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Category: Federal Documents

April 7, 2011

U.S. Statutes at Large Vol. 65-94 now Digitized

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

from the GPO mailing list:

In February 2011, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) announced a collaborative initiative with the Library of Congress (LOC) to digitize some of our nation's most important legal and legislative documents. Drawing on the strengths of both agencies, the United States Statutes at Large, Volumes 65-94 is the first digitized collection to be released on FDsys. The collection on FDsys provides Web-based public access to the digitally signed documents.

As part of the collaboration, LOC scanned the documents in this collection. GPO digitally signed the documents in order to ensure the authentication of the material. Both the LOC and GPO maintain the archival collection and share the content for their individual uses.

The United States Statutes at Large, typically referred to as the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. The digitized collection consists of Volumes 65-94 which spans from 1951 through 1980 (82nd -96th Congresses) in both search and browse format.

Volumes 95-115, which spans from 1981 through 2002 (97th-107th Congresses) will continue to be added to FDsys in the coming weeks.

If you have questions or comments, please use the askGPO help service
at: When submitting a question, please choose the category "Federal Depository Libraries" and the appropriate subcategory, if any, in order to ensure that your question is routed to the correct area.


Statistical Abstract in Jeopardy

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

The 2012 Census Bureau budget request to Congress calls for the termination of the Statistical Compendia Branch. This branch compiles and releases such reports as the Statistical Abstract and the National Data Book. As the Bureau’s own Budget Estimate states, “the abstract provides a comprehensive summary of industrial, social, economic, and political data…of almost 300 government, private, and international agencies”. It is a mainstay in thousands of libraries and school media centers.

The ALA Washington Office has posted a call to action on the Legislative Action Center Links are provided for contacting your Congressional representatives about this issue.

ALA is also collecting personal stories about the use of the Statistical Abstract by the public. Please send them to Jessica McGilvray in the ALA Washington Office at


February 18, 2011

GPO and LOC Launch Digitization Projects

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

One of the goals of the Government Printing Office is to digitize the "legacy" collection of key Congressional publications. This week Mary Alice Baish, the new GPO Superintendant of Documents, announced that GPO will be collaborating with the Library of Congress to digitize portions of the Statutes at Large and Congressional Record, and to provide enhanced online access to the Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN).

From the announcement:

" The digitization project will include the public and private laws, and proposed constitutional amendments passed by Congress as published in the official Statutes at Large from 1951-2002. GPO and LOC will also work on digitizing official debates of Congress from the permanent volumes of the Congressional Record from 1873-1998. These laws and documents will be authenticated and available to the public on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) and the Library of Congress’s THOMAS legislative information system

The other project will provide enhanced public online access to the Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN), a Senate Document that analyzes Supreme Court cases relevant to the Constitution. The project involves creating an enhanced version of CONAN, where updates to the publication will be made available on FDsys as soon as they are prepared. In addition to more timely access to these updates, new online features will also be added, including greater ease of searching and authentication.

GPO authenticates the documents on FDsys by digital signature and these authenticated documents are also available on the Library’s THOMAS system. This signature assures the public that the document has not been changed or altered since receipt by GPO. This digital signature, viewed through the GPO Seal of Authenticity, verifies the document’s integrity and authenticity."


January 31, 2011

You are What you Eat

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

Today the Food and Drug Administration relased Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The entire 112 page document and a 4 page summary are available at the FDA site

Executive Summary

The press release notes:

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity. The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country.”

More consumer-friendly advice and tools, including a next generation Food Pyramid, will be released by USDA and HHS in the coming months. Below is a preview of some of the tips that will be provided to help consumers translate the Dietary Guidelines into their everyday lives:

• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Good advice for all of us.


January 24, 2011

Mary Alice Baish new Superintendent of Documents

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

The Federal Depository Library Program now has one of it's own in charge of the program.
Public Printer Bill Boarman has named librarian Mary Alice Baish as Superintendent of Documents for the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).

Mary Alice will oversee GPO's Library Services & Content Management unit, Publication & Information Sales unit, and the management of GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys). She will work with 1,200 Federal depository libraries through the FDLP to ensure Government information is available in all forms to the public.

I see this as good news for the future of the program.


January 11, 2011

Using the Census to find Your History

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

Today CNN posted a heartwarming story telling how a granddaughter helped her grandmother find a long-lost brother by searching Census data on and other genealogical web sites.

What the census can teach us about ourselves

Basic population statistics are released soon after each census is tabulated. However, for privacy protection, documents with names and personal details of respondents aren't released for 72 years. The latest information available was gathered in 1930.

Nebraskans can search historical Census forms using HeritageQuest Online, a database purchasedby the Library Commission with funds provided by the Nebraska Legislature. To logon go to NebraskAccess.

Click on the blue LOGIN button on the right. Passwords issued to Nebraska libraries and media centers can be used, or a Nebraska driver's license number.


