Alliance for Financial Inclusion
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) works to provide “its members with the tools and resources to share and implement their knowledge of policies that increase access to financial services for the poor.” This peer-to-peer learning model is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and works closely with many partners around the world. On its website, visitors can look over six different areas, such as the Global Policy Forum, News & Events, and Policy Areas. This last area provides highlights of AFI’s work and policy outreach efforts concerning consumer protection, microcredit lending programs, and the metrics behind financial inclusion. The Global Policy Forum, AFI’s keystone event, is hosted each year by a different member institution, in a different region of the world. Within this section, visitors will find links to past meetings and information sessions, previously held in such locations as Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, and Bali. The site’s Library is another great addition, including dozens of case studies, policy notes, special reports and video updates on how policymakers in developing countries are working on financial inclusion policy.
Subjective Well-Being: Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience
How do we measure happiness? Is it through the strength of our relationships with others? Is it by the number of material possessions we have? This remarkable book, edited by Arthur A. Stone and Christopher Mackie, looks at “the current state of research and evaluates methods for the measurement of happiness.” Additionally, the report “offers guidance about adopting subjective well-being measures in official government surveys to inform social and economic policies.” The report is divided into six chapters, three appendices, and a set of references. These chapters include “Measuring Experienced Well-Being” and “Subjective Well-Being and Policy.” It’s a compelling piece, stirring meditations on an important aspect of human behavior. For those interested, a paperback version can be pre-ordered and purchased from the National Academies Press.
Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation
This thoughtful policy document from the National Wildlife Refuge System “sets forth a path for the next decade.” Illuminating the Refuge System’s vision, Conserving the Future highlights the best ways to continue the organization’s mission of preserving and enhancing unique habitats and recreation areas for future generations. On the homepage, visitors can learn about the implementation team, read through their 24 recommendations, and check up on their stated goals over the coming years. Users can also read the entire Vision Document online or look over the complete Implementation Plan. Additionally, the homepage offers a Recommendations drop down menu (not to be confused with The Recommendations PDF) that offers brief synopses around themes such as “Conservation Plans,” “Access to Data,” and “Hunting/Fishing.”
South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program
Based at the University of South Carolina Libraries, the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program (SCDNP) is part of a concerted effort to preserve the printed culture and record of the palmetto state for future generations. Since 2009, the SCDNP has digitized a number of key newspapers with the assistance of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. An interactive map chronicles the digitization progress and allows visitors to explore over three dozen newspapers by location and years of publication. Notable periodicals include the Charleston Daily News, the South Carolina Leader, and the Southern Indicator. Users can scan through each newspaper using the embedded image reader or view complete holdings information about each publication. Make sure to check back regularly as new titles become digitally available.
Braceros in Oregon
In 1942, the Braceros Program was forged when the United States entered a labor agreement with Mexico allowing male citizens to work as farm laborers throughout the United States. During this time, over 15,000 Mexican men came to Oregon, working on farms and forming small and distinct communities from 1942 to 1947. This remarkable collection brings together 102 photographs that document the Braceros activities, courtesy of the Oregon State University Libraries. These unique visual items were originally taken by Oregon State College Extension staff members as part of a larger effort to document the various groups working to alleviate the state’s farm labor shortage. Visitors can browse through the photos at their leisure or look through the items by county. This is a unique and rare offering, and should be credited for highlighting an important period in American history.
Oklahoma Digital Maps
A team of talented librarians at the Oklahoma State University Library have created this collection of 3,600 maps, a true find for those with an interest in Sooner history, geography, culture, and more. The cartographic resources are divided into four collections, including the WPA Collection and the USGS Collection. This first collection consists of almost 2,400 detailed county maps produced in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration and the Oklahoma Tax Commission to determine real estate values. Moving on, the USGS Collection is made up of 300 detailed maps generated from 1892 to the 1950s documenting topographical conditions throughout the state. Interested parties can view all of the maps here via a nice digital image tool and are also welcome to search across the entire collection by keyword.
[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 50, December 13, 2013]