EVPL Communities: SuDocQueen@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of SuDocQueen@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[Temeraire post-poned]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/02/23/temeraire-post-poned.aspx Sat, 23 Feb 2013 14:53:00 G2T 2440 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/02/23/temeraire-post-poned.aspx to post your comments!

I think everyone who was at the first book discussion for Temeraire's Exploits already knows that I've had to re-schedule the 2nd book discussion.  But in case you weren't there, or haven't heard...yes, I've had to push the next discussion for Throne of Jade back to March 13th.  I'm really sorry about this; I hope the change doesn't create scheduling conflicts for anyone planning to come.  It was just one of those unfortunate, unavoidable things.

Maybe this will be a good thing and even more people will be able to join us for this second discussion. Smile  For those, like me, already finished with the book and eagerly waiting for the discussion, I have a small sop to your patience.  If you haven't already read it, Naomi Novik has a lovely little Teneraire story available on her website.  The action of the short story, "Feast or Famine," is even referenced in Throne of Jade.  Having already read "Feast or Famine" I got a real kick out of recognizing the references to it in Throne of Jade.

Hope I'll see you here on March 13th!

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naomi novik temeraire book discussions Throne of Jade
<![CDATA[Serendipity at its finest...]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/01/14/serendipity-at-its-finest.aspx Mon, 14 Jan 2013 13:38:00 G1T 2433 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/01/14/serendipity-at-its-finest.aspx to post your comments!

A good friend just told me January 16th is Appreciate a Dragon Day and my first book talk for Naomi Novik's alternative history/dragon series is... January 16th.  I wish I could claim I cleverly planned it, but unfortunately not.  I'll just have to settle for great timing.  Smile

It looks like Appreciate a Dragon Day was started by author Donita K. Paul, but if you google 'dragon appreciation day,' you'll discover other days throughout the year when you can pay homage to these wonderful mythical beasts.

Hope I see you Wednesday evening.  I just finished rereading His Majesty's Dragon and I loved it as much the second time around as I did the first time.

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naomi novik dragons temeraire Donita K. Paul book discussions
<![CDATA[State Tax Forms at Central Library]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/01/10/state-tax-forms-at-central-library.aspx Thu, 10 Jan 2013 15:42:00 G1T 2431 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/01/10/state-tax-forms-at-central-library.aspx to post your comments!

Yes, they're here.

We have the IT-40 booklet, with forms included, along with several other commonly requested loose forms.

Federal forms are another matter.  Those, of course, are delayed as the IRS deals with the changes necessitated by the passage of the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012.  Sorry, currently we have no word on when those forms will be available.  In the mean time, you can keep abreast of updated forms at www.irs.gov.

While you're waiting, you might want to take a look at our Tax Information page.  You can find information on AARP's tax aide schedule and lots of useful links for online filing and filing in general.

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central library tax taxes IRS tax aide AARP
<![CDATA[There be dragons at the library!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/11/27/there-be-dragons-at-the-library.aspx Tue, 27 Nov 2012 12:39:00 G11T 2419 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/11/27/there-be-dragons-at-the-library.aspx to post your comments!

That would be Temeraire specifically, and he is a very special dragon indeed.  He is the wonderful centerpiece of Naomi Novik's sci-fi/alternative history series.  It is set in England during the Napoleonic Wars.  In the series, Novik introduces you to what might have been if dragons had been a fact of life instead of a fascinating myth.  The books reminds me of Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, with the added bonus of a strong grounding in actual history.  I know, 'how can it be actual history if dragons are involved'?  True, but I think Novik does an excellent job of postulating how the existence and use of dragons would have changed historical events.  If that sounds dry and boring to you, don't believe it.  I became highly invested in Temeraire's heartwarming character and his relationship with his rider, Captain William Lawrence.  That relationship, along with the addition of multiple other riders and dragons, keeps the stories riveting.  You can read the books from the library and learn more about Temeraire and his universe on Novik's website.

