In a Cloistered Monastery – A Reference Question

Picture of a turn.“The architecture of cloistered convents features a small door to the exterior designed specifically to allow groceries and other small supplies to be delivered while maintaining the privacy and separation of the nuns. What is the formal name for such a door (it likely has a name in Latin) and what is the English translation of that word?”

This question came in to the Level 7 reference desk at the Central Library on a busy day during the week before Easter. We hunted around a bit online and did not immediately find a fitting term, so we took the patron’s contact information to dig a bit deeper. Continue reading “In a Cloistered Monastery – A Reference Question”

Question of the Month: What’s the difference between ‘medieval’ and ‘middle ages’?

Could you clarify the difference between the “medieval” and “middle ages”? Are they related or do they represent two different time periods? I am writing a paper and I am not sure what to use. I was under the impression that medieval is earlier than middle ages, the year 1000 maybe, and middle ages is closer to the Renaissance.

Thanks for the question. There is no difference in meaning or in the time period covered between the terms “medieval” or “middle ages.” Here are two definitions of the period:

From the World Book Encyclopedia, 2009 edition, vol. 13: “Middle Ages is a term that describes the period in European history from about the 400s through the 1400s. The Middle Ages are also called the medieval period from the Latin words medium(middle) and aevum (age).” Continue reading “Question of the Month: What’s the difference between ‘medieval’ and ‘middle ages’?”

Question of the Month: Baroque music notations

I have two music questions, both having to do with 18th century music notation: 1. Quantz used two slash marks, or something like quotation marks, over some notes. It looks like some kind of accent. What is the name of this mark and what does it mean? 2. in Telemann’s engravings he used a mark like a little hook at the end of a line to indicate the first note on the next line. What is the name of this mark?

Thank you for contacting the Seattle Public Library. I’m writing in response to your question about music notation symbols used in Baroque music.

Without seeing the actual markings in your music it is difficult to determine exactly the marking that you describe in your Quantz piece. A single vertical stroke above usually indicates a kind of staccato, not necessarily a short staccato, and probably more stressed (accented) that a staccato. Continue reading “Question of the Month: Baroque music notations”

October Question of the Month – an irregular series

Hi. I’m starting a preschool business in North Seattle. I need help getting answers to these questions: $ spent in US on private preschools; $ spent locally on private preschools; % growth last year. Also, growth potential, trends in the industry, and my main competitors’ products and pricing. Thank-you for your help!

Thank you for your question regarding preschool education startup business statistics. There is much information available free of charge to the general public. The U.S. Census produces an Economic Census which profiles American business every 5 years, from the national to the local level. It will give you data on total sales, number of establishments, payroll and number of employees by business type at city, county and sometime zip code level.  And The Seattle Public Library provides several databases for researching market statistics, forecasts, and industry trends. With your Seattle Public Library card, you have access to multiple subscription databases. You can access these databases from home at any time by entering your library card and pin number.

ReferenceUSA  – provides a detailed listing of 14 million businesses nationwide. Information includes name of business, address, telephone number, headquarters, branch and subsidiaries identification, SIC codes, credit rating, number of employees, and estimated sales volume for all of your competitors. You have the ability to search (customized) by type of business, geography (city, county, zip code, etc.) business size and more. Reference USA provides competition report.

You can search for industry and trade news articles in a wide variety of databases we provide via our Business, Finance and Fundraising page.  Good choices for your research include – ABI Inform Trade & Industry, Business & Company Resource Center, Business and lndustry, Onefile, Proquest and Washington State Newsstand databases. You can search for trade associations in Associations Unlimited database. Trade associations often collect and distribute data on markets, products and trends.

We also maintain general and specialized business-ratio books for expense and profit ratios by business type at the Information desk on level 7 of the Central Library.  You can reach us at (206) 386-4636.

We did an initial search for “preschool education businesses” in the U.S. Census, American Fact Finder database for you. The results are shown below. You will see that preschool education is catagorized under “Child Day Care Services,” using the North American Industry Classification System code: 624410. It does not however, provide total revenues for Seattle centers.  You will be able to find estimated individual company revenues by searching ReferenceUSA database.

American Fact Finder – U.S. Census – Selected Statistics from the 2007 Economic Census

Index Entry – Preschool centers
NAICS Code – 624410
U.S. NAICS Title – Child Day Care Services
Seattle, WA
624410: Child day care services
– Number of establishments: 290
– Receipts/Revenue ($1,000) : Withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual companies; data are included in higher level totals
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census

A preliminary search in the ReferenceUSA database identified 108 listed businesses currently in the city of Seattle under Pre-Schools (NAICS 835105) and Schools-Nursery & Kindergarten Academic(NAICS 835102). This is less than half of the number picked up in the 2007 Economic Census. Repeating this search will enable you to see their estimated sales, business expenditures and total business profile.

We hope this is enough to get you started. Please let us know if we can help you further.

Got a stumper? Click on Ask a Librarian. It’s what we do.

September Question of the Month – an irregular series

I’m having the dickens of a time finding a definitive answer to the question “what is the largest nature preserve in the world?”  I’ve searched the web for hours and find many conflicting claims to the title but nothing with a reputable source. Since you have many resources beyond the Web available I’m hoping you can solve this problem for me. If you do come up with an answer please provide the source.  Thanks.

Thank you for your question regarding the largest natural preserve in the world. We found two sources stating that the Northeast Greenland National Park is the largest nature reserve (national park) in the world.

Nature Reserves of the World
1. Northeast Greenland National Park. The territory of the world’s largest nature reserve is 972 thousand square kilometers. On its territory can accommodate 163 smallest countries in the world. Opening of the Northeast Greenland National Park, May 22, 1974 at virtually uninhabited northern municipality Ittokortoormiit in eastern Greenland.
In 1988, to the park it added 272,000 square kilometers of county Avannaa in North Greenland. In 1977, the Northeast Greenland National Park was granted the status of the international biosphere reserve. The park Continue reading “September Question of the Month – an irregular series”