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Sources for Presidential Documents

by Emily Rogers on January 30, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Federal government web sites provide a number of sources for Presidential documents, including Executive Orders and Memoranda:

The Press Secretary’s Office at Whitehouse.gov provides copies of Presidential Actions including those most recently proclaimed.

The Federal Register publishes official versions of Executive Orders, usually the first business day after they are announced.

Daily and weekly compilations of Presidential documents back to 1992 are available through the federal government’s official publication site, FDSys.

For more historical information, the American Presidency Project, hosted by the University of California at Santa Barbara, offers an archive of a variety of Presidential documents, including State of the Union addresses to Congress, Presidential candidate debates, and Executive Orders.

Presidential Inaugurations

by Emily Rogers on January 17, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

View these inauguration and Presidential materials to mark the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, including this historical overview of all of the Presidential inaugurations.

“I Do Solemnly Swear” is an online exhibit of photographs, manuscripts, speeches, and other documents from the collections of the Library of Congress. This resource guide offers materials for each of the first 44 Presidents.

If you’d like to remember the First Ladies of the United States, visit Presidential libraries, or perhaps review the salaries and retirement benefits of past Presidents, view this site from the National Archives.

The American Presidency Project, from the University of California at Santa Barbara, has collected texts and word counts for Presidential inaugural addresses. The longest address to date was William Henry Harrison’s, on March 4, 1841.

A number of media outlets offer live coverage of the January 20th, 2017, inauguration of President Donald Trump. You can view a live stream of the event and other events of the week courtesy of Democracy Now!

75 Years After World War II

by Emily Rogers on December 7, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The United States Government offers many documents and online resources that help observe the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into World War II. This blog will feature many such resources over the coming months.

Read and hear first-person “man on the street” testimonials about the Pearl Harbor attack on the After the Day of Infamy site from the Library of Congress American Memory Project.

View a list by state of World War II Army and Army Air Force Casualties from the Military Records Division of the National Archives and Records Administration. Also from the National Archives are these collections of World War II photographs and of pictures of African Americans serving during World War II.

If you’re heading to the Washington, DC, area, be sure to visit the World War II Memorial to learn more about the service of Americans during the war.

Currently on display in the Government Documents exhibit area in the Reference Department of Odum Library are examples of publications and information about World War II from the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior as well as Congressional documents related to the war.

Native American Heritage Month

by Emily Rogers on November 4, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

November marks the observance of Native American Indian Heritage Month in the United States. Read President Obama’s Proclamation of Native American Heritage Month, 2016, where he says, “This month, let us celebrate the traditions, languages, and stories of Native Americans and ensure their rich histories and contributions can thrive with each passing generation.”

To assist us with recognizing and honoring Native American Heritage, the Library of Congress, National Park Service, National Archives, National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and other federal agencies have curated a number of online exhibits and collections about Native American culture. The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides services to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

Read about the history of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, currently in the news because of protests against a proposed oil pipeline near the reservation. Opponents to the pipeline’s construction assert that the pipeline poses environmental and cultural threats to lands important to tribal heritage, and supporters arguing for the pipeline point to economic benefits and job opportunities the construction could bring the area. Keep informed about this story and other important news of the day by consulting a variety of news sources as well as information resources provided by the government.

To see government publications about Native American culture and current issues, visit the government documents exhibit near the reference desk on Odum Library’s second floor.


Fun and Frightening Facts from Your Government

by Emily Rogers on October 18, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

If you’re looking forward to fun this Halloween, be sure to trick or treat safely as well.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer tips to stay safe this holiday!  If you’re worried about zombies or other emergencies, be sure to visit the Zombie Preparedness site from the CDC, including the famous Zombie Pandemic graphic novella.

Learn about the fantasy and folklore of All Hallows from the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, which collects artifacts and information about folk life in the Americas.

Some of the scariest creatures are actually good for the environment. See the exhibit about hazards and other Frightful Government Publications in the Government Documents display area near the Odum Library Reference Desk for more information about spiders, bats, abandoned mines, and ghost towns.

You can share your good wishes this season with these Halloween Health E-cards, also from the CDC.

Observing Hispanic Heritage Month

by Emily Rogers on September 19, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States September 15 through October 15, 2016. Read President Obama’s official presidential proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Month, in which he urges us to “reflect on the countless ways in which Hispanics have contributed to our Nation’s success, and let us reaffirm our commitment to expanding opportunity and building an ever brighter future for all.”

View facts, photos, and more about Hispanic Heritage Month at the U.S. government’s official site, including special exhibits and collections from sources such as the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, and the National Gallery of Art.

The U.S. Department of Defense honors the many Hispanics who serve in the military through a special report with profiles on leading service members in uniform.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the U.S. numbered 56.6 million on July 1, 2015. By the year 2060, the projected population will be 119 million.  See more statistics about the Hispanic population in the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features list for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sign the Constitution at Odum Library!

by Emily Rogers on September 3, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

On Friday, September 16, to mark Constitution Day, Odum Library hosts a special opportunity: you can sign a copy of the U.S. Constitution! Just visit the Reference Desk between 9:00am and 4:00pm for your chance to sign the Constitution and get a free pocket Constitution, candy, and a special Founding Father surprise!

