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Jul 28

Presidential Election Resources

Posted to From the Reference Desk... by Brian Herder

The office of the President has been inevitably shaped by the forty-four personalities who have occupied the position. Even entire historical periods are often identified by the serving presidents who dominated them such as the “Age of Jackson,” the “Lincoln years,” the “New Deal era” of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the “Reagan Revolution” – a reflection of the power of the office and the influence of the individual occupying it. (Michael Nelson, Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch)

As we move to the post-convention phase of the presidential election, the following SAGE reference books make excellent resources. Continuing the tradition of CQ Press's other major reference works, the material is descriptive, factual, unbiased, and easy to understand. For readers who want to delve further into the scholarly literature, included notes and selected bibliographies show the way. Here’s a short description of several works that may be beneficial in the coming weeks.

These books can be found in SAGE Knowledge, and on the main Online Resource page under Stats & Government.

To view these books, paste the DOI into the SAGE Knowledge search bar.

Hershey, M. R. (Ed.) (2014). Guide to U.S. political parties Washington, DC: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781483346465

“Parties are not only the most durable features of modern democracies but also among the most despised.” doi: 10.4135/9781483346465.n1

This one-volume reference presents the major approaches to the study of U.S. political parties and the national party system, describing the organization and behavior of U.S. political parties in thematic, narrative chapters that clarify party origins, historical development, and current operations. Thematic chapters explore how and why the U.S. parties have changed over time, including major organizational transformations and behavioral changes among candidates and party activists.

Nelson, M. (Ed.) (2012). Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch, 5th Ed. Washington, DC: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781452234298

By design and execution, Guide to the Presidency and Executive Branch reflects the importance of the individual lives of the presidents. The book is laced with descriptions of every president's accomplishments and failures, virtues and foibles. Even a quick glance will attest to the detailed information the Guide provides on each president. Illustrated biographies of every president, vice president and first lady are presented. The Appendix section (called Back Matter in the SAGE database) supplements the text with documents, tables, and charts. Included are excerpts from more than forty documents highly significant to the presidency, with explanatory headnotes. The tables list, among other things, electoral votes for all presidential elections and cabinet members from the administration of George Washington through that of Barack Obama.

Peters, G., Woolley, J. T. & Nelson, M. (Eds.) (2013). CQ Press: American Government A to Z Series: The presidency A to Z Washington, DC: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781452234311

The Presidency A to Z is an invaluable tool for understanding the presidency, both historically and today and for appraising how it and the executive branch have responded to the challenges facing the nation. It provides readers with quick information and in-depth background on the presidency through a comprehensive encyclopedia of more than 300 easy-to-read entries. Readers will find: biographies of every president and many others important to the office; explanations of broader concepts and powers relating to the presidency; and discussions of relations with Congress, the Supreme Court, the bureaucracy, political parties, the media, interest groups and the public.

Ragsdale, L. (2014). Vital statistics on the presidency Washington, DC: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781452299914

This book presents a comprehensive statistical description of the American presidency. It offers a perspective on the presidency that de-emphasizes the uniqueness of individual presidents and focuses instead on the presidency as an institution. The author highlights continuities and patterns that can be observed from one president to the next. These patterns characterize the presidency as an elected office and offer an explanation of the organization of the Executive Office of the President, its relations with the public, its policy decisions, and its dealings with other institutions. Chapter 2 covers the presidential selection process: party convention history, nomination methods, television coverage, and convention results (10.4135/9781452299914.n3). Chapter 3 focuses on how money, the media and polling have shaped contemporary campaigns (10.4135/9781452299914.n4). From Chapter 4 to the end of the book, the presidency post- election is covered: policymaking, diplomacy, public perception and interaction with other institutions.

Aug 20

Registered Dentists and Dental Hygienists in Kansas, 1927-1988

Posted to KGI Online Library by Bill Sowers

Within the lofty halls of the State Library of Kansas' virtual KGI Online Library, tucked away on online shelves between pearly white columns sits our collection of material issued by the Kansas State Dental Board and its predecessor, the Kansas Board of Dental Examiners.  Of possible interest to family history researchers in this collection are the digitized directories of Kansas registered dentists and dental hygienists. These scanned directories span the decades between 1927 and 1988.  Dental hygienists first appear in the 1935 List of Licensees.

Have a grandmother or great grandfather who worked in the dental field and wonder if they were ever employed in the Sunflower State?  Scroll through the directories and see if they were among the many dental professionals in our state.  We are indebted to the Kansas Historical Society for supplying us with some of the dental directories for scanning.

For those of you who might be looking for physicians or midwives practicing in Kansas, the Kansas Historical Society has two searchable indexes online at


We feature here a different agency or division of a large agency and its publications within the Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library:

"The Division of the Budget has central responsibility for the state budget process, including related policy issues, and for providing management services to state agencies. Because of its central role in budget formulation, the Division serves as a source of explanation to the Legislature and to legislative staff and committees while the Governor's proposals are being considered for adoption. The Division performs a series of duties related to budget execution and financial administration. The staff monitors cashflow and takes appropriate steps to assure State General Fund solvency throughout the year." (From the agency website)
Aug 12

Back to School Update

Posted to Librarian News by Lianne Flax

Every year, the State Library posts a "back to school" update so school librarians do not have to scroll through an entire summer's worth of emails from us!  Questions:

General & To Do:
  • Is access to statewide databases still working? Changes to your school’s internet provider (or at the provider) can result in your school no longer registering as Kansas. Many schools use these State Library pages to provide access.
  • Kansas Library eCard Admin – do you have the login for creating or renewing KSLCs handy? If not, fill out this form and we’ll email a copy.
  • FAQs page – if you need a refresher on the Statewide Services part of the State Library:
Summer Webinars:
  • Britannica for Schools –Encyclopedia Britannica Schools edition and Britannica E-STAX (nonfiction ebooks for kids). A duplicate session is coming up on September 8, teachers are always welcome to attend or watch archives. Please see this calendar page for the archive AND links to documents or forms mentioned in the session.
  • Total Boox for Academics – this was geared towards college librarians, but high school librarians may find it of interest. Click here for the archive and see the Total Boox promotional page for the student flier and other information described in the session.
Database News:
  • No databases were added or removed from the statewide package over the summer.
  • Updated Sites – unless linking directly to a product, no action needed. All links on State Library pages have been updated.
    • Encyclopedia Britannica updated two versions/sites this summer (Spanish & Academic). See this blog post if you missed the previous post about these changes.
    • Job & Career Accelerator updated. It is part of Learning Express, so unless you had a direct link to just that portion, no action is needed.
Digital Books eLending:
  • No platforms were added or removed over the summer.
  • Mobile apps – if you use 3M Cloud Library, OneClickdigital, etc on your school iPad, please realize these apps will have missed at least one update over the summer. If apps are not working, uninstall them and install a fresh copy.

Questions or help: