The Link: National Poetry Month

Since its introduction by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, literature lovers across the United States have celebrated National Poetry Month in April.  Join us as we explore the many facets of this form!

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

Teaching Poetry: Lesson Plans and More

Chalk poem detail, suburban Heathridge backyard, Western Australia. Photo by elliot k, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Chalk poem detail, suburban Heathridge backyard, Western Australia. Photo by elliot k, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Many people can be easily intimidated by poetry, but it can be a great learning activity. Learn more about this powerful art form by reading great works and finding your inner voice. Whether you are a teacher, instructor, parent, or student, here is a collection of creative ways to appreciate, internalize, replicate, and create poetry.

Poetry (Learn NC) (find it on the ipl2)

Learn NC is maintained by the UNC School of Education at the University of North Carolina, and it features a collection of lesson plans for grades K-12 that align with state and national teaching standards. The poetry lessons span all grades and levels and encourage students to define poetry, analyze works for poetic elements, and create their own portfolios. (find it on the ipl2)

The Academy of American Poets presents, an extensive collection of poems cataloged by poet and topic. There is also a For Educators tab which contains tips for teaching poetry, lesson plans, and other resources. Other great features include Poem-A-Day, a free daily e-newsletter that users can sign up for, and an events calendar that shows poetry events happening in your area.

NEW! ReadWriteThink is maintained by the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English. There is an abundance of classroom resources for poetry found here including lesson plans, activities, projects, and bulletin board ideas. All lessons align with the Common Core of Learning standards. An additional benefit is that many of the lesson plans address students of varying abilities and needs and include links to audio recordings and videos.

Civil War Poetry

Thousands of poems were written about the Civil War by citizens and soldiers of both the Union and the Confederacy. “These poems enable us to better understand the role of poetry during the war years and how poetry helped unify citizens, inspire troops, memorialize the dead, and bind the nation’s wounds in the aftermath of the war.” The Library of Congress has some excellent resources and examples of the 7 “types” of Civil War poetry and can be accessed here:

Poetry and Music of the War Between the States (find it on the ipl2)

This is a collection of full-text Union and Confederate poetry and songs indexed by title, author, and first line. Information about some of the authors is available. Find lyrics, sound files, a history of Taps and Civil War Band Music, popular songs of the day, links to other sound files, and a discussion of “How Authentic Should Period Music Be?”

Henry Timrod: 1828–1867 (find it on the ipl2)

The Poetry Foundation website provides a lengthy biography of Timrod, as well as references, poems, and articles, including how Bob Dylan even weaved Henry Timrod’s phrases into songs on his “Modern Times” album in 1986. Henry Timrod (1828-1867), after limited success as a poet (publishing just one volume of works prior to the Civil War), became widely known as the “so-called poet laureate of the Confederacy,” after having his poetic imagination aroused by the possibility of the formation of a new nation, as well as the war’s impact.

Herman Melville (find it on the ipl2) provides several of Herman Melville’s poems, related prose and external links, as well a selected bibliography of his works. On the Union side, Herman Melville (1819-1891) was nearing the end of his novel-writing career due to poor reception by critics and had stopped writing fiction altogether. The Civil War had a profound impact on Melville, with many of his family members involved in some aspect of it, and the war not only revived his writing spirit, but it became the main subject of his poetry. He made trips to Washington D.C. and even to the front lines with his brother to gather the sounds and sights of conflict for his verse.

Nursery Rhymes

Illustrations are by William Wallace Denslow from the book, “Denslow’s Mother Goose” (1902). Illustrations are left to right: Hey Diddle Diddle, Hickety Dickety Dock, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.

Illustrations are by William Wallace Denslow from the book, “Denslow’s Mother Goose” (1902). Illustrations are left to right: Hey! Diddle, Diddle, Hickety, Dickety, Dock, and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.

Nursery rhymes are short, rhyming stories often set to music for young children. Hallmarks include simple vocabulary and catchy rhymes; these make them good learning tools to help build children’s vocabularies. The majority of nursery rhymes date from the 16th – 18th centuries from Europe, especially Britain. They often serve as an oral record of important political and historical events. Check out these resources for more information on nursery rhymes.

Nursery Rhymes ipl2 Pathfinder (find it on the ipl2)

This ipl2 pathfinder covers one of England’s most enduring forms of oral culture: the nursery rhyme. Although we often take these funny little ditties for granted, some of them have been around since the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and were originally composed for adult entertainment. Both print and Internet sources are provided in this resource.

NEW! The Mother Goose Club Rhymes

This site includes many nursery rhymes with illustrations set to music. The Parents’ Pages include historical background information about each rhyme and different known versions of the rhyme.

The Reason Behind the Rhyme from NPR’s All Things Considered (find it on the ipl2)

Radio clips of Chris Roberts, the author of “Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme” and librarian of Lambeth College in South London, telling Debbie Elliott what lurks beneath the surface of several nursery rhymes we learned as children.

Poetry for Children

Abroad by Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton. A children's book of poetry describing places, published in 1882.

Abroad by Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton. A children’s book of poetry describing places, published in 1882.

Kids love poetry and National Poetry Month allows us time to celebrate those authors who keep our kids in stitches and tears through their work. The following websites honor poets Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. In addition, you will find the incredible resource of the Children’s Poetry Archive where families can hear poems in the voices of their authors. Whether you want to spend some time with Runny Babbitt by Shel Silverstein or My Dog May Be A Genius by Jack Prelutsky, you will find them at the following sites. Or, hear the words of Allan Ahlberg, Roald Dahl, Langston Hughes and many more.

