In The News: Fan Fiction and Proponents of Internet Creative Writing

The Internet has brought to life many large social trends like networking, chat, blogging – the list goes on. With the ease of Web development and self-publishing, the Internet has also become an outlet for all types of creative writers. For underground writers, zines, or small publications containing self-published text and images, can now be widely distributed and given a louder voice. Fan fiction, in which fans travel beyond the framework of an original work with their own words, is arising from the faithful followers of bestselling sagas like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, and many others. Creative writing has gained its own fan base and with the help of the Internet (and libraries!), that following is growing every day. The following links and sites are a glimpse at some of the resources providing outlets and cultivating new writers in the world of Internet creative writing.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

NEW! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

November is National Novel Writing Month, which brings along a challenge for writers to compose 50,000 words of a new novel between the days of November 1 and November 30 each year. This site allows a writer to register, track their progress, receive support from fellow writers, and network with other participants in the project. Started in 1999, over 2 billion words have been produced toward this project, a self described “thirty days and nights of literary abandon.”

The Open Diary (find it on ipl2 – Teen – Reading and Writing – Blogs)

This site is a collection of diary and journal entries from writers throughout the Internet. A writer may create a free account and write their own entries and connect with the entries of others. Open Diary also names November as NoJoMo, or National Journaling Month, and challenges its writers to “write at least one entry, every day, for the entire month of November.”

NEW! Archive of Our Own

As a product of the Organization for Transformative Works and established in 2008, Archive of Our Own (also known as AO3) is an archive of fan works of all kinds – fan fiction, fan art, and fan videos. It is currently in beta, invite-only format and contains a library of almost 250,000 works from over 7,500 fandoms, or original works.

Zine: Xenith (find it on ipl2 – Teen – Reading and Writing – Zines)

A zine originally created for teens in 1997, this online collection of images, prose, literary science, poetry, and general writing thoughts is still going strong with over 3,000 hits per month. News and commentary sections, regular columns, and a reading list accompany the submissions of all previously unpublished creative writing on the site, as well as a forum for writers looking for feedback on their creations and possible contributions to Xenith’s growing number of entries.

NEW! FanFiction.Net

A resource for archiving fan fiction, FanFiction.Net has over 2.2 million users and contains fiction written in over thirty languages based on hundreds of original works, including Twilight, Harry Potter, Glee, and Lord of the Rings. Writers may submit fiction without cost and stories are categorized by genre and original work and users may contribute to communities of writers through a forum providing feedback and reviews.

NEW! FictionPress

A sister site of FanFiction.Net, FictionPress serves as a digital archive and self-publishing site for Internet poetry, plays, and original stories. Containing a network of over one million writers and readers with a library of over one million works, FictionPress is “a place to showcase your creativity. For a reader, this is a place of discovery and an opportunity to feast to your heart’s content.” Writers can browse fiction and poetry categorized by genre and also find registered “beta readers” to read and proof their content.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!


In the News: The Need for an Accessible World

A population of seven billion has implications beyond sheer numbers. Recent statistics show that over a billion people worldwide have a disability, and as the population ages, the number of people with some form of impairment is projected to increase. However, few places, from websites to homes, are designed to be accessible to people of varying mobility, sight, and hearing. Furthermore, many places still do not allow service animals, excluding many people from public areas. Even people who currently have no disabilities often struggle when they encounter websites with tiny font and poor contrast or steep steps into a home (as anyone who has ever pushed a stroller or moved a couch can testify). Today there is increased awareness of the need for universal design. The following links offer some information on the current demographic situation, accessibility initiatives, and guidelines for greater accessibility.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

NEW! World Health Organization: Disabilities and Rehabilitation

The World Health Organization has found that worldwide, approximately one billion people have some form of disability, and of these, “110-190 million encounter significant difficulties in their daily lives.” This indicates a great need for accessible housing, public spaces, and communications and other services, which will only grow as the population increases. This site includes WHO’s full report, as well as accounts from people with disabilities about the obstacles they face and guidelines for making community programs accessible to people with disabilities.