And, if you become as captivated by Temeraire as me, you can join me in 2013 for a book discussion series on the novels.  Titled Temeraire's Exploits, we will discuss the first book at the January meeting and each book after in the following meetings.  Hope I'll see you there!

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books naomi novik napoleonic wars dragons book discussion temeraire
<![CDATA[Venus and the Sun seen once in a lifetime.]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/06/02/venus-and-the-sun-seen-once-in-a-lifetime.aspx Sat, 02 Jun 2012 16:51:00 G6T 2388 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/06/02/venus-and-the-sun-seen-once-in-a-lifetime.aspx to post your comments!

I just learned that on Tuesday, 6/5, we'll have the opportunity to see a once in a lifetime celestial event.  Starting late Tuesday afternoon (our time) the planet Venus will slowly pass in front of the sun.  The picture of a very orange sun with a little black dot on it, making it look remarkably like an orange, caught my attention on weather.com.  Their article led me to check out NASA's article on the event, which also clued me into the fact that they will be broadcasting the event online for those who can't get outside to see it.  They're not the only ones.  San Francisco's Exploratorium will show it live online, as well as Slooh.com.

Before you get a bright idea, like me, and think you can just walk out in your backyard Tuesday evening and view the event, read the articles from NASA and The Weather Channel.  Trying to see the transit with the naked eye is too damaging to our eyes.  So, either buy the glasses or lenses for your telescope they suggest, or visit the Evansville Museum on Tuesday.  The museum is hosting a Venus Transit event with help from our local Astronomical Society.

To while away your time until Tuesday, stop by the library where you can brush up on your knowledge of Venus and astronomy in general.

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astronomy Venus Evansville museum sun NASA
<![CDATA[The Great American Smokeout]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/11/10/the-great-american-smokeout.aspx Thu, 10 Nov 2011 15:49:00 G11T 2343 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/11/10/the-great-american-smokeout.aspx to post your comments!

Are you one of those people who keeps trying to quit smoking but never quite succeeds?  Have you thought about trying to quit but found the whole process too daunting?  Then you may be in luck next week -- or today; there's no rule that says you have to wait. Wink

The American Cancer Society has designated November 17th the Great American Smokeout Day.  On their website, they have a host of useful tools and information on quitting.  Their Quit Smoking Guide is available for online reading as well as a downloadable PDF.  Among the tools is a quiz that will help you create a quit plan, a cigarette cost calculator, desktop helpers for download, and access to a current study using an email program to help quit.

Our federal government is also trying to help with their website smokefree.gov.  Like the American Cancer Society, they have a quit guide; though, the federal guide offers interactive use online, a downloadable PDF, and the option of ordering a free print copy.  They also offer live expert help through instant messaging, or national or local telephone numbers.  Additional help tools include online quizzes, more print resources that can be viewed online or ordered for free, nationwide access to active cessation studies, and information on your state's smoking health.  They even have a free Smartphone App!

If you'd prefer to go old school, stop by Central Library next week and take a look at the book display on the second floor.  In honor of the Great American Smokeout we'll be featuring books on the benefits of quitting, including books on how to do it.  Here's a preview of some of the books you'll see as well as more websites to visit.

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Great American Smokeout quit smoking smoking cessation American Cancer Society government websites smoking
<![CDATA[An opportunity to safely dispose of outdated or unused prescriptions]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/10/26/an-opportunity-to-safely-dispose-of-outdated-or-unused-prescriptions.aspx Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:16:00 G10T 2339 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/10/26/an-opportunity-to-safely-dispose-of-outdated-or-unused-prescriptions.aspx to post your comments!

I just learned that Saturday, October 29th, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The DEA is working with state and local law enforcement agencies to offer drop off sites for unwanted and unneeded prescriptions.  The DEA has a drop off locator on their website for people who'd like to find a collection site.  Right now we've only got a couple in Evansville, -- the Armory and the State Police post off Hwy 41 -- but they say to keep checking because they're continually adding new sites.  I also noticed, when I searched using the library's zip code, that drop off sites in Henderson showed up as well.

