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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. 2013 Designated International Year of Statistics

  2. Online Portal Connects Volunteers to Service Opportunities

  3. Join the Red Cross in Promoting National Blood Donor Month

  4. FTC Offers Tips on Managing Personal Finances

Indiana INdicators Indiana INdicators

Happy New Year! Each year millions of Americans make resolutions: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, spend time with family. These are admirable goals/resolutions, but they can be a difficult to stick to. INdicators is a free data resource that will inform and empower Hoosiers to take charge of their health. Indiana INdicators includes health-related gauges to help track healthy habits all across Indiana. Hoosiers can select their county or view other counties to see how their communities rate overall. This county snapshot includes information such as health indices, access to healthcare services, exercise, nutrition & weight, and other health-related issues and concerns. Information is a vital part in becoming a healthier Hoosier!

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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2013 Designated International Year of Statistics

International Year of StatisticsMore than 1400 organizations worldwide have designated 2013 as the International Year of Statistics. Why?

  • To increase public awareness of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society;
  • To nurture statistics as a profession, especially among young people; and
  • To promote creativity and development in the sciences of probability and statistics

The sponsors’ website contains an overview of the field of statistics, teacher resources, and materials to help promote the celebratory year – including a map recognizing the contribution of statistics to society all over the world.

The software company SAS created a video for the year about improving human welfare by using statistics: Statistics is more than just a technology for data analysis. Statistics help shape the very world in which we live.

Sponsoring organizations will be adding to the website throughout the year, so don’t forget to stop by for regular updates!

Online Portal Connects Volunteers to Service Opportunities

United We Serve: Serve.govThinking about something different for your New Year’s Resolution?  What about volunteering? is a national service initiative that helps to meet the growing social needs as a result of the economic downturn. The June 2009 United We Serve Remarks of the President encourages citizens to achieve new and extraordinary things. is an online resource used to find and create volunteer opportunities in communities across the United States. Your patrons will find projects such as Help End Hunger, Hurricane Sandy relief, and Mentoring. There are also other resources and toolkits for helping in your community. January is National Mentoring Month by Presidential Proclamation. Indiana resources for mentoring in your community are available at LearnMoreIndiana and the Indiana Youth Institute’s Mentoring Partnership.

Join the Red Cross in Promoting National Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month January is National Blood Donor Month, sponsored by the American Red Cross. You can give blood at any time through the Red Cross or a local blood center. The National Institute of Medicine’s MedlinePlus page about Blood Transfusion and Donation describes the basic concepts behind donation. It also points to many more resources on the latest recent research available; the latest statistics; and pamphlets, handouts, and games from the Red Cross. Does your patron have questions about blood safety? Take a look at the Federal Drug Administration’s Key Resources for ensuring the safety of the nation’s blood supply. If you know a regular donor who is proud of it, the Indiana Blood Center also makes license plates available from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

FTC Offers Tips on Managing Personal Finances

FTC: Money MattersIt's that time of year again -- credit card bills start rolling in and you realize just how much money you spent during the holiday season. In the aftermath, you resolve to make better financial choices in the new year.

If getting a better handle on your money is one of your goals for the new year, offers advice to help you set up a budget so you can pay down debt, save some money and spend without breaking the bank.

Your budget doesn't have to be overwhelming. Just jot down how much money you bring home each month and then subtract your fixed monthly expenses (mortgage or rent, utility bills, car payments, insurance, etc.). The amount left over should be split among savings accounts, paying down debt and paying for other expenses like your grocery and gas bills.

Of course, not all money matters are that straightforward. Sometimes you have to plan for big life events. can help you find ways to pay for college, understand health insurance options for a new family, learn ways to handle mortgage payments and more.
No matter what your financial goals are, you can find tips on budgeting, saving and smart spending from

This info is brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration via the blog.

Friday Facts is a free publication produced by the Indiana State Library, distributed weekly in an electronic format.
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