December 27, 2010

2009 Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates Released

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

The 2009 Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates were released by the Census Bureau in December 2010 and are available on the SAIPE site

Between 2007 and 2009, the poverty rate for children ages 5 to 17 in families rose in 295 counties and declined in 19 counties, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today showing income and poverty in 2009 for every school district and county in the nation. However, in the majority of counties across the United States, the poverty rate for children ages 5 to 17 in families showed no statistically significant change between these years. By comparing the 2009 estimates released today with those from 2007, variations can be seen from data collected prior to the recession.

The 2009 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) are available for roughly 3,140 counties and nearly 14,000 Title I-eligible school districts. The 2009 estimates also show that 1,084 counties had child poverty rates (ages 5 to 17 in families) significantly above and 866 significantly below the national poverty rate of 18.2 percent.

SAIPE, released annually, also provides county and state estimates for the total number of people in poverty, the number of children under 5 in poverty (for states only), the number of children 5 to 17 in families in poverty, the number of children under 18 in poverty and median household income


December 15, 2010

Facts about Nebraska Communities--finally!

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

The American Community Survey is a wonderful thing. Annual surveys are taken in every community and rural area of the country. Because it is sample data, results have been rolled out gradually for the past five years, starting with state and county level data. Finally after 5 years we have detailed estimates for the smallest communities, which is most of our towns in Nebraska. The reason for the wait is the need to have years of data to make results more accurate and preserve confidentiality.

The quickest way to get a profile for your community is to go to the American Factfinder site

In the Get a Fact Sheet for your Community box type the name of your community and choose Nebraska. You will get a profile of social, economic, housing and population estimates. And here's the really cool part. If you click on any of the show more links it will bring up more data, still for the town you specified.


Spotlight on the Census Atlas of the United States

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

Sometimes it takes years for publications from a Decennial Census to come out. This one was worth the wait. The Census 2000 Atlas of the United States

was published in late 2007. The printed volume is a stunning, large format book filled with beautiful color maps, charts and graphs portraying an incredible array of information about who we are, how we live, and where we came from.

As an immigrant to the U.S. myself, I was particularly impressed (and somewhat surprised) by the Ancestry chapter. Side-by-side maps showing "Foreign Born" in 1900 and "Ancestry" 2000
revealed German as the top self-reported ancestry in the country as a whole and in 23 states including Nebraska. Ancestry can mean different things to different people, and most of us would have more than one country of origin to report if we went back far enough.

Even if you don't have access to the print volume it's worth while taking a look at the online version. The pdf files for each chapter will take a while to load. It will probably be several years before a Census 2010 Atlas appears, if at all.



December 9, 2010

TOP 10 Must-Have Federal Government Apps

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

Need to see the FBI's Most Wanted List to check out that sinister-looking person in the airport restroom? Find the nearest place to get fuel for your alternative-fuels vehicle? Find the US embassy in Paris because your passport just got stolen? The bloggers at the White House have posted a list of their favorite federal government apps for your mobile phone to help you stay connected to government services.

The list is taken from a much larger list on the web site

Yes there IS an app for that.


December 6, 2010

USA Counties

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

If you are looking for statistics at the county level in addition to what the Census Burea collects, USA Counties can help

USA Counties features over 6,800 data items for the United States, States and counties from a variety of sources including the U. S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Social Security Administration.

Topics: age, agriculture, ancestry, banking, building permits, business patterns, crime, earnings, education, elections, employment, government, health, households, housing, income, labor force, manufactures, population, poverty, retail trade, social programs, veterans, vital statistics, water use, and wholesale trade.

Updates can be tracked easily by clicking on the What's New Link.


September 30, 2010

What to do before the pipeline arrives

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

The Keystone Pipeline debate is heating up...and this booklet reissued in September 2010 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission couldn't be more timely for Nebraska landowners and librarians.

An Interstate Natural Gas Facility on my Land? What do I Need to Know?

The 24-page booklet helps property owners could learn about their rights, how FERC’s procedures work, what safety and environmental issues might be involved, and lots more. For example, it addresses such issues as the legal rights and responsibilities of all parties, archaeological sites, environmental and safety issues, pipeline installation procedures, how long a pipeline might stay in place and many other questions.

Print copies can also be ordered from the FERC Office of External Affairs
Toll-free: 1-866-208-3372


September 13, 2010

VIDEO: 2010 Census Progress

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

We're almost there! The 2010 Census forms are now being processed at our National processing centers. The data we collect from the forms will help determine the number of representatives allotted to each state. Watch our video to learn more!

Franklin J. Ambrose
Branch Chief, State and Governmental Programs
Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office
U.S. Census Bureau
Office: 301-763-4003 Fax: 301-763-4784


June 17, 2010

Minerals Management Service

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

It's hard to imagine anyone in this country NOT knowing about the Gulf Oil spill. In fact, it may feel like a case of too much depressing information and not enough encouraging news. The Minerals Management Service is now facing intense criticism for failing to properly regulate offshore drilling.

