Learn, Study, Discover
For Independence Day, Odum Library will close at 5 pm, Thursday, July 3rd and reopen at 9 am on Saturday, July 5th.
Along with the customary holiday festivities, you might enjoy these activities and facts for July 4th:
- USA.gov provides an array of information about the United States flag–its history, care, presentation, for instance. You can even request to own a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol.
- Take a fresh look at the Declaration of Independence and other documents important to the history of the United States.
- Listen to John Philip Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever, courtesy of the American Memory Project from the Library of Congress.
- Join the National Mall Independence Day Celebration if you’ll be in the Washington, DC, area for the 4th, or find special events at other national parks across the country.
Once you’re done observing your holiday, remember that Odum Library, as a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, is a rich resource for government information and publications available for all members of the community, not just VSU staff and students. Come see the government documents collection on Odum Library’s second floor, explore our online resources, and seek help from our dedicated librarians!
Whether you’re headed to VSU as a new student or returning here this fall, it’s time to investigate available student financial aid resources. VSU’s Financial Aid Office is the local clearinghouse for information about applying for and receiving student aid.
In particular, any student seeking financial aid must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid) as early as possible, but at VSU no later than June 1st for Fall 2014 financial assistance. Find out more about the types of student aid and more at Studentaid.gov.
If you’re still investigating college opportunities, the U.S. Department of Education offers a free College Navigator to help you research colleges and universities in the United States. Of course, we hope you’ll use the navigator to search for Valdosta State University and find detailed information about admissions, programs of study, how many students receive financial aid, and more!
True, one of spring’s most dreaded chores is filing taxes. Here at Odum Library, we can’t help you prepare your taxes, but we can at least help you obtain the information you need.
Federal forms are available at these links from irs.gov:
- The IRS’s Forms and Publications page offers links to the most popular forms, which are also available in accessible versions. A link to the entire list of forms is available at the bottom of the forms page.
Odum Library also has copies of the most popular forms, instructions, and schedules, located in the Government Documents section of the Reference Area, on the library’s south side 2nd floor.
Georgia forms are a different matter this year. Unfortunately, libraries were not provided with copies from the state, so we do not have Georgia tax forms available. Here are ways to get copies:
- The most popular forms and instructions, including the most often used Form 500 Individual Tax Reform booklet, are available from the Georgia Department of Revenue web site.
- Georgia also has entered into a Free File Alliance with software vendors, allowing state residents to use tax preparation software at free or reduced rates in order to file electronically.
- 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.
If you are seeking free assistance preparing your taxes, you can consult these Valdosta community resources:
1. Senior Citizens Center
1360 E. Park Avenue
Every Tuesday from 9-4, starting Feb. 4th
Age 50 and over, only
Call for appointment: 259-5469
2. Trinity Presbyterian Church
3501 Bemiss Rd./North Oak St. Ext.
Thursdays, 9-4, starting Feb. 6th
3. IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
For individuals who make $50,000 and less
Call 1-888-227-7669 for locations and times.
Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 9th, so be sure to set your clocks forward an hour to be on time!
What is the history of Daylight Savings Time? Does every area observe daylight savings time? Who decides on time zones? Learn the answers to these questions and more from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
February is American Heart Month, designated to encourage awareness of the importance of heart health. Read President Obama’s 2014 proclamation of this observance.
Healthfinder.gov offers a helpful toolkit that gives strategies for improving heart health.
Another useful government resource is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which features information about recognizing a heart attack and making choices that can improve the condition of your heart, cholesterol count, arteries, and other vital functions. See especially the CDC’s 28 Days to a Healthier Heart tips.
Image courtesy CDC
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day present this year? Why not participate in the Million Hearts Initiative, which suggests making the gift of a pledge for healthier living.
Be sure to check out Odum Library’s American Heart Month exhibit featuring more heart healthy displays, books, and other resources, located on the north side of the library first floor.
The library will close at 12:00 midnight on Sunday, January 19, and will reopen at 8:00 am on Tuesday, January 21, in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Various ways to spend the MLK Day holiday include observing a day of service, attending celebrations, and visiting sites associated with the life of Dr. King.
Valdosta-area events for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, include:
- 3:00 pm, January 19, a commemoration program will be held at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 419 S. Ashley St., with keynote speaker Elder Elizabeth Brown Yates, presiding elder of the Alachua Central District.
- 11:00 am. January 20, a youth program will be held at Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St., with keynote speakers Nasier A. Vazquez and Valious Smith. A luncheon to follow. (Source: Valdosta Daily Times)
If you’re in the Atlanta area, you might wish to visit the National Park Service’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, featuring his birth and burial sites.
However you observe the MLK Day Holiday, we’ll be ready for you when the library reopens on Tuesday morning at 8:00 am.
As south Georgia prepares for a sharp drop in temperatures this week, take a look at these government resources with information about cold weather issues:
- The City of Valdosta offers tips to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Ready.gov has pages for making sure you are ready for winter storms and extreme cold and have an emergency plan in place.
- A guide to promote personal health and safety is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- If it’s been a while since you used your fireplace–or even if you’ve used it recently–be sure to check out this safety advice for winter fires, available from USA.gov.
- Latest weather reports from across the nation are available from Weather.gov, provided by the National Weather Service.
Be sure you stay warm and follow these safety and energy-saving tips for weathering this cold spell.
December 10th is the date the United Nations observes Human Rights Day, commemorating the 1948 UN adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In this document the international organization recognizes “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [as] the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
- Proclamation 2866, in which President Harry S. Truman proclaimed Human Rights day in 1949;
- a worldwide collection of UDHR materials collected by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;
- current fact sheets about global issues such as the rights to water, health, adequate housing, food, and expression.
Humanrights.gov is the official site for the U.S. government’s information about human rights. Here you can read recent news and reports about issues such as disability, freedom of expression and of religious observance, LGBT, labor, and other political, civic, and cultural rights. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor provides further access to information on the U.S. mission to spread democracy and respect for human rights worldwide.
Odum Library’s Government Documents collection can provide you with treaties, reports, hearings, and more material, both online and in print, about human rights issues in the United States and the world. Just contact the Government Documents Librarian at 229-245-3748 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the Reference Desk for more assistance. Odum Library is a selective Federal Depository Library to which public access is guaranteed by public law.
Now that the end of the semester fast approaches, it’s good to keep in mind the many non-academic pleasantries of the season. Odum Library observes special hours for the November holiday break, and the U.S. government offers a number of tips for enjoying the autumn season and holidays.
We’re marking the 150th anniversary of official thanksgiving celebrations, as President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving in 1863. Read facts about the November 28th, 2013, holiday and other fall activities courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, National Museum of the American Indian, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
November is Native American Heritage month, for which a host of resources are available from the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, Smithsonian Institution, and National Park Service. The Library of Congress offers the site Willing to Serve: American Indians from the Veterans History Project.
Finally, if your plans take you traveling beyond Valdosta, be sure to check out national traffic and road closure information, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation.