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This Week's Facts:
  1. Website Provides Educational Resources for Winter Holidays

  2. Fed Tool Helps Track Wall Street Reforms

  3. Online Resources Provide AIDS Awareness Information

  4. New Transportation Dept. Site to Combat Distracted Driving

  5. Unemployment Benefits to End for Thousands of Hoosiers

Document of the Month: Annual Report of the Department of Statistics

In 1878 the State Legislature passed an act which created the Indiana Bureau of Statistics. The first annual report was published in April, 1880. Before this Act was established no one had statistical data relating to the State, its resources or its economy. During this time, most of the other states in the Union had a Department of Statistics to keep up with the demand for facts and statistical data from other territorial states as well as Europe. It is interesting to note that they felt they ‘outgrew’ the Census in 1881!  This resource contains interesting facts about Indiana and other States and Territories in the Union such as meteorological statistics, agricultural statistics, education statistics, vocations of women and more.  This document can be found in the Indiana collection, I 310 I, 1879-1916 and 1924-1967. Later editions are compiled by the State Board of Accounts (I 310 I385r) and are not as comprehensive, but provide an interesting picture of Indiana and various cities and counties.   

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal
Documents Librarian
&
Kim Brown-Harden
State
Documents Coordinator

Indiana State LibraryFederal Depository Library

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Website Provides Education Resources for Winter Holidays

NEH: EDSITEmentThe winter holidays are upon us. Hanukkah began Dec. 1, the winter solstice is Dec. 21, and Christmas and New Years are at the end of the month. Kwanzaa is celebrated this year from Dec. 26, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2011. There are also two Islamic holidays and one Buddhist holiday in the month of December. The projected population of the United States is over 311 million as we approach the new year, making up over 4.5 percent of the world’s population.

With so many people celebrating, how do we sort out our different traditions? The National Endowment for the Humanities’ EDSITEment website provides lesson plans, links and other educational resources to support librarians and teachers as they help share world history and various cultures with the public. The Gift of Holiday Traditions webpage gives a brief explanation of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas. For more holiday statistics, see the 2010 Holiday Season Facts for Features webpage. Looking Into Holidays Past Through Primary Sources is an online resource maintained by the Library of Congress. It explains to educators and students how to best use primary sources in their assignments and research. Take a look at the winter celebrations here.

Fed Tool Helps Track Wall Street Reforms

Federal Reserve: Regulatory ReformPatrons who are concerned about reforms on Wall Street may be interested in a new website from the Federal Reserve. Just launched on November 29, the Dodd-Frank Act Regulatory Reform Rules website is designed to help the public track and comment on the rules and regulations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. When bills are passed through Congress, it is up to involved government agencies to write rules and regulations that allow the legislation to be properly carried out – the law itself tells you what needs to happen, but the rules and regulations tell you how. According to the website, there are 11 agencies involved in the Dodd-Frank Act and there will be nearly 250 rules passed in order to aid the implementation of the bill. The website is divided into five sections: Latest Updates, Open for Comment, Proposed, Final and Resources. These sections separate the rules into categories based on whether they’ve been proposed, are still up for comment or are finalized. The site also tells you how you can submit official comments. While rules also appear in the Federal Register, this is a great place to go if the Dodd-Frank Act is your primary interest.

Online Resources Provide AIDS Awareness Information

1st & Green: Environmental ChallengeWorld Aids CampaignDecember 1 was World AIDS Day, originally established by the World Health Organization to bring awareness about the spread of HIV/AIDS across the world. More than half of new HIV cases (57%) in the U.S. in 2006 were among those aged 25–44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is always room for more education when it comes to HIV prevention. AIDS.gov provides basic information about the disease, lists of federal resources and explanations for using new media to advertise awareness throughout the year. You can also find HIV testing locations by using the search box in the upper right hand corner of the website. Check out the promotional materials for this year and view a historical timeline of World AIDS Day at the World AIDS Campaign international website.

New Transportation Dept. Site to Combat Distracted Driving

Distraction.govIt’s been understood for years that driving while intoxicated or driving while overly tired are bad ideas. However, one concept that’s recently come to the forefront is that of distracted driving. Distracted driving can stem from a number of causes – using a cell phone, eating and drinking, reading, changing the radio station or even watching a video. In order to combat distracted driving and to educate citizens on the dangers of it, the Department of Transportation has launched a website called Distraction.gov. This is a great one stop shop for information on distracted driving. Its collection includes statistics dealing with driving, bibliographies on existing research, links to individual state laws and even campaign tools to help you promote safe driving in your community. The Campaign tools include logos, broadcast materials and even information on working with the media. This section also has further details tailored to who you are and what you are trying to achieve. There’s information for individuals, teachers, parents and law enforcement officials. The best way to ensure against distracted driving is through educating the public. Drive safe this holiday season and pay attention!

Unemployment Benefits to End for Thousands of Hoosiers

Benefits for the approximately 90,000 Hoosiers receiving federal unemployment extension benefits will expire on December 5, 2010. Eligible individuals will receive benefits for the weeks they have remaining on their regular State Unemployment (UI) and the four federal extensions (EEUC), but will not begin the next tier of benefits after November 30, 2010. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) estimates approximately 4,000 people per week will exhaust their benefits and not have a voucher to file beginning Sunday, December 5, 2010. Those who want to check how many weeks of benefits they have remaining should check out this page from the DWD for step-by-step instructions. Click here for frequently asked questions about the federal program.

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