This set states that it was designed as a user-friendly guide to endangered animals of the world, and it makes good on its claim. It was designed with students in the upper-elementary and middle-school grades in mind. ("The Grolier World Encyclopedia of Endangered Species" ["RBB" S 1 93] covers more animals for a high-school and adult audience.) The 400 entries are organized alphabetically by common name ("Bat") rather than by specific name (Marianas flying fox) or scientific name ("Pteropus mariannus"). This means that all the animals of the same family are grouped together for easy research. This also means that the curious can easily find out the extent to which a type of animal is endangered
Each attractive green volume contains the same introductory information about how to decode the entries. In addition, the introduction explains the different categories of endangerment and says that the term "endangered" may be applied to animals that exist in large numbers if certain factors in their environments are working against them. These data were gathered from the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Volume 1 includes detailed information about the composition of the IUCN and its World Conservation Monitoring Center. There are also essays on different habitats: polar or tundra, coniferous forests, deserts, etc. A section entitled "The Pathway of Endangerment" discusses the effects of nature (volcanic eruptions) and the impact of humans (hunting or poaching, agriculture, use of pesticides and poisons, capture of live animals). Other sections discuss the part humans play in conservation, the reasons for creating reserves and restoring lands, and protective laws. The last section suggests things people can do to support the environment. Volume 10 contains short essays on the four animal classes covered in this set. This volume also contains a name index, a 10-page glossary with no pronunciation guides, addresses and phone numbers for 26 environmental organizations, and a list of 16 unannotated recommended readings
The real strength of this set is the individual entries. Each begins with a colorful graphic that serves as a summary of the animal's vital statistics: common name, Latin name, endangerment code, a small map with the animal's habitat marked in red, and a color code that identifies the animal as a mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian. The entry contains a description of the animal, its size, habitat, diet, breeding habits, young, and interesting facts. It also notes the estimated remaining populations, the reasons for endangerment, and whether any conservation measures are being employed. Each entry is about a page in length. The best part of each entry is the large color photo of the animal in its natural habitat. The sharp-focus photos often cover a full page or a double-page spreads
This is a set that will get a lot of use in school and public libraries. The easy-to-use format coupled with the beautifully reproduced photographs mean that it will be used for more than just reports. Students and teachers will love it
Readable biographies of more than 1,100 women, both living and deceased, are found on this CD-ROM. Both Mac and Windows versions are on the same disc. We looked at the Windows version, which requires a 486 IBM-compatible PC, 4MB of RAM, a VGA color monitor, a sound card, DOS 6.0 or higher, and Windows 3.1. To run the multimedia applications (i.e., video) one needs 8MB of RAM and a double-speed CD-ROM drive. "Her Heritage" includes QuickTime for Windows 2.0 on the disc, which must be installed in order to show video. Otherwise, the video is shown as a series of stills over the audio track. Installation is simple, and an on-screen tutorial takes one through the basic steps. The manual gives only installation instructions, but there is context-sensitive help. The text was prepared by McHenry, editor of "Encyclopaedia Britannica"
The two main ways to search are by name or vocation/avocation. The latter method presents 11 broad categories (e.g., "Athletes", "Teachers and Librarians"); clicking on one brings up subcategories. Clicking again gets a list of names. Some women are listed under more than one vocation. However, more women need to be cross-referenced. For example, Hanna Gray is listed under "Educator" but not "Historian"; she was a history professor for many years before becoming a university administrator. Each entry is approximately 400 words in length and many are accompanied by a small photo in the left-hand corner of the screen, some in black and white, others in color. The photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them. There are no portraits for some women for whom photographs are widely available. Some photographs have a strip of film as an icon indicating the presence of a video clip. These are usually under a minute in length and in black and white. Most clips are of athletes or entertainers. For example, those of Marian Anderson and Ethel Merman contain a few bars of a song; one of Lucille Ball is taken from a scene in her TV program; one of Grace Kelly is from a newsreel of her wedding; another newsreel clip shows Wilma Rudolph winning gold medals at the Olympics. Within the text of entries, hypertext links to the names of other women for whom there are biographies are noted in red, but there are no other links. A Find button can be used to do a keyword search of all the biographies. We looked for all entries that mentioned Evanston, Illinois, and found 13 women, but the search took more than three minutes. There are cross-references from pseudonyms in both the name lists and vocation lists and also a separate section that lists pseudonyms. Clicking on "Awards, Prizes" brings up a list of 14 awards; clicking on one results in a list of the American women who won that award. It is possible to jump from this list directly to a biography. "In Their Own Words" is a list of autobiographies giving only the title. It is usually not clear whose autobiographies they are, but clicking on a title leads to the entry for the appropriate woman. It is difficult to see the usefulness of this section and the pseudonym section
Coverage ranges from colonial times to the present. Many African American and Native American women are found, but few Asian Americans or Hispanics. Even with coverage as broad as this product's, one can question some of the choices of subjects. For example, why an entry on the Everleigh sisters, who ran a brothel in Chicago, but none on Congresswoman Pat Schroeder? Why a film clip of Gypsy Rose Lee but none of Martha Graham
The product has standard features found on many CD-ROMs: the ability to bookmark, copy to a word processor, and print. It is also possible to make the type size larger. Screens are attractive, but why does every CD-ROM developer have to come up with its own set of icons, buttons, etc? If some of these were standardized it would help make CD-ROMs easier to use
The student who needs a quick biography on a specific woman will find it just as fast to use a printed source, but browsing in this interesting product will introduce students to an array of women, many of them unknown to them. The photographs and video make the women come alive, but more examples would make this a richer experience. Middle-and high-school libraries should preview.