You can also view the exhibit of books and documents relating to the Constitution in the library Reference area on the second floor, on display through September. If you can’t make our event, be sure to view this online Constitution available from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The Law Library of Congress provides history and legislative materials for Constitution and Citizenship Day, and the National Archives and Records Administration offers Constitution Day resources especially for teachers, as does the U.S. Department of Education.  NARA even provides instructions for a game to help teach students about the Constitution.

Find out more about the Constitution and its signing on September 17th, 1787, with these fun facts about the Constitution and Constitutional Convention.

Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service!

by Emily Rogers on July 28, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

This August marks 100 years since the founding of the National Park Service on August 25, 1916.  Find the national park nearest you to participate in birthday celebration activities, including free admission to all 412 parks and sites August 25 through August 28, 2016.

In Georgia, National Park Service areas include the Andersonville National Historic Site; the Appalachian Trail, a national scenic trail; the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area; nearby Cumberland Island National Seashore; the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site; and Macon’s Ocmulgee National Monument, which holds its 2016 Ocmulgee Indian Celebration September 17 and 18, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Among the special centennial celebration activities are celebrations at Major League and AAA ball parks, a time capsule at Great Basin National Park, and a family fun day at Constitution Gardens in Washington, DC. See a calendar of upcoming events at all National Park Service parks and sites to plan to join special centennial celebration activities.  You can virtually explore all national parks through the National Park Service site and view high-resolution images at the NPS Centennial Media-Quality Photo Gallery.

To see some of the beautiful government publications about our National Park Service, visit Odum Library’s 2nd floor Government Documents exhibit area near the Reference Desk during the month of August. Questions about these publications, the NPS Centennial, or government information more generally? Just stop by  the Reference Desk and ask for the Government Information Librarian or call 229-245-3478.


Summer is for Fitness and Health

by Emily Rogers on May 26, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Summer is a great time to adopt healthier eating and exercise habits. Consider these sources from the U.S., Georgia, and Florida State Governments for leading a healthy lifestyle.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans show ways that we can improve our balance of healthy foods and drinks in our everyday lives. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion offers these tools and resources for learning about these guidelines.

On May 20, 2016. the Food and Drug Administration finalized the new Nutrition Facts Labels for packaged foods. Updates to many labels include new serving sizes, specified types of fats, and clearer links between package size and serving size.  Serving sizes are supposed to be based on amounts people actually eat, rather than amounts they should eat, and some serving sizes have increased:  ice cream is now 2/3 cup per serving (formerly 1/2 cup), and sweetened soda drinks are now sized at 12 ounces, not 8 ounces.

ChooseMyPlate.gov  is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s visual reminder for ways to balance protein, dairy, vegetables, grains, and fruit in a healthy diet.  In addition to dietary hints, this site offers tips for including physical activity in your daily life.  The USDA also offers tips for eating well on a budget, including preparing meals from scratch, cooking once for the major meals of the week, and buying fruits and vegetables in season. For more information, be sure to visit the exhibit of government resources on nutrition and fitness, located on the second floor of Odum Library, near the Reference Desk.

Another great way to be active this summer is to visit the many fine state parks, historic sites, and refuges available nearby in Georgia and Florida. Enjoy the summer!

Higher Education at a Glance

by Emily Rogers on May 2, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

As you finish the semester this week here at VSU (please remember that Odum Library is open 24 hours May 3-May 6), consider these interesting facts and sources about higher education in the United States, the University System of Georgia, and on our own campus:

The National Center for Education Statistics collects information about national trends in higher education, including this data:

  • Enrollment Trends by Age  In 2013, 47 percent of U.S. 18- to 19-year-olds and 39 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in postsecondary education.
  • Price of Attending Undergraduate Institutions  At 4-year U.S. public institutions, the average total cost of attendance for first-time, full-time students living on campus and paying in-state tuition was $22,190 at public institutions.
  • Institution Retention and Graduate Rates for Undergraduate Students  In terms of student retention among first-time, full-time students who enrolled at 4-year degree-granting institutions in 2012, about 80 percent returned the following fall (in 2013), the most recent years for which numbers are available.

For information about the University System of Georgia graduation rates, degree and major information, retention rates, and degrees conferred, consult the USG by the Numbers site. Archived reports back to the early 1990s are also available.

Fall 2015 and previous semesters’ enrollment figures at VSU are available from VSU’s Office of Institutional Research, along with much additional data about the VSU community. For instance, in Fall 2015, the five most popular majors at VSU were nursing, biology, psychology, criminal justice, and communication disorders.

Good luck to students, staff, and faculty during finals week and, especially, to VSU’s graduating students.  Information about graduate issues such as times of ceremonies, parking, the commencement speaker, and the lists of candidates to graduate are available at the VSU Spring 2016 Commencement Information page.