[library-media] SIRS E-mail Bulletin #7: Food for Thought, 2003 Enduring Issues, 2003 World Almanac & More

Paula Zsiray paula.zsiray@cache.k12.ut.us
Tue, 18 Feb 2003 08:42:46 -0700


SIRS E-MAIL BULLETIN #7

-- 2003 SIRS Enduring Issues Print Volumes to Be Released This Week
-- "New Content & Hot Topics" Feature on SIRS Databases Has a New Name
-- World Almanac 2003 and Leading Issues & Focus on Terrorism Features =
Added

to SIRS Researcher
-- Food For Thought: "Working Like A . Dog!"

2003 SIRS ENDURING ISSUES=20

SIRS' well-known silver binders showcasing the best-of-the-best articles =
in
print from=20
the preceding year will be released this week. The 8-volume, 32-topic
collection,=20
published annually, provides in-depth, thought provoking full-text =
articles
often=20
accompanied by color images. Each volume in SIRS Enduring Issues - =
Business,

Human Relations, Global Issues, Health, Family, Science, Environment and
Institutions=20
--  contains 80 outstanding articles chosen from thousands of domestic =
and=20
international sources, which are carefully selected for their quality =
and
comprehensive=20
coverage of current, relevant issues that continue to endure over the =
years.


For more information on SIRS Enduring Issues visit www.sirs.com. To =
order,
contact=20
SIRS Customer Service at 1-800-232-7477 (press "1") or e-mail=20
custserve@sirs.com.

NEW NAME FOR "NEW CONTENT & HOT TOPICS"

"New Content & Hot Topics" has been changed to "SUGGESTED RESEARCH=20
TOPICS" on SIRS Researcher, Renaissance, Government Reporter, SKS=20
WebSelect, SIRS Discoverer and Discoverer WebFind. The "Suggested =
Research=20
Topics" feature can be found on the opening page of each of SIRS =
Databases
in the=20
Box on the lower right labeled Database Features.

This feature offers suggestions for research topics with sample Subject
Heading,=20
Keyword and Topic Browse/Subject Tree searches.

NEW ON SIRS RESEARCHER

The WORLD ALMANAC EXCERPTS section of SIRS Researcher has been=20
updated with the World Almanac and Book of Facts 2003. Articles focus on
world=20
history, nations of the world, major international organizations and =
each of
the 50=20
United States, as well as the District of Columbia and outlying U.S. =
areas.
The world=20
history section this year includes articles with thumb-nailed images. =
Also
new this year=20
is a section on statistics including information about HIV/AIDS =
infection
rates as well=20
as population and refugee statistics.

The LEADING ISSUES feature, which made its debut recently on SIRS =
Knowledge=20
Source, now also appears on SIRS Researcher's opening page. This newest
feature=20
draws from the acclaimed Social Issues Resources Series (SIRS) taxonomy =
that
has=20
had a presence in school and public libraries for three decades. A =
listing
of nearly 100=20
Leading Issues are chosen utilizing SIRS content management system, =
unique=20
sophisticated software that provides SIRS editorial staff with the =
ability
to discern what=20
users search for most. With Leading Issues, users can instantly access
full-text articles,=20
graphics, statistical information, primary source documents and more on =
the
most=20
popular research subjects.

The widely-used FOCUS ON TERRORISM feature, which has been available on=20
SIRS Knowledge Source is now also available on SIRS RESEARCHER.=20
Continuously updated, this feature covers every aspect of the current
crisis, keeping=20
students, educators and citizens abreast on the very latest information =
in
the United=20
States, Iraq, the Middle East, Afghanistan and India-Pakistan. =
Information
on the=20
Historical Background, Key Issues and Key Figures for each region is
presented with=20
access to full-text articles and enlargeable graphics. Keep up-to-date =
on
the latest=20
information on the Iraq conflict as it unfolds.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Working Like A.Dog!
By Beth Turcotte

Dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend," but sometimes they're =
a
whole lot=20
more. Having a pet around the house can entertain adults and children =
alike,
and,=20
according to some research studies, can even reduce stress. And while =
it's
fun to=20
watch a child play with a cute, fluffy puppy and it's a great feeling to =
own
a dog that=20
adores you, some dogs have higher callings and greater responsibilities. =
A
surprising=20
number of these animals have a purpose that surpasses mere =
entertainment.
Some=20
dogs play the role of rescuer, police officer and even therapist!