Shel Official Site for Kids (find it on the ipl2)

Features the poems of beloved children’s author, Shel Silverstein. This prolific writer of books such as Falling Up (1996), The Light in the Attic (1981), The Giving Tree (1964) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974) is still read and relevant today. This website, dedicated to all things Shel Silverstein for kids, has games and puzzles, news, Shel’s books and where to get them, a biography of Shel Silverstein, and ideas for teachers and parents. Interestingly, on the contacts page, it says “The Silverstein Family accepts all correspondence to Shel Silverstein and all letters are saved in the Shel Silverstein Archives for posterity.”*  With that kind of endorsement and the links to additional fun, kids can both learn and play on this site.
*Retrieved from:

NEW! Welcome to Jack Prelutsky

This fun and interactive website features the poems of Jack Prelutsky, author of A Pizza the Size of the Sun (1996) and Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast (1988). Once kids are on the site, they can read Jack’s poems, find letters written to him from children all over the world, and learn all about Jack. Parents and teachers have their own section where there are activities for the classroom and home, poems for parents/educators and a complete booklist. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy this website that celebrates the work and life of Jack Prelutsky!

Children’s Poetry Archive (find it on the ipl2)

This interactive site provides a different perspective on poetry, read aloud by the original authors, or in the case of classic poetry, read by people who love the work. The idea for this site came from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Recording Producer Richard Carrington. They understood that collecting these recordings and making them available to poetry lovers everywhere would make this art form that much more accessible to everyone.

Slam Poetry

Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license. describes slam poetry as “a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams before an audience, which serves as judge.” The below resources illuminate the history of this lively and dynamic form as well as ways to experience it firsthand.

Poetry Slam, Inc. (find it on the ipl2)

This site features information, news, and links about poetry slams. It includes a FAQ with rules, definitions, and organizational tips, a directory of slam venues, a press section with a timeline and history of the slam movement, and links to other slam resources.

An Incomplete History of Slam (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides a discussion of the people, places, and events in the development and spread of slam poetry from its beginnings in 1970s Chicago. Slam poet Kurt Heintz authors this page on the history of slam poetry.

A Brief Guide to Slam Poetry (find it on the ipl2) provides this short overview of slam poetry. In addition to describing the form and its history, the site also features sources for further reading on the topic and a lesson plan for teaching slam and spoken word. The related prose section provides links to documentaries and other media relating to this art form.

Found Poetry

IMG_7192 (Aftermath).  Photo by Cat Sidh, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

IMG_7192 (Aftermath). Photo by Cat Sidh, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

As explains, found poetry is “the literary equivalent of collage” (Academy of American Poets, 2007-2013).  Honoring the same “remix” aesthetic as song mash-ups and internet memes, found poetry recombines extant pieces of text, utilizing everything from political speeches to craigslist ads to fashion inventive works of art.  Here are a few resources where you can “find” more information:

Poetic Form: Found Poem (find it on the ipl2)

This page, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, provides a definition of found poetry as well as examples of found poems and poets with a penchant for this medium.  It also points out well-known poets whose work tended to borrow from existing texts in the manner of found poetry, such as Ezra Pound.

NEW! Found & Headline Poems

The National Council of Teachers of English presents this down-to-earth how-to guide for aspiring found poets.  This PDF document provides step-by-step directions for writing a found poem, as well as a special section on headline poetry, a subcategory of the genre.  Also included are numerous examples of found poetry to instruct and inspire.  The guide is excerpted from the book:

Dunning, S., & Stafford, W. (1992). Getting the knack: 20 poetry writing exercises. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

NEW! Found Poetry Review

A literary magazine dedicated to found poetry, the Found Poetry Review celebrates “the poetry found in your newspaper articles, instruction booklets, dictionaries, product packaging, public speeches,” and so on.  While the most recent issue of this biannual publication is only available in physical form, the contents of previous issues are freely available in the site’s archives (“Past Issues”).  The Review accepts submissions for future issues, so if you’ve been bitten by the found poetry bug, send FBR a few stanzas!

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The Link: March Artists

This month we are celebrating several artists, musicians, writers, and performers who were born in March. The following selections will look at the lives and works of Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Dr. Seuss, Diane Arbus, Mr. Rogers, and Townes Van Zandt. Learn more about these great artists and how they continue to influence our lives.

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

Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait by Van Gogh

Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, used with permission from Miquel Real.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Throughout his life, Van Gogh created more than 2,000 paintings, drawings, sketches, and prints. His art is known for its highly emotional, vibrant depictions of people, landscapes, and still life. After struggling with mental illness for most of his life, van Gogh died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Van Gogh Museum: Amsterdam (find it on the ipl2)

The Van Gogh Museum provides an intimate look at the artist’s life, work, and times. Users can learn about the artist through an extensive collection of photographs and biographical information. The museum has also digitized its permanent collection so users can browse van Gogh’s art by category or time period.

Van Gogh’s Letters: Unabridged (find it on the ipl2)

This collection of unabridged and annotated letters provides a rare glimpse into the artist’s life and struggles. Throughout van Gogh’s life, he kept close correspondence with his younger brother, Theo van Gogh. In total, 819 letters were published in 1914; most of them were written to Theo. The letters are categorized by topic and the website includes memoirs from Vincent’s sister-in-law and nephew.