NEW! ‘Major’ rise in world’s elderly population: DESA report

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, by mid-century, 22% of the world’s population will be age 60 or older, outnumbering children as a demographic group. Peoples’ ability levels often decline as they age, so as the proportion of elderly people in the population rises, so will the need for accessibility in all areas of life.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) (find it on ipl2 – Computers and Internet – Internet)

WAI provides guidelines, demonstrations, and more for people who want to make their websites accessible to as many users as possible, including people with visual, auditory, physical, age-related, and various other impairments. What makes websites visually easiest to read? How do you make a website accessible to screenreaders? What constitutes appropriate captions and transcripts for audio/visual content? WAI addresses these questions and much more.

NEW! Concrete Change

Concrete Change is dedicated to promoting policy change so that in the future, all new homes will have at least a few key features that make them “visitable” by people of all mobility levels. They focus on features such as wider hallways and doorways, which are simple and achievable in all new homes without adding prohibitive costs, and which are useful even for able-bodied residents. Concrete Change, with backing from the Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia, has contributed to several successful visitability laws, and the Atlanta affiliate of Habitat for Humanity has built thousands of visitable homes thanks to Concrete Change’s efforts.

NEW! Visibility Canada

A project of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Visibility Canada studied the costs and benefits of building homes with basic accessibility features. The site provides information about features which promote accessibility and who benefits: “Seniors, people with disabilities, parents, children, pregnant women, people in the moving industry, people with temporary physical injuries, friends, family and neighbours who have limited mobility and anyone who would like to invite a friend or family member over to their home.” The site also links to visitability initiatives in Australia, Japan, Sweden, and other locations around the world.

Lighthouse International (find it on ipl2)

Lighthouse International has worked since 1905 to provide information and assistance to people with visual impairments, who today number approximately 180 million worldwide. The website includes information on assistive technology, mobility training, social services, occupational therapy, how to relearn everyday activities (such as cooking) after vision loss, and much more. It also includes tips for anyone on how design websites and print media to be most accessible to people with visual impairments.

A Brief Information Resource on Assistance Animals for the Disabled (find it on ipl2)

This document describes the types of service animals and the types of disabilities which animals can be trained to assist, includes a lengthy bibliography of articles on service animals and links to service animal organizations and other informational sites, and discusses recent changes in United States law on which animals are recognized as service animals. The document also links to international service animal organizations.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!


In the News: The Heat Is on to Avert Global Warming through Sustainable Planning!

Released on November 02, 2011, the United Nations 2011 Human Development report warns that climate change-related droughts, floods, and rising sea levels could reverse improvements made to millions of people’s lives, while also stating that achieving sustainable living is a matter of basic social justice.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

NEW! Supreme Master Television SOS

As reported on October 27, 2011 attempts by the Mexican government to offset the effects of climate change are being hampered by further extreme weather events, with torrential rains in the southern state of Tabasco preventing reforestation activities while prolonged drought in the north has indefinitely delayed the planting of some two and a half million saplings. Other sites on climate change and human development are included here.

NEW! NIRSA — The Sustainable Council for Sustainability in Higher Education

A well-known sports athlete, Bill Ling (new member of the Sustainability Council) participated in the national conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in October, 2011. He also sat in on a variety of education sessions and spoke with many professionals and students active in bringing sustainable practices to their campuses. He said that although the progression to educate others and develop new practices will be slow, it is important to stay vigilant and persistent in working towards sustainability.

NEW! A Conversation with Dr. James Hansen

Dr. James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, speaks out about global warming. Andrew Revkin, Reporter for the New York Times interviews Dr. Hansen, a Professor at Columbia University who sees new evidence accumulating that we are pushing the climate system towards the tipping point. His latest trouble on speaking out resulted in a warning of dire consequences and is warned that government scientists can freely discuss science but not to speak out about their findings.

