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This Week's Facts:

  1. Digital Resource Connects to State Archives Collections

  2. Agencies Provide Guidance for Safe Charitable Giving

  3. EPA Measures Clean Energy for Consumers

  4. Website Makes Sense of Senior Health Information Data Lab Helps Keep Resolutions on Track

Many people use the New Year as a starting point for eating healthier.  However, sometimes that can be really hard.  While pre-packaged food includes nutrition information on its label, that data can be hard to find for food that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic.  That information is now available at the Nutrient Data Laboratory.  You can search by keyword or browse by type of food.  It provides very detailed information – calories, vitamins and minerals, fat, sugar, and more.

The Nutrient Data Laboratory is just one aspect of, created by the USDA. provides information on healthy eating and weight management, as well as on food recalls and health statistics.  Do you have any good ideas on inspiring kids to eat healthier?  Enter the USDA Web Games for Healthy Kids Contest!  Do your resolutions include keeping your heart healthy?  Check out the USDA’s 2010 Keep the Beat calendar. is a great resource for anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
Documents Coordinator

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Digital Resource Connects to State Archives Collections

Indiana State Digital ArchivesSome of Indiana’s most valuable records are now available with the click of a mouse!  The Indiana State Archives has a great new resource thanks to a partnership with the Washington State Archives and other states from around the country.  The Indiana Digital Archives was made a reality thanks to a grant from the Library of Congress and many volunteers who have processed and indexed records for more than fifteen years.  Many popular records and collections have been made available with this online resource:  naturalization records, land records, prisoner records, Marion county court records, wills, and military records.  This digital archives is a valuable tool for genealogists, history buffs, and anyone who is curious to learn more about Indiana’s storied history.  Check the digital archive often. There are more records, documents, and collections to be added from almost every county in Indiana.   

Organizations Provide Guidance for Safe Charitable Giving

BBB Wise Giving AlliancePhotos and articles describing the struggles of Haitian people are plentiful in the news right now. Many organizations are asking for financial donations to help the survivors of the earthquake and its aftershocks. Do you have second thoughts about the legitimacy of a specific charity? Trust your instincts. Before you donate, it is important to be aware who you’re giving to. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a list of tips on its website to help consumers decide how to best offer financial help to their causes, including the “Check Out a Business or Charity” feature on the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance website.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns that before making any donations, follow these guidelines. The Washington Post released a useful article, “Haiti earthquake: How to help,” which lists reliable charities and includes websites. The article also notes a 24-hour toll free Haiti fraud line: (866) 720-5721 and email address:, which are overseen by the FBI and National Center for Disaster Fraud. See the FBI’s Jan. 18 press release here. Please use these resources to remain aware of organizations that can take advantage of the public’s generosity.

EPA Resource Measures Clean Energy for Consumers

EPA: Clean EnergyDo you ever wonder just exactly how clean your energy is, what type of fuel you’re using, or how much pollution is being created?  The Environmental Protection Agency has the solution!  The How Clean is the Energy I Use – Power Profiler allows users to determine the answers to those questions.  Simply provide your ZIP code and electricity provider, and the profiler will tell you how which types of fuels you’re using and how it’s broken down.  It will also tell you what types of air pollution are being created – including Nitrogen Oxide, Sulfur Dioxide and Carbon Dioxide.  This information is compared to national data to tell you how your area competes with the country as a whole. 

You can also get more specific information.  For example, by supplying data from your utility bills, the calculator will figure the actual emissions used to power your home or business.  If the results leave you feeling discouraged, don’t worry.  The EPA also provides you with tips for being more energy efficient and even for buying green power.

Website Makes Sense of Senior Health Information

NIH Senior HealthDo you know where to look for health information for older adult patients? Your parent or grandparent might be overwhelmed by health information available and may be unsure of where to start. Maybe you’re unsure of where to start as well. Try the National Institutes of Health Senior Health website. At the top of the page, users can adjust text size, color contrast, and turn on or off the speech function. You can direct users to search for health topics A-Z or by category. You can also view a featured topic, which is currently “Older Adults and the Flu.” This links to the page about patients 65 and older. NIH Senior Health also includes training tools that librarians and educators can use when teaching beginning and intermediate adult students to use the Web.


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