TITLE: Policy.com

ACCESS: http://www.policy.com.

The World Wide Web provides access to a wide range of information on political and policy issues. Users may view official government sites plus those operated by organizations and individuals. Maintained by A2S2 Digital Products, Policy.com ranks among the better designed web sites providing free access to data concerning current political and governmental topics.

Policy.com's main page contains three sections. The main section presents links to current news stories, daily briefing and issue of the week sections, information on the upcoming 1998 federal, state, and local elections, a special report section covering in detail one current issue, and a featured event area presenting Real-Time audio versions of speeches presented at policy forums. During the period of site examination, the site contained information of the proposed patients' bill of rights, Social Security Reform Bill, the debate on race in American society, the upcoming elections in Ohio and North Carolina, and the Microsoft antitrust suit. Each section contains links to additional materials taken from government sources, the media, think tanks, and other sources. Echoing the site's efforts to gather information from a range of non-governmental sources, one side section contains a listing of policy events occurring in the Washington area.

A second side contains the site index, contents grouped in eight broad areas. The news and events and issues of the week are listed first, followed by an issues library containing archives materials appearing in previous editions. An interaction area allows users to discuss topics in various moderated policy chat groups, and the Virtual Congress area provides links to pending and past legislation plus allows users to contact Senators and Legislators via email. A student section contains links to college and university based publications and groups. The community section contains a well-selected list of think tanks, advocacy groups, associations, foundations, businesses, colleges and universities, US and foreign government sites, international organizations, media organizations and other related resources. Finally, the search section contains a site search engine and a text only site index.

Combined with sites like Project Vote Smart which concentrate on federal and state legislative action, Policy.com gives citizen a powerful tool for obtaining needed information on important issues facing the country. It provides an excellent balance for the evening news. This site is recommended for all varieties of academic libraries.

Stephen L. Hupp
Director of Libray Services
Swedenborg Memorial Library
Urbana University

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