NEW! Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act (CAA)

As outlined in the March 2011, United States Eastern Protection Agency report, sustainability is more cost effective. Thus, the Clean Air Act (CAA) can provide more benefits than cost! According to this study, the direct benefits from the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are estimated to reach almost $2 trillion for the year 2020, a figure that dwarfs the direct costs of implementation ($65 billion). The report was updated in April 2011. Going green is a positive step forward!

NEW! National Geographic Aims To Be International Leader

Stepping up to the plate to promote sustainability by The National Geographic Society and want to be an international leader for global conservation and environmental sustainability. Learn more about the society’s green philosophy and initiatives. Also, see cool water footprint calculator!

Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE): Advancing Interdisciplinary Study of People and the Environment (find it on ipl2)

This research center disseminates information from the “study of pressing global problems stemming from interactions between human activities, natural resources, and the environment.”

The International Ecotourism Society (find it on ipl2)

Travel help, tips, and FAQ sheets for travelers who “tread lightly” as well as helpful articles and research services for ecotourism professionals. Find out more about The International Ecotourism Society here.

Sustainable Furnishings Council (find it on ipl2)

Provides visitors with resources to help “green” their homes, companies, and stores, as well as a glossary of key terms relating to sustainability, and a resource library that links users to related sites.

Washington State Department of Ecology: Sustainability, Waste Reduction and Recycling (find it on ipl2)

A great resource of links to material describing programs for sustainability, waste reduction, and recycling in Washington state. This source links to items such as a “pocket reference” [that] further explains sustainability while providing examples of sustainable behaviour.

Greener Choices — Consumer Guide (find it on ipl2), launched on Earth Day 2005 by Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, is a Web-based initiative to inform, engage, and empower consumers about environmentally-friendly products and practices. offers an accessible, reliable, and practical source of information on buying “greener” products that have minimal environmental impact and meet personal needs.

NEW! Landscape for Life: A Sustainable Cities Initiative

Landscape For Life shows you how to work with nature in your garden, no matter where you live, whether you garden on a city or suburban lot, a 20–acre farm, or the common area of your condominium. It is filled with information on water conservation, regionally-appropriate plants and mulching.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!


In the News: St. Louis Cardinals Win the World Series!

On October 27, 2011, in front of a crowd of 47,325 at Busch Stadium, the wild-card St. Louis Cardinals pulled off a dramatic comeback over the Texas Rangers in 11 innings of play during Game 6 of the World Series in order to force a deciding Game 7. The Cardinals fight back from a series deficit came to a surprising conclusion as they beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7 in order to win their 11th World Series title, second only behind the New York Yankees with 27 World Series titles. Learn all about the history of America’s greatest pastime, including stats, fun facts, and the science of baseball.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

Baseball Almanac (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

This easy-to-use site offers baseball history, awards, records, feats, humor, lists, quotations, statistics, poetry, songs, U.S. presidential baseball trivia, rules, scoring, recommended reading, and a “year in review” section starting from 1901 for the American League and from 1876 for the National League. All features are searchable, including the quotations and “Fast Facts” found on every page. This site is a veritable field of dreams for baseball fans and reference librarians alike!

Baseball-Reference (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

Here you can find baseball statistics browsable by player, teams, leagues, leaders, awards, postseason, and managers. Glossaries include a key to abbreviations and terms used on the site. A couple of fun features are Birthdays , where you can select a date and see all the players born on that date; and the Baseball Travel Guide , where you can enter a city or zip code and receive information on nearby baseball attractions. This site also contains a list of baseball statistics books, and related links.

Today in Baseball History (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

Find historic baseball events, baseball birthdays and baseball deaths for a selected date.

The Baseball Index (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

An index of citations to over 200,000 baseball “books, magazine articles, programs, pamphlets, films, recordings, songs, poems, cartoons, advertising, or anything else that may be of interest to the baseball fan or researcher,” from the Society for American Baseball Research. The site offers tips for locating the actual materials and is searchable and browsable by name or topic.

