This FAQ is intended to help users find information on specific topics, based on questions frequently received by the Prairie Research Institute Library. If you don't find your question or topic here, check out the Library's list of subject guides and bibliographies or ask a librarian.
Although the Prairie Research Institute is located on Oak Street, it is not the Oak Street Library Facility (OSLF), which is a remote storage area for low circulating materials. For more more information about OSLF, including how to access materials stored there, visit the University Library's Oak Street Library Facility page.
Current Library hours display in the right sidebar. A complete list of University Library Unit hours for the current semester is here.
The Library is located at 1816 South Oak, Champaign IL in Room 1027 of the Forbes Natural History Building (also known as the I-Building). The Prairie Research Institute Library's Find Us page has includes a campus map, directions, and links to bus routes and schedules.
There are metered spaces in lot 46 on the south side of the Forbes Natural History Building. For short visits, users may park for up to 30 minutes in the loading zone in front of the south entrance to the building.
Yes you can. Many of the Institute's field stations and remote offices have at least one I-Share library nearby.
Library books can be requested via the I-Share catalog for delivery to the nearest I-Share Library (view map).
If there is no convenient I-Share pickup location, the Institute Library can mail University Library owned materials to you.
Contact the Institute Library desk for assistance.
The purpose of the Prairie Research Institute Library is to collect, preserve, promote, document, and collaborate in the scientific research and educational activities of the Institute. We serve Institute staff, the University of Illinois community, and the citizens of Illinois.
In 2008, the four existing state scientific surveys (the Illinois Natural History Survey, the Illinois State Geological Survey, the Illinois State Water Survey, and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center) were transferred from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to the University of Illinois as the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability. In February 2010, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey joined the Institute. In May 2011, the Institute changed its name to the Prairie Research Institute. By recommendation of the Institute Library Advisory Task Force, the Prairie Research Institute Library formed from the merger of the four State Scientific Survey Libraries, the Illinois Natural History Survey Library, Illinois State Geological Survey Library, Illinois State Water Survey Library, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Library.
For more information about the Library, see our About Us page.
Our Contact Us page includes general contact information for the Library and librarian liaisons to specific units of the Prairie Research Institute.
The Prairie Research Institute Library happily accepts donations of appropriate materials for the collection, including books and reports. Institute staff: if you have authored or reviewed a book and receive a complimentary copy, please consider donating it to the Institute Library. Please contact us for further information.
We can help find an appropriate archival home for personal collections of Institute staff or research program records from Institute units, whether print or electronic. Please contact your librarian for assistance.
There are two options for supporting the Prairie Research Institute Library with tax deductible donations. Donations can be made online using a credit card.
U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office is a very good place to start when looking for information about the Great Lakes. They have many resources, including information about each lake. In particular, the Great Lakes Atlas provides comprehensive information about the history, ecosystem, environmental concerns, and joint management of the Lakes. Paper copies of the Atlas are also available.
U.S. EPA's Student Center is an excellent place to begin your research. It includes information on environmental basics, air, water, conservation, ecosystems, human health, in your neighborhood, and waste and recycling. as well as links to environmental laws, publications, an environmental dictionary, news, and information for teachers and kids. U.S. EPA also maintains frequently asked questions collections on a variety of topics. You should be able to locate basic information with links to EPA resources from these documents.
If you're looking for information on the health effects of specific chemicals, see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's ToxFAQs.
U.S. EPA maintains a list of major environmental laws with links to full-text sources on the laws & regulations section of their web site.
U.S. EPA's Forum on Environmental Measurements maintains an online collection of EPA test methods. The U.S. EPA Region 1 Library compiled an index to EPA test methods (latest edition is 2003). This index is a useful tool if you aren't sure which of the many EPA methods compilations contains the method you need.
The National Environmental Methods Index, a cooperative effort of the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey, is an excellent online source for test methods. Users can search by analyte, CAS number, or method number. Users can also browse by general method and locate test methods approved for regulatory use.
The Environmental Education LibGuide includes a wealth or resources for teaching K-12 students about the environmental effects of pollution and waste, as well as strategies for improving the environment.
U.S. EPA's Environmental Education web site includes resources for educators and parents, as well as information about grant opportunities and teacher awards.
Another good resource is EElinked Networks. This site, maintained by the North American Association for Environmental Education, provides a wealth of resources for educators on environmental topics. It includes links to classroom resources, contacts, reference resources, regional information, and education and environment directories.
The University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems (formerly the National Pollution Prevention Center for Higher Education) has developed Faculty Teaching and Research Materials that integrate pollution prevention concepts into various subject areas. Each compendium contains a resource list, selected readings, syllabi, and student assignments. The subjects covered include Accounting, Agriculture, Business Law, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Coastal Zone Management, Environmental Studies, Finance, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Industrial Ecology, Marketing, and Strategic Environmental Management. There are also links to case studies and bibliographies.
Although it doesn't have specific curriculum guides, Benchmarks for Science Literacy is something that all teachers should read. A companion publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's project "Science for All Americans", it is a compendium of specific goals for science literacy in several key areas including the living environment. It is part of their Project 2061 program which promotes literacy in science, mathematics, and technology.