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery (find it on the ipl2)

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery features a comprehensive collection of the artist’s works and is endorsed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This website also includes some of van Gogh’s letters, commentary about the works, and a world map of paintings.

Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian and Pétro van Doesburg

Photo, Piet Mondrian and Pétro van Doesburg, originally published in De Stijl, vol. VI (1924)

Piet Mondrian, born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan on March 7, 1872 in Amersfoort, Netherlands, was a Dutch painter who spent periods in Paris, London, and New York. He was a major contributor to the De Stijl art movement founded in 1917. His most well-known works were geometric abstractions that only used black, white, and primary colors. His geometric grids, simplified visual compositions, and reduction to the essentials of color and form sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order.

Piet Mondrian | Encyclopedia Britannica (find it on the ipl2)

This comprehensive encyclopedia article covers Mondrian’s early life and work, various influences and different periods in this work, founding De Stijl, his later work, and his legacy.

Piet Mondrian MoMA Collection (find it on the ipl2)

This site includes examples of Mondrian’s paintings from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. Paintings included are from 1902-1943 and show his range from impressionistic to geometric abstractions. Information about the paintings is included.

Piet Mondrian Tate Collection (find it on the ipl2)

This site includes examples of Mondrian’s paintings from Tate Museum’s collection. Paintings included are from 1909-1942. Biographical information and information about the paintings are included.

Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel

Photo Ted Geisel (1957) from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. He was a beloved and prolific writer/illustrator of over 60 children’s books, the best known being “The Cat in the Hat.” His books have been the topics of movies, TV shows, and art exhibits. At heart, Dr. Seuss was an artist and a poet. His honors include two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was married twice but never had children of his own.  When asked how he could so successfully write children’s literature, he stated, “You make ‘em, I amuse ‘em!” (Fadiman, 1962). Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

Fadiman, C. (1962). Enter, Conversing. Michigan: THE WORLD PUBLISHING CO. pg. 108

NEW! The Art of Dr. Seuss

The Chase Group, in cooperation with the Dr. Seuss Enterprise, hosts this web page that is the home for the Art of Dr. Seuss Retrospective Exhibition and the Touring Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden. On this site, you will find the art of Dr. Seuss, a biography, what people are saying about the exhibits, FAQ’s and contact information. The artwork is broken up into pages for Illustration Art, Secret Art, Archive Collection, Unorthodox Taxidermy and Bronze Sculptures. It also gives information on how to acquire artwork by Dr. Seuss.

NEW! Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museums

The Springfield Museums (MA) are celebrating the life and works of Dr. Seuss! This webpage is dedicated to the bronze sculptures of favorite Dr. Seuss characters and Dr. Seuss himself working at his drawing board. These works of art are housed at the National Memorial Museum in Springfield, MA. The webpage includes a biography of Dr. Seuss, information about the National Memorial, events you can attend when you visit, directions, and contact information.

Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) (find it on the ipl2)

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has an exhaustive list of all media related to Dr. Seuss’ life and work. Many of Dr. Seuss’ works became movies, TV specials and even video games. In addition, there have been several media biographies made of this famous artist. There are links for additional information on all of the media, the life of Dr. Seuss and all of his accomplishments. Here you will find pictures of Dr. Seuss and his works, videos, and news articles.

Diane Arbus

(no photo available)

Diane (pronounced Dee-ann) Arbus was born on March 14, 1923 in New York City, NY. Arbus was an influential American photographer in the mid-20th century, and her work documented the outcasts of 1950s and 60s New York, controversial subject matter that few had previously examined. Her death by suicide in 1971 caused many to reexamine her work through this lens of struggle.

Diane Arbus (find it on the ipl2)

The Jewish Virtual Library hosts this biographical essay on Diane Arbus, which examines both the details of her life, as well as critical analysis of her professional work.

NEW! Diane Arbus at the Fraenkel Gallery

The Fraenkel Gallery, a respected photography museum, outlines the important moments of Diane Arbus’s career. In addition to showcasing some of her famous photographs, the site also features links to past exhibitions at the Fraenkel Gallery, select exhibitions at other museums, and other press.

NEW! Diane Arbus Biography

Basic facts and a brief essay on Arbus’s life can be found at this site. The site also shows the connections between Arbus and other artists, as well as links to other resources on famous photographers.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers photo taken by Kuht in the late 1960s. From the University of Houston Digital Library Collection.

Generations of PBS viewers have a special place in their hearts for their favorite television neighbor, Mr. Rogers.  Best known for his award-winning children’s program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred earned his undergraduate degree in music composition from Rolling College and wrote over 200 songs over the course of his life.  Other accomplishments include penning a number of books and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.  His numerous talents – composing, puppetry, and writing, to name a few – and his creative and gentle approach to children’s education put Fred Rogers’ artistry in a league of its own.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (The Fred Rogers Co.) (find it on the ipl2)

This site describes the history, philosophy, and 30-year success of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, created by Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003) and produced by his nonprofit company, Family Communications, Inc.  Noteworthy features include a biography of Mr. Rogers, television clips from his children’s program, and resources for parents and educators.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (PBS) (find it on the ipl2)

This colorful, interactive site offers plenty of resources and fun to neighbors young and old.  Watch full episodes of the television show, sing along with Mr. Rogers’ timeless tunes, and play games in the land of Make-Believe.  For older visitors, there is the “Neighbors of All Ages” section; its video clips include fascinating footage from Rogers’ 1969 testimony before the United States Senate in support of children’s educational programming.

Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind (find it on the ipl2)

This video is the brainchild of PBS Digital Studios and noted remixer melodysheep, aka John D. Boswell.  Known for his “Symphony of Science” video remixes of clips featuring the likes of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Boswell was approached by PBS Digital Studios about a possible collaboration.  This video, featuring classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood footage, was the ultimate product of their discussions, and quickly went viral after its release in June 2012.

Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt

Photograph of Townes Van Zandt taken in concert at “Kult” Niederstetten, Germany by Michael Schwarz, 1995

John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997) was an American singer-songwriter from Texas who played country, folk, and Texas blues music. Many of his songs became hits for other artists during his lifetime and were recorded by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard. After his death at 52 years old from cardiac arrhythmia due to decades of substance abuse, his work and life inspired a documentary film, numerous articles and books, and coverage of many of his songs.

Freeing a Mentor From His Mythology (find it on the ipl2)  

This article  provides first-hand insight into the life and motives of Townes Van Zandt by the person that probably knew him best. Singer-songwriter Steve Earle, another Texas songwriter better known in the smaller circuits of music’s smaller superstars, was Townes Van Zandt’s protégé. Earle is interviewed in advance of an album of Van Zandt songs that Earle recorded in his memory.

NEW! Van Zandt, John Townes

The Texas State Historical Society provides a brief, but compact biography of Van Zandt’s life from his wealthy upbringing, to his erratic behaviors in college and subsequent shock therapy, as well as his narrative style of writing songs about his own experiences, particularly depression, life on the road, and alcoholism. This site reveals the impact that Van Zandt had on others who recorded his tunes. It also examines his own reputation not only as an abuser of substances that eventually led to his death, but also as the “poet laureate of Texas,” “premier poet of the time,” “the James Joyce of Texan songwriting,” and “the best writer in the country genre.”

NEW! Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho and Lefty”

A review of perhaps one of Van Zandt’s most memorable songs, “Pancho and Lefty,” by Jim Beviglia. The song was made famous and was a top hit by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Beviglia, who writes about the superstar duo and Van Zandt’s versions, breaks down the meaning of the song, and gives a little of Van Zandt’s purpose for the song.

Reminder: You can 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: Black History Month


 Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King Jr, & Coretta Scott King, Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, Buffalo Soldier 9th Calvary Denver, Zora Neale Hurston, & Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten

Images clock-wise from top-left: Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King, Jr. & Coretta Scott King, Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, Buffalo Soldier 9th Calvary Denver, Zora Neale Hurston, & Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten

February marks Black History Month in the United States. Join us as we explore different facets of Black history and learn more about the ways that African Americans have contributed to the richness of American culture.

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


The History of Black History Month (find it on the ipl2)

This Information Please site features articles on Black History and biographies of notable African Americans in politics, history, entertainment, arts, and sports. The articles focus on the history and timeline of events that lead up to the creation of Black History Month.

NEW! Origins of Black History Month

This video from the History Channel explores the origins of Black History Month. It follows Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s determination to have the history of African Americans acknowledged in history books and in the public conscience. His work and advocacy laid the groundwork for Black History Month.

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a celebration of African American culture and art that began in New York City during the 1920s and 1930s. Its influence flourished throughout the United States and produced a movement that is still remembered and celebrated today. Writers, poets, musicians, and artists created beautiful works that captured the African American spirit and struggles of the time.

A Guide to the Harlem Renaissance (find it on the ipl2)

The Library of Congress sponsors collections from the Harlem Renaissance, including the Zora Neale Hurston plays, African American sheet music, and photographs from the time period.  There are also lesson plans here for poetry using Langston Hughes as a model.

Drop Me Off in Harlem (find it on the ipl2)

The Kennedy Center provides portraits of key members of the Harlem Renaissance including writers, actors, activists, and musicians. Read biographies and works of famous writers and poets of the era. There is also an embedded media player that plays audio files of poems by Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and others.

Langston Hughes at 100 (find it on the ipl2)

Langston Hughes is perhaps the most well-known writer and poet of the Harlem Renaissance. This interactive Yale University collection focuses on his life and works. Some highlights include copies of his original manuscripts, playbills, photographs, and audio files.

Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement describes the period in the 1950s and 1960s where African Americans and other minority groups organized to change the discriminatory laws that served to keep them from exercising their full equality. Marked by boycotts, civil disobedience, and other forms of nonviolent protest, participants in the Civil Rights Movement struggled against great resistance to achieve legislative and cultural change.

Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) (find it on the ipl2)

The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) promotes knowledge of the struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s by “helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials” about the Civil Rights Movement. Search, or browse by events, places, people, topics, or media types to locate sound recordings, texts, visual works (including video clips), websites, and instructional material. CRDL is a partnership among librarians, archivists, educators, public broadcasters, and others.

Reporting Civil Rights (find it on the ipl2)

This site documents the reporters and journalism of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Find writer profiles, a timeline for 1941 through 1973, and “Perspectives on Reporting,” which features personal recollections from reporters active in that era.

Voices of Civil Rights (find it on the ipl2)

This site collects and preserves “personal accounts of America’s struggle to fulfill the promise of equality for all.” Voices of Civil Rights features a searchable archive of short personal stories submitted by individuals, longer stories with audio and transcripts, a timeline back to 1868, a list of related sites, and a bibliography. This resource is a joint effort of AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the Library of Congress.