Baseball Hall of Fame (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

Cooperstown, New York, site dedicated to “collecting, through donation, baseball artifacts, works of art, literature, photographs, memorabilia and related materials which focus on the history of the game over time, its players, and those elected to the Hall of Fame.” Visitor information, historical data, online exhibits, and educational resources are featured.

Dressed to the Nines: A History of the Baseball Uniform (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

The National Baseball Hall of Fame presents an exhibit on the history of baseball uniforms. Look at a timeline of major changes in baseball uniforms or search the Uniform Database for pictures of the uniforms. Includes fun activities about baseball uniforms.

The Science of Baseball (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

What would Babe Ruth’s batting average be if he played in today’s league? Or in the 1800s? When were the “Bloomer Girls” formed? Who was known as the “Queen of Baseball”? How do pitchers throw fast balls? How do the weight and speed of the bat affect hitting? What is Sabermetrics? Where can I find out more about the Negro Leagues? Get all this and more on this excellent baseball site.

Baseball Heckle Depot (find it on ipl2: IPL — Entertainment and Leisure — Sports — Baseball and Softball)

For those of you baseball lovers wanting some great one-liners, wisecracks, and putdowns, over 650 “heckles” are available here. Use the subject index to find comments to umpires, pitchers, fielders, and batters. You can also find ballplayer comebacks, trivia, and chants. Vote for the heckle of the month, print out the visiting team’s roster, and prepare to chant your favorite insult.

Thanks for supporting ipl2. We hope you find these resources about baseball informative.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: Conspiracies, Plots, and Mysteries

November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day, or Bonfire Night, a day when those in Britain commemorate the original celebration of 1605, when mercenary Guy Fawkes was captured and the Gunpowder Plot was foiled. On the very night that the plot was thwarted, bonfires were set alight throughout the streets of London to celebrate the safety of King James I. Since then, the event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire. Throughout history, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was not the only failed conspiracy attempt against those in power. Learn about the Gunpowder Plot as well some others plots that have taken place around the world, and those that have foiled them.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.


House of Commons Information Office: The Gunpowder Plot (find it on ipl2)
The Gunpowder Plot led to a commemorative event that has taken place in England since 1605.  This site provides information from the United Kingdom Parliament about the Gunpowder Plot, the name given to the conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. Guy (or Guido) Fawkes was considered to be the major conspirator.

The Gunpowder Plot: Parliament & Treason 1605 (find it on ipl2)
The celebration of the Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night is an event that can be traced back some 400 years. This site was created in 2005 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot in England. It “traces the background of the Plot using original material from the period held in the archives of the Houses of Parliament and in other archives.”


The Alger Hiss Story: Search for the Truth (find it on ipl2)
Alger Hiss was accused of being a communist spy, setting off the McCarthy period of the 1950s. He continued to claim his innocence after his release. “Marking the 50th anniversary of Alger Hiss’s imprisonment, this site provides a study of this controversial American case.”

Trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators (find it on ipl2)
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Famous Trials collection has a webpage that gives a concise overview of the events before, on, and after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, including the trial against the conspirators.

NEW! What You Didn’t Know About John Wilkes Booth & Jesse James
This webpage describes unproven conspiracy theories  surrounding the deaths of Abraham Lincoln’s  assassin John Wilkes Booth and outlaw Jesse James as a result of their involvement with the secret society Knights of the Golden Circle.

The Roswell Incident and Project Mogul (find it on ipl2)
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry promotes “scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.” In this web page they discuss the alleged UFO Roswell incident of 1947.


Conspiracy of the death of Julius Caesar – An Annotated Guide to Online Resources – Julius Caesar (find it on ipl2)
“This site includes links to primary sources such as Suetonius and Plutarch, in Latin and English, as well as Gaius Julius Caesar’s own accounts of his campaigns. There are timelines of Caesar’s career and essays on the Roman Empire.” The site is searchable and contains the well-known account of the assassination of Julius Caesar as written by Plutarch.

