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This Week's Facts:

  1. January is Month to Raise Thyroid Disease Awareness

  2. Website Connects Disability Community to Useful Resources

  3. New Campaign Highlights Contributions of Indiana Farmers

Homeland Security Offers Tips to Stay Safe & Warm this Winter

Winter in Indiana is beautiful, but sometimes dangerous.  Each winter, Hoosiers brace for the worst winter weather.  The Indiana Department of Homeland Security  has information and resources to help prepare for winter storms, winter and safety tips for the home, winter safety tips for vehicles  and power outage information.  Due to rising heating costs, some Indiana residents resort to alternative methods of heat or rely on fireplaces to stay warm.  The Indiana Department of Homeland Security also has valuable information on heating safety for people in those situations.  These resources can be a valuable tool or a reminder to stay safe this winter season.  If you or someone you know need financial assistance for utilities, click here for details and information.  Remember to stay safe and find beauty in the season.

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Katharine Springer
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Elisabeth O’Donnell
Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
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January is Month to Raise Thyroid Disease Awareness

Thyroid Awareness MonthThirty million Americans have some sort of thyroid disease; women are at least 7 times more likely to be affected.  As such, January is Thyroid Awareness Month.  The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located just above the collarbone.  It helps regulate your metabolism and affects how you eat, feel and how active you are.  If your thyroid is too active, it’s called hyperthyroidism.  Those with hyperthyroidism often lose weight, have sped-up heart rates and may be extra-sensitive to heat.  Hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid, may cause you to gain weight, feel excessive fatigue or have problems dealing with the cold.  Hypothyroidism is far more common and is usually much more treatable.  Medline Plus has good information on both conditions, including a more detailed list of symptoms and treatment options.  Women may be interested in visiting for thyroid health information geared directly toward them.  Finally, a third thyroid disorder is cancer.  There were 37,200 new cases of thyroid cancer in the United States in 2009.  For more information on thyroid cancer and its treatment, be sure to check out the National Cancer Institute.  Luckily, thyroid conditions are usually treatable.  However, if you are feeling unusual changes in your energy level, it’s important to get it checked out.  Having a regulated thyroid makes a world of difference!

Website Connects Disability Community to Useful Resources

Disability.govPatrons with disabilities are often frustrated when searching for employment, laws and benefits information.  Designed to “connect the disability community to information and opportunities,” is a great portal for such information.  Users are able to find information on a variety of topics, whether they’re looking for a job, wanting to start a business, looking for housing or even seeking grant or scholarship information.  Each topic provides links to a variety of sources.  For example, when someone clicks on I want to…find a job, they are directed to a list of search techniques for the website and information about One-Stop Centers and Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) locations.  There is also employment information specifically geared toward disabled veterans, people receiving Social Security benefits, those looking for federal jobs and even students.

Users can also look for information by state.  Each state section includes a list of websites to visit that includes state agencies, legal information and non-profits that are involved with the disability community.  Further Indiana-specific information can be found at  Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services has a good list of Disability Rights Resources and the Family and Social Services Administration Division of Disability & Rehabilitative Services has further information.

Finally, it’s easy for libraries to link to  You can also follow them on Twitter or receive email updates.  This site is really well laid-out and easy to navigate.  It’s a great source of resources and information for those with disabilities.

New Campaign Highlights Contributions of Indiana Farmers

Indiana Department of AgricultureDo you know if the food you’re eating comes from an Indiana farm?  Have you ever wanted to visit a farm, but didn’t have the time?  Farmers Feed Us  is a website that celebrates farmers across the Midwest.  It also provides an opportunity to get to know the farmers and their families as well as interesting fun facts.  Regardless of which type of farm you’re interested in - corn, eggs, dairy, fish, pork or soybeans – there are interesting facts and information about each type of farmer.  After your virtual farm visit, you can get recipes and news items about the various farms and industries. 

For more information on Indiana farms and farmers, visit the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s website.  Here you can view the 2009 Agriculture Photo Contest winning entries, listen to Lt. Governor Skillman’s PSA about farm safety, or check out Hoosier-specific recipes!  The next time you sit down to dinner, remember the farmers who feed us.