Category Archives: Current

Where in the World? Good sources of country info

globeFast-moving events in the Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Venezuela and many other places means that you sometimes need some good background information on countries of the world. We’ve got you covered. There are some really good freely-available country overviews from U.S. government agencies, news websites and also in Miami University Library’s subscription databases.

U.S. State Department – (free access) Find out what the U.S. relations are with certain countries and get links to fact sheets and links to more in-depth info from the Library of Congress.

CIA World Factbook – (free access) Find information about a country, including its government, people, geography, & economy.

Country Profiles from the BBC – (free access) Instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions.

Country Studies – (free access) Online versions of books published by the U.S. Library of Congress Federal Research Division from 1988-1998. Only covers 101 countries of the world.

Europa World Plus (Miami users only) – Political and economic information for more than 250 countries and territories. Information includes regional and country profiles, information on physical and social geography, history, economy, and country and comparative statistics.

Political Handbook of the World – (Miami users only) – Information on the major aspects of each country’s government and political party system.

Pardon our mess, we’re remodelling…

After about 15 yrs of our old look, we’re getting a new look in the form of fresh paint and new carpeting.  Painting began Monday, July 16th and is quickly nearing completion.  New carpeting began going down on July 18th.   If you need to do some research or pick up your books, don’t worry because we are staying open despite all of the chaos around here!   Please keep an eye on our Flickr photostream to keep track of the changes.

A “Fast Unto Death”–Gandhi’s Legacy

“Real strength resides in your ability to express your ideals.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Did you know?

On September 16th of 1932, Mahatma Gandhi began a “fast unto death” to protest British support of a new Indian Constitution that would separate the Indian electorate by caste, thereby segregating the “untouchables” & ensuring that the social classes would remain unfairly divided. After just six days, the British accepted an alternate proposal & he was able to break the fast. However, Gandhi’s non-violent & steadfast commitment to social justice continued until “The Great Soul” was assassinated in 1948.

You can learn more about his influence at History.com , or check out some of Rentschler Library’s books listed below.

Library Books on Gandhi

10 Years Later…We Remember September 11th

September 11th Display

Where were you on September 11th, 2001? Those of us old enough to remember will never forget the emotions of that day; those too young to remember have grown up in a world impacted by the tragic events. Now, ten years later, we remember the hope & despair, the fear & the courage, the heroes & the victims.

Stop by Rentschler Library now through September 15th to visit our Memorial Display honoring those lost & respecting the courage of those who survived. Featured books are available to browse or for checkout, or you can browse all of Rentschler Library’s books on September 11th in the library’s catalog.

fREADom Means Choice…Celebrate Banned Books Week


September 25th – October 2nd  is what? That’s right…Banned Books Week. It’s a time for all of us to stand up & shout, “you can’t tell me what to read”! It’s a time when we embrace the fact that we may not agree with everything we read, we may not like everything we read and, in fact, we may even be DISGUSTED by some of the stuff we read. But it’s OUR CHOICE to read it or not…and no one should be able to take that choice away.

Stop by next Monday and spend a few minutes reading one of Renstchler’s risqué books. You’ll get a free sticker (woo hoo!), pick up some new ideas, and maybe even some inspiration.

‘Til then, try our Banned Books Week Challenge. Think you got what it takes? Challenge yourself, not books.

Dalai Lama to Provide Inspiration for Miami Community

On October 21st, 2010, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will present “Ethics in a Modern World” at Miami University in Oxford–and who better to talk about ethics than the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal? Recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama at the tender age of 2 (back in 1937!), he has been a source of inspiration for Tibetans, Buddhists, and peace-seekers around the world. You can learn more about the Dalai Lama & his teachings from his official website , find out more about his Miami visit, or check out the books listed below from Rentschler Library.

Rentschler Library Books About the Dalai Lama

Rentschler Library Books By His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

“Made in China” May Start Coming with a Higher Price Tag…

While the “human cost” of goods made in China have been criticized for quite some time (incredibly long work days, insufficient pay, isolation…), many consumers have been willing to look the other way in order to purchase items like sneakers, toys, and household goods at a low cost. Consumers who were not willing to look the other way–those who vowed not to buy anything made in China–had to be pretty darn dedicated since that little sticker seemed to affix itself to the majority of available retail goods.

According to a recent New York Times article, Chinese workers can expect to start seeing a little bit more in their wages…from a minimum wage of $125./month to a minimum of $140/month in Beijing. And workers for other industries, like one southern China Honda plant, can expect to see even larger salary increases of 24-32 percent (you can read the full article here ).

While it’s too soon to speculate how the increased cost of wages will impact consumers, it seems only logical that the world will start to see price tags go up. Hopefully, this will also mean that the human cost of manufacturing all of those disposable goods will start to go down. To learn more about the global impact of Chinese business, check out some of the Rentschler Library books listed below.

Library Books

Image taken from flickr .