Recent Posts




Looking of US Census Data?

Posted: January 28th, 2011, by Susan Paterson

If you’re looking for US Census data the Oklahoma Dept. of  Libraries  has just updated their site with resources such as “How to use Census data: guides and handouts about data from the U.S. Census Bureau”.

It also includes links to three how-to guides about Census data:  **Choosing Census Data**– How do you choose between Decennial Census data, American Community Survey (ACS) data, and Annual Population Estimates Program (APEP) data? This will help you and your customers make “Best Practices” choices.

**Mixing Census Data Types Together** – Mixing Decennial Census data, ACS data, and APEP data together is a no-no at the Census Bureau. But here at the Oklahoma State Data Center we know that our customers mix different types of Census data together regardless of the statistical inaccuracies of doing so, so we offer this guide to help you work with customers who insist on doing this.

* *Using American Community Survey Data** – How do you work with1-year, 3-year, and 5-year ACS data? This is another “Best Practices” guide. It is essentially the same guide published by ALA/GODORT at

World Bank launches open access Digital Collection

Posted: November 19th, 2010, by Susan Paterson

A great new open access resource will allow users to access all World Development Reports since 1978.  You can read the press release below:

“A new online, open access, collection of all World Development Reports since 1978 was launched today by the World Bank. The Complete World Development Report Online, which allows users to easily access and search across these World Bank annual flagship publications, is free and open to the public and may be accessed at

For over thirty years, the annual WDR has provided a window on development economics to a broad international readership. The report has served as one of the principal vehicles for encapsulating the World Bank’s knowledge of and policy recommendations on key global development trends. From agriculture and the environment to economic growth and international trade, the WDR has tracked theoretical and empirical findings as well as policies in the field of international development.

The robust search engine of The Complete World Development Report Online optimizes search both across and within all WDRs with the click of a button. In addition, the background papers upon which the most recent reports were drawn are also available.

A free optional individual user account allows users to take advantage of tools such as bookmarking and saving selected chapters or reports, saving searches, and taking notes. A custom eBook feature lets users select chapters from multiple reports for future reference, sharing with colleagues, or creating course packets. The custom eBooks may also be downloaded, printed, or easily shared through social networking sites. In addition, the site features quick links to World Bank open databases, RSS feeds, new content alerts, and COUNTER-compliant usage statistics for librarians.

“We are pleased to offer the custom eBook tool in The Complete World Development Report Online,“ said Carlos Rossel, Publisher of the World Bank. “We hope that by offering this new, free resource with added features, we will facilitate research and help our users more easily collect, save, and share the World Bank knowledge captured in the collection of World Development Reports.”

A bonus title, Shahid Yusuf’s Development Economics through the Decades: A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report, is also included. “The World Development Report provides a unique perspective on the evolution of thinking, policy making, and practice in the field of development. Now for the first time, those interested in development have a convenient way to access all the WDRs at the same time, in the same place, to compare how key areas in development have changed over the years,” said Yusuf.”

US foreign-born population closes in on 37 million

Posted: October 26th, 2010, by Susan Paterson

From Docuticker:

“The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 36.7 million of the nation’s population (12 percent) were foreign-born, and another 33 million (11 percent) were native-born with at least one foreign-born parent in 2009, making one in five people either first or second generation U.S. residents. The second generation were more likely than the foreign born to be better educated and have higher earnings and less likely to be in poverty. In 2009, 59 percent of the native-born 25 and older with at least one foreign-born parent had some college education and 33 percent had a bachelor’s degree. That compares with 45 percent of the foreign-born who had some college and 29 percent who had a bachelor’s degree. “– Docuticker

You can read the news release from the  US Census Bureau here. Detailed tables can be found here.

Liberals introduce mandatory-census bill

Posted: September 30th, 2010, by Susan Paterson

The Liberals are trying to resuscitate the governent’s decision on the long form census  by introducing a private member’s bill to bring back the mandatory long form census.

  • You can read the complete Globe and Mail story here.
  • Interested to see what questions are asked on the long census form? You can take a look at the questions here :

  • Also take a look at types of data that are based on the long form census – available to UBC  staff, students and faculty.

Census of Canada – Topic Based Tabulations

HST: Recall campaign against MLAs to begin Jan. 1

Posted: September 20th, 2010, by Susan Paterson

“Recalling any MLAs may prove more difficult than the petition campaign, which required the volunteers to collect signatures from 10 per cent of registered voters in each of the province’s 85 ridings.

While that was hard enough, for the recall campaign the volunteers will have to start from scratch again and collect signatures from 40 per cent of eligible voters in the riding of each MLA they are targeting. ” – CBC News

Read the full story from CBC news here

  • To read more about Bill Vander Zalm, take a look at Bill Vanderzalm: “for the people”: hindsight – insight – foresight: the autobiography of British Columbia’s 28th Premier available at Koerner Library.

