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Learn, Study, Discover

Georgia at a Glance

by Emily Rogers on September 23, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

From the Archives to the Reference Collection, Odum Library offers a wealth of information about the history, culture, and environment of Georgia. As an official depository of state of Georgia government publications, the library has much material about the state and its unique resources. To get started locating online information about Georgia, visit Georgia.gov, the official web site of the state of Georgia.

Some of the most popular topics about Georgia include how it was settled, who was born here, and what role it played in the Civil War; read answers to such frequently asked questions and more. The most thorough source of facts about Georgia is the New Georgia Encyclopedia, jointly produced in its digital edition by the Georgia Humanities Council, the University System of Georgia and GALILEO, the University of Georgia Press, and the Office of the Governor. There you can read about geography, history, arts, education, government, science and medicine, sports and recreation, and business, all with a Georgia flavor.

Your State Parks Day takes place Saturday, September 26th, 2015. Volunteer to help a Georgia state park in return for free entry to that park all day! For instance, Reed Bingham State Park, in Adel, Georgia, will use volunteers to help build a pollinator park to attract birds and butterflies in its “For the Birds” event. Once you’re done volunteering, you can find hiking, canoeing, camping, fishing, and more. Other upcoming events at Reed Bingham include Little River Paddle Tours on October 3rd and 17th and November 7th (parking on non-volunteer days costs $5/day).

Find ways to enjoy the beauty of Georgia this fall!

Home page photograph of canoe on Reed Bingham Lake courtesy of Julie Bowland. 

Folk Artist Joycelyn Hairston

by Emily Rogers on August 6, 2015 in Archives & Special Collections, Collection, Odum Library

The Odum Library’s rotating gallery is featuring the art of Joycelyn Hairston of South Carolina.  Ms. Hairston is a folk artist who has shown her work throughout the Southeast.

As a member of one of Atlanta’s founding families, Joycelyn Hairston continues the family commitment to community and creativity. She paints what she knows and loves–gifts of grace, warm traditions and sincere hospitality–simple presentations on the complexities of life.

Joycelyn’s passions for architectural art history, historic renovation and restoration, and the creative celebration of everyday life are apparent in her works. She is most known for her deeply respectful heritage scenes and has a growing client base desiring her large abstracts. The range of her subject matter is personal and inventive and often exhibits humor. Her works are available for viewing on television, in museums, in public spaces and facilities, at institutions, through private collectors, and in her working studio. Joycelyn’s paintings exude a sense of pride and contentment. Many are created with colorful, unique brushwork.

Wherever she goes, her heart, eyes and mind are open to the ever abundant opportunities to capture special images in paint. She accepts private commissions, sells original oils and acrylics. Joycelyn’s art brings her friends who share her passion for color, creativity, and life. Joycelyn combines her southern heritage and love of people with her artistic talents in all her works.

The Americans with Disabilities Act: 25 Years

by Emily Rogers on July 27, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

July 26th marked the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against and requires equal access for persons with disabilities. View the current version of the ADA text, originally signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, and more about the law, regulations, standards, and assistance for the act at ADA.gov.  In fact, it’s also possible to view and read captions and description for a video of President Bush’s speech noting the ADA’s passage in 1990.

President Obama marked the historic occasion with a celebration at the White House, and Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia offered a 25th ADA anniversary proclamation. Find out more about the administration of the ADA in Georgia through the State of Georgia’s ADA Coordinator’s Office.

Here at VSU, the Access Office oversees access for all students to campus programs, activities, and services, including academic support. For more about the Americans with Disabilities Act, be sure to visit the government documents exhibit next to the Reference Desk in Odum Library.



Well, Hello, Pluto!

by Emily Rogers on July 16, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference, Uncategorized

This week the Earth is getting to know Pluto, the dwarf planet that the New Horizons mission has reached on its almost ten-year voyage throughout the solar system. We’re seeing close-ups of Pluto and learning more about the potential of our distant neighbor.

View videos about Pluto from NASA.gov’s feature “Pluto in a Minute.”  Learn interesting facts, such as why Pluto is now considered a “dwarf planet” rather than a full planetary member of our solar system, from the feature What Is Pluto?, part of the series NASA Knows.

You can congratulate NASA’s New Horizons team on the success of this mission by completing this form to relay your greetings, courtesy of the White House.

More photographs and data from New Horizon’s encounter with Pluto become available at a 1:00 pm EDT July 17th press briefing available on NASA TV.  See NASA TV’s schedules, streams, and more, and find out more during this historic week of frontier expansion. Throughout the year, you can keep in touch with what NASA is up to by viewing its Image of the Day series.  Onward, Horizon!

