This Week's Facts:
Document of the Month: Report of the Indiana Arsenal
“An Act to provide
for the defense of the State of Indiana, to procure first class
arms, artillery, cavalry, and infantry equipments, and munitions
of war, making the necessary appropriations therefor [sic], and
authorizing the Governor to borrow money.” Approved April 1,
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
January 10 marks the anniversary of the original publication of Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Published in 1776, this pamphlet was instrumental in shifting public opinion toward revolution. Believed to be the first comprehensive and public call for independence from England, Common Sense was also notable in that it was printed on a massive scale and distributed throughout the colonies. According to Paine, British rule was directly responsible for all social, political, and economic problems in the colonies. The only way to overcome these problems was to mount a unified front against Britain and declare independence. His written attacks on the British government and ideas for achieving independence, combined with the excellent timing of the publication, managed to persuade many people around the colonies that revolution was necessary. InfoUSA, a product of the U.S. Department of State, has the full text to Common Sense available on their website. Teachers may also be interested in the lesson plan from Edsitement!, a division of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Go here to learn background information, lesson activities, and how to incorporate this topic into other lessons.
Do you need ideas for New Year’s resolutions? Choose from this handy list, via USA.gov. Ideas include: Get Fit, Manage Debt, Manage Stress, Save Money, and Volunteer to Help Others. Tips mentioned for managing stress are: planning ahead, deciding which tasks need to be done first, preparing for stressful events, paying attention to when you feel stressed, taking the time to relax, getting active and eating healthy, and talking to friends and family. Librarians and patrons can improve the environment by conserving resources in our communities during the new year. See the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for more information on waste reduction. For another very popular resolution, here is an additional blog resource for getting fit and managing weight in 2012.
YouTube isn’t the only place online to go for free videos. FedFlix, a cooperative effort between the National Technical Information Service and Public.Resource.Org, is a great source for free movies from the federal government. These run the gamut of topics and include newsreels, training films, movies about national parks and space travel, and more. Some movies are only a few minutes long; others last almost a half hour. These are all in the public domain, allowing librarians and teachers to use them and reproduce them as needed. These are a wonderful way to incorporate new sources into your presentations or lessons. For example, a de-classified video on the Battle of Midway (most downloaded item of last week) not only helps teach about the battle itself, but also gives viewers a glimpse into film techniques of the 1940s and how broadcast styles have changed since. The database is searchable and includes advanced searching features. You can also browse by collection, keyword, creator, and title. The collection is available on the Internet Archive here. If you’re looking for a fun twist to add to a program, don’t forget to check out FedFlix!
The Census Bureau provides the public with a new interface for its main website this year. The new main page at www.census.gov has modules which contain QuickFacts by state; a Population Finder to compare the 2010 Census numbers by states, cities, or counties; Economic Indicators from the Bureau (and a place to subscribe to the RSS feed); interactive maps; Census Bureau news & events; lists of featured topics at the top of the page; and a “Stat of the Day.” There is a red dialog bubble on the right to provide immediate feedback about what you and your patrons find useful (and not) about the new design. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a directory to the website via alphabetical lists, which is a noteworthy upgrade from the old design. This is where to go when you need data about any area of the U.S., so take advantage of it, and don’t be afraid to mention possible improvements to the site!
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