This got me wondering about how to safely dispose of unneeded prescriptions the other 364 days a year.  According to the FDA website on the subject, apparently flushing down the toilet is still a number one way; although, only if the prescription bottle says you may dispose of it that way.  They go on to detail other ways to safely dispose of prescriptions, but since I don't generate cat litter or coffee grounds, it would be easier for me to just gather up any old prescriptions and drop them off Saturday. Smile

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FDA drugs prescriptions pills U.S. Food And Drug Administration
<![CDATA[Put your video making skills to work]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/10/22/put-your-video-making-skills-to-work.aspx Sat, 22 Oct 2011 14:35:00 G10T 2337 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/10/22/put-your-video-making-skills-to-work.aspx to post your comments!

choose my plate logoI don't want to false advertise; this opportunity won't sound glamorous to a lot of people, but if you like making YouTube clips, know something about healthy eating, and like the idea of a contest with cash prizes, this might be for you.  The USDA is sponsoring a contest called MyPlate Fruits and Veggies Video Challenge.  They have three video categories with first prizes in each category of $1,500 with additional $1,000 dollar second place awards and $500 People's Choice awards.  The winning videos will showcase how you're economically adding fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.  Hum, I wonder if you could win first place and people's choice for a whopping $2,000 dollars?  Probably not, but you could always ask.  Right now the odds of winning a prize look pretty good.  For example, the Tips for Kids category only has three videos after three weeks of submissions.

The contest started September 26th, but entries will be accepted through November 15th.  Still, I'd hurry and get your entries in so your friends, family, and strangers have time to vote for your video.  Public voting is taking place simultaneously with the submission time period.  So, if you wait until November 15th to enter your video you won't have much opportunity to garner People's Choice votes.

Even if you're not interested in making a video, you might want to take a look at the site.  Click on the "Video Gallery" tab to see the current videos.  The tips are interesting, and free registration gives you the opportunity to vote for your favorites.

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government vegetables diet videography USDA eating heathly eating videos fruits contests nutrition
<![CDATA[Astronomy Week]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/09/23/astronomy-week.aspx Fri, 23 Sep 2011 15:20:00 G9T 2321 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/09/23/astronomy-week.aspx to post your comments!

moonI learned something new today.  There are two Astronomy Days a year.  One in the spring and one in the fall.  This fall the day is October 1st, and the week Astronomy Day falls in is designated Astronomy Week.  So September 26th to October 2nd this year is Astronomy week.  I thought this rather serendipitous what with the NASA satellite due to fall from the sky today. Smile

The Astronomical League has a good website for those who want to learn more about astronomy.  They also have information on Astronomy Day celebrations around the country as well as helpful information for those who would like to host an Astronomy Day celebration.

For information on stargazing closer to home, The Evansville Astronomical Society's website offers useful stargazing links, a nice calendar of local events, and interesting information on the society's history.

If you'd like to learn a little more about astronomy before you consider contacting your local society, the library has plenty of books on astronomy, the stars and planets, and how to be an amateur astronomer.  If you visit Central Library this week, stop by the second floor and check-out our book display by the stairs.  To celebrate the week, we have some of our astronomy books on display there for easy access.

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central library books evpl library astronomy planets stargazing moon stars astronomers
<![CDATA[Local Farmers Markets]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/06/24/local-farmers-markets.aspx Fri, 24 Jun 2011 16:39:00 G6T 2301 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/06/24/local-farmers-markets.aspx to post your comments!

Most of us know our local commercial farmers markets, the type that have an established retail location, the ones you can find in the yellow pages, but what about the ones that are gatherings of smaller sellers?  The ones that bring their produce to town for sale one day a week?  Those don't normally show up in the local yellow pages, so how do you find them?

The USDA has created a database to help people with that.  http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/  First enter the zip code you want to search in and choose the radius you want to search, anywhere from 5 to 200 miles.  You'll get a list that includes the name of the market, its city and state, and a link to its website if it has one.  After the list comes up, you can narrow the results by the type of produce (click the file tab that says "Products Available") and/or the type of payment accepted.  If you're interested in seeing more details on a particular market on the list, click on the little blue box to the left of the market's name.  You will get a pop-up window with the location of the market, times of operation, products for sale, directions, and additional miscellaneous information.  This is, of course, assuming that the market has supplied that information to the database.

