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American Wetlands Month

by Emily Rogers on May 11, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

May 1-31 is the national observation of American Wetlands Month.  Georgia’s six coastal counties have plenty of wetlands:  804,228 acres, encompassing 1,256 square miles, reports the National Wetlands Inventory conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  The National Wetlands Inventory site also provides a wetlands mapper with a list of frequently asked questions for viewing and downloading wetlands data.

Aerial view of Georgia salt marsh, from the Coastal Resources Division, Georgia DNR

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources describes wetlands as “areas covered with a layer of water for some period of time that have waterlogged soils and plant species which grow only in those wet areas,” according to the spring 2012 issue of  Georgia Sound, the DNR’s Coastal Resources Division newsletter. Georgia’s coast is made up of both salt and fresh water, with 368,484 acres of salt marsh and 432,660 acres of freshwater wetlands.

The Georgia Land Conservation Program describes ways that landowners and other citizens can help conserve Georgia’s coast, wetlands, and other green spaces. For even more definitions and information about wetlands maintenance and regulation, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s site Where Water Meets Land. The closest wildlife refuge to VSU is the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located in nearby Lanier County, and a great place to view freshwater wetlands.

Closeup view of Georgia salt marsh, Coastal Resources Division, Georgia DNR

Much more about wetlands in Georgia and across the country appears in the 2011 Fish & Wildlife Service report Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States, 2004-2009. You can also check out this publication and plenty of other government documents about wetlands in print from Odum Library’s Federal and Georgia documents collections. Just contact the government information librarian at 229-245-3748 or ecrogers@valdosta.edu.



Celebrate National Poetry Month!

by Emily Rogers on April 16, 2012 in Collection, Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

April is National Poetry Month, and you can find many books of and about poetry at Odum Library as well as web sites about poetry month through GALILEO, organizations such as the Poetry Foundation, and even the U.S. government!

Poetry collections at Odum Library include books by current U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, Mary Oliver, and Donald Hall, among many others. You can also borrow and listen to recordings of poets such as Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar reading their poetry.


Read about Georgia’s Poet Laureate, David Bottoms, and more poets from Georgia in this feature from the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

The U.S. government might seem like a surprising source for poetry, but there are great poetry sites available from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. The American Memory Project from the Library of Congress has made available for online viewing the notebooks of the U.S. poet Walt Whitman.

There’s even a mobile app for poetry available from Poets.org (the Academy of American Poets), so now you can have poetry instantly available for Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26th, or any time you need a poem in your life.

1940 Census Opens Doors to Our Past!

by Emily Rogers on April 3, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The 1940 Census is now available, and it’s online, courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)!  Detailed census records–the actual census forms U.S. residents completed in 1940–are available for public view 72 years after the Census takes place. April 2 marked the 72nd “birthday” of the 1940 Census!

View how the United States is different today than in 1940–or not so different? With such detailed records now at hand, we can even see state-by-state comparisons between the years.

For getting started with your own 1940 census search, visit the official NARA site–but it’s so popular right now that you might have to wait a bit! In the meantime, you can read this NPR story about the 1940 census release, and preview how Georgia’s GALILEO system, through the ProQuest company, will enhance its Ancestry Library Edition database, available for use in genealogical research within Odum Library.

Uncle Sam 1940 Census
Uncle Sam, for the 1940 Census,
courtesy U.S. Census Bureau


If you’d like to “Uncle Sam Yourself,”  go try this app from the U.S. Census Bureau!


March Is Women's History Month

by Emily Rogers on March 20, 2012 in Archives & Special Collections, Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the governments of the United States and Georgia, along with libraries, archives, and other nonprofit organizations, can help us learn about women’s contributions to science, culture and the arts, exploration, education, and government. View the Library of Congress‘s feature on Women’s History Month, emphasizing the 2012 theme, “Women’s Education–Women’s Empowerment.”

View the history of the 19th Amendment, enacting the right of women to vote in the U.S., courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. The Law Library of Congress also offers a timeline of the legislative history of Women’s History Month in the U.S.

Valdosta State University, which began as a college for women, offers local documentation of more than a century of the history of women in south Georgia, as evident in this photograph of the 1933 Euclidian (Math and Science) Club of what was then the Georgia State Woman’s College:


1932 Math & Science Club, Georgia State Woman's College, courtesy VSU Archives

Many more images and documents of the history of women at Valdosta State University are available at the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections.

In addition, Odum Library’s collection of the U.S. Statutes at Large documents the U.S. government’s recognition of Women’s History Month. Finally, be sure to view Odum Library’s exhibit, Black Women in Georgia History and Culture, on display in the library’s first floor display cases, one floor down from the Circulation Desk on the north side of Odum Library.


Protect Your Consumer Rights!

by Emily Rogers on March 5, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

March 4-10, 2012, marks National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). NCPW highlights government and nonprofit resources to help consumers manage our money, debt, and privacy and avoid identity theft and other frauds.

Partners for NCPW include the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the IRS, the Federal Reserve System, the FBI, the National Urban League, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP),  the Social Security Administration,  the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Protect Safety Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration, among others.

