News & Notes

By: hartsea on: April 25, 2011 3:44 pm | hartsea

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners have been announced. The LA Times has an article that outlines the prizes that were given in the arts and literature.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan won for Fiction. NPR has an interesting article about her music writing, and the Huffington Post has an interview. If you are interested in reading this book, we do own it (though you may find yourself on a waiting list for it). The call number is PS3555.G292 V57 2010, and it's located on the second floor of King. We also have several other books written by her:

Look at Me: A Novel. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 L66 2001

The Keep. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 K44 2006

Emerald City: Stories. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 E44 1996

Kay Ryan won the Poetry Award for her collection The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, which we own. The call number is PS3568.Y38 B47 2010, and it's on the second floor of King. We have several of her other collections as well:

Say Uncle: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3568.Y38 S29 2000

The Niagara River: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3568.Y38 N53 2005

Bruce Norris won the Drama Prize for his play Clybourne Park. We don't currently own a copy of this book (though we will soon). We do have a couple of his other plays though:

Purple Heart ; and The Infidel: Two Plays. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 P87 2005

The Pain and the Itch. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 P35 2007

The Unmentionables: A Play. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 U66 2009

By: gundyj on: April 25, 2011 3:45 pm | gundyj

Monday, April 18th is the last day to file Federal Income Taxes this year. If you prefer to use paper forms the Government Information & Law department at King Library still has the basic forms, though at this late date you may want to file electronically.

If you are interested in just where your Federal tax dollars go you should take a look at the White Houses' 2010 Tax Receipt page. By entering your 2010 information you can get a break down of how your Federal tax dollars were spent.

If you'd like to know more about tax law then you should visit the library.

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States is spelled out in Title 26 of the United States Code (being the general and permanent laws of the United States). The IRC has seen plenty of revision over the last 80 years. If you are interested in the history of tax law reform over the course of the 20th century the Miami University Libraries have publications of the major revisions of the tax code. The library also has the current edition of the United States Code if you would like to take a look at the current tax laws (the current edition being published in 2006). If you would prefer to look up the USC in electronic format it is available in a verified version from the Government Printing Office on FDsys.gov

If you do use the code on line for legal research it is still good practice to verify your findings by the current printed version, as noted by the GPO on the USC page of FDsys.gov.

The USC is the official codification of the laws of the United States and is compiled every six years from laws passed in each session of Congress, called Slip Laws (referring to how they are printed). Slip Laws are compiled after each session of Congress into the US Statutes at Large (MU Libraries / FDsys.gov), and every six years these laws are entered into the new edition of the USC. While Slip Laws are just as legal as any passed law, it is still good practice to check the USC if the law you are looking for has been compiled.

The USC is the law, but it isn't the absolute final word in how laws are enforced. The Code of Federal Regulations (MU Libraries / FDsys.gov) contains the regulations passed by the Federal Executive Agencies which are broadly responsibly for determining how the laws in the USC will be enforced.

Both the USC and the CFR are organized into 50 titles each of which correspond to each other (title 26 of the USC is the Internal Revenue Code with title 26 of the CRF being the regulations stemming from those laws). If you are researching taxes, you'll want to check both the laws and regulations.

By: gundyj on: April 13, 2011 3:15 pm | gundyj

April 16-24, 2011 is National Parks Week in the United States. During this week you may want to take advantage of special programs and free admission to some of our National Parks, including those right here in Ohio.

The Library might not be the first place you would think to look for information on national parks. Sure, if you were doing some historical or sociological research on parks of the National Parks Service, you'd be wise to start with our catalog and vast array of electronic resources. But what can the library do for you if you want to visit a national park or if you want to learn more about the agencies and people who are responsible for our nations protected historical and natural areas?

Fortunately for you, the Miami University Libraries are part of the Federal Depository Library Program. King Library receives publications directly from the Government Printing Office, the official publishing body of the United States Government. We have handbooks, maps, and other official publications of the National Parks Service and the Department of the Interior.

As a part of the Federal Executive Branch of the United States Government, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for the U.S. National Park Service. Both agencies publish official government documents about the history, services, organization, and features of our national parks system as well as have works published about them by other areas of the government.

By: gundyj on: April 12, 2011 2:43 pm | gundyj

Update 2: O'reilly Radar provides a good rundown of the topic. Basically, no one really knows exactly how a government shutdown will affect government websites... yet.

Updated: While more than 800,000 federal employees face a furlough beginning today, it appears that government websites will only stay online in a limited number of circumstances. The Office of the President has issued a memorandum with further instructions for agencies (16pgs. 8.06 mb .pdf).

The material from the memorandum relevant to government websites:

Q3: What is the guidance on keeping Government websites up during a lapse in appropriations if the costs of maintaining the website are funded by a lapsed appropriations source?

