Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vital Speeches of the Day

The back cover of the February issue of Toastmaster magazine has an ad for this monthly newsletter which has been around for 75 years. It is very interesting reading for anyone involved with public speaking. If you are brave, you even can submit a speech to it.

Each issue of Vital Speeches of the Day features a speech of the month. Beverly K. Eakman wrote the speech of the month for the December 2008 issue, on the topic of Education’s Role. The August 2007 issue had a speech on the difference between managing and leading by Tami Longaberger called A Precise Talent. The March 2005 issue had a speech by Jeff Davidson about going From Golden Cage to Golden Age for Your Career. It also had a speech by Larry Tracy about Taming Hostile Audiences.

At their special Toastmasters rate it costs $50 a year for an electronic subscription and $60 a year for the print version (which has a regular price of $75). If I was doing speaking as a full time career then I might consider subscribing. However, that would also depend on whether I could already access the publication via a database in my public library.

Some states have a library system that does the bulk purchasing of databases for their city and county libraries. Here in Idaho that system is called Libraries Linking Idaho, and down the road in Utah it is called Public Pioneer. Libraries Linking Idaho (LiLI) has purchased the ProQuest Central database, which has full text for most of Vital Speeches of the Day from June 1995 to June 2007. ProQuest Central also indexes up to the current issue of that newsletter. Clicking on the Publications tab and typing in the title lets you search the contents of individual issues, and also click on an article to read an abstract.

In Utah, Public Pioneer has the Academic Search Premier database which has full text (Acrobat .pdf files) for all 75 years of Vital Speeches of the Day. Thus Utah residents can easily access it from their home or office.

Here in Boise the library over at Boise State University (BSU) also has the Academic Search Premier database. For a visitor like me to access databases at BSU he has to stop at the checkout desk of the Albertson Library, show them identification (driver’s license), and then get a guest logon good for just 30 minutes. Then I can use one of four public access PC terminals on the ground floor to view the databases and save results to my little USB thumb drive. This rationing of terminal use resulted from gamers monopolizing the public terminals.

However, any citizen of Idaho also qualifies as a “Special Borrower” at the BSU library. I have a free citizen card that entitles me to check out up to ten books at a time (but not periodicals or reserve books).
The BSU library is a just pleasant walk down the Boise River Greenbelt trail from my Toastmasters club meeting. It’s a monthly treat for me to visit that library.

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