This Week's Facts:
DOCUMENT OF THE MONTH:
This month’s document is unofficially known to many as the Roster of State and Local Officials. First published in 1928, the Roster is a very helpful document when researching Indiana’s governmental history. As the name implies, the Roster provides a detailed look at the elected officials (state, county, and city) for Indiana. This document also provides a historical look into some of Indiana’s state agencies, and contains information such as the date the agency was created and its appointing power. You can find the name of the incumbent, where they lived, when their term began and ended, and salary, if applicable. The roster also lists Supreme and Circuit Court Judges, Probate Judges, and Prosecuting Attorneys by county. County officers such as Township Trustees, Auditors, and Treasurers are included, as well. Researchers and historians will find this month’s document to be a valuable resource. The Roster can be found in the Indiana Collection, I328.8 I385ro, 1928-2004.
The recent wildfires in Colorado have gotten a lot of people thinking about what they would do in a disaster. How do I prepare for something like this? What would I do if disaster strikes? USA.gov has a great list of resources to help you be prepared for an emergency, and also to help you rebuild your life after a disaster. You can also find information for specific situations. For example, there are sites for cultural institutions and on obtaining flood insurance. Another great source is Ready.gov, an initiative by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. You can go here to find information about developing a plan, building disaster kits, and how to keep yourself informed. FEMA also has information about what to do if a disaster has happened to you. Go to their Recover & Rebuild page to find out what to do in the immediate aftermath, what types of assistance you may qualify for, and how to help out others.
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Summer and warm weather are here and it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors. For many people, outdoor activities means water sports. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources reminds Hoosiers to be safe with their Wear it Indiana campaign. Wear it Indiana is an outreach initiative to enlighten and encourage the use of personal flotation devices (life jackets) while boating and swimming. The DNR’s Law Enforcement Division is working with the National Safe Boating Council, the United States Coast Guard, and private industry to reach a maximum number of boaters and water enthusiasts. Indiana Conservation Officers will visit popular boat ramps and talk to boaters as they launch and recover watercraft. Learn more about the Wear It Indiana campaign by visiting the website. Enjoy Indiana’s waterways safely this summer.
Fifty-five years ago today, Althea Gibson won the women’s single title at Wimbledon. What’s the significance of this? Gibson was the first African-American, male or female, to win the historic championship. Gibson went on to win several major titles, including the French Open singles and doubles, and the US Nationals. Although voted Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both 1957 and 1958, she continued to struggle against segregation; while on tour, she was often denied entry to hotels and restaurants. However, she continued to play and her struggles helped to pave the way for many athletes to come.
For more information, be sure to check out the Library of Congress Today in History page for July 6th. You can read a brief bio of her, as well as look at pictures of tennis through the years. Of further note, Congressman Charles B Rangel (D-NY) and the late Congressman Donald M Payne (D-NJ) introduced HR 4130, the Althea Gibson Excellence Act in March of this year. The purpose of the bill is to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Gibson. Although it has not been passed into law at this time, you can read the text of the bill on FDsys.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a new blog at www.blog.bea.gov in April which features popular economic topics for the public. Its May 22 post answered the question, “What is the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis?” It describes the BEA as the nation’s accountant, with the responsibility of measuring what is produced, what is earned, and how it is spent. On June 21, the blog entry focused on new data released from a BEA study of the types of American companies which export and import services. The blog entry noted that “in 2008, trade in services included in the study—financial services; insurance; royalties and license fees; telecommunications; and business, professional, and technical services (excluding medical services)—totaled $302.3 billion in exports and $195.6 billion in imports,” which was more than half of private services exports and imports in the U.S. in 2008. The BEA, of the Department of Commerce, is an authoritative resource worldwide for providing timely and accurate picture of U.S. through economic statistics.
You don’t have to be outdoors to have a fun summer. In fact, some of the most gratifying and enriching activities might happen within the four walls of one of our country’s 123,000 public libraries.
It’s easy to see why. Libraries offer an easy, accessible and low cost way to read books and magazines, watch videos and learn about new worlds in several languages, and enjoy a wide range of cultural events such as concerts and art exhibitions.
To receive all the benefits of a public library, you need a library card, which you can get for free at your local branch. So if you’re thinking of what to do this summer, consider these four reasons why you should visit a public library. You might be surprised!
1) Digital books. Libraries have adapted to changes in technology, and today many offer e-books which you can borrow for a certain time free of charge. You can check out e-books the same way as you do regular books, except you need an electronic device (e-reader). Some libraries even lend out e-book readers—check with your local library to see if an electronic reader is available for use. Besides print and digital books, you can also download audio books, music and videos at some libraries. Since many libraries have their own websites, you can access many of their services online from the comfort of your home.
2) Information in many languages. Generally speaking, public libraries have books in several languages. Be sure to check out the vast collections of books, magazines and music in languages other than English for adults and children. Some libraries even offer language classes or tutors for students which is especially useful for those who plan to attend summer school. You can also find books and CDs to improve English speaking and writing skills. Who would’ve thought that libraries could be a great place to learn another language!
3) Programs and events for the whole family. You don’t have to read a book to experience art and culture at your library. Many public libraries sponsor and organize different types of programs and cultural events, such as concerts, and photography and film exhibitions. Lots of libraries offer special summer programs for people of all ages, including computer classes, storytelling for children, fun and educational games, as well has reading activities, and more.
4) Specialized resources. For many people, the Internet is not a luxury but a necessity. Public libraries often have a computer room for people who do not have computers or Internet access at home – or for those who just want to browse the web in a relaxed atmosphere where they can concentrate. Libraries also have highly skilled professionals that can help you find what you’re looking for or recommend books and resources for practically anything – including the answer to the question “how long does summer last?”
Libraries offer many more services, including bookmobiles, computer classes and job search databases. To find a public library near you use the government’s public library locator.
These tips are brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the USA.gov blog.
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