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Learn, Study, Discover

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.

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