ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE DIRECTORY
Toronto, Public Focus, 1990. 180pp, looseleaf binder, $50.00 two-year subscription ($35.00, individuals, schools, non-profit organizations and public libraries).
Volume 19 Number 2
Environmental Resource Directory produced by Public Focus is an excellent concept. Unfortunately, it still remains an undeveloped concept.
Public Focus is a non-profit organization, based in Toronto, whose mandate is to develop and implement environmental education programs for students of all ages. Their idea, the Environmental Resource Directory, is to "produce Canada's most thorough guide to environmentally relevant books, periodicals, factsheets, films, videos, kits, presentations and performances." This is an extremely ambitious task, which, when completed, would be invaluable.
Public Focus recognizes the need for continual updating of such a directory and therefore produced the Environmental Resource Directory in a three-ring binder. The purchaser if given a credit for two updates with the purchase of the base directory. Additional updates can be obtained through a "subscription" arrangement with Public Focus.
The basic directory includes ten chapters, each listing books, periodicals, kits, videos, etc., according to the chapter's theme. Chapter themes include war, wildlife, conservation, energy and hazardous waste. For each entry in a particular chapter "age suitability ratings, number of pages and illustrations, running length, rental and purchase costs, precis of contents, names and addresses of distributors" are provided. The material contained within the directory is well organized. My criticism is with what is not included.
Referring to the indexes at the back of the directory, I noted the following. The Blue Jay, a publication of the Saskatchewan Natural History Society, is listed, but The Canadian Field-Naturalist (Ottawa Field-Naturalists' dub) and the Ontario Field Biologist (Toronto Field-Naturalists' Club) are not. Each of these publications ranks at the same level of natural history information. Also missing was Arctic (Arctic Institute of North America), while Canadian Geographic was listed. Under kits, the World Wildlife Fund's "Operation Lifeline" is listed, but other important educational packages such as "Project Wild," "Project Learning Tree," and "People of the Forest" were all missing.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is credited for its pamphlets on wetlands but no acknowledgment is given of its magazine, Angler and Hunter. Similarly, TVOntario is cited a "distributor" but not enough emphasis is placed on its fantastic video resource library, to which the public has access. International Wildlife magazine is listed as a periodical resource but Public Focus seems unaware of the existence of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Canadian organization that supervises its Canadian distribution.
Public Focus is to be commended for tackling the task of an environmental resource directory. However, until if s further along in its development, I wouldn't recommend its purchase.
Peter Croskery, Grimsby, Ont.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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