Throughout history, African Americans have enriched every aspect of American life. From science and technology to the arts and the humanities, African Americans have contributed significantly to how we live our lives. Reading about these prominent figures in history and current events helps us understand how important African Americans have been to the development of American culture.

NEW! Black History Month Biographies: Movers and Shakers is a trusted ipl2 website with almost 4000 biographies of famous figures. Its page dedicated to Black History Month includes famous African Americans under the topics “Movers and Shakers,” “Science and Technology,” “People in the News,” “Writers,” “Entertainers,” “Athletes,” and “Religious Figures.” Who2 offers quick facts, thumbnail bios, and links to more information.

Black History (find it on ipl2) is a well-known, authoritative website that offers biographies of important African Americans in a variety of formats. Here you can find videos, photos, timelines, and study guides to learn about how these influential African Americans have impacted the American cultural landscape. In addition, this site has a discussion board where you can join the conversation.

NEW! Biographies of Famous African Americans

FactMonster, a subsidiary of Pearson Publishing, offers an exhaustive number of biographies of African Americans in a child-friendly design. Broken down in alphabetical groups, FactMonster gives you fast facts on figures from Aaliyah to James Van der Zee with links to even more information. Using FactMonster for research is easy – it will create citations for you, you can print articles, and you can find multimedia on any of the biographies on the list!


Jazz is a form of music that emphasizes improvisation, syncopation, and collaboration.  While today jazz music is played and enjoyed around the world by people of myriad ethnic backgrounds, the genre has its roots in African American culture.  Check out these resources to celebrate Black History Month in a most musical way.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns (find it on the ipl2)

Created as a companion to Ken Burns’ documentary miniseries, this website explores the history of jazz, from its roots in spirituals and ragtime to its modern manifestations.  A primary focus of the site is the big band era, during which African American musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington heavily influenced the genre.  Included are audio clips of many jazz performers (RealPlayer), and extensive biographies from the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.

Smithsonian Jazz (find it on the ipl2)

The “Explore” section of this site features a number of resources, from a basic definition of the genre to an extensive collection of oral histories by jazz greats like Art Farmer and Sonny Rollins.  Smithsonian Jazz also offers a number of lesson planning resources for elementary and middle school teachers, such as handouts defining common jazz jargon and worksheets for comparing two or more musicians/pieces.

William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz (find it on the ipl2)

Hosted by the Library of Congress, the William P. Gottlieb Collection documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C.  The collection’s hundreds of photographs feature such notable jazz personalities as Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk.  In addition to the photographs, the site includes some biographical materials concerning photographer William Gottlieb, as well as 1940s-era articles from Down Beat, a prominent jazz magazine.

NPR Jazz (find it on the ipl2)

For the latest jazz buzz, check out NPR Jazz, which features blog posts, music and book reviews, descriptions and schedules of jazz programming on National Public Radio, profiles of musicians, and expert recommendations from the NPR Basic Jazz Record Library. Profiles and recommendations include audio clips.

Black-only Army Regiments in the 1800s

African Americans have served in every military action in U.S. history, often receiving poor assignments in dangerous or harsh environments.  The 24th and 25th U.S. Army infantry regiments were the two black-only regiments established in 1869. These regiments earned the name Buffalo Soldiers from the Indians who they fought in the late 1800s. It is a term of respect for the intense fighting spirit and courage the Indians experienced in their battles.

NEW! Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum

The Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum features more than 2000 books, publications, and magazine and other media collections that examine the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. The museum’s website provides definitions, histories, research sources, collections of photographs, a newsletter archive, and contact information.

NEW! The Buffalo Soldiers

The Presidio of San Francisco once garrisoned a regiment of Buffalo Soldiers. Their National Parks Service website not only provides a history of the garrisoned Buffalo Soldiers, but also many chapters of Buffalo Soldiers’ exploits on the Western frontier, in the Spanish-American, Philippine, and first world wars, and various patrols they performed. The site also features a history of the creation, and ultimate disbanding, of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Buffalo Soldiers & Indian Wars (find it on the ipl2)

This informative site details many of the skirmishes and campaigns that involved the Buffalo Soldiers and Native American Indians. It also provides an extensive list of links to many more Buffalo Soldiers resources, as well as sites discussing minorities, the West, the Civil War, and other educational and government resources.

Reminder: You can 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: Winter Doldrums

Is the winter weather getting to you? If so, this month’s newsletter has some ideas about beating the “winter blues.” This month we have some links for recipes that give food ideas for a warm and fuzzy feeling while still eating healthy. Exercise and a little light therapy will also help lift the spirits along with some silliness with the crazy holidays of January that can entertain you.

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

Winter Foods

Seasonal Recipes from Epicurious (find it on the ipl2)

Epicurious is a website that compiles recipes and categorizes them by type of dish, holiday recipes, and seasonal. This page for winter recipes includes recipes like roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, and butternut squash soup. Each recipe is user-rated based on “would make it again.”

Season Cooking – Winter (find it on the ipl2) is another website that collects recipes, meal planners, nutrition information for each recipe, and detailed user reviews. The site is maintained by a community of home cooks. Each page of recipes can be sorted by user ratings or title of recipe. This seasonal cooking page has recipes for foods like pumpkin pie, spice cakes, and cranberry chutney.

NEW! Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

This website is a blog maintained by a couple who lives a gluten-free lifestyle. They have also written a cookbook, which The New York Times listed as one of the top of 2010. This article is a collection of winter recipes that are gluten-free and delicious, including a roasted vegetable salad, snickerdoodles, and zucchini carapaccio.

