Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Caribbean-American Heritage Month

This year marks the sixth anniversary of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month.  The proclamation marks the official recognition that since the 16th Century, the destinies of the peoples of the Caribbean and the American continent have been inextricably linked. According to the Institute of Caribbean Studies, "Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding. Alexander Hamilton, the First Secretary of the Treasury was from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. We count among our famous sons and daughters, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Cicely Tyson, WEB Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier to name a few."

How to celebrate?

Monday, June 6, 2011

National Jukebox of Historic Sound Recordings

The National Jukebox is a new website of over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings available to the public in digital form for the first time. Developed by the Library of Congress (LOC), with assets provided by Sony Music Entertainment, the National Jukebox offers free online access to a vast selection of music, including early jazz, blues and "novelty" songs, recordings made for distinct ethnic groups (i.e., Irish songs), as well as spoken-word recordings produced in the U.S. between the years 1901 and 1925.

You can search by artist or genres or just browse all recordings. Jukebox Day by Day let's you hear what was recorded on any given day of the year (i.e., your birthday, anniversary, today's date, etc.). There are also playlists compiled by LOC curators and guest experts. For example, a collection of songs by Irving Berlin. The LOC even allows the public to contribute playlists, so if you're an early/historic music aficionado, you may want to submit your favorites.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Take a European vacation

Can't get away to Europe this summer? Check out the Toporopa: Geography of Europe website. There are a number of addictive games/quizzes that will help you learn the countries, capitals and monarchies of Europe. This would be a great resource to study before embarking on a trip overseas or for any student of European history.

For more online educational resources covering geography, history and social studies, along with other subjects, see our Educator Resources section of our website.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 2011 e-Resource: Gale Legal Forms

For the month of June, let's focus our attention on the library's subscription to Gale Legal Forms. Gale Legal Forms provides library patrons access to thousands of legal forms available, including Official, State Specific, Federal, Business, Personal, Real Estate and General forms, covering hundreds of legal subjects and issues. Some of the most popular forms downloaded include those related to bankruptcy, divorce, name change, power of attorney and wills.

Forms available on Gale Legal Forms include forms drafted by attorneys for a particular legal matter, forms from public records and participating companies and attorneys. "Official" forms for many states, including Virginia are also included.

Basic Legal Forms
Some of the "basic" forms provided on this site cover the following categories: (1) Real Estate, (2) Leases, (3) Corporations, (4) Employment, (5) Wills, (6) Sale of Property, (7) Loans & Financing and (8) Other Business Forms.

While "basic" or "standard" forms can generally be used with minor modification and are sometimes referred to as "fill in the blank." many of these types of forms differ from state to state, so choosing the correct standard form is important. And although many of the forms may be considered basic, you are advised to consult an attorney in your State to review any form you prepare.

Complex Legal Forms
There are also many forms available that are "complex" and should be used only as a guide and are better suited for attorneys than individuals. Most of these forms are litigation type forms or complex contracts. These forms require major modifications to fit a particular case based upon the facts of that case. Attorneys commonly use these forms as guides when drafting pleadings and contracts for their clients.

If you prefer print materials, the library system also has a number of books containing sample legal forms available for checkout. Also, be sure to check out all the library's legal e-resources, including helpful links to various laws, codes and regulations on our Legal Resources page.