Recent decisions from the Supreme Court

by Emily Rogers on July 7, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The Supreme Court of the United States has closed its 2014 session with decisions that reflect a diverse range of the nation’s issues. On the home page for the Supreme Court, you can view a list of links to recent decisions from the Supreme Court, including

Dissenting and concurring opinions are also available as part of the published decisions. If you’re interested in reading or hearing arguments before the Court, the home page also provides links to transcripts and audio of recent arguments. Earlier arguments are also available through the lists of transcripts back to 2000 and audio back to 2010.

Find out more about the justices of the Supreme Court by reading the current justices’ biographies and viewing a timeline of justices’ time on the Court, both past and present.  The official print versions of Supreme Court decisions, the United States Reports, are available through 2008 in Odum Library’s legal reference area. Later decisions are also available in paperback, but the printed versions are only considered final once they are issued in bound volumes.

The Supreme Court and other federal government web sites and publications exist to help people stay informed and provide an open window onto government activities. Remember that a government information librarian is available to assist with these and other government resources at Odum Library, a Federal Depository Library. Call the Reference Desk at 229-333-7149 for more information.

Only you . . .

by Emily Rogers on June 12, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

. . . can prevent forest fires, says Smokey Bear. Now that Smokey is 70 (he’ll turn 71 August 9th), a wide collection of online and physical resources can help re-introduce you to the favorite spokesbear and other resources for forest and fire safety. See how Smokey has changed over the years, and enjoy these special games, stories, and other activities for kids.

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) monitors the outlook for the current fire season and other resources about fire safety.  Partners for the NIFC for fire safety include the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, among others.

Here in Odum Library, we have a lot of materials about Smokey’s mission to prevent forest fires and about forests and fire safety more generally. Come see our English-Spanish version of Smokey’s story, on display in the Reference Area on the library’s second floor, and more resources to inspire you to treat our precious forest resources carefully.

Earthquakes and seismic activity

by Emily Rogers on May 12, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The recent earthquake and aftershocks in Nepal remind us that earthquakes are an ever-present natural threat. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program lists significant earthquakes of the past 30 days, including seismic information about the Nepal earthquake.

Learn more about earthquakes through these Frequently Asked Questions and this interactive page of children’s resources about earthquakes, including  Today in Earthquake History. You can send your further questions the U.S. Geological Survey directly with its Ask-a-Geologist feature.

Georgia is not free of threats from earthquakes. While the danger is very low in Valdosta and Lowndes County, “an earthquake of intensity V or over occurred on March 12, 1964, near Haddock, less than 20 miles northeast of Macon.” See this 2014 Seismic Hazard map of the state and more about earthquakes in Georgia and the geologic qualities of Georgia.

Odum Library’s Government Documents collection has a number of maps and other publications about earthquakes. See a sample on display on the Government Documents exhibit shelves in the 2nd floor Reference area of the library. For more information about any of these resources, contact the Government Documents librarian at 229-245-3748 or ecrogers@valdosta.edu.


Prepare for finals in the library all day and night!

by Emily Rogers on May 1, 2015 in Hours, Odum Library

Need a quiet and safe place to study all night for finals?  Don’t fret over noisy neighbors or persistent partiers! Odum Library will be open nonstop from noon on Sunday, May 3rd, to 9:00 Friday evening, May 8th.


Great American Cleanup and Earth Day Resources

by Emily Rogers on April 20, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Focus on the environment this week with a neighborhood cleanup as well as the celebration of Earth Day. On Saturday, April 25, 2015, come volunteer for the Great American Cleanup, sponsored by Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful, the City of Valdosta, and Lowndes County. Help clean up our area by contacting Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful at 229-671-3698 to participate.

Earth Day 2015 falls on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Many government resources for celebration and education this Earth Day are available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There you’ll find tips for everyday environmental awareness and conservation in the EPA’s efforts for people to make Earth Day, Every Day.

President Obama is visiting the Everglades National Park this week to focus on climate change and conservation of natural resources and to invite you to submit photos of places you’d most like to protect.

More opportunities for research and information about Earth Day and the environment are available through the Library of Congress’s Earth Day Resources page.

Within the state of Georgia, you’ll find more Earth Day information from the Georgia Forestry Commission. However you decide to help the environment this week, also make it an opportunity to learn more about conserving our natural resources.

Tax Information for VSU and the Community

by Emily Rogers on April 2, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Here at Odum Library, we can’t help you prepare your taxes, but we can at least help you obtain the information you need.

Odum Library has copies of 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ forms, available in the kiosk near the Reference Desk on the second floor of Odum Library. Other forms, schedules, and instructions are not available this year in print at our library, so the best source will be the forms and publications sites listed below.

Federal forms are available at these links from irs.gov:

Georgia forms are not available in print from libraries this year.  The state does have a site, the Georgia Tax Center, where you can create an account for dealing with your state tax issues this year.

  • If you prefer, you can request State of Georgia tax forms by calling the forms order line at 1-877-423-6711, option #2, then option #6.

In addition, tax forms from all 50 states are available courtesy of the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Happy Spring!