What were the top consumer complaints for 2011?  Identity theft, debt collection, and fake sweepstakes top the list of 30 categories released in the PDF of the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, January-December 2011, just published in February 2012.   Find other topics of interest to consumers, including banking, health and safety, mortgages, and technology, through information provided for NCPW.

logo for National Consuemr Protection Week

National Consumer Protection Week logo

Maybe you’d prefer your own copies of publications about arthritis, flu, saving and investing for students, saving for college, or the 2011 Consumer Action Handbook from the Federal Citizen Information Center.  If so, come help yourself to these free publications (while supplies last) at the Government Documents Display in the Reference area, Odum Library 2nd floor. We also have tax forms!  For more information, contact the Government Documents department at 229-245-3748.

One in a Million Hearts

by Emily Rogers on February 9, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Because February is American Heart Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  have launched Million Hearts. This education and prevention program seeks to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years in the United States.  By making better choices about our eating, exercise, and other health habits, we can battle the epidemic of heart disease in the U.S.

Love Your Heart

Love Your Heart, courtesy of the CDC

The CDC urges smokers to Love Your Heart by giving up smoking, a leading contributor to heart disease.  You can even email a “Love Your Heart” greeting to someone you care about who smokes.

The Government Documents Collection at Odum Library offers many resources about heart disease and health, including this report on the Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment for Women Act, available here as an online PDF, in print, and on microfiche.

If you’re looking for a unique present for someone this month, nothing says “you’re on my mind” like a President Abraham Lincoln bobblehead, available from the Library of Congress gift shop.

Bobblehead of President Lincoln

Bobblehead of President Abraham Lincoln, courtesy the Library of Congress



Tax Forms Have Moved!

by Emily Rogers on January 30, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

We have copies of federal and state of Georgia tax forms here at Odum Library, in the Reference area on the second floor.  This year the forms have a new location:  behind the Reference Desk all the way back to the southwest wall, in the Government Documents area. We can’t advise you on how to complete your tax return, but we can help you get to the forms,  instructions, and schedules.

Find links to commonly requested forms and publications, including fill-in PDF versions of federal forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.  There you’ll also find accessible tax publications available in large print and Braille formats and answers to frequently asked questions.  All this information–plus more–is available from IRS.gov.

Remember that you can also e-file through the IRS web site.  It’s free if your annual income is less than $57,000, and you’ll find information there about electronic form complete and paid electronic filing.

At Odum we also have plenty of Georgia 2011 Individual Income Tax booklets that include 500 and 500EZ forms and instructions. To find online Georgia state income tax forms and further guidance, go to the Georgia Department of Revenue site.  If you need tax publications from other states, check out this interactive map provided by the Federation of Tax Administrators.

New Year, New Semester

by Emily Rogers on January 10, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Welcome back to campus! Now that the semester has begun, what are your plans for living well in the new school term and year?

The most popular new year’s resolutions include getting fit, putting your financial life in order, and volunteering more often.  Find links to advice for achieving your goals, all courtesy of the government information site USA.gov.

Some people seem to be especially successful following their resolutions, judging from their long lives:  Healthfinder.gov explains why some people live to be 110 and older.  You’ll also find advice for managing stress more effectively, quitting smoking, and monitoring your health with online interactive tools.

The CDC  (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) will even help you plan a healthy menu and suggest a fruit or vegetable of the month for you!

Image of dried fruit, courtesy Centers for Disease Control

However you start off the new year, we’re glad you’re back here at VSU!


Holiday tips for the season

by Emily Rogers on December 15, 2011 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

No doubt many of us are done with work and shopping and ready to relax and just enjoy the holidays. If you’re not yet to that point–or even if you are–these holiday tips from various U.S. government agencies can help you save money, handle holiday chores, and brighten your season.

USA.gov is posting 12 Days of Holiday Tips that include buying safe toys, recycling, and avoiding weight gain. For help entertaining children as well as keeping the spirit of the season, see these Holiday Tips for Kids from Kids.gov.

The White House Historical Association, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, and various federal agencies offer commemorative holiday ornaments and souvenir and gift items.

Constitution tree ornament

Constitution Ornament available from the United States Capitol Historical Society

Suggestions for other gifts include annual National Park and Recreation Area passes; NASA souvenirs, toys, and apparel; official flags flown over the U.S. Congress; and the Library of Congress shop’s books, prints, apparel, and novelties for history and book lovers, where you can purchase this tribute to President Lincoln:

Bobblehead of President Lincoln, courtesy Library of Congress

This year’s White House holiday season theme is  “Shine, Give, Share,” in tribute to the U.S. military troops, veterans, and families.  You can view the White House’s holiday decor and watch online slide shows of current and past First Family celebrations, including First Family pets in the White House, and videos and photos of the 2011 National Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Finally, as Christmas Eve draws closer, remember that NORAD (the North Atlantic Aerospace Defense Command) lets you track Santa’s world flight in multiple languages. See these FAQs to learn the dimensions of Santa’s sleigh, how old Santa is, and more.  Admire the beauty of the night sky in this November 8 lunar eclipse photo, posted by NASA:

Lunar eclipse over North Carolina, copyright David Cortner

Remembering Pearl Harbor

by Emily Rogers on December 7, 2011 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

On December 6, 1941, Japanese aircraft bombed the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Today is  National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which annually marks the event that immediately precipitated the U.S. entry into World War II.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the declaration of war against Japan Dec. 8, 1941. Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration Still Picture Branch.

Please remember to visit Odum Library’s first floor exhibit of materials about World War II in honor of all who have served in the armed forces, on display through fall semester.

GALILEO, the University System of Georgia Virtual Library initiative, offers links to resources about National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

USA.gov provides additional government material about Pearl Harbor and its remembrance, including links to photos, videos, and historical documents from the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration.