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Learn, Study, Discover

June is National Oceans Month!

by Emily Rogers on May 31, 2018 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

National Oceans Month, observed in June, celebrates oceanic, marine, and coastal life. See the National Ocean Month exhibit of U.S. and Georgia government documents in the Reference area on Odum Library’s second floor.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the federal government’s home for information about climate, weather, oceans, and fisheries. June 1 also marks the opening of the 2018 hurricane season, covered in great detail by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. The Climate Prediction Center forecasts the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season as “near- or above-normal” in activity. You can also see a list of forthcoming hurricane names.

In addition, the National Ocean Service provides data about tides and currents. Interesting details about ocean life, ocean economy, ocean ecosystems, maritime transportation, and more are available at NOAA’s Ocean Facts site.

However you decide to enjoy the ocean and its effects this summer, you’ll find plenty of sources for research about oceans, hurricanes, marine life, and more through these and other government information sources.

Puzzled by Your Government?

by Emily Rogers on April 9, 2018 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Tax season is the time of year when many of us might feel puzzled by our federal government. Just in time for summer fun come these puzzles and games courtesy of government documents at Odum Library!

You can view puzzles and games, among other government documents treasures, in Odum Library’s Discovered Documents exhibit in the second floor Reference area. There you’ll find the New, Exciting, One and Only, First Time Ever Poison Safety Game, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Pictures, Puzzles, and Problems from the U.S. Justice Department.

More puzzles and games are available online. For instance, the CIA features puzzles, coloring books, games, and other kids’ treats on its Kids Zone site. Learn about the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to protect the environment through its coloring book. For Earth Day, play the EPA’s Recycle City game to learn more about reducing waste and saving energy.

With the end of the semester comes extra stress, so keep in mind a couple of upcoming events to help you let off steam: The De-Stress Fest in the Student Union Wednesday, April 25, 1:00-4:00 pm in the Student Union (Odum Library will feature coloring pages and posters) and the International Tabletop Games Day, observed in Odum Library on Saturday, April 29.

The Flu in the United States

by Emily Rogers on February 14, 2018 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Not only is 2018 the scene of one of the worst flu outbreaks of the past decade; it’s also the 100th anniversary of the worst flu epidemic in modern history.

The 1918 flu epidemic killed more than 50 million people. View photographs and documents about the 1918 epidemic, which started in spring of that year and reached the full extent of suffering that fall, from the National Archives and Records Administration.

What about 2018? This map of flu activity in the United States, from the Centers for Disease Control, shows that the flu is widespread in almost every state. The CDC provides a regular situation update, with statistics about the number of doctor visits related to flu, mortality from flu, and more. FluView provides the most current CDC data on the current state of the disease in the United States.

How can you avoid the flu? In addition to getting the flu vaccine, the CDC recommends certain precautions to prevent coming down with the flu. Besides avoiding contact with sick people, wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth; and stay home if you develop flu-like symptoms until you have gone at least 24 hours without a fever (without use of a fever-reducing medicine such as aspirin or ibuprofen).

Stay well this winter and spring!

M. L. King Jr. Day at VSU

by Emily Rogers on January 5, 2018 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Odum Library will close at midnight Sunday, January 14, 2018. The library reopens Tuesday, January 16, 2018,at 8:00 am.

More than just a “day off,” Martin Luther King, Jr., Day can be a time of service and commemoration. Visit the NationalService.gov site to discover ways to contribute back to the community by volunteering.

On the Valdosta State University campus, VSU will host a commemorative service, “A Celebration of Diversity,” at noon on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, on the front steps of the Student Union. This service includes a performance by VSU’s XChange Ministries student group and speeches by Student Government Association President Maya Mapp and by Dr. Calvin Walker, director of the VSU African-American Studies Program.

A reception will follow the Celebration of Diversity service.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, you might wish to visit the National Park Service’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which features his birthplace and childhood home.

Seasonal Changes

by Emily Rogers on November 16, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The end of the year brings a few hints of cooler weather, changing leaf colors, Native American Heritage Month, Thanksgiving, and other winter holidays. The federal government creates numerous sites with information about the holidays, including the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features on Thanksgiving, the CDC’s Food Safety Tips for Your Holiday Turkey, and Car Travel Safety Tips from Ready.gov.

As the days grow shorter, keep in mind upcoming schedule changes during the Thanksgiving break:

Odum Library will close at midnight Tuesday, November 21; reopen Wednesday, November 22, 8:00 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., close for Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24, and reopen for regular hours Saturday, November 25, at 12:00 noon through the end of the semester.

