Archive | February 2008

Literature and Its Times

Thanks to Doris Dixon (Raleigh) for this excellent post:

Available through the library database “Literature Resource Center,” Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events That Influence Them, is an invaluable resource for students trying to understand the historical context of such works of fiction as Beowulf, Antigone, The Color Purple, and The Bean Trees.

Students will find summaries of significant events, cultural movements, etc.  For example, the entry for The Catcher in the Rye, includes information about “Conformity in Postwar Society” and “Postwar Attitudes Toward Women.” Suggestions for further reading are also included.

Reference copies of the five volume set are available at East Shelby.

To access Literature and Its Times online :

1. Open the database “Literature Resource Center.”
2. Perform a search for the work of fiction.
3. Click the tab for “Topic and Work Overviews.”

This resource was originally published in 1997.  Hopefully it will be updated soon to include recently published titles.

Locating Child Care Providers in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Human Services offers a map you can use to locate  child care providers near your address.  You can also search by county in Tennessee, and then by zip code to find the child care providers near you.  Information is provided about the child care provider, including its star quality rating.

Tornado Damage Information–Shelby County Property Assessor

A special notice from the Shelby County Property Assessor informing all Shelby County property owners who were affected by the tornadoes of February 5, 2008 of the Tennessee laws governing the assessment of properties destroyed or damaged by natural disasters.

All About Jazz

With over 15,000 profiles of jazz musicians and with  news, articles, reviews,  photos,  and more, this is one of the leading resources on jazz on the web.

Sponsored by the State of Tennessee and Gear Up Tennessee, this site is the online, one-stop college shop where students can plan, prepare, pay and apply for college.  There are a list of the colleges and universities that are included on the site, there are online applications available for the colleges and universities, virtual tours of some of campuses of the schools are available, there is a transcript manager that will allow a student to release a copy of his/her transcript to multiple schools, and much more on this site.

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning

The United States Department of Labor released this online resource, which includes a series of interactive sheets to help individuals who are 10 to 15 years from retirement calculate their income and savings as well as their projected expenses in retirement.

Tennessee Housing Protection Agency

From the website:  “The Tennessee Housing Protection Agency (THPA, a nonprofit organization) was created to help solve the problems of a deteriorating housing market, and to prevent so many families from losing their homes in Tennessee, with a particular focus on the Memphis area. It is estimated that over 2.2 million Americans will lose their homes due to sub prime mortgages. Unfortunately, Memphis is a leader in the country, holding 26% of these sub prime mortgages. Some have predicted that Memphis will suffer its hardest hit with foreclosures within the next 2 years.”  Besides helping those who have problems caused by sub prime mortgages, THPA also provides other services to potential homeowners.

Shelby County 911 Emergency Communications Information

Found here is information on 911, including how it works, a history of it, when to call it and when to call other non-emergency numbers, where help is dispatched from when 911 is called in different parts of Shelby County, and more, including other important links.  There is also a link to 911 Fun which provides games and puzzles designed to help children learn about 911.


Submitted by Ron Reid (LINC):

This tool compares the shipping rates for major carries to allow consumers to find the best deal.  Simply enter the originating zip code, receiving zip code, weight and number of packages to find which shipper (FedEx, USPS, UPS, etc.) will be least expensive.


This is the online version of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), the National Victim Notification Network.   This is a free service that allows crime victims to use the telephone or internet to search for information regarding their offender’s custody status and to register to receive telephone and internet notification when their offender’s custody status is about to change.  To register by telephone a call can be made to the Shelby County VINE Service number:  (877) 590-8463.  There are also links to national victims resources, including an extensive list of Victim Services Resources which has toll-free numbers and the web sites of many, many resources.  There is also a link to the document When the Offender is Behind Bars that includes information to help with crime victims’ questions and concerns.

Mall of Memphis : Remembering the Marketplace of the Mid-South and All Things Lost Memphis

From Caroline Barnett at Cordova:

This site offers information about, and some  history of,  the Mall of Memphis, including some wonderful collections of photographs of the Mall in its heyday, as well as some demolition photos.  Even though the Mall closed its doors forever on Christmas Eve 2003 and has been completely demolished,  this site averages over 1500 visitors a month, so an interest in the Mall of Memphis continues to exist.

Economic Stimulus Payments

Taken from an email sent by Audrey May (LINC):

IRS “stimulus payments” will begin in May for most taxpayers. 
For more info:,,id=179095,00.html,,id=179094,00.html

State of the Cities Data Systems (SOCDS)

From HUD, this is a central place to find data and statistics on metropolitan areas (MSAs), city centers and suburbs.  Use this site to find unemployment rates, FBI crime data, public finance data, building permits and more.  Some data sets contain both current and historical figures.

Color Photos from WWI

I don’t know how often this might come up, but this is a very cool site.  It is an online gallery of color photos from the Western front during WWI.  Originally from a French gallery, the site authors have translated the pictorial descriptions into English. 

LOC’s African American History Month Site

The Library of Congress has created this central starting point for those interested in accessing the many resources they have.  Be sure to check out the “Collections” section to view all of the library’s digital collections.  Images and multimedia resources are also available.