Nontraditional Therapies

Light Therapy (find it on the ipl2)

A detailed description of how light therapy works, risks involved, and expected results on the Mayo Clinic website.  This is the official site of the Mayo Clinic whose mission is to provide “useful and up-to-date information and tools that reflect the expertise and standard of excellence of Mayo Clinic”.

Acupuncture Today: The Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Classical Points for a Contemporary Condition (find it on the ipl2)

Acupuncture Today is a monthly newspaper that has served the acupuncture community since 2000.  It has articles and information about the ancient science of acupuncture.  This article outlines specifics about the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also gives some general guidelines for staying healthy in the winter.

How Stuff Works: Is there a link between exercise and happiness? (find it on the ipl2)

HowStuffWorks is the website of Discovery Communications, and “is the award-winning source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works.”  This article discusses the connection between exercise and physical health, and has links to other sites where their information comes from.

Lift Your Spirits

NEW! January, 2013 Bizarre and Unique Holidays

Have fun with that fruitcake you received for Christmas on “Fruitcake Toss Day” (January 2nd). This and other special days are explained on this website which tells a lot more about every holiday you can imagine. So check it out and read about “Bean Day,” “Blame Someone Else Day,” “National Hugging Day,” or “National Blonde Brownie” or National Popcorn” Days. These special days will lift your spirits during the month of January.

NEW! Bizarre, Crazy, Silly, Unknown Holidays & Observances

For January 2013, a list of special month names for January, such as National Polka Month or National Soup Month, is given followed by special week names (No Name Calling Week) and special day names, such as National Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day and Bubble Bath Day. One day that always comes up in January that is sure to make you feel better is National Hugging Day. Links are provided for many of the special events to give you more information.

KinderArt® January Crafts & Special Days (find it on the ipl2)

This website is sponsored by KinderArt which was created to offer art lesson plans and activity ideas to education. Click on “Seasons” and select a month to find the special days in that month with information about planned activities to help celebrate that special day. For January, each special day can have at least one special craft activity to learn more about that day.

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: Safety During the Holidays

December brings increased travel, holiday gatherings, decorating and gift giving.  These things can  increase the chance of injuries.  All of us at the ipl2 want to keep all of our readers safe, happy, and healthy! Here are some resources that will help!

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

Safety on the roads

NEW! AAA Exchange: Roadway Safety

AAA was established in 1902 by a group of auto clubs with the initial purpose to promote the establishment of safe roads. Today AAA is still a non-profit organization of motor clubs that serves more than 51 million members through lobbying and education programs to support roadway safety. Their “Exchange” website contains articles, guidelines, tips, and other materials on many of the issues that surround driving—including speeding, drunk driving, drowsy driving, and general safety tips.

NEW! Global Road Safety Partnership

The Global Road Safety Partnership is hosted by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and is “dedicated to the sustainable reduction of road-crash death and injury in low- and middle-income countries, which suffer 90 per cent of the 1.3 million annual deaths and 50 million serious injuries that arise from road crashes.”

Governors Highway Safety Association: Cell Phone and Texting Laws (find it on the ipl2)

The Governors Highway Safety Association is a non-profit group “representing the state and territorial highway safety offices that implement programs to address behavioral highway safety issues”. This page has state by state distracted driving laws, ways to avoid distraction, research on cell phone use, and more.

US Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety (find it on the ipl2)

The Office of Safety at the Department of Transportation “works to reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways and the severity of crash impacts”. They work with advocacy groups, State and local highway agencies, and other groups to identify safety needs, and to provide highway user safety awareness and education programs.

Safety in the kitchen

Holiday Food Safety Kit (find it on the ipl2)

Sponsored by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the Holiday Food Safety Kit includes shopping lists, recipes, and information about safe shopping, preparation, and storage of food especially during the holidays and fun activities for youth.

Keeping the Littlest Holiday Cook Safe (find it on the ipl2)

Underwriters Laboratories (UL), “an independent product safety certification organization,” presents this article with advice on how to make sure your holiday kitchen is a safe environment for youth to assist in, from paying attention to checking for hot surfaces.

Safety Tips: Four Easy Steps (find it on the ipl2)

Washing all foods, using separate cutting boards for meats and veggies, using a food thermometer to ensure doneness of meats, and refrigerating leftovers are four easy steps to make sure that your holiday meals are safe to enjoy without worrying about bacteria and food poisoning. This site, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has articles and more information about each of those four steps, as well as fun activities for youth who want to help in the kitchen.

Top 10 Holiday Food Safety Tips (find it on the ipl2)

“It takes skill, timing and organization to pull off a healthy holiday meal with all the dishes that need to be kept at proper temperature…” Written by the director of nutrition for WebMD, this article contains tips from experts about how they make sure the holiday food they serve is safe to eat. It also has advice from food safety experts.

Safety when gift-giving

Safe Holiday Gifts (find it on the ipl2)

This webpage offers a list of fun and healthy holiday gifts for all kids, young and old. There is a list of “health holiday gifts” for adults. It also includes toy safety tips from the nonprofit group Safe Kids Worldwide to suggest safe gifts for children to help celebrate the major holidays during the month of December. It also has a list of ideas for safe and creative gifts for children. This website is sponsored by WebMD.

FTC Consumer Information (find it on the ipl2)

During the holiday season, consumers are shopping more online than ever before. This website is part of the Federal Trade Commission which discusses ways to avoid fraud when shopping, to save money, to understand warranties, and other information to protect yourself when shopping for the holidays whether online or in person.

