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Learn, Study, Discover

Autumn Ways and Holidays

by Emily Rogers on November 18, 2015 in Government Documents, Hours, Odum Library, Reference

November has brought a few hints of cooler weather, Daylight Savings Time, Veterans Day, and Native American Heritage Month. As the days grow shorter, keep in mind upcoming schedule changes during the Thanksgiving break:

  • Odum Library will close at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 24, and reopen Saturday, November 28, at 9:00 a.m.

Other significant November events:

Once VSU students return to classes on November 30, the days of the semester grow shorter as well. Classes end on Monday, December 7, and final exams end Friday, December 11, with graduation on Saturday, December 12.  After that, it’ll be January 11, 2016, before students start classes again. Take care and enjoy your holidays!


Jane Smiley Talk and Exhibit

by Emily Rogers on November 6, 2015 in Neat Stuff, Odum Library, Reference

Jane SmileyOn November 12th at 7:30pm in the Student Union Theater, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley will be holding a public reading from her newest work, the Last Hundred Years Trilogy. In order to celebrate Jane Smiley’s visit to Valdosta State University as 2015’s Writer-In-Residence, Odum Library has prepared an exhibit showcasing her works of fiction and non-fiction.

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear (A Thousand Acres) to a sweeping historical novel reminiscent of the sagas of Iceland (The Greenlanders), Jane Smiley has created works that span a variety of genres exploring different time periods, places, and interpersonal dynamics.

If you are interested in exploring the works of Jane Smiley for yourself, please visit the second floor Reserve Desk in Odum Library.

Whether you are a long-time Smiley fan or you have just discovered her novels, mark your calendars for November 12th at 7:30pm to see Jane Smiley at the Student Union Theater.

Veterans Day

by Emily Rogers on November 5, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

On Veterans Day we recognize veterans and all of those who have offered military service. While the post office and some businesses are closed for the day, Odum Library will observe its regular hours.

Find out more about Veterans Day through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where you can read this History of Veterans Day, and the Veterans Day National  Committee. View the 2015 official Veterans Day poster along with posters from previous years.  Take a look at these FAQs about Veterans Day, including the correct spelling and punctuation for the holiday.

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

Veterans’ history and needs to 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.  Mark these and other ways to honor and thank the veterans who have served our country.



Resources on Breast Cancer Awareness

by Emily Rogers on October 5, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Among the best sources for current information about breast cancer and other health issues are government web sites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov).

The CDC provides background on breast cancer and collects statistics about its occurrence.  Breast cancer is “the most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity;” in 2012 (the most recent year available) “224,147 women and 2,125 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer,” according to the CDC. Young women as well as those above age 50 should be aware that approximately 11% of each year’s new cases of breast cancer affect women under age 45.

Fact sheets about breast cancer and an overview of risk factors and current research are available from the NIH, and more information, including sources on coping, are available through the National Cancer Institute. As you note breast cancer awareness month, be sure that the information you rely on is current and authoritative.

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. 

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.