Since dogs have such a good sense of smell, they're unparalleled in =
search
and rescue=20
operations. Most search and rescue dogs are between three and ten years =
of
age, and=20
any dog can become a search and rescue dog, as long as they are agile, =
have
a good=20
sense of smell, an ability to follow commands and a willingness to work
hard. In=20
addition, they must have a strong prey drive and a high degree of =
accuracy,
as finding=20
victims quickly is essential. Search and rescue dogs must have playful
personalities and=20
express a willingness to work for rewards, since most of the time their
reward for a=20
job well done is the chance to play with a rope, Frisbee or chew toy. =
German

shepherds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and border collies are =
the
most=20
commonly used breeds, but lesser-known breeds, such as Australian =
shepherds,

schnauzers and rat terriers can also be good candidates. Thousands of
dollars and=20
countless hours are spent training these dogs to track criminals on the =
run
or locate=20
victims of natural disasters. Some search and rescue dogs can even =
locate
drowning=20
victims while on shore or on boat patrol.=20

Search and rescue dogs are also commonly used in other disasters, such =
as
building=20
collapses. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York =
City
and=20
Washington, D.C., search and rescue dogs played a key role in locating =
the
victims.=20
These dogs worked throughout the day and late into the night trying to
locate=20
survivors, and suffered respiratory problems, cuts, scratches and =
dangerous
falls in the=20
unstable rubble. A side benefit of using rescue dogs during that grim =
time
was that their=20
simple presence helped bolster the spirits of their handlers and other
rescue personnel.

One agency that commonly uses dogs in their work is the FBI. They use =
dogs
for=20
many purposes, including sniffing out chemical explosives and narcotics.
Chemical=20
explosive dogs are specially trained to sniff out explosive chemicals at
bombsites,=20
crime scenes, airplane crash sites and even at sporting events. =
Narcotics
detection=20
dogs are also specially trained, but instead of sniffing out chemical
explosives, they=20
search cars, trucks, airplanes and other places for illegal drugs. The =
FBI
also uses=20
dogs to track criminals or sends dogs-usually outfitted with bulletproof
vests-into=20
situations deemed too risky for human agents.

Other special dogs are trained as service dogs. While these dogs don't =
have
an=20
exciting job with the FBI, their jobs are no less important. Service =
dogs
have special=20
responsibilities and go through a lot of training to prepare them for =
their
jobs. They are=20
placed with a person called a "puppy raiser" when they are 8 weeks old =
to
learn basic=20
commands and social skills. After these skills are mastered, they =
graduate
to advanced=20
training, where they learn up to 50 more complicated commands. Once =
their
training is=20
complete, service dogs are placed with special-needs individuals. =
Service
dogs=20
perform a wide range of tasks: they can be trained as seeing-eye dogs to
guide the=20
blind, or trained to open and close doors, turn light switches on or =
off,
pull a=20
wheelchair and even carry things, for otherwise disabled individuals. =
Dogs
can even=20
help their owners get dressed! Off-duty, however, they become regular =
dogs
and like=20
to sleep, play and be spoiled.

Dogs can also help humans in unexpected ways. Though using dogs for =
therapy
is=20
relatively new, the idea is catching on quickly in therapists' offices,
nursing homes and=20
hospitals. Therapy dogs must meet many requirements before being =
certified:
they must=20
pass rigid citizenship and obedience tests, be healthy and free of =
diseases,
and be able=20
to handle crowds and meet strangers. In addition, they must not be =
afraid of
walkers=20
or wheelchairs and must not mind being touched or handled.

Once a dog is certified, he either becomes a permanent resident in a =
nursing
home or=20
visits nursing homes or hospitals with his handler. In nursing homes, =
these
animals=20
promote physical and mental well being by creating a non-judgmental and
stress-free=20
atmosphere where residents or patients feel they can talk openly and =
express
feelings,=20
fears and opinions they would otherwise keep hidden. In hospitals or
doctors' offices,=20
children may be upset, frightened or traumatized, and dogs help these
children relax=20
when the doctor examines them. Other hospital patients benefit from =
therapy
dogs as=20
well. They may be allowed to walk the dog, which promotes exercise and
breaks up a=20
dull hospital routine. Patients needing physical therapy for hand or arm
injuries may be=20
allowed to brush or groom the dog, which exercises their hands in a =
natural
way.=20
Therapy dogs have even been known to elicit reactions from unresponsive
stroke or=20
coma patients!

Believe it or not, dogs perform even more jobs than those mentioned =
here.
For more=20
information about working dogs, see SIRS Discoverer articles such as
"Insight into the=20
Seeing Eye," "Miracles in Motion," "Birds, Dogs, Cats, Fish, Flowers.And
People,"=20
"The Healing Touch," "Canines to the Rescue!" "FBI Working Dogs: =
Chemical=20
Explosive Dogs," "FBI Working Dogs: Narcotics Detection Dogs," "FBI =
Working=20
Dogs: Search and Rescue Dogs" "Dogs with Jobs." Also check out the DOGS =
unit

under ANIMALS in SIRS INTERACTIVE PHOTO ESSAYS. The Interactive=20
Photo Essays can be accessed from SIRS Corporate Web site at =
www.sirs.com or

from SIRS Discoverer's opening page under the Database Features box.=20
=20
Beth Turcotte is an Editor for the Animals, Science, Technology, Drugs &
Alcohol and=20
Health categories on SIRS Discoverer. Beth received her B.A. in English =
from
Florida=20
State University.

For more information on SIRS Enduring Issues, new database features, =
Food
for=20
Thought or any of SIRS products, please visit www.sirs.com.