NEW! Winter Holiday Gift-Giving and Decoration Safety Guide

In this online article, “the American Red Cross in Greater New York reminds parents to use caution when choosing gifts and decking the halls.” Consumers are encouraged to make safety a top priority this holiday season and “Think before you buy,” “Play it safe” when buying for children, and using common sense when purchasing things for the holiday, whether food or decorations, in “Deck the halls.”

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: November is National American Indian Heritage Month

In 1986 Congress passed a law asking President Reagan to declare the last week in November “American Indian Week”.  In 1990, they decided to honor the people and tribes who were the original inhabitants of this land by proclaiming the entire month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month.  The practice has continued since then, and the designated celebration encourages all Americans to learn more about the indigenous people and culture of the United States.  Here is a group of resources gathered by the ipl2 to help everyone honor the intention and find out something new or interesting about Native American literature, art, and history.

Did you ever wonder?

Q: What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native?

A:  All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or indigenous American are preferred by many Native people. (Answer from the National Museum of the American Indian)

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

Find a Great Book

Fiction or non-fiction, adult or youth, classic or contemporary—there is a great book out there to meet anyone’s criteria.  Browse through a number of sites dedicated to Native American literature and writings of all forms and formats.

Special Collection: Native American Authors (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 has a special collection entitled Native American Authors that includes alphabetical lists of authors, titles and tribes.  The entries contain biographical information, bibliographies of the writers, and links to other resources including interviews, and tribal websites.  Within this collection there is also a thank you page that mentions the individuals who helped put this resource together, and a list of other valuable websites that contains many books and authors.  We recommend that you visit that list for more great ideas: .

WWW Virtual Library – American Indians – Index of Native American Book Resources on the Internet (find it on the ipl2)

This is a large index of sites about native authors, books, and publishing houses.  Besides the extensive alphabetical author listing, the site contains links to book reviews, books available online, journals, libraries, and other valuable resources.  The home page of this site has a broad selection of Native American information from health and education to organizations and non-profit listings.

Native Languages of the Americas: Books on American Indian History and Culture (find it on the ipl2) 

This website seeks to preserve the history and survival of the hundreds of Native American languages through the connective power of the internet.  The Books page has a small listing of significant books about Native Americans history and culture, plus a unique listing by tribe association.

National Education Association: Read Across America-Native American Booklist (find it on the ipl2)

Read Across America is an annual event sponsored by the NEA to motivate children to read.  This list was created as a resource to support parents and teachers looking to participate in the program.  Although it is primarily a children’s list, many of the books on the Grade 9+ section would certainly be enjoyable for any adult.

Discover the Beauty

Thousands of years of Native art work—from petroglyphs to contemporary pieces—can be discovered and enjoyed by exploring the following websites.

NEW! Native Art Network

The Native Art Network is a privately-owned “for profit” company started by two Native Americans to showcase Native American art. This website has a directory to Native American artists who have registered with their site, and each artist’s page contains pictures of their work (as the artists provide pictures) and information about the artist.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Art of the Native Americans (find it on the ipl2)

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts housed The Thaw Collection of American Indian Art from October 2010 through January 2011. Though the collection is no longer physically housed at the MIA, information about and pictures of the collection are still available at this site.

Native People Magazine (find it on the ipl2)
Native Peoples Magazine is a quarterly journal that features articles about the arts and cultures of Native Americans.  They seek to respect and examine Native art’s past, but also explore the exciting world of modern Native works.  This site is also a valuable source of events and other information.

Learn some History

There are many ways to learn the history of a people and their culture—through their art and objects, exploring their environment, reading a book, or exploring a site full of interesting facts.  The following resources represent some fascinating and in-depth looks at Native American history and civilization.

National Museum of the American Indian (find it on the ipl2)

This museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and cares for one of the most expansive collections of Native American objects, photographs and media that cover the entire North American and South American continents. Interested in the prehistory of the Western Hemisphere and its people? Want to understand the native culture when the white man arrived? The collections from this museum will help you understand this part of Native America. Good site for K-12 students.

National Park Service – History and Culture (find it on the ipl2)

Want to go somewhere and see how the ancient American Indians lived? The National Park Services is celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month with links to the Ocmulgee mounds which has been continuously inhabited for the 17,000 years. Links are available to information about other Native American places, historical sites, stories and people to help celebrate the history and heritage of the Native American peoples.

Native American Facts for Kids (find it on the ipl2)

This website is designed to provide simple online information about American Indians in an easy-to-read question and answer format. This site has Native American tribes listed in alphabetical order to link to more information about each tribe. Older students are encouraged to look through American Indian tribes to find more information about language and culture of Native American tribes.

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: It’s a celebration! Smiles, Goblins, Ghouls and More

Join ipl2 in tracking down the roots of Halloween and some of its traditions. Then prepare to celebrate as the ipl2 provides tips for designing your costume and having a monster of a party. If the sites full of ghosts and ghouls become too spooky, you’ll discover there are a number of other holidays you can celebrate in October. From harvest festivals to days of thankfulness, there is something for everyone.

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

Halloween ~ History and Traditions

The contemporary celebration of Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain when the dead were thought to mingle with the living. Many traditions associated with this festival, such as the setting out of food, dressing in costumes, and carrying hallowed out turnips with burning embers all evolved into our modern day Halloween. As for America’s contribution to this evolving holiday, it was replacing turnips with pumpkins, which Irish immigrants found more plentiful in North America. Check out the sites below to discover Halloween history and how to have the best jack-o-lantern on the block.