All in all, I found this a very fun and easy database to use.  I do wish it included the markets that have established retail centers, but maybe those aren't strictly farmers markets...?

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databases food websites local produce farmers markets produce markets
<![CDATA[How to find affordable health insurance (formerly -- Questions about what the new Health Care Act means to you?...Part 2)]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/03/07/questions-about-what-the-new-health-care-act-means-to-you-part-2.aspx Mon, 07 Mar 2011 18:20:00 G3T 2268 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/03/07/questions-about-what-the-new-health-care-act-means-to-you-part-2.aspx to post your comments!

Okay, here we go.  How to find health insurance options on www.healthcare.gov:

The main page offers you two slightly different ways to start.  You can click the first tab (the blue tab) that says "find insurance options."  Or you can go to the large, slightly lighter-blue box below the tab and immediately choose a state from the drop down menu.  Both methods will take you to the same new page.  The only difference between the two methods will be that if you didn't choose a state when on the main page, you'll need to do so on the second page; while if you did choose a state, your first question box is already filled in.  The second question will ask you to select what "best describes you": a family with children, a healthy person, a person with a pre-existing condition, etc.  Once you've made your selection, you'll hit "next" at the bottom of the page.  You'll continue like this through a series of questions designed to refine your insurance options.  At the end, you'll be presented with your list of insurance choices.

I filled out the questionnaire several different ways and my insurance options did change depending on how I answered the questions.  One time I might get four choices, the next six.  I really liked that even after you chose an option to investigate further, your original list of options showed to the left on the new screen, so you could choose a new option without having to use the back button.  Also note that once you're on the initial page for one of your options and click the "visit website" button for even more information, the new site will open up in a new window, so you won't lose your 'place' at wwww.healthcare.gov.  And, if you leave that new window open, go back to your place at healthcare.gov, choose a new coverage option, and click on its "visit website" button, you'll get an additional new window, giving you essentially three open windows.  Very nice if you want to compare information on your choices, but also potentially confusing if you forget which window goes with which choice.

A couple of the choices usually involve possible coverage through work, and the 'visit website' buttons take you to the Department of Labor which gives you information on your rights -- like what to expect from COBRA coverage.  One choice I couldn't figure out was "Special Options for Individual Health Insurance."  This choice talked about conversion coverage and its 'visit website' button takes you to The National Association of Insurance Commissioners & The Center for Insurance Policy and Research.  From their page you choose a state which takes you to the main web page of that state's state insurance website, rather than specific information on conversion coverage.  Maybe I don't understand conversion coverage well enough and I'm missing something.  Or maybe this is a part of the health care bill that hasn't gone into effect yet.  Or maybe healthcare.gov doesn't have this particular link fully functional yet.  Notice on the right on your options page on healthcare.gov, just above the big box talking about your options, a link to more information about how this insurance search tool will improve over time.

The links that offer the most information are the 'Health Insurance Plans for Individuals & Families" and "Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)/High Risk Pool".  These two links/insurance options give you specifics on the different available insurance plans, and these are the two options that make use of the question about what state you live in.

When you choose "Health Insurance Plans for Individuals & Families," the new page gives you some information on how insurance companies work, includes a link to Indiana's State Insurance web page (I wouldn't bother with this link unless you already know what you're looking for), and gives you an overview of how the online search tool for available plans works -- yes, this is a different tool from the one you used to get here.  Once you're ready, click the "Get started" button, fill out the requested information and click the "Submit button" at the bottom of the page.  Next you'll need to select your county and hit "Submit" again.  You'll get a list of insurance programs and a whole bunch of options to narrow your list.

