There is a growing number of Web sites that present various aspects of the U.S. Latino experience, but few authoritative sites that focus on issues pertaining to Puerto Ricans and particularly those living in the United States. IPRNet, the Web site of New York City's Institute of Puerto Rican Policy, is the happy exception to that trend.
The Institute of Puerto Rican Policy was established in 1982 as a nonprofit and nonpartisan policy center, whose research and publications have long tracked Puerto Rican and Latino demographics, voting behavior, poverty, political representation, health status, and other social issues. In developing IPRNet, the Institute has effectively expanded its outreach by moving many of its services, newsletters, research publications, resources, and statistical datanotes to the Internet.
IPRNet makes available full text feature articles from the newsletter Critica (whose editorial advisory board includes well known scholars such as Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Juan Flores and Kal Wagenheim), samples of statistical data documenting Puerto Rican demographics and opinions, and downloadable files of data and questionnaires from surveys such as the Latino National Political Survey. IPRNet also includes cultural information, bibliographies, links elsewhere, a fun quiz on Puerto Rican history, and instructions on how to subscribe to its e-mail discussion list, IPR Forum.
IPRNet does not focus exclusively on Puerto Ricans living in the United States. There is also a massive directory of Puerto Rican associations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and a Puerto Rico Datasite that has compiled socio-economic data on seventy-eight Puerto Rican regions, regarding population, language use, home ownership, literacy and unemployment rates. Elsewhere, Puerto Rico is ranked on selected indicators (such as high school graduation rate, households receiving public assistance, and ability to speak English) and compared with the strongest and weakest U.S. states.
Puerto Ricans comprise the second largest group of Latinos living in the United States. This Web site will be valuable for academic libraries and researchers interested in political science and policy studies, as well as the areas of Latino studies and broader ethnic studies; public libraries serving Puerto Rican and Latino populations will also be interested in bookmarking this site.
Susan A. Vega Garcia
Reference Librarian and Bibliographer, Racial & Ethnic Studies
Iowa State University
April 30, 1998