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has many factsheets and technical research reports dealing with both general and specific pollution prevention topics. In addition, Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable maintains a virtual library of resources related to pollution prevention and cleaner production for many different industries. National Compliance Assistance Centers are also an excellent source of information on pollution prevention and regulatory information in specific industries. U.S. EPA's Business and Non-Profits page links to general regulatory information, information from specific EPA programs, and the U.S. EPA Small Business Gateway. EPA's Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse distributes and links to many, many pollution prevention publications, including industry-specific information. Finally, EPA's Pollution Prevention Home Page contains information about Agency initiatives, including the Design for the Environment Project, which targets specific industry sectors.
U.S. EPA's Wastes page includes information on recycling, hazardous wastes, and solid (non-hazardous) waste. U.S. EPA also maintains frequently asked questions collections on a variety of environmental subjects. The Municipal Solid Waste page includes statistics about generation of trash in the U.S and links to data sets and the annual report Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: Facts and Figures.
Waste exchanges bring companies looking for recyclable industrial wastes together with companies who are wanting to get rid of such wastes. Many states have materials exchange programs. The Illinois EPA runs the Industrial Material Exchange Service. Recycler's World, a worldwide trading site for recyclable commodities, has a directory of companies who deal in recycled goods. The directory is subdivided by waste category and state. The Southern Waste Information Exchange (SWIX) maintains a list of materials exchange services, as well as lists of materials wanted and materials available.
The following ISTC publications answer some of these questions:
Many states and local governments sponsor household hazardous waste collection days. In Illinois, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency organizes these events. To obtain a list of dates and locations, information about collections, or a list of what is and isn't accepted, visit their web site or call the Waste Reduction Unit at (217) 785-8604. If your community does not currently sponsor a collection day and you want to start one, U.S. EPA has published Household Hazardous Waste Management: A Manual for One-Day Community Collection Programs (EPA 530 R-92 002). U.S. EPA's Household Hazardous Waste page includes links to reduction, reuse, recycling, collection, and disposal options.
The American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) maintains a database of sustainability focused academic degree programs. You can search the database or browse by degree type and discipline. Also check out the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems (formerly the National Pollution Prevention Center for Higher Education). They have developed curricula and resource lists to help faculty in many different disciplines incorporate pollution prevention into their courses. The Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability's Resources page includes links to curriculum resources in many specific disciplines, including biology, business, chemistry, communications, design, engineering, English/creative writing, environmental science, humanities, law, mathematics, psychology, religion, sociology, and cross-disciplinary programs.
The Environmental Defense Fund's Scorecard site produces local reports by combining scientific, geographical, technical, and legal information from over 150 electronic databases. Local reports include contact information for legislators and decision makers. Another good source is U.S. EPA's Envirofacts page. It's a single point of access for environmental data collected by the agency. EPA also offers a "search by zip code" feature on their Your Community page.
There is an Illinois Water Supply Information guide that provides links to federal and state resources on supply, water use, and relevant legislation.
Congress passes the laws that govern the United States, but Congress has also authorized federal agencies to help put those laws into effect by creating and enforcing regulations. U.S. EPA's Basics of the Regulatory Process provides a basic description of how laws and regulations are developed, what they are, and where to find them, with an emphasis on environmental laws and regulations.
At the Federal level, there is a fair amount of information available at no cost. Some good web sites include:
The University of Illinois' Business Information Services group has developed a handy flowchart for locating company information. The Thomas Register of American Manufacturers provides listings of companies that manufacture specific products. The Illinois Business Directory and the Illinois Services Directory are also good sources of basic company information.
Illinois bills and laws are available from the Illinois General Assembly. The site includes bills and resolutions, Public Acts, the Illinois Compiled Statutes, and the Illinois Constitution, as well as information about House and Senate committees. Public acts and pending legislation are only available for the current legislative session. To access previous legislative sessions, use the site map. The Illinois Pollution Control Board also has some links to Illinois environmental laws, including the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, summaries of environmental legislation pending in the Illinois General Assembly, and summaries of environmental legislation passed during the current session. Illinois regulations are announced in the Illinois Register and compiled in the Illinois Administrative Code by the Secretary of State Indexing Department. After regulations are finalized by the Joint Committee on Administrative Code, they are published in the Illinois Administrative Code. For more information about Illinois' legislative process, see the Illinois Legislation LibGuide developed by the University of Illinois Library's Government Information Services group.
The easiest way to find this information is to look on your voter registration card. Both congressional and legislative districts are listed there. However, if you can't find your card or you want to know who represents another district, the Illinois State Board of Elections has a searchable database to help you locate representatives based on street address. The search results include links to contact information for each representative, including all of their district offices. You can also search by ZIP+4, official, and district.
The Encyclopedia of Associations is the best place to look for this information. Most libraries have a copy of this in their reference collection. Some libraries may also subscribe to Associations Unlimited, which is an online version.
The U.S. Census Bureau's County Business Patterns database contains employment statistics, by Standard Industrial Classification and NAICS for all states and counties in the United States. To search the database, select a state (or select the entire United States), then narrow your search by SIC code. If you're viewing information for a specific state, then decide you want to compare those statistics to other states, click the compare button.
The Census Bureau also publishes economic census profiles for many manufacturing and service industries. In addition, they have a one-stop census page called American FactFinder that allows users to search multiple census databases and compile custom reports.