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Learn, Study, Discover

Have a Hobby?

by Emily Rogers on February 5, 2013 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Are you looking for information about your favorite hobby?  Maybe you want to know more about healthy cooking, or bicycling, or camping in national or Georgia state parks.

Remember that the United States and state governments create many web sites and publications about a wide variety of subjects:  birding, knitting, gardening, you name it!

Not sure what you’re looking for?  The search engine USA.gov is a great place to start!

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New Year's Resolutions

by Emily Rogers on January 4, 2013 in Government Documents, Reference

Have you made any resolutions for improving your life in the new year?  Whatever your goal, the United States government certainly has information for you, both in print and on the web!

Look here to find information about the most popular new year’s resolutions. For instance, for help with keeping track of your goals for eating and activity, try the SuperTracker from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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.

The End of Our World as We Know It?

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

According to NASA and other United States government agencies, rumors of the world’s demise in 2012 are greatly exaggerated.

NASA senior scientist David Morrison posts videos and answers to questions about the 2012 doomsday at NASA’s “Ask an Astrobiologist” service, which has published this Doomsday Fact Sheet.

More detailed information about the possible Earth-planet Nibiru collision is available from NASA’s Lunar Science Institute.

Scientifically, it looks as though the Earth will still be around after December 21, 2012, despite some predictions. So there’s good reason to keep studying for those finals and maintain or improve your GPA!

Honoring All Who Served: Veterans Day

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

On Veterans Day we recognize veterans and all of those who have offered military service.

(Photo courtesy of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.)

Help the younger generation appreciate our veterans with this Teacher Resource Guide from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Day National  Committee.

As a Federal Depository Library, Odum Library’s Government Documents collection includes many publications about veterans, including these hearings:

Veterans’ history and needs extend beyond Veterans Day, of course. The Library of Congress invites public participation in the Veterans History Project. Veteran Brian McGough describes ways to help veterans after Veterans Day.

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides an online database to search for the burial locations of veterans, including National and other military cemeteries and private cemeteries in which veterans’ graves are marked.

View more documents about veterans at the Government Documents display, located in the Odum Library 2nd floor Reference area.

Election 2012

by Emily Rogers on November 2, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

As Election Day 2012 draws near, be sure to check out election and voting resources from the U.S. and State of Georgia governments.

Find election information for any state through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The Commission’s Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections is available in English and ten other languages, including Cherokee, Vietnamese, Navajo, and Yupik.

From the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, view Georgia’s MVP page for one-stop shopping for Georgia voting information: registration status, sample ballots, and voting precincts, for example.

Georgia’s voter identification requirements explain what kind of photo ID you should provide when you vote.

You can view 2012 election results for Georgia, as well as archived information from previous years, at the Secretary of State’s Election Results site.




Summertime Sun Safety

by Emily Rogers on July 19, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but sunshine on your shoulders doesn’t have to make you unhappy!  Just follow this sun safety advice from the U.S. Government:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers Sun Safety: Save Your Skin! with guidance on spending time in the sun safely, including an update on Broad Spectrum Sunscreen products.

Remember to use broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Basic information about skin cancer and additional tips on saving yourself from sun damage are available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

You can help save someone else you care about by sending a free e-card reminder about sun protection, courtesy of the CDC.

Another good reason to monitor your sunny days is to reduce the visible effects of aging upon your skin:

Image courtesy MedlinePlus, from NIH.gov


Health Care Reform Legislation and Decision: Read More Here

by Emily Rogers on June 29, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The U.S. Supreme Court has just issued its decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Read the majority opinion and the dissenting justices’ views.

You can view the case filings, orders, and other documents leading up to this decision, available now on the web site of the Supreme Court.

The complete Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is available online, but you might prefer to review the 900+ pages in paper, located at call number AE 2.110:111-148 in Odum Library’s Government Documents collection.

Our Government Documents collection has a number of hearings before Congressional committees that discuss this legislation. Click this link to access a list of these hearings in our online catalog. Records marked “Access Online” are also available to read online as PDFs.

Two reports published by the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service discuss the PPACA:

These CRS reports are available online as PDFs courtesy of the University of North Texas Digital Library.

For the Birds

by Emily Rogers on June 14, 2012 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

June is an important month for the North American Breeding Bird Survey, which monitors the North American bird population.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds also monitors the paths birds follow during their seasonal migrations.

North American migratory birds flyways, courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service

Plenty of Georgians are involved with the North American Breeding Bird Survey and related birding activities, for good reason:  Georgia is a great state for birds.

Georgia is also a great state for government web sites and publications about birds.  See the rare birds of Georgia, including the American Oystercatcher:

American Oystercatcher. Photo credit Brad Winn, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources

You can view many more publications about birds in Georgia at the current display The State of the Birds, including Have You Seen This Bird? Painted Bunting and Georgia’s state bird, Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma Rufum. Just come by the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of Odum Library to view the display and learn more about birds and other government information on wildlife and the environment from the Government Documents collection.

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.