foreign relations.  There is also a great deal of content on various prominent political leaders such as Pierre Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Ed Broadbent, Maurice Duplessis, William Lyon MacKenzie King, Paul Martin, Robert Bourassa, and Rene Levesque.

Some recent finds on our Book Returns Shelf provide insight into what business topics are of current interest to our users: 

Creativity, innovation and the cultural economy  is an edited volume which works through a range of international industry specific case studies to explore the interrelationships between creativity and innovation in the cultural industries. 

David Starkie’s Aviation markets: studies in competition and regulatory reform examines the role of the market and its interplay with the development of economic policy in the context of the airline industry. 

Yali Friedman is the editor of Best practices in biotechnology business development, which assembles a tookit of best practices to use as a framework upon which to understand critical issues in biotechnology business development.

Careers in renewable energy is a how-to-book on the market for finding a job in the renewable energy market.  It includes industry organizations, relevant websites, industry publications, alternative energy schools, online job resources, professional associations and glossary of commonly used terms.

Paul Springer’s Ads to icons: how advertising succeeds in a multimedia age examines and analyses 50 unique advertising campaigns from around the world which have transformed ads into cultural icons.

K2123 .H54 2009 (LC) Sam Muller, Marc Loth, & Jantine de Goei, eds., Highest Courts and the Internationalisation of Law: Challenges and Changes (The Hague: Hague Academic Press, 2009). K5302 .U5 2009 (LC) Paola Gaeta, ed., The UN Genocide Convention: A Commentary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). K7128.S7 W33 2008 (LC) Laura van Waas, Nationality Matters: Statelessness Under [...]

The David Lam Library has just received two new books about Toyota’s human resources practices. Jeffrey Liker and Michael Hoseus’s Toyota Culture: the Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way examines how Toyota selects, develops, and motivates its people. Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata :Managing People for Improvement Adaptiveness, and Superior Results draws on on six years of research into Toyota’s employee-management routines of continuous improvement and adaptation.

Thanks to Christina from David Lam library whose eagle-eye spotted these two new resources!

1) AidData is a database of data and information on foreign aid finance.  It just went live this week, and while still in Beta, contains over 1 million records.   “AidData attempts to capture the universe of development finance, increase the value of data by providing more descriptive information about development activities, provide data in an accessible format, and strengthen efforts to improve donor and recipient strategic planning and coordination.”

You can search by keyword within different databases covering: donor information, recipients (ie, countries or regions), purpose, activity and years.

2) Google has teamed up with the US Census Bureau to develop a new mapping tool which will allow you to track mail participation rates in the 2010 US Census.  You can view the “Take 10 Challenge Map” on the US Census Website here. Just type in a town/city and its state or type in a zipcode to see the current participation rate and the rate for the 2000 Census.  Note, as the Census has only just launched there is not much data below the state level.  Check back in a few weeks to see figures for smaller geographic units.


Have you ever had a difficult time gathering government data together on a single topic in a single place?  This can sometimes be challenging.  For example, mandatory disclosure documents: each government department is required to disclose  information such as travel & hospitality expenses; contracts; position reclassifications; grant & contribution awards; and proven workplace wrong-doing.  Until recently, you would have had to go to each website and click on each mandatory disclosure link separately to research this information.  The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat does provide a list of mandatory disclosure pages for each federal government website but this is just a directory – there is no search interface that would allow you to search the content of those pages all at once.

Fortunately you now have a “one-stop” search option thanks to the efforts of – an advocacy group devoted to “improv(ing) civic participation and government accountability in Canada by promoting online tools for government transparency.” has  a great database called which you can search for federal government contract information by keyword.

“ keeps track of 247253 contracts available since 2004 under the Government of Canada Proactive Disclosure mandate.”  Each entry includes:

  • the name of the government agency and the vendor used
  • a brief description of the work undertaken or service provided
  • contract date and duration
  • value – i.e., cost of the contract in dollars.

Another tricky type of information to access from a single search point is MP voting records.  The Parliament of Canada’s website does provide a vote tab in the profile for each MP, but you might prefer doing your research on the How’d They Vote website instead.   This “non-partisan website” was launched by an individual in 2005 and offers an impressive array of features.  You can:

  • View a list of all the MPs for the current Parliament and session – with figures for categories of information such as number of dissensions, absences, bills proposed, words spoken and number of times they were quoted and you can re-sort the list by any of these categories.
  • You can browse the voting history of bills for the current Parliament and session
  • You can browse a list of all the bills under consideration for the current Parliament and session
  • You can download a list of the sitting MPs and their voting records for the previous sessions of the current Parliament AND both sessions of the 39th Parliament as well.

Another area of difficulty surrounds Freedom of Information requests.  It can be very expensive and time consuming to make Freedom of Information requests.  You can learn about the Federal process by consulting the website for the Office of the Information Commission of Canada and the BC Provincial process by consulting the website for the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for BC.   What’s lacking however, is a database of Freedom of Information requests that would allow you to search and view requests – and even better – a database of released documents that you could download.  While numerous advocacy groups in the US have put up databases of FOIA requests and documents (see our Feb 10, 2010 post for details) very little of a similar nature exists in Canada.   Fortunately we can now alert you to one promising project:

  • Open Government Records is software for creating freedom of information (FOI) and Access to Information (ATI) repositories. These FOI or ATI repositories offer many options to researchers who use freedom of information. OGR has features for making, tracking, storing, and publishing the text of freedom of information requests and similar features for the actual disclosed record.”
  • The categories of documents that will be collected are: public servant curricula; scholarships & grants; “amber light” requests; and documents from Ministries of Education.
    • To date we have not been able to locate any uploaded documents, but there are several Freedom of Information requests deposited and available for viewing.  If  this site ultimately does begin to be populated with  “freed” documents it will be a dynamite research resource!

Last semester students from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies class ARST 515 updated a number of archival finding aids to be compliant with the current Rules for Archival Description. They did a great job and hopefully found it to be a useful real life experience.  The updated finding aids are:

Archaeological Society of British Columbia fonds, by Joanna Hammerschmidt, Judy Hu, and Asiyih Modarai

Labour History Association fonds, by Sara Church, Carolyn Downs, and Myron Groover

Patricia Blondal fonds, by Adam Gold and Sarah Rathjen

Frank Charnley fonds, by Shalene Williams, Jen Busch, and Marisa Tutt

E.M. Delafield fonds, by Ellie Kim, Kelly E. Lau, and Patrick Ansah

John Emerson fonds, by Andrew Berger, Peter Houston, Jayson Kennedy, Tony Power

George Gee fonds, by Yolanda Bustos, Tristan Campbell, and Jessie London

Irene Howard fonds, by Sergey Kovynev, Lisa Snider, and Lindsay Szymanski

International Order of the Good Templars fonds, by Massimiliano Grandi, Myles Legacy, Jamie Sanford, Amanda Tomé

Thanks to all of the students for their hard work, and to adjunct professor Jennifer Douglas for coordinating.

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