The Death of Caesar according to Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus  (find it on ipl2: Arts and Humanities – History – History by Region – European History – Antiquity)
“Livius is a website on ancient history written and maintained since 1996 by the Dutch historian Jona Lendering.” This resource is a primary excerpt by Suetonius, a well-known Roman biographer and historian, from his work Lives of the Twelve Caesars, which is an account of the conspirators working towards the death of Julius Caesar. While his account is rather poetic, it is also considered to be the most popular as well as the most accurate.

NEW! Pazzi Conspiracy against Lorenzo and Giuliano de Medici: Death of a Medici: The Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478
This weblog gives a detailed and image-filled account of the Pazzi family’s conspiracy against the Medici family in Italy in 1478. The entry mentions modern references including a podcast and video game video to the conspiracy as well as current books about the conspiracy based upon archival evidence from this incredible event in Florentine history.


Lost Splendor by Felix Yussupov (find it on ipl2 – Arts & Humanities – History – History by Era – 20th Century History)
The Alexander Palace Time Machine hosts the memoirs of Prince Yussupov, one of the chief conspirators in the plot to kill Rasputin (for his account of conspiracy, see Chapters XXII-XXIV). His claim that Rasputin was “the reincarnation of Satan himself” and was “raised from the dead by the powers of evil” after being poisoned and shot sounds improbable, and it is possible that Yussupov introduced the elements of supernatural evil to help justify the murder. Check out the rest of the Alexander Palace Time Machine for more great resources on Imperial Russia.

NEW! Rasputin Assassinated by British Secret Service: BBC Timewatch Documentary
According to this BBC press release, historian Andrew Cook has uncovered evidence that the British secret agent Oswald Rayner (mentioned in Chapter XXIV of Yussupov’s account) fired the bullet that killed Rasputin.

NEW! Russian Palace Revolution: Peter III Dethroned, Catherine II Ascends
In the summer of 1762, the future Catherine the Great and the Imperial Guards conspired to arrest Catherine’s husband, Emperor Peter III of Russia, and proclaim Catherine the reigning Empress (perhaps emulating Peter’s aunt Elizabeth, who also seized the throne with help from the guards). This article is part of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library’s “On This Day” series highlighting events in Russian history.


NEW The Napoleon Series: The Infernal Machine
This article from the Napoleon Series describes the event known as The Infernal Machine or Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise, which was an assassination attempt on Napoleon and his family that took place on Christmas Eve 1800 as the group traveled to the Paris Opera to attend the opening of Haydn’s “Creation.” The bomb was not detonated in time and missed Napoleon’s carriage. However, as many as fifty-two bystanders were killed and injured in the blast. Napoleon, his wife Josephine, and their party which contained Napoleon’s stepdaughter and sister continued on to the Opera and were greeted by applause.

NEW!  The Life of Napoleon: Chapitre 28: The Plot to Assassinate Napoleon:
Shortly after the failed assassination attempt known as the Infernal Machine, William Pitt and Comte d’Artois wasted no time helping to organize the next plot against Napoleon Bonaparte, the 1804 Royalist Plot to kidnap Napoleon, better known as the Cadoudal Plot. Chapter 28 from this resource on the Life of Napoleon details how the plot was foiled and led to the arrests of a large number of conspirators, including the Duke d’Enghien and Generals Jean Moreau and Jean Pichegru. Its leader and chief planner, Georges Cadoudal, was captured and executed after refusing to ask for a pardon, Pichegru is believed to have killed himself in prison, and Moreau was exiled.

NEW!  The d’Enghien Affair: Crime or Blunder?
This article from the Napoleon Series describes the ongoing debate as to the involvement of the Duke d’Enghien, the son of the Duke of Bourbon, in the infamous Cadoudal Plot. Although information given to Napoleon on the Duke’s involvement was later dismissed, the Duke was shot to death by firing squad just a few moments after the Military Commission sentenced him to death for high treason. Prior to his death, many had viewed d’Enghien as one of the more active young men of the counter-revolution, after he declared himself the eternal enemy of the Republic of France.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!