A3: The same standards described above would apply. The mere benefit of continued access by the public to information about the agency's activities would not warrant the retention of personnel or the obligation of funds to maintain (or update) the agency's website during such a lapse. However, if maintenance of the website is necessary to avoid significant damage to the execution of authorized or excepted activities (e.g., maintenance of the IRS website may be necessary to allow for tax filings and tax collection, which are activities that continue during an appropriations lapse), then the website should remain operational even if its costs are funded through appropriations that have lapsed. If it becomes necessary to incur obligations to ensure that a website remains available in support of excepted activities, it should be maintained at the lowest possible level. For example, in the IRS case above, the IRS website would remain active, but the entire Treasury Department website would not, absent a separate justification or a determination that the two sites cannot not feasibly be operated separately.

Q4: What notice should agencies provide to the public regarding the status of their websites during a lapse of appropriations?

A4: If an agency's website is shut down, users should be directed to a standard notice that the website is unavailable during the period of government shutdown. If any part of an agency's website is available, agencies should include a standard notice on their landing pages that notifies the public of the following: (a) information on the website may not be up to date, (b) transactions submitted via the website might not be processed until appropriations are enacted, and (c) the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

QS: What if the cost of shutting down a website exceeds the cost of,maintaining services?

AS: The determination of which services continue during an appropriations lapse is not affected by whether the costs of shutdown exceed the costs of maintaining services.

Q6: If websites are down, will agencies be able to extend deadlines for applications that would otherwise have been due during the lapse in appropriations?

A6: To the extent permitted by law, agencies may extend deadlines for activities, as necessary to compensate for the period of the lapse in appropriations and the unavailability of the website.

...

The United States may find out at the end of this week if a budget agreement can not be reached. For more than 100 years the Federal Depository Library Program has provided American citizens with information and publications from and about their government. As more and more of the information produced by the United States Federal Government is available online and is born digital, citizens and the libraries that make up the FDLP are more and more dependent on government websites to access and preserve information.

Neither the GPO (responsible for the distribution of authentic government information through FDsys.gov) or the FDLP have issued official statements as to how a government shutdown might affect electronic services. Different agencies are reporting different plans and overall there is no clear picture of what will happen. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management individual agencies will determine who works and who doesn't during a furlough of government employees. What that means for the employees responsible for branch and agency websites is unknown.

It is likely that static pages will remain functional, however, dynamic content, updates, and responses to the public may not continue in the event of a furlough.

The only thing for certain at this point is that the Federal Government is much more reliant on the internet as a means of distributing information and services today than it was during the government shutdowns of the mid 1990s. How a government shut down will affect the dissemination of government information is unknown, but we might be on the verge of finding out how it should be handled.

By: hartsea on: April 04, 2011 4:33 pm | hartsea

Elizabeth Bishop and National Poetry Month

King Library will have a display up this month in the foyer of the first floor in honor of National Poetry Month. This year's theme for the display is the works of Elizabeth Bishop because it’s the centennial of her birth. You can see an explanation of the creation of the poster here.

If you’d like to learn more about Elizabeth Bishop, you may want to check out this webpage from Vassar

You might also be interested in some of these books:

Conversations with Elizabeth Bishop edited by George Monteiro. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3503.I785 Z464 1996

One art: letters edited by Robert Giroux. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3503.I785 Z48 1994

Words in air: the complete correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell edited by Thomas Travisano. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3503.I785 Z49 2008

Elizabeth Bishop's poetics of description by Zachariah Pickard. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3503.I785 Z84 2009

Deep skin : Elizabeth Bishop and visual art by Peggy Samuels. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3503.I785 Z856 2010

Elizabeth Bishop: poet of the periphery edited by Linda Anderson & Jo Shapcott. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3503.I785 Z53 2002

National Poetry Month Resources

There are several organizations and companies celebrating National Poetry Month with various programs and activities. Here are some links you might want to check out to learn more:

30 Ways to Celebrate

30 Days 30 Poets on Twitter

April is Poetry Month

Poetry Tag Time

Finally check out our GoodReads shelf for some poetry recommendations:

By: bazelejw on: April 04, 2011 2:33 pm | bazelejw @@jwbazeley

As you may know, the New York Times recently began charging for access to articles on their website. Boo!

You can however, get your New York Times content with us, the Libraries!

Miami University faculty, staff, and students can access NYT articles here.

There are other workarounds and access options available to view this content.

For those who subscribe to the print version of the NYT via home delivery: using your subscription account number you can set up single user access via user name and password. You can get started here.

Additionally, online visitors can still enjoy 20 free articles (including blog posts, slide shows, video and other multimedia features) each calendar month on NYTimes.com, as well as unrestricted access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds. The free, limited access resets every month: at the beginning of each calendar month, you'll once again be able to view 20 free articles for that month.

Readers who come to Times articles through links from search engines (for some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles), blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit.