How Halloween Works (find it on the ipl2

This site provides background information about where Halloween customs and traditions come from. Topics include Celtic roots (Samhain) and Christian roots (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), trick-or-treating, jack-o’-lanterns, bobbing for apples, and costumes. Also includes links to related material on how to carve a pumpkin, how to throw a Halloween party, how light sticks work, and more. From: HowStuffWorks.

The History of Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

The History Channel presents a series of video clips tracing the history of Halloween from its origins in ancient times to modern trick-or-treat. Other video clips concern vampires, ghosts, jack-o’-lanterns, and the fear instinct.

Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows (find it on the ipl2)

An essay about the historical origins of Halloween – the “biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year.” Also includes a brief bibliography. From: the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

Reverent Remembrance: Honoring the Dead (find it on the ipl2)

Companion to an exhibit that “explore[s] the ancient Celtic roots of Halloween, the colorful Mexican Day of the Dead, mummification and other death rituals in ancient Egypt, Indonesian cliff burials, and modern American memorials, including those following the 9/11 tragedy.” The site includes descriptions of activities and beliefs, exhibit handouts, and links to related sites. From: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Pumpkin Carving 101 (find it on the ipl2)

Lots of information on this Halloween tradition, including history, selecting pumpkins to use as jack-o’-lanterns, tools, traditional carving and carving with stencils, lighting methods, extending the life of the pumpkin, photographing, burial, and caring for a pumpkin patch. From: Halloween Online.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Templates (find it on the ipl2)

Tips and instructions for jack-o-lantern carving and pumpkin selection. Features material on how to carve a fancy pumpkin, paint a pumpkin, decorate a pumpkin with flowers or vegetables, and printable pumpkin carving patterns and monogram templates.

Halloween ~ Let’s Party!

From the best roasted pumpkin seeds to the most outrageous costume on the block, these sites will help you prepare for Fright Night. Get great party ideas, spooky sounds to scare your friends and neighbors, and plenty of recipes for good eats to fill up your hungry ghouls. The Link has your Halloween celebration covered.

Halloween Online (find it on the ipl2)

Pumpkins, bats, and spider webs meet and “creep” you at this indispensable Halloween site. It’s been around a long time, since 1994. Everything Halloween in one click—costumes, Halloween parties, pumpkin carving, articles and more. Especially useful are the Halloween decoration tips and Halloween party resources.

Costume Idea Zone (find it on the ipl2)

Are you the creative type? Do you start planning your Halloween costume in May or June? Then, the Costume Idea Zone is the place for you. Offbeat, unusual and just downright clever ideas will set you on the path to winning a best costume contest on Halloween night.

Yahoo! Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

This directory of Halloween websites will leave you howling with joy. One-stop shopping for parties, costumes, invitations, fun sites for kids to explore, and much more. You can search exactly what you need or browse the 25 categories.

Allrecipes: Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

Think Allrecipes is only for food? Think again! This excellent site features articles on many major holidays, including Halloween. Here you’ll find not only great themed party foods (Witches’ Fingers, anyone?) but advice on staging parties and Halloween planning.

NEW! Activity Village: Halloween for Kids

Activity Village features loads of excellent activities for young children and their parents. Crafts, costumes, party games, and coloring pages are among the treats (no tricks!) you’ll find on this site. The Halloween party games page even has how-to videos for making unique and fun Halloween games.

October: Not just for Halloween!

We’re ready for Halloween, but did you know the United States is not the only country that celebrates special events in October? We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, but what about World Smiley Day, and Diwali? Take a trip around the world with ipl2 and The Link as we view celebrations around the world.

Oktoberfest (find it on the ipl2)

In English or German. This site has everything you ever wanted to know about Oktoberfest in Munich. Includes a gallery of pictures. You can even book your hotel to become a part of this years Oktoberfest.

Polish-American Heritage Month (find it on the ipl2)

Activity ideas and resources for celebrating Polish-American Heritage Month in October, including events to mark the death of American Revolutionary War hero General Casimir Pulaski (October 15). Includes a “tracing your heritage” worksheet, guidelines for sponsoring an essay or coloring contest, posters, and related material. From the Polish American Heritage Center in Philadelphia.

NEW! World Smile Day

Always October 7th World Smile Day celebrates the ever popular yellow smiley. It also offers us an opportunity to do an act of kindness. According to the World Smile Day website, a proclamation of this day was made by the U.S. Congress. Now that should put a smiley on your face. The intent of World Smile Day is to do an act of kindness, or help one person to smile. Why not do both!?

NEW! Cirio de Nazare, Brazil

The largest festival on the River Amazon, not to mention Brazil’s biggest hoedown after the Rio Carnival, Círio de Nazaré revolves around a small statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth). Since 1793, pilgrims have come from all over Brazil to honour the Virgin. Having been taken from Belém to Icoaraci, the statue is carried back to the city in a river procession of hundreds of boats. The following morning, millions of people fill the streets, along with the sounds of hymns, bells and fireworks, to accompany the image from Catedral da Sé to the basilica.

The Hajj Ending in Eid-ul-Adha (find it on the ipl2)

Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), also known as the Greater Eid, is the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar. The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to. This festival is celebrated October 26th.

NEW! Festivals of the Hindu Faith: Diwali or Deepavali

Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the “Festival of Light,” where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, particularly the Newar Buddhists.

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!