When I searched as a healthy individual needing insurance, I got a list of 273 possible insurance programs.  Wow, that's a lot of plans, but the page also offers me a lot of available tools to narrow the results list.  First, if you really want to scroll through all 273, you can, just keep hitting 'next page' and scrolling down.  Ten plans are displayed on each 'page' and unfortunately I couldn't find anywhere to change that number; however, I could sort the results by choosing which of four criteria was most important to me in a plan: out-of-pocket limit, monthly premium estimate, annual detectable, or enrollment.

The tools for narrowing the results are just to the left of the results list and those remain no matter how far into the results list you go.  There are six limiters and below each one is the list you select from...clear as mud?  For example, one limiter is "Annual Deductable."  Below it is a list of deductable ranges.  It starts at 'Up to $500' and goes all the way to '$10000 & Above.'  Whichever range you choose changes your results list to just plans with deductibles within that monetary range.  Same process applies for all of the limiters -- except for "Show Companies."  This limiter lists all of the companies offering plans from your results list and you can select as many or as few companies as you choose.

Also, notice the minus (or plus) sign beside each of the six limiters.  That sign opens or collapses the choices under the limiter -- plus meaning it's closed and there's more to see and minus meaning it's open with nothing hidden.  So, if a limiter is open but you're not interested in using it, you can click the minus sign and collapse it to just the limiter name, neatening up your limiter list.  Another handy feature is the numbers in parenthesis beside each selectable choice.  That number represents the number of results you'll get if you limit your list using that choice, and those numbers constantly change based on the choices you make.  Once you've narrowed your results by any of the choices that only allow you one selection, you will always have the option of returning all of the choices to your list by clicking "Show All..."

On to the information offered on each insurance plan...  Each plan is listed in a separate blue box.  You get the name of the plan and the insurance company along with basics of the plan like annual deductable, out-of-pocket expense, doctor choice, and percentage of people denied entrance to the program.  Clicking the "Plan Details" button or on the name of the plan will take you to more in-depth information.  Each plan I looked at had a link to the plan's website as well as a direct link to their doctor search page.  There are also links to drug formularies where available. 

Lastly, you can pick up to three plans to compare side by side.  Mark the box where it says "click to compare" just below the "Plan Details" button.  The plan's name will appear at the top of your list.  You can go from page to page on your list and not lose your plans marked to compare.  Once you've reached the limit of three -- though you don't have to choose three -- you can click on "Compare These Plans" and your choices will appear in a chart that lets you see things like their deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses side by side.

I still haven't covered finding coverage for people with medical issues, but I think this is more than enough information for one blog, so stay tuned for part three of "Using Www.healthcare.gov!"

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insurance health insurance health care affordable health insurance insurance plans government websites affordable insurance
<![CDATA[Recent Government Reports of interest]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/03/04/recent-government-reports-of-interest.aspx Fri, 04 Mar 2011 15:24:00 G3T 2267 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/03/04/recent-government-reports-of-interest.aspx to post your comments!

I caught a brief snippet of a news show the other morning that mentioned a new government report on the state of women in America, but that's all I heard.  Being a woman, I was curious and went looking.  The report's name is Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.  It was released by the White House and complied by the Economics and Statistics Administration of the Bureau of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget.  Acccording to the White House's press release it is the first comprehensive look at women in America since the 1960s.  It was just released a couple of days ago and is so new I can't find it in physical form yet.  However, here's a direct link to the PDF if you'd like to read it.  Or you can find a link to it from the Economics and Statistics Administration website.  I've only had time to scan the contents page, but it looked interesting.

picture of red and white book coverThere are a couple other reports that people might be interested in checking out from the library.  If you haven't had your fill yet of the books on what led to our "Great Recession," you can take a look at the Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States, title The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report.  We have both the 'official government edition' and the 'authorized edition.'  As far as I can tell the two editions are the same.  They're designated differently because we purchased the 'authorized edition' from a publisher and received the 'official government edition' through our Federal Depository status

Even though the book is over 500 pages, the 'authors' make clear that the information presented is only a small part of everything the Commission gathered.  Far more is accessible from www.fcic.gov.