By: grabacka on: April 07, 2011 9:26 am | grabacka

The earthquake and tsunami on Japan’s northeast coast had a profound effect upon the country’s infrastructure. The damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was particularly disturbing. The damage to the reactors at this plant have continued to be the focus of attention, for obvious humanitarian and environmental concerns. While another plant in the area, the Dai-ni plant, did not suffer damage to its reactors, the vicinity of the plant was also affected by the earthquake and surge of water. The entire area was scoured of plant cover, even of trees.

The Libraries own a unique collection, with material that would be of interest to anyone wanting to study the landscape of this region of Japan. The Küchler Vegetation Maps Collection is a large specialized collection of maps of vegetation of many regions. It happens that one of several sets on vegetation of Japan covers the affected portion of Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima-ken Hama-dōri (Futaba-chiku) no Shokusei = Vegetation des Hama-dôri (Bezirk-Futaba) in der Präfektur Fukushima is a set of maps with text of the vicinity of these power plants. Japanese ecologist, Akira Miyawaki, mapped the area in 1975, and published the results in 1976. At that time Plant number I (Dai-ichi) had been built, and Plant number II (Dai-ni) was under construction. Map I shows the entire study area, maps II-IV, and V-VII show the natural vegetation and actual vegetation surrounding each of the plants.

"The Vegetation Map of Fukushima Prefecture" is map 7 of Shokuseizu, Shuyōdō Shokubutsu Chizu. It shows the vegetation of Fukushima Prefecture as a whole. Published by the Ministry of Education, Agency for Cultural Affairs, the series shows natural areas of various prefectures, and the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Two maps also in this collection show the vegetation of the entire country. Nihon no Genzon Shokuseizu = Actual Vegetation Map of Japan, 1975, and Nihon no Senzai Shizen Shokuseizu = Potential Natural Vegetation Map of Japan, 197?, are small scale maps useful for comparison with the larger scale maps above. All of these will have high value for studying loss of vegetation and restoration of the landscape.

By: gundyj on: March 30, 2011 10:17 am | gundyj

While US Government agencies like the Bureau of Economic Analysis issue a near constant stream of useful information, the gold standard of demographic information for the United States has always been the Census.

While continued funding for the Statistical Abstract of the United States is still up in the air, the Census Bureau has begun releasing information from the 2010 United States Census. Data is available on the Census Bureau website, and in the American Fact Finder.

Interesting analysis of the data has already begun.

As mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of The Constitution of the United States of America, the Census has been collected since 1790.

If you are looking to do some hands on data crunching, The Miami University Libraries Government Information & Law department has the United States Census in print all the way back to the very first.

By: gundyj on: March 25, 2011 1:57 pm | gundyj

As mentioned yesterday funding for the Statistical Compendia Branch of the US Census Bureau is not currently in the budget for 2012. This will mean that the Statistical Abstract of the United States and it's companion titles will no longer be published in print or online, and that the information these source contain will no longer even be collated by the Census Bureau.

If you found yesterday's post on the Statistical Abstract of the United States interesting and are looking for ways you can help continue the publication of this valuable resource, here are a few things you can do:

Join the Save the US Statistical Abstract! group on Facebook.

Consider contacting the Census Bureau directly.

If you haven't already contacted your Senator and Representatives, consider using the form and letter available from Free Government Information.

For some reactions to the possible loss of the Statistical Abstract of the United States see: here, here, and here.

By: gundyj on: March 22, 2011 2:24 pm | gundyj

10,388 (quantity in 1,000 pounds) (.pdf)

This exciting information, as well as statistics on agriculture, education, prices, and Federal Government finances & employment can all be found in the The Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract of the United States has been a valuable research resource for more than 130 years, and represents the most comprehensive collection of statistics about the United States of America ever assembled. Valued not just as a source of raw data, but also as a starting point for locating information among the vast amount of data collected by U.S. Federal Government and private bodies.

The Statistical Abstract compiles information from more than 60 sources in and outside of the U.S. Federal Government, from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Department of State to the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the World Health Organization, covering social, political, and economic information. The Statistical Abstract is organized into 30 categories including agriculture, education, elections, forestry fishing and mining, income, population and prices.

The Statistical Abstract has been published annually without interruption since 1878 (available online from 1878, and in the Miami Libraries from 1882) and has spun off the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book (MU Libraries) and the County and City Data Book (MU Libraries).

If you would like a copy for yourself or your organization, print versions can be purchased through the U.S. Government Bookstore.

You might want to take the opportunity to acquire a copy.

2011 may be your last chance as funding for the Census Bureau in the 2012 U.S. budget does not currently include funds for the Statistical Compendia Branch which compiles The Statistical Abstract. Some plans are in place for a rushed publication of the 2012 edition, but without continued funding, 2011 could mark the end of a 133 year tradition of statistical compilation in the United States.

If you feel the The Statistical Abstract is a resource that deserves continued funding, please consider contacting your congressional representatives. Check back for more information on other efforts to continue the publication of this valuable source of information.

Contact your Senator

Contact your Representative