This Week's Facts:
DST is Back: Spring Forward this Weekend
Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend! While this concept is still fairly new to many Hoosiers, the idea has been around since Benjamin Franklin first proposed it. Most states around the country acknowledge it, but there are still two states that do not: Hawaii and Arizona. As the name implies, the purpose of Daylight Savings Time is to shift the clock in order to make the best possible use of daylight, therefore “saving” it. As of 2007, the United States has started DST on the second Sunday of March and ended it on the first Sunday of November. Other countries around the world observe DST, although not always on the same days. While most of Canada turns its clocks the same time we do, Europe’s DST – called “Summer Time” there – starts later and ends earlier. For more information on DST, check out this site from NASA. For more detailed rules, see the Physical Measurement Laboratory from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This site gets into more of the specifics of the time zones and other time-related issues.
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
March 4th marked the 150th anniversary of the Government Printing Office. GPO opened its doors on the same day that President Lincoln took his first oath of office: March 4 1861. From the start, GPO has been responsible for producing, cataloging and publishing government information. In the beginning, this was printed word. As technologies have evolved, GPO has done the same – many federal documents are published online or in other electronic forms. For a history of GPO, check out 100 GPO years 1861-1961 (also available in print). You also may be interested in GPO’s historical photo collection; you can view images of past Public Printers or pictures of the bindery. Click here to see the press release announcing the anniversary.
The Indiana State Library is hosting a free hands-on workshop, “America is changing: Accessing 2010 Census Data” on Thursday, March 31st just for Indiana librarians. This workshop will address key changes in Census data products, formats, and content, as well as how to access information through the Census Bureau’s American Factfinder. Ways to analyze, understand, and use Census information within libraries and in serving the public will be discussed. Topics included in the workshop will be: Importance of Census data, Demographic products: When and how to use them, Data access basics, Census geography, Data formats and availability, Data search techniques, and time for Questions & Discussion.
The trainer and special guest is Steve Laue, Information Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Regional Office in Chicago. He has worked for the Census Bureau for over 20 years and has supervised over 25 special censuses. Prior to joining the Bureau, he was a research associate with the Chicago regional planning agency (NE Illinois Planning Commission) - developing estimates of housing needs for low and moderate income households.
The workshop will be held in Room 428, the training room, on the fourth floor of the library with two identical sessions from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 4:3 PM to accommodate the maximum number of people. Three Library Education Units will be offered for this program. Space is limited, so attendees must register. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred session time. Visit http://www.in.gov/library/4296.htm for more information.
There are two things that are certain in life: death and taxes! While we can’t control or predict the former, we can take steps to make the latter easier and less stressful. The Indiana Department of Revenue has a fast, user-friendly online filing tool to help make filing your taxes less painful. I-File is a secure website that keeps your information private as well as a question-and-answer format that chooses the correct tax form and walks you through each step of completing your taxes; and there are many other features to help navigate the tax preparation process. The Frequently Asked Questions page also provides guidance and answers to most of your basic tax questions. If you need assistance with filing your federal taxes, freefile can help guide you through the federal tax filing process. Also remember there are various programs throughout the State that will provide one-on-one tax assistance and preparation for those who meet certain income levels; please call 2-1-1 for more assistance.
Springtime in Indiana can bring great things like warmer weather, more sunshine and basketball; however springtime can also bring severe weather which can lead to death, devastation and hardship. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security wants to remind Indiana citizens of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which takes place March 13-19. Severe Weather Preparedness Week was proclaimed by Gov Daniels to acknowledge the anniversary of the 1990 tornado outbreak – the worst such outbreak in Indiana history. It is also in memory of the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965. There will be a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 16; the backup day is March 17th. Severe weather can happen anytime of the year and occurs most from April to July. There are printable fact sheets to help educate families, neighbors and patrons on how to prepare for severe weather outbreaks. The Department of Homeland Security has facts and resources to help with various dangerous weather events such as flooding, lightning, thunderstorms and tornadoes . Being prepared and creating a family preparedness plan will help reduce the amount of death and devastation severe weather can cause. Please remember to share information with your family, friends and neighbors and have a safe, enjoyable spring season!
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