This Week's Facts:
Educational Tools Define Purpose of Census
Have you ever needed to teach someone the meaning behind using the population census in the United States, and why the data is important? The Census 2010 Multimedia Center has educational resources in video, audio, and photo formats. Many of the videos are short and to the point, easy to share, and useful for all ages. The Evolution of the Census is a 1.5 minute video that explains the history of the census in the U.S. and its connection to the American Community Survey. The Census in the Constitution is a 2 minute video that describes the tradition of the census and the meaning behind the data. Civic Ceremony is a 3.5 minute video that teaches about how the census is integrated within our governmental history, society, and each individual U.S. resident. See also the Featured Media webpage, which covers many other resources you can use in your libraries, classrooms, and offices.
Fast Fact: America
A visual tool based on the new 2011 Statistical Abstract of the United States is available at America by the Numbers, illustrated by Jennifer Daniels via the New York Times. It points to a related article, “A U.S. Portrait, in Numbers,” by Sam Roberts, which briefly explains the contents of the Stat Abstract.
Patrons looking for the latest information on science research being done by the federal government may be interested in ScienceCinema. ScienceCinema is a database produced by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI). It contains video s produced by the Department of Energy and other research institutions. It was launched on February 8 of this year and currently contains over 1,000 hours of content – more to be added soon.
While the videos themselves are useful to patrons, the search functions will be of interest to librarians. Not only is the database equipped with standard bibliographic search capabilities, but it also uses a speech recognition technology that makes actually searching through the audio files of the videos possible. Just type in a keyword and the database will retrieve videos in which that word or phrase was spoken. The initial search results also allow you to view snippets of the video, thereby allowing the user to see the context and evaluate from there. The search results include a transcript as well.
Officials at the DOE have emphasized the fact that video, animation and other forms of multimedia are often used to record scientific research. By making these videos and animations fully searchable, they are enabling the scientific community to better share their ideas and achievements. It will be interesting to see where the this type of search functionality leads.
It’s not too late to get INShape! The new INShape Indiana website has been redesigned to give Hoosiers more tips, tools and resources to get healthy! You can find valuable information on eating better, exercise tips and avoiding tobacco. If you need inspiration, check out the INShape Success Stories to learn how your friends, neighbors and colleagues manage to obtain a healthy lifestyle. Interested in the Governor’s fitness routine? You can find that here as well. Getting INShape has never been easier! You can receive tweets, Facebook updates and sign up to receive the newsletter to get timely news events, activity tips, deals and discounts. Remember, getting INShape is a timely, life-long commitment! Making a few small changes every day will improve your health and quality of life.
This coming Monday is the observed date of celebration for George Washington’s birthday. Washington was actually born on February 11, 1731. However, this date is based on the Julian calendar. In 1752 Great Britain and the colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which placed his birthday on February 22, 1732. This is still recognized as his official day of birth. Following the passage of the Uniform Holiday Act in 1968, it has been celebrated on the third Monday of February. According to America.gov , while many individual states refer to this day as “Presidents’ Day,” the official federal holiday is still “Washington’s Birthday.”
As you may well imagine, there are many government sites with information about our first Constitutional President. The White House has biographical information on all of our presidents, including Washington. You can also find information on him in the Biographical directory of the United States Congress as well as at the Library of Congress. Not only do they have the largest collection of original Washington documents in the world, but you can also find special presentations on him at their site. For some fun trivia about all of the presidents, be sure to check out this site from the National Park Service.The Census Bureau released new data Monday on Hurricane Katrina housing damage and repair in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Four out of every five New Orleans residents moved away from their homes for at least two weeks following the storm. You can find the detailed data tables in Excel by viewing the 2009 American Housing Survey for the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. The press release, which contains an overview of the data, is available at the Census Bureau’s online Newsroom. In addition to tables related to Hurricane Katrina, data on the following is also available: presence of air-conditioning, satisfaction with home and neighborhood, housing costs, presence of various amenities, problems with neighborhood, reasons for choosing home and neighborhood, cost of utilities and size of home. The Bureau’s American Housing Survey (AHS) collects information every year via a national and a metropolitan area survey. Data will be available soon for the following metro areas: New York City, Northern New Jersey, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit. You can subscribe to updates from the Newsroom here.
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