Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween - Information Resources from the Federal Government

If you're planning to celebrate Halloween this year, or even if you would just like to learn more about it, take a look at the many Web resources that the federal government is providing!

Halloween Pumpkin with Candy Image from FDA's 

For safety concerns, you can find resources from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and more about topics such as food, make-up, and pedestrian safety as well as advice for purchasing decorative contact lenses.

Educational and fun facts about Halloween and its history are available from the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, and even the Census Bureau and State Department.

If you have children (or if you don't!), you may want to take a look at some fun web sites such as Spooky Space Sounds from NASA!

States are also contributing to the fun.  Are you feeling hungry for Deep Fried Pumpkin Brains?  If so, Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services can help you out!

All of these websites, and many more have been compiled at at their Halloween topic page.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Learn How To Use Research Tools Like a Librarian! Open Sessions Nov. 4-7

Do you face challenges finding vital research information for your class paper or project, the thesis, dissertation, article or book you are writing, or the workplace report you need to submit?  Dr. Seán Henry will host four library guidance sessions to help you with these, whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member!

When:   Monday – Thursday, Nov. 4-7, at 6-7:30 PM Where:  Ort Library Instruction Classroom (Library 316 – just inside the main entrance to the left) 
Light refreshments will be served!

These four sessions are open to the entire FSU community and will focus on the questions you bring to the sessions with you.  Even if you are a seasoned researcher at FSU, you might want to consider stopping by to see what’s new, because some library tools you may have relied on for the last decade -catalogUSMAI and Research Port - will be disappearing soon!

The 90-minute open sessions will cover:

  • Using expert tips to develop effective search strategies
  • Finding books, eBooks, articles, and more using the new library discovery tool OneSearch
  • Requesting books you need from other University System of Maryland libraries to check out here
  • Navigating databases in your discipline at Databases A-Z
  • Citing, saving, and managing  your sources with personalized database tools
  • Launching ILLiad, our interlibrary loan system,  to request articles and books outside the reach of FSU and the University System
  • Manipulating powerful Web search tools like Google Advanced and Google Scholar

RSVPs  are not absolutely necessary if you plan to attend any of these library guidance sessions on Nov. 4-7 (6-7:30 PM), but if you reply to and let Dr. Henry know you’re coming,  he’ll make sure there is plenty of room (classroom size capped at 31 people) and that there are enough refreshments on hand.

The Ort Library is here to help you succeed!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Featured Online Resource: Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD)

This week’s Featured Online Resource is the Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) ( OATD provides and index to more than 1.9 million dissertations and theses from over 800 colleges, universities, and research institutions around the world. You can use the basic search on the site’s home page, but they also offer a robust advanced search option, where you can narrow down by language the dissertation and thesis was written in, the country it was published in, and/or by date range.

Most of these dissertations and theses are available freely online.

October 21-27, 2013 is Open Access Week. Celebrate Open Access Week by viewing a dissertation or thesis that is available freely online.

Every week, the Ort Library brings you a new and outstanding resource from the Web or from one of the library's databases. To get an archive of all FOR entries, click here. Also, you can suggest a website that provides well-organized access to useful info.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Featured Online Resource: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

When you think of the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), what type of statistics come to mind for you?

BLS may be best known for their unemployment statistics as well as economic statistics such as the Consumer Price Index.

Below are some of the types of information that can be found at the BLS website.  Some may surprise you!

Additional types of information:

This is just a sampling of the types of information that BLS can provide for your research.  Please take a moment to browse their Subject Areas page to see all a list of categories that are available.

Every week, the Ort Library brings you a new and outstanding resource from the Web or from one of the library's databases. To get an archive of all FOR entries, click here. Also, you can suggest a website that provides well-organized access to useful info.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Four New Library Displays for October

The Ort Library displays for the month of October center on health and safety.  Floor 3 highlights Fire Prevention Week, October 6 - 12, with safety tips and resources.  Learn how to be safe using candles and while cooking in the kitchen or using a grill outside.  Do you have an escape route in case of a fire?  You can use the plan to devise and write your plan of safety.  Resources on the histories of the Frostburg and Cumberland Fire Department are included.

Floor 5 celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Included in the display are facts and ways to stay healthy.  Learn about men and breast cancer.  Discover what foods may lessen your risk and how maintaining a healthy life style potentially lessens the chances of getting breast cancer. 

Did you know on October 30, 1938, there was a radio broadcast of an alien invasion?   Orson Welles broadcast of H. G. Wells' masterpiece, "War of the Worlds" was so believable there was a mass panic.   Welles and Wells made the event seem real.  Read the newspaper articles of the broadcast's aftermath.  Check out the Library's sound recording (33 & 1/3 record)  of the radio broadcast for your Halloween celebration.

At the Western Maryland Independent Literature Festival,  Oct. 11 and 12, you can meet authors and writing experts on a variety of topics.  If you are a writer, there may a panel that will help hone your writing style.  Also present will be regional publishers with many of their publications.  Stop to talk about how to get your writing published.  Poetry, short stories, novels,  and magazines will be available for purchase.   

Written by MaryJo Price

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Federal Government Shutdown Update (Updated 10/10/13)

Updated 10/4/13, 10/6/13, 10/7/13, 10/10/13

You may have noticed that some of your favorite Federal government web sites are not available due to the government shutdown. is still running, and has an update page summarizing Federal government services that have been affected by the shutdown:

Alternate Resources:

Census Information
  • The Missouri Census Data Center ( is mentioned as a very good source of American FactFinder Information, but don’t forget to check any of the other state data centers as well.  Like Maryland’s Data Center (, they will probably house some information on their own server (which should be accessible) as well as provide links to the Federal data (which might not be available).  Since the Census Bureau’s directory of state data centers is not working, just Google your state of interest plus “data center”, and it should be easy to find.
  • StatsAmerica:
  • Oxford University Press and the Social Explorer team will open up access to Social Explorer<> - the premier US Census demographics website - for the next two weeks. Social Explorer offers users Census data from 1790 to 2010 and American Community Survey data from 2005 to 2012. For access to Social Explorer, simply email to request a username and password.
  • Census/Investigative Reporters & Editors: 
  • Census Viewer:  
Crime Statistics
Various Statistics
Education (ERIC)
Additional sources of information about the shutdown:

The following is a list of some web sites that were "dark" as of 10/2/13:
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis (
  • (Maryland State Data Center,, has some information housed on their web site.  (However some links point to data.)
  • (Website available but not being updated as of 10/7/13.)
  • ERIC ( - See above, under Education, for EBSCO access.
  • Library of Congress ( Up as of 10/7/13!
  • National Park Service (
  • is offline but you can still get to 
  • USDA (
       (Thank you to Gretchen Gould of Univ. of North Iowa for this information.)