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With London hosting the summer games, there are a few content areas within CountryReports that may be of interest.  For example, CountryReports has the national flag and national anthems for each of the world countries.  Want to understand what the flag symbolizes?  We have it.  Ever want to re-listen to a national anthem or sing along using lyrics?  We have that as well.

As for learning more about the host country Great Britain please visit our United Kingdom entry.  Useful links:

National Flags

National Anthems

The United Kingdom

Ever wondered why people join CountryReports?  What are they using it for?  CountryReports has launched a brief video containing testimonials of real members and students that have successfully used CountryReports for various projects.  Take a look and learn what CountryReports has to offer.

This month, one of our staff members will be leaving for a two year sabbatical to Peru.  Thus, our selection of Peru as the Focus Country for February 2012.

Inca Ruins at Machu Picchu

Inca Ruins at Machu Picchu

Some interesting facts about Peru that may not be commonly known:

– The Andes have more people living in them than any other mountain range in the world.  The highest home in the world is a shepherd’s hut in the Andes at 17,000 feet.

– Peru has the world’s highest navigable body of water. Lake Titicaca is 3,800 meters above sea level.

– Peru is considered to be the archeological capital of South America. The Lost City of the Incas, called Machu Picchu, is located in the Andes Mountains. It is called lost because the Incas abandoned it and the city remained unknown to explorers for several centuries.

The main staples in the Peruvian diet include rice, beans, fish, and a variety of tropical fruits.   Many families in Peru live on the equivalent of $1.00 a day, so food is scarce for many in Peru.

Peruvian Flag

According to legend, General Jose de San Martin saw a great number of flamingos when he arrived in Peru in 1820.  Taking this as a good omen, he decided that white and red should be the colors of the Peruvian Legion that he founded to liberate Peru.  The white represents peace, dignity, and progress.  The red symbolizes war and courage.  In the state flag the arms show symbols of the animal kingdom, vegetable kingdom, and mineral kingdom.  The laurel wreath above the shield is a symbol of the republic.  The palm and laurel wreath around the shield is a symbol of peace and the will to defend the country.

CountryReports appreciates all our members and their loyalty.    As 2011 draws to a close, a glimpse back provides a sneak peak forward if you know what to look for.

While many education providers in our industry saw diminishing returns due to the economy, CountryReports had another year of growth.  Member support provided the groundwork for new content (35,000 pages and growing)  and web site enhancements.   In looking back, a few highlights were:

  1. The launch of the brand new CountryReports web site
  2. Attending the American Library Association meeting in New Orleans
  3. Attending the Texas Library Association meeting in Austin
  4. Participating in the American Association of School Librarians in Minneapolis
  5. The addition of new content and enhancements to the CountryReports web site

Again, thank you for making 2011 a year of progress which lays the foundation for another great year in 2012.  We have the greatest customers!

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Founder

CountryReports delivers timely accurate content to predominantly an American audience.  However, a little known aspect of CountryReports is that we serve content to a world wide audience.  Schools from diverse places like Kathmandu, Shanghai, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere rely on CountryReports to provide content that their students need.

One benefit of serving a world wide audience is the ability to tap into local resources.  Who knows the local culture better?   In addition, to our employed experts (researchers, writers and editors), local customers  keep “us honest”  should portions of our content need additional review.

Below is a brief glimpse into the world that uses CountryReports:

Top Five Foreign Cities Using CountryReports:

  1. Manila, Phillipines
  2. London, England
  3. Mexico City, Mexico
  4. Bogota, Colombia
  5. Sydney, Australia

Top Five Foreign Countries Using CountryReports:

  1. Canada
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Mexico
  4. Germany
  5. Australia

Bottom Five Foreign Countries Using CountryReports:

  1. Sao Tome and Principe
  2. Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  3. Christmas Island
  4. Wallis and Futuna
  5. Falkland Islands

Top Five World Regions Using CountryReports:

  1. Western Europe
  2. Northern Europe
  3. South America
  4. Central America
  5. Southern Asia

Emerging markets and third world countries are expanding Internet access throughout their societies.  CountryReports has already published content in Spanish, French and German to meet the demands of foreign schools that need educational content.  CountryReports will continue to focus on English speaking customers, but it is a win for domestic customers and CountryReports to serve up educational content to a foreign audience.

On October 27-29th, CountryReports attended the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our staff looks forward to this conference over all others in part because it is held every two years, but also because so many of our members from around the nation attend. It is a great opportunity to visit, catch up on local developments and to solicit feedback for future product development.

This year the conference did not disappoint. Numerous school librarians came to visit our booth, some from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii and even Poland. While economic circumstances have impacted both schools and vendors, the conference was still a great success. It was noticeable that vendors gave less away in the form of books and attendees had less money to spend. This is just the way it is at this time in American history. Several thanked us for keeping our prices affordable. CountryReports has not increased membership costs for over three years.

Minneapolis was a great city. It was most interesting to see how the city makes use of a network of skybridges. One can walk the entire city without ever leaving the skybridges that run throughout the city. This system combined with public transit and a subway system impressed our staff. The downtown district, unlike many other US cities, was full of activity as a combination of retail, residential and commercial made for an interesting mix of people. The locals that our staff interacted with were most friendly.

Our United States Edition, which is written for a younger audience, profiles Minnesota should one want to explore Minnesota further.  Just click here.

In March 2011, CountryReports provided a QR Code for access to CountryReports using a bar code scanner or smart phone.  In July 2011, we launched a Countries Widget which allowed one to select a country profile from outside the CountryReports web site.  Now, CountryReports is pleased to provide additional tools that make access easy.

Our new Search Widget allows content to be searched remotely without  the need to actually visit CountryReports.  Simply, insert code into your site and begin searching CountryReports!   Below is an example search widget:

CountryReports Search Widget

In addition, we are providing custom URL’s that will automatically log students into CountryReports.  This tool is found within the “Manage your Membership” page which is accessible to account admins.   Simply use the embedded URL  provided by the student access portion of the admin page.  This tool is great for students which are logging into a secure school web site from home and need access to resources purchased by the school.

The QR code, search widget and countries widgets all can be found on the “Get Your Widget” page.  Find the tool that works best for you and enjoy access made easy!