Once VSU students return to classes on November 27, the days of the semester grow shorter as well. Classes end on Monday, December 4, and final exams end Friday, December 8, with graduation on Saturday, December 9. Odum Library closes for winter break at 3:00 p.m. Friday, December 15. The library reopens at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 2, 2018, but it’ll be Monday, January 8, 2018, before students start classes again.

In the meantime, come by the government documents exhibit in the Odum Library Reference area to see a display of autumnal and winter government publications. Take care and enjoy your holidays!

Honoring Our Veterans

by Emily Rogers on October 31, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Find out more about Veterans Day through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where you can read this History of Veterans Day and find out more about the origins of Veterans Day. View the 2017 official Veterans Day poster along with posters from previous years.

As a Federal Depository Library, Odum Library’s Government Documents collection provides access to many publications about veterans, including these documents about issues affecting veterans:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, available as an online PDF
  • VA Mental Health: Ensuring Access to Care: Hearing before the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, United States Senate, 2015, available in print at Y 4.V 64/4:S.HRG.114-521 in our documents collection in the second floor Reference area

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 the United States.

On Veterans Day we recognize veterans and all of those who have offered military service. VSU has an Office of Veterans Affairs to assist Veterans in finding success at VSU. While the post office and some businesses are closed for Veterans Day on November 11, Odum Library will observe its regular hours.

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Discover Georgia through Government Publications

by Emily Rogers on October 2, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

In addition to our federal documents collection, Odum Library also is a Georgia State Depository Library and houses at least one copy of all Georgia documents received as a depository. You can view a selection of recent Georgia government publications in the Odum Library Reference display area. Come learn more about Georgia by viewing recent documents about historic streetcar systems in Georgia, famous Georgia eateries, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and more. Plus, you can pick up a free copy of the 2017 map of Georgia or the official Georgia travel guide (while supplies last).

Through the Digital Library of Georgia, we also have access to thousands of Georgia government publications online. Some recent publications include:

You can search for and access much more Georgia government information through the Georgia Government Publications catalog.

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Sign the Constitution at Odum Library!

by Emily Rogers on August 29, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

On Monday, September 18, 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 12:00pm and 5:00pm 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.

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There Goes the Sun!

by Emily Rogers on July 25, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Learn about the total solar eclipse, to take place on August 21, 2017, with these online government resources!

Start your tour of eclipse resources by visiting NASA’s Total Eclipse website.  There you can learn about the path of the eclipse, the history of eclipses, and more.

NASA also offers an interactive map that you can click on to get more information about how the eclipse will appear at that location.  The view of the eclipse from Valdosta is partial. It starts at 1:11 p.m. EDT, reaches 89.46% coverage at 2:43 p.m., and ends at 4:08 p.m.

How might cloudiness interfere with your eclipse experience? The National Centers for Environmental Education offer this cloudiness map to help forecast your view.

Weather.gov also offers information about what is called the Great Eclipse of 2017, including glimpses backward and forward. For instance, the last time a total eclipse was seen in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia was March 7, 1970. The next time a total eclipse will be seen in Georgia will be August 12, 2045.

Finally, the American Astronomical Society offers these tips for viewing the eclipse safely.  For more information about solar eclipses, come see government and other publications on view at the government documents exhibit case in the second floor reference area of Odum Library.

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Notable Government Documents

by Emily Rogers on June 5, 2017 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Each year the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association selects what it considers to be the most notable publications of the year. 2016 welcomes a wide variety of government publications on topics ranging from climate change to violence in schools to flora and fauna to foreign relations.

View a selection of these documents on display in the second floor reference area of Odum Library. As a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), Odum Library makes available publications from the United States federal government. We also receive a copy of every publication issued by the State of Georgia because we are one of three university Georgia state depository libraries.

Documents on display include Chairmanships of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1949-2016; Covered Bridges and the Birth of American Engineering; Forging the Star: The Official Modern History of the United States Marshals Service; The Green Eyeshades of War: An Examination of Financial Management During War; The National Parks Index 2012-2016; Rare Bryophytes of Oregon; and Toward “Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable”: A History of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series.

Other notable publications available online include:

The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States (U.S. Global Change Research Program)

Treasured Landscapes: National Park Services Art Collections Tell America’s Stories (National Park Service)

Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Hill of Angels: U.S. Marines and the Battle for Con Thien, 1967 to 1968 (History Division, Marine Corps University)

Keeping America Informed, the United States Government Publishing Office: A Legacy of Service to the Nation, 1861-2016 (U.S. Government Publishing Office)

Underestimated: Our Not-So-Peaceful Nuclear Future (U.S. Army War College & Strategic Studies Institute)

For more information about these and other documents selected for this year’s notable publications list, see this article in Library Journal.

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