NIU Press issues two reference volumes

By Stephanie Bradley

The NIU Press has issued two new reference volumes.

The first, “Political Atlas of Illinois”, is a first-time publication which will be used mainly by editors, legislators, political columnists and reference librarians. Steve Franklin, of the Office of Public Information, said the publication’s purpose is to make previously unavailable information accessible.

The atlas contains information on Illinois’ Senate and house districts and charts state information on citizens such as population, income and age, said Paul Kleppner, Social Science Research Institute director and author of the volume. It also will be used as a predictor of where the state is going in the future, he said.

Kleppner said the volume took several years to complete because he “didn’t have the capacity” to complete it. After the census results have been tabulated and the new legislative district apportionment has been figured, there are usually court cases that can go on for years while legislators fight for district borders that are favorable to them, he said.

The cases were not settled until 1984. How soon the next volume is finished—the projected date is 1994—depends on how long it takes for the court cases to be settled, he said. A new volume will be published about once each decade.

Kleppner said he decided to write the book because he received calls from legislators, lobbyists who needed the information.

The second publication is a special edition of the NIU Law Review, a journal primarily for law libraries, law firms and lawyers. The publication is put out by students and contains articles by lawyers, professors and students, said Steve Brody, editor-in-chief of the law review. This issue is not written only for lawyers, Brody said.

The purpose of this issue is to discuss topics that might be brought up by Illinois voters to prepare for a referendum in the November general election, Brody said. This referendum will decide whether there will be an Illinois Constitutional Convention to update the constitution, he said.

Some of the topics covered in the journal will be a review of the 1970 document—how it looks in 1988, its problems and strengths and judicial rule making, Brody said.

The journal will be distributed by subscription. It will probably be made available to legislators and those involved in the constitutional process.

“Hopefully the information inside the issue will spawn some thought processes in those who are involved in the constitutional process,” Brody said.