Legislative Committee assembles to discuss anti-HST petition

Posted: September 8th, 2010, by Susan Paterson

Read the CBC article here

The Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives is composed of the following MLAs:

Terry Lake (convener), Liberal, Kamloops-North Thompson

Eric Foster, Liberal, Vernon-Monashee

Dave S. Hayer, Liberal, Surrey-Tynehead

Richard T. Lee, Liberal, Burnaby North

Pat Pimm, Liberal, Peace River North

John Slater, Liberal, Boundary-Similkameen

Katrine Conroy, NDP, Kootenay West

Mike Farnworth, NDP, Port Coquitlam

Rob Fleming, NDP, Victoria-Swan Lake

Jenny Kwan, NDP, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

The proceedings of the Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives will be streamed live to the Internet.
At 12:45 PM today, a link will appear on this page to the Webcast of the proceedings:

In addition, the archive Webcast and transcript of the proceedings will be linked on this page:

Tons of free research from IGOs

Posted: July 26th, 2010, by Shawnna Parlongo

We often publicize a particular database or new publication from an intergovernmental organization and so it seems fitting to highlight just how generous many of these organizations are in terms of providing their publications/statistics/working papers for free to all comers.  Not only do they offer  high quality, scholarly work but you might also be surprised by the breadth of their interests.  Here are some prime examples:

  • Asian Development Bank: You might have guessed from the name that this organization focuses its work on developing Asian countries – but you might be surprised by just how broad the ADB’s interests are.
    • Despite the word “bank” in its name, the ADB is interested in a wide range of social topics and socio-economic topics including urban development, climate change, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, education, anti-terrorism and food security.
    • Also, the ADB is focused on the entire Asian region –  so you will find research and studies for countries as far flung as Azerbaijan, the Cook Islands, Armenia, Timor-Leste, Hong Kong and Vietnam.  For a complete list of its member countries click here
    • Print versions of its books are “for fee” but most are freely available as pdf downloads.  To access ADB publications click here and to access ADB economic research/statistics  click here.
  • UNESCO: is probably most famous for its work with protecting world heritage sites, but the organization is involved in a wide variety of other activities and interest areas including climate change, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, education, post-disaster & post-conflict response, and youth programs.
    • The best way to find all the fantastic free statistics and publications on the UNESCO site is by means of the “Themes” tab at the top of the home page.  Click on your relevant theme and a topic-based portal will open – with links to theme-related news, downloadable books, statistics/databases, teaching tools and related resources.
    • In addition to the resources that you will find in the theme portals, UNESCO also has an Institute for Statistics which offers a rich array of its statistics and statistical publications covering all of its themes.   UNESCO is particularly strong in education, gender mainstreaming, and science & technology.
  • Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO):  We have highlighted several of the FAO’s resources before, but wanted to take this opportunity to stress the broad array of its interest areas.   Of course the organization is keenly interested in agriculture, food security and sustainability, but did you know that it also works in areas including information management, gender equality, education, banking/microfinance and HIV/AIDS?

Free data from FAO

Posted: July 13th, 2010, by Yvonne Chan

Unlimited free data on hunger, food and agriculture is now available from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through its central data repository FAO-STAT.  It was previously possible to get some data for free from FAO-STAT, but larger datasets were only available through a subscription.

From the FAO Media Centre:  FAO-STAT “contains over one million data points covering 210 countries and territories” and “is an important tool in the fight to alleviate poverty, promote sustainable development and eliminate hunger….FAOSTAT includes data on agricultural and food production, usage of fertilizers and pesticides, food aid shipments, food balance sheets, forestry and fisheries production, irrigation and water use, land use, population trends, trade in agricultural products, the use of agricultural machinery, and more.

FAOSTAT can be consulted using English, French or Spanish and allows users to select and organize the statistical information into tables and charts according to their needs and to download it in Excel format. The original statistic data is supplied by individual countries and regional development organizations in standardized formats. Records go back to 1961.”

New UN Organization for Women

Posted: July 7th, 2010, by Yvonne Chan

The United Nations is amalgamating four of its organizations for women into a single entity called UN Women.

“UN Women merges and will build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

UN Women — which will be operational by January 2011 — has been created by the General Assembly to…be a dynamic and strong champion for women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels. It will enhance, not replace, efforts by other parts of the UN system (such as UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA) that continue to have responsibility to work for gender equality and women’s empowerment in their areas of expertise.”

The UN Women website is currently up and has some limited content, i.e., press releasesfacts & figures, and “key documents,” but it is not clear whether the research and publications of the merged entities will migrate to the new site in due course.  In the meantime, the sites for the merged organizations remain operational and at present all their publications are accessible.

Concern over new Canadian Census Form Changes

Posted: June 30th, 2010, by Susan Paterson
Changes in the way census information will be collected due to privacy concerns is concerning many Canadians 
as well as the research community.
The long form questionnaire which contains valuable information for researchers and StatsCan will be eliminated 
and replaced with a new voluntary National Household Survey form and the results will never be released.

According to the Vancouver Sun story: "The idea of doing away with the long census questionnaire form,  
transferring the questions to the NHS and no longer releasing the information did not become public until Saturday, \
when it appeared in a  government publication."
Tories Scrap Mandatory Long Form Census – Globe and Mail
Census Change Under Fire – Vancouver Sun
The next Census will be in 2011.

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