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This Week's Facts:

  1. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 9/15-10/15

  2. This Sunday Give Thanks to Grandparents

  3. World Factbook Provides Answers to Tough Questions

Remember 9/11 by Practicing Disaster Preparedness

September 11, 2001 is a day that will never be forgotten.  Eight years ago, America received a grim reminder about disaster planning and preparedness.  September has been designated as National Preparedness Month. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has information for individuals and families on how to deal with natural, man-made, and biological disasters and emergencies. Your preparedness can make the difference on your survival.  Here are a few tips that can help you create or test your current disaster plan. Get a kit: Would you or your family be able to survive without transportation, medicines, food, water?  Make a Plan:  Do you and/or your family know where to go during a tornado, fire, or other emergency?  Do you know the best routes to take in case of flood or other disaster?  Be informed: Is your home or office located in a flood plain or near a dam?  Do you know your neighbors?  Get involved:  Once you and your family have created a plan, go out and help someone else create their plan. For many more tips and suggestions for disaster preparedness, please visit the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website. 

Friday Facts is a production of the Indiana State Library

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
Documents Coordinator

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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

Hispanic Heritage MonthThe anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries coincides on the 15th of this month - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico’s anniversary is the 16th and Chile’s, the 18th. That is why Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15th to Oct. 15th, as we recognize the largest ethnic or race minority and the fastest-growing minority group in the United States. For statistical facts about the population, see the Hispanic Heritage Month 2009 Facts for Features page from the Census Bureau. The Smithsonian Education portal to Hispanic Heritage Month provides links to calendars of events for Washington, D.C. and the U.S. See their Educator Resources for features such as Música del Pueblo, an interactive online exhibit which provides excellent audio and video of Latino and Latin American music, or Música Latina. You can even explore the different styles of Música Latina by using a Google Earth map that pinpoints the communities associated with each style.

Visit the National Park Service’s Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2009 webpage for additional resources. Search Spanish Mission records via the Tumacácori National Historical Park Mission 2000 database. Explore more Spanish Colonial Heritage sites using the Spanish Colonial Research Center. Also, view a directory of historic properties connected to the culture and history of Hispanic Americans.

This Sunday Give Thanks to Grandparents

National Grandparents Day: Sept. 13Since 1978, the first Sunday after Labor Day has been designated as National Grandparents’ Day.  This year, it falls on September 13.  It was started by Marian McQuade with the intention of designating a specific day to honor grandparents.  Grandparents’ Day is also meant to give grandparents a chance to honor their grandchildren and to highlight the importance of the history, strength and guidance that many grandparents provide.

The National Grandparents’ Day website has suggestions for how to celebrate the day.  For example, planning a family reunion or small get-together around this time is one way to celebrate.  Another way to honor the day is to look at old photos and albums, in order for the younger generations to learn more about their family history.

Those who are over the age of 60 and do not have grandchildren may be interested in becoming Foster Grandparents.  Run through the Corporation for National & Community Service, the Senior Corps pairs adults and children in a mentoring program.  Foster grandparents may spend up to 40 hours per week with their “grandchildren” and provide comfort and even academic help for the kids.  Some volunteers may even qualify for a tax-free hourly stipend.

Finally, those who require assistance can find good information on aging at both the state and federal level.  The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division on Aging has programs to help older individuals with health and social issues.  The National Institute on Aging is another good source.  Here, people can find information on research on issues facing older Americans – including Alzheimer’s Disease.  Information is also available in Spanish.

World Fact Book Provides Answers to Tough Questions

CIA World FactbookDo you know how many cell phones are currently in use in Nigeria? What branches of military exist in Greece? What commodities does Indonesia export? Find these answers and much more in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook. Patrons can use the 2009 print version if it is in your library’s collection, or access the online version for up to date information.

Online, a What’s New feature on the home page notifies the public when new data is posted to the website. Select a world location from the dropdown menu - Each country profile contains an Introduction and sections with data on Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications, Transportation, Military, and Transnational Issues. Profiles also feature a map of each country, the design and description of its flag, and copyright free photos.

Users can compare countries by looking at presorted lists of data. (See the References tab, and choose Guide to Country Comparisons). For example, see Life Expectancy at Birth (under the People category), where United States ranks 50th and Macau ranks 1st, according to a July 2009 estimate. Select the World icon, and access PDFs of political and physical maps of the world and a Standard Time Zones map. The References tab provides maps of major world regions, Flags of the World, and Definitions used throughout the Factbook. The Appendices tab provides lists of abbreviations, international organizations and groups, cross-reference lists, and weights and measures.