Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.
In This Issue:
The Latest on Legal Research
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Howdy do! This week we make a slight detour on our alphabetized tour of the states; we go back and pick up Kentucky, which now shows up on our Web browser. We’re also taking a look from Michigan to Nevada.
Kentucky – http://www.kydirect.net
ROAD TRIP! The Kentucky State Fair is next week! Not interested? Oh well. Check out the Publications, Research, and Maps page at
http://home.state.ky.us/TransferShortCut.asp?LKSYSID=35 . This is an annotated list of research-type services available from Kentucky, including an “Ask a librarian” reference service and the excellent Kentucky Stats.
Kentucky also has an interesting system for accepting link requests. They have an application available online at http://home.state.ky.us/RequestLink.asp?LKSYSID=0 . That’s a good idea; I wonder why more states don’t do that. That page also leads to Search Kentucky at http://web.state.ky.us/KyHome/SearchKY.asp?LKSYSID=0 ,
which allows you to search for state government Web sites by name of site, agency name, organization chart, or via a dropdown subject menu.
Michigan – http://www.michigan.gov/
Excellent online services link list up front, though I’d like to see some dates on some of this spotlight and headlines materials on the front page. When you can’t tell the dates on things, it makes your front page look a little bland.
No matter. Visit the Michigan legislature at http://www.michiganlegislature.org/. The top of the page is a search engine for the current legislative session documents. Beneath that is a series of links to
several different varieties of legislation search engines, browsable legislative material, help, and legislative links. This page is very simple, very nicely designed.
Hey, visit The Michigan Electronic Library, while you’re at it — it’s at http://mel.lib.mi.us/. It’s a searchable subject index of — well, lots of categories. Of especial interest to the Michigan researcher would be Michigan (including community information, history, and local government), Law (all
Michigan), and statistics (ENORMOUS page. Nicely done!)
Minnesota – http://www.state.mn.us/
Minnesota, home of the Mall of America and Mystery Science Theater 3000. You gotta love a Web site which has a “Click to hear the loon” link on its front page.
The Minnesota Connection, at http://www.state.mn.us/minnesota/index.html, is a good collection of information on the state, including pointers to economic facts and figures, history, and community information.
Minnesota’s “Tools of Democracy” page, at http://www.state.mn.us/democracy/index.html, is not as nicely laid out to me as Michigan’s legislation page (it’s in three columns) but there are several pointers here, including the state constitution and links for all branches of the government. The Minnesota Legal Resources page at http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/mnlr.html, provides
an outline of links to legal information including judiciary, administrative law, county and municipal Ordinances, and secondary resources. Good annotations, plenty of resources, well done.
Mississippi – http://www.state.ms.us/
Ah, magnolias. I think this is the shortest — as in height — state site I’ve visited yet. nothing wrong with that; the categories for the state’s site are on the left side of the page.
I can’t give URLs in this writeup because they’re about 300 characters long (I exaggerate slightly.) Click on the business category. You’ll be presented with a closed- outline list of business categories, including legal and professional licensing. Click on one of the blue triangles and the page will reload with links to additional sites.
Check out the Mississippi counties site at http://www.mscounties.com/, too. (That URL I can reproduce.) This site provides a drop-down list of counties. Click on a county and you’ll get a map of the county, a notation of where it is relative to the state of Mississippi, and a list of Web sites relevant to that county (genealogy, broadcast media, community events, etc.) Click across the tabs at the top of the page and you’ll also get information on county officers, information and history, etc.
Missouri – http://www.state.mo.us/
Missouri apparently went to the “drop-down menu” school of making lots of resources accessible. That’s cool. I also like the fact that one of those drop-down menus is for state employee information. WAY cool.
But we’re not state employees (at least, I’m not) so now what? Missouri’s professional license search, at
http://riversrun.ded.state.mo.us/cgi-bin/professionalregistration.pl, allows you to search by county name, profession name (from acute care nurse to wrestling sponsor– no kidding) or name or DBA of the licensee.
The state e-mail directory, at
http://riversrun.ded.state.mo.us/cgi-bin/professionalregistration.pl, lets you browse state e-mail addresses by last name or department, or search by keyword. The state phone directory,
at http://www.oa.state.mo.us/cgi-bin/teledir/directory/teledir.htm, lets you do the same thing if you’d rather use a phone than e-mail.
Montana – http://www.state.mt.us
Montana apparently does some kind of browser detecting when you first visit its site, because I got a text- only page. Not that I mind, of course — in fact in
many cases I prefer text-only pages.
But no matter. Check out Montana’s business services page at http://sos.state.mt.us/css/BSB/Contents.asp. You’ll find a business entity search, applicable forms, answers to questions about doing business in Montana, and more.
Over in the City and County Governments page (http://www.discoveringmontana.com/css/govt/city_county.asp) you’ll find the Montana Association of Counties, providing information on each of Montana’s 56 counties and other resources, and the Montana League of Cities and Towns, providing profiles of Montana counties and municipalities as well as a list of Montana cities and towns on the Web.
Nebraska – http://www.state.ne.us
Nebraska has a pretty image-heavy site, too, but they use ALT tags so much that you can still surf from their front page with your graphics turned off. Well done, Nebraska.
Shimmy on over to the business page at http://www.state.ne.us/business.html. Here you’ll find business agencies and associations, information for contractors who want to do business in Montana, lots of different professional licensing contacts, and business forms.
If you want Facts about Nebraska, you want http://www.state.ne.us/facts.html. Unfortunately the Nebraska Blue Book — which is nicely arranged and covers a variety of information — is available only in PDF format. So you can use the index but not do searching per se. What a bummer! But there’s also a list of over 200 Nebraska community sites and a Nebraska Databook (lots of spreadsheets! Whee!)
Nevada – http://www.state.nv.us
I had unrealistic expectations about the state of Nevada’s page. I was thinking that it’d have lots of lights and a marquee ala Las Vegas. It didn’t. It was just a splash page. It doesn’t have ALT tags, though. Try viewing it without images turned on. Ai!
On to the resources. Check out the Nevada Law Library at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/law1.cfm. You’ll find Nevada revised statutes, Supreme Court opinions, the Nevada Register, etc. Most of these are both browsable and searchable. Nicely laid-out and easy to navigate.
The heart of the Nevada Business and Industries page, at http://dbi.state.nv.us/, is a table with two columns in it and many rows. The two columns are Licensing & Regulatory Authority and Business & Consumer Services. The first column contains pointers to resources like the labor commissioner and the industrial relations division, while the second column
contains, among other things, a pointer to business finance and planning and a Nevada unclaimed property site.
Whew! Eight states this week so it shaped up to be a long column, but next week we’ll be back to seven when we visit New Hampshire to Ohio. See you soon!