Those seeking news and information about the disaster as well as other programs supervised by the MMM can visit it's website at
The site links to the multi-agency Deepwater Horizon Response site , the "unified command" for news, film footage, claim filing, etc.


June 3, 2010

Census Redistricting Data to be released February 2011

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

The first data to be released from a Decennial Census is always the state Redistricting Data (P.L. 94-171) Summary File, named for the Public Law which requires it to be sent to the President by the end of January following the Census. The Census Bureau has issed a schedule of planned release dates for data products which indicates that the P.L. 94-171 file will be publicly released in February 2011.

The state redistricting file is always anxiously awaited, and is used by states to redraw Congressional District and other electoral distric boundaries based on population counts and apportionment laws. It tends to be controversial and fraught with accusations of gerrymandering by the party in control of the state legislatures.

The complete schedule of planned releases is available at


February 1, 2010

President's Budget

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

With the dire condition of the economy and record deficits, libraries may experience more interest than usual in the Budgest of the United States Government for Fiscal Year 2011 released today by President Obama. Beginning at 10 am Eastern Time today, afficianados are able to search or browse the entire document via the Government Printing Office Federal Digital System, also known as FDSYS

The format is PDF, with many of the tables also available for separate viewing and downloading as spreadsheets in xls and comma delimited formats. The PDF versions are digitally signed by GPO to assure users of the authenticity of the documents.

Tangible copies (4 books and 1 CD-ROM) will be distributed to Federal depository libraries as soon as stock is received by GPO. Additionally, copies are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at


September 23, 2009

Health Insurance Workshops - Lincoln and Omaha

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

Health insurance is an important current topic. The American Community Survey (ACS) is adding data to the debate. The annual ACS asks the same critical demographic and economic questions as the decennial Census, but on a yearly basis, and the 2008 ACS asked about health insurance and detailed marital history data for the first time.

The Center for Public Affairs Reasearch is offering two free workshops, presented by David Drozd. The first is in Omaha (September 29th) and the sesond in Lincoln (October 6th). The workshops will summarize
--What new health insurance and marital history data is being released (type of coverage, percent uninsured, number of marriages, etc.)
--Where Nebraska and the Lincoln and Omaha metro areas rank nationally

To Register: call Melanie Kiper at 402-554-2133 or email For additional information on the ACS or the training sessions, contact David Drozd at 402-554-2132.

Public library staff can receive 2 hours of Continuing Education credit for the Public Librarian Certification Program.

Workshop flier

Lincoln time and place:
10/6/2009 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Nebraska Library Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln


April 8, 2009

New Guide to Documents at UNO

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   State Documents  

A new Guide to Government Documents available at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Criss Library is available on the Library web site

The Guide is a work in progress according to creator Jim Shaw, Director of Collections at the Criss Library. The Library documents collection boasts about600,000 printed items, microfiche, CD-ROMs and DVDs, and sheet maps. Most are cataloged in the library catalog, with the ability to limit searches by document type (e.g. Nebraska document), format, date, etc.

Jim welcomes comments and suggestions and can be contacted as follows:

James T. Shaw
Director of Collections
Criss Library
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68182-0237


March 5, 2009

The Healthy Woman

Entry Categories: Federal Documents  

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health has published a terrific new book: The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages. It is available for sale from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Telephone 866-512-1800. The price is $24.95.

The Healthy Woman is an easy-to-use guide covering many conditions that women encounter throughout thier lifetimes: heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes to name a few. The conditions are discussed from a woman's perspective. Other chapters include advice and information about taking charge of one's own health. The book is full of easy-to-understand explanations, practical tips, charts, and firsthand health stories from women.

This would be a good resource for any public library. To borrow the Library Commission copy call us toll-free at 800-307-2665 or use our online form to email us.


September 5, 2008

Halloween Facts

Entry Categories: Federal Documents   News  

The Census Bureau has a nice web site called Facts for Features. Each edition offers fascinating statistics relating to events and holidays that can be used in newsletter articles or hot topics lists. This excerpt from the Halloween edition was released on September 3rd.

Check out the reference to Skull Creek, Neb. (population 274) as a place to spend Halloween!

The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. In the United States, the first official citywide Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minn., in 1921. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and young at heart take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door to door for treats, or attend or host a Halloween party.

Trick or Treat!
36 million
The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2007 — children 5 to 13 — across the United States. This number is down about 38,000 from a year earlier. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.
Source: Population estimates

110.3 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2007 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Source: Housing Vacancies and Homeownership

Percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2003,

Jack-o’-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies
1.1 billion pounds
Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2007. Illinois led the country by producing 542 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, New York and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $117 million.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Where to Spend Halloween?
Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

Transylvania County, N.C. (29,984 residents). Source: Population estimates 2007

Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,562). Source: Population estimates 2007

Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,228); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 307).
Source: Census 2000
Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (15,711); and Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (1,170).
Source: Census 2000
Skull Creek, Neb. (population 274). Source: Population estimates 2007


About Federal Documents

This page contains all articles posted to What's Up Doc? in the Federal Documents category.

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