Where do I find data on literacy education for women in Latin America? Where do I find maps of poverty and development in Africa? Does the Newsam Library have tables of educational systems, data on teacher training, statistics on pupil enrolment in Europe before and after the Wall came down?
Map by Turn685: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WorldMapLiteracy2011.png
Actually, the Library at the Institute of Education had a whole section dedicated to ‘Overseas Statistics’, so that our readers could find background material for their research, whether it refers to educational institutions or to the social and economic conditions under which people live, learn, teach, grow up, have children.
I am writing in the past, since we are integrating the overseas statistics collection into the Comparative Education Collection. By the end of the summer, you will find the socioeconomic data right next to any other books about the country or region of the world, down on Level 3.
Where the material is in a language other than English, we sometimes offer you a printed or electronic translation. You can consult ‘The state of education : 30 indicators on the French education system’ in French or in English.
Naturally, you can search for your fields of interest in our library catalogue, for instance ‘literacy’ or ‘poverty’ – but that will not lead you to comprehensive statistics which do not have these words in the title or elsewhere in the record, yet may offer you precisely the table or map you need. ‘Literacy education’ may be hidden in ‘Educational development’, ‘Africa’ may be hidden in ‘Developing countries’.
I suggest looking up the following terms which we often allocate to social science facts and stats: ‘Socioeconomic indicators’, ‘Economic and social development’, ‘Economic conditions’, ‘Statistical data’ and ‘Statistics of education’.
And naturally, you can use a search engine – but it will not always give you the same resources as quickly, or in fact, at all! Over the summer, we are also updating the links from our records, for instance to current issues of annual reports. So you will find the most recent figures from a government department or an international organisation online, but also older editions in paper, some of which are not even digitised and may never be. We have got, for example, the ‘30 indicators on the French education system’ from their first French issue in 1992.
These books are on our shelves, from where you can fetch and borrow them (turn left at the bottom of the stairs), or in our Stacks, from where you can request them to be studied in the Library (click on the link ‘request from store’).
When you look for background information on countries round the globe, do try our Library Catalogue and our Library Guides. Our International Collections Librarian, Barbara Sakarya, has compiled the following guides for you: International Education Links and Statistics of Education.
I wish you fun with facts and figures! And perhaps your research will change your, and our, perception of other countries fundamentally!