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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Website Offers Tips for Summer Skin Protection

  2. Millions of Articles Now Available via Online Marketing Portal

  3. Read.gov Connects Readers to Classic Literature

  4. Federal Publication Tackles Women's Health Topics

Mobile Website Offers Instant Access to State Info

So many new apps, so little time! The State of Indiana now has an official Mobile Website. It posts news and events, State alerts & new applications from State agencies directly to your mobile device. Check out features such as the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) iPhone app, which allows you to access real time information about state parks, forests, nature preserves; the IDEM beaches alert, which monitors beach conditions in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and Kosciusko counties; and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) current wait times for branches all over the state. Online voter registration offers a way to register to vote, see who is on your ballot, and find your polling place while you’re on the road. The Mobile Website also provides a Live Chat service for IN.gov questions to users of Droid, Apple and Palm Smart Phone Devices. More apps are being added, and the service will be growing over the coming year.

Federal Publication Tackles Women's Health Topics

 your library is looking for a good reference guide to women’s health, you may be interested in The healthy woman: a complete guide for all ages. Written by the Office on Women’s Health from the Department of Health and Human Services, this volume covers a wide variety of health topics specifically for women. There is information on health issues such as heart disease and cancer, proper nutrition, reproductive health, and health aging. It’s available from the GPO Bookstore for $24.95, but you can view it for free online. The website allows you to download each individual chapter in a PDF. This is a nice alternative for someone interested in one or more of these issues, but who may not want the whole book. There are many great medical websites and books out there; however, this is an excellent place to go for concise information from a reliable source.

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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 Federal Depository Library Program

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Website Offers Tips for Summer Skin Protection

EPA: SunWise UV IndexWith summer in full swing, everyone's shedding layers and enjoying basking in the sun. While absorbing some of the sun's rays will help your body produce Vitamin D, too much of the UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage. Use these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center to protect yourself this summer.

Avoid sunburn and excessive tanning: It's a well-known fact that spending lots of time in the sun could lead to uncomfortable sunburns and skin cancer. Slather on a layer of SPF 15 or higher if you're going to be outside for a long time. Don't forget to cover places like the tops of your feet, your ears and even the part in your hair. Those areas are easy to forget about, but burn easily. If you play in the pool or ocean or work up a good sweat playing beach volleyball, make sure you re-apply to get added protection. And remember, you don't need to get a burn to be at risk for skin damage, premature wrinkles or skin cancer. Unprotected time in the sun or in tanning beds can be just as damaging to skin as a sunburn.

Understand your Risk: Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with fair skin and eye color tend to be at higher risk than others. The National Cancer Institute provides a checklist of common risk factors. Check off the ones that apply to you to figure out what kind of extra precautions you should be taking to avoid skin cancer.

Check the UV Index: The UV index lets you know just how strong the sun's rays are so you can protect yourself, either by wearing sunscreen or staying in the shade. Just enter your zip code to check the UV index in your area.

Protect your eyes: The sun's rays can damage more than your skin. Excess exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts and other eye problems. Keep these at bay by wearing sunglasses that block UV rays. Just look for a label indicating the glasses block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays.

With these tips you can safely enjoy your time in the sun.

This article is brought to you courtesy of The Federal Citizen Information Center, connecting people with government benefits, services, and information through its family of websites, including Pueblo.gsa.gov, USA.gov, GobiernoUSA.gov and ConsumerAction.gov; by phone at 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636); and with publications by mail from Pueblo, Colorado. FCIC is part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

Millions of Articles Now Available via Online Medical Portal

PubMed CentralThe U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) has made available 2.2 million biomedical and life science articles in full-text through PubMed Central. PMC is managed by the library’s Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and is at no cost to the public. One of the core principles of PMC is free “permanent access to all of its content, even as technology evolves and current digital literature formats potentially become obsolete.” Journals who participate in PMC give the National Library of Medicine permanent rights to archive the articles and make them available free to the public, subject to normal ‘fair use’ provisions of copyright law. The PMC Copyright Notice on its website states, “Transmission, reproduction, or reuse of protected material, beyond that allowed by the fair use principles of the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners. U.S. fair use guidelines are available from the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.”

Examples of the kind of articles available include “The UCSC Genome Browser,” which is the 13th result after using the term, “human genome project” in the search box under the dropdown menu for PMC. This article is from the December 2009 issue of the journal Current Protocols in Bioinformatics. The full article is available in Full-text or PDF formats through PubMed Central. It describes how to search and view human (and many other) genome patterns using the browser at http://genome.ucsc.edu. When using the search term, “educational technology,” the first result is “Veterinary students' usage and perception of video teaching resources,” a January 2011 article from the journal BioMed Central Medical Education. It describes a study from the United Kingdom that used “a student-cent[er]ed approach to develop an online video learning resource (called ‘Moo Tube’) at the School of Veterinary Medicine & Science, Univ. of Nottingham. 

Read.gov Connects Readers to Classic Literature

Read.govWe’ve talked about Read.gov from the Library of Congress before. However, they have one outstanding feature that’s worth going into further detail about. By clicking on Classic Books, you can view rare books online from the Library of Congress collection. They are sorted by age group. Most of the collection is Children’s books, but there are also YA and Adult titles. You can look at The Circus Procession , The Arabian Nights, or A Few Tales of the Rail, among others. The latter is for adults and contains anecdotes and stories about early rail travel in the United States. You can find basic bibliographic information about each book and also view it via HTML or download the PDF. Currently, the website features The Rocket Book , whose text poetically follows a boy’s rocket as it launches from the basement of an apartment building and travels up twenty floors.  Most of these books are from the turn of the last century and contain good illustrations – even the adult books. This is a great way to look at historical books that are still enjoyable, but not as readily available as they once were.

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