Sunday, February 11, 2007

Free Diamonds

I accompanied my son to our branch of the Toronto Public Library so he could do research on conflict diamonds. His interest was spurred by the movie Blood Diamond. Library visits are rare because Jeevan does most of his research online, despite our attempts to get him to use actual books.

Blood Diamond (2006) starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly is well worth watching. Both the story and acting are compelling. This may be DiCaprio's finest role --- and his accent is convincing

A librarian took us to the only book in the branch on the topic. So much for multiple sources of information :( We were in for a surprise, though. We learned of free diamonds waiting for the taking.

Back in my school days, research meant going to the library and thumbing through the card catalog. In invariably, the book you wanted would be out and not available until after the due date of your project. That made encyclopedias invaluable because as reference items they could not be removed from the library.

It hadn't occurred to me that the Toronto Public Library provides access to vast online resources such as

  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Grolier, the Canadian Encyclopedia
  • full text articles from the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and numerous other newspapers nationally and internationally
  • transcripts of CBC and CTV national newscasts
  • hundreds of full text magazines

You can email the articles to yourself for future use. Much of this material is also available through Naturally, access is limited to those with library cards. Other cities may have similar online resources.

While waiting for Jeevan, I did my own searching on an area of particular interest: is life insurance is an excellent vehicle for personal and corporate tax planning? The answer is yes. More on that later.


Anonymous said...

Promod, TPL online is a great tool for any researcher or reader. I have been using it for years. For example, as soon as I learn a book is coming out I go on immediately and reserve it.

Often I have a new book waiting for me at my local branch before I see it on the shelves.

This saves a heck of a lot of time and effort.

Promod said...

Thanks for the comment. I made extensive use of the excellent reservation system but not in the last couple of years. Maybe that's when many of the online resources became available (or more accessible).