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Learn, Study, Discover

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.

 

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!

Honoring the History of Women

by Emily Rogers on March 3, 2015 in Archives & Special Collections, Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference, Uncategorized

April is Women’s History Month.  While this FDLP entry is focusing on government information sources as usual, our slide this month features a photograph of a Georgia State Women’s College student volunteers’ traveling Library Project funded through the Nation Youth Administration (NYA) and the Works Project Administration (WPA) to help bring library service to rural communities. (1938 GSWC Bulletin, courtesy of the Archives & Special Collections, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Ga.)

Womenshistorymonth.gov offers links to an interactive 3D model of Amelia Earhart’s flight suit, a collection of nursing pioneer Clara Barton’s archived correspondence and other documents, a PBS documentary on photographer Dorothea Lange, and a feature on women in the military.

Women’s History Month has existed since 1982; view President Ronald Reagan’s proclamation declaring its creation, courtesy of the University of California at Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project.

The National Park Service hosts a multitude of sites honoring women’s history; tour a selection of these sites at the Service’s Inside Story feature.

The Census Bureau’s Facts for Features for March 2015 features interesting facts about women’s history in the United States.  For instance, as recorded in December 2013, the population of women in the U.S. was 161 million, compared to 156.1 million men.

During March 2015, learn more about women’s history, and be sure to honor the contributions of women local, regional, and national.

African American History Month via .Gov

by Emily Rogers on February 3, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.gov is but one of many government sources for information about African American History Month. Sponsored collaboratively by the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives and Records Administration,  and other federal government agencies, this site collects information about exhibits, event calendars, educational resources, and more.

For instance, the Library of Congress is hosting through September 12, 2015 the exhibit The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom. The online exhibit features timelines, multimedia presentations, and learning materials for the classroom.

Furthermore, the National Park Service’s cultural resources on African American Heritage page lists sites, exhibits, lesson plans, and more available year-round. The National Gallery of Art features highlights from its collection of works by African American Artists.  Visit the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Documenting African American History site for lessons and exhibits on topics such as the Emancipation Proclamation, African American soldiers in World War I, Frederick Douglass’s 1845 autobiography, and spirituals.

Geographically closer to home, the Civil Rights Digital Library, an initiative of the Digital Library of Georgia and GALILEO, provides a digital video archive, a civil rights portal, and a collection of secondary resource links to online educational content. Keep in mind that all of these information resources are made possible through your state and federal governments at work.

Welcome back for the New Year!

by Emily Rogers on January 9, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

As classes resume for spring semester 2015, we hope you’ll find your way to Odum library to ignite your new year at VSU!  Remember that Odum Library is open its regular hours seven days a week.

Wondering how Odum Library is here for you?  We have quiet and group study areas, computer labs, a coffee shop, printer/photocopiers, and more here for your convenience–just ask at any of our service desks or take a look at our handy floor maps.

Maybe you’ve made some resolutions to try to improve your life in the new year. Whatever your goal, we can find a book or online information to help you get started right.

For instance, the U.S. government is a great source for current authoritative information, including popular new year’s resolutions. If you’re trying to eat better to improve your health and lose weight, ChooseMyPlate.gov offers online advice. Find out more about nutrition and get a free two-week sample menu at the government documents display, near the Reference Desk on Odum Library’s second floor.

Whether it’s dieting and exercise, money management, or stress relief, we’re sure to have resources to help you. Just contact Odum Library’s Reference Desk at 229-333-7149 or the Government Documents Librarian at 229-245-3748 or ecrogers@valdosta.edu for more assistance.