 

The last book I wanted to mention is another report on a recent crisis, Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and  the Future of Offshore Drilling.  The report isCover of book which shows oil rig on fire. in one volume and the recommendations in a secondary volume.  Similar to the Financial Crisis report, additional information is available from the commission's website www.oilspillcomission.gov.  The look of the book is very appealing with it's glossy cover.  There are frequent charts and b&w pictures as well as color ones enlivening the text.  In skimming through it, I found the narrative to be pleasantly accessible and interesting.

Now, I better get back to writing on the blog I promised last week. Smile

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american women america offshore drilling women gulf oil spill commission reports financial crisis well-being
<![CDATA[Questions about what the new Health Care Act means to you?...Part 1]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/02/23/questions-about-what-the-new-health-care-act-means-to-you.aspx Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:36:00 G2T 2264 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/02/23/questions-about-what-the-new-health-care-act-means-to-you.aspx to post your comments!

True, a lot of people and lawmakers still want to end, or make changes to, last year's Health Care act, so who knows what will happen to it in the future, but for now parts of it are up, operational, and affecting individuals' lives.  It is those operational parts I want to address here.  The federal government has created a new website to help people understand and utilize the new act, www.healthcare.gov.

I started writing this blog with the expectation that I would review the enitre site at once, but as you may have guessed from the "Part 1" in my title, I found that impossible.  The site covers so much information that I decided this blog would deal with everything but how to find insurance coverage.  So, if that's all you are interested in, keep an eye out for Part 2 coming soon.  However, I really hope you read on.  You will learn about the new law, how it affects you, and you will get good advice about insurance coverage and other health topics.

The home page offers direct access to a plethora of health-related information.  Toward the bottom is a video about using the site to find insurance coverage.  There are links to the page's social media accounts.  The site's blog posts are located in an obvious box just about the video link and they have an RSS feed.  And, just to the left of the blogs is a nice "Five Things To Know" set of links.  The five colored boxes at the top of the page are the most direct links to the site's deeper information.

We're saving the first box for Part 2.  The second box, "Learn About Prevention" includes links to deeper pages as well as links that take the user beyond the healthcare.gov's website.  The outside links sends the user to healthfinder.gov, another gateway to tons of information on healthy living, -- that site would have to be a blog all its own -- and the national initiative to solve childhood obesity.  The links that lead to deeper into the healthcare.gov's website deal with the preventative services people need depending on their age and sex (notice the information is available in Spanish as well) and what preventative services insurance companies are supposed to cover under the new health care law.

The third box "Compare Care Quality" allows you to compare hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies, or dialysis facilities.  The page where you choose which subject to search is still on healthcare.gov, but you are sent to medicare.gov for the actual searches (healthcare.gov sensibly chose not to reinvent the wheel).  Depending on which subject you're searching you can search by city, state, or zip code, and the nursing home search also allows you to set a miles radius on the search.  I used my grandmother's zip code each time, and was impressed with the extensive and detailed results.  It was nice to know the nursing home we used when she broke her leg was a five star home.  Along with all the good information from the searches, each subject's search page offers additional links to useful information on what to consider and what to ask when choosing care.

The fourth one, "Understand The Law."  Strives to help people do just that, understand the new law.  The main page offers a brief introductory video.  Below the video are links to further information for seniors, special interest groups, and coverage options for those with pre-existing conditions.  When you click on one of these links you're taken to a new page with in-depth information and more links to additional information on the topic.  As you explore the topics, note that the deeper yellow of the "Understand the Law" tab, extends across the page in a bar.  Within that deeper yellow bar are other links, sub-links so to speak.  Note that there is always a little carrot sign below the "sub-link" you're currently on, to help orient you to where you are in the broad "Understand the Law" topic.  Clear as mud?  The "Timeline: What's Changing and When" link is pretty neat.  It is a moveable timeline that shows you each change that has already taken place to health care as well as the expected dates of the rest of the changes up to 2015.  "About The Law" strives to explain the law, offers the full PDF of the law, or separate links to each section of the law, and a chronological breakdown of the major portions of the law.  "Provisions" addresses each major facet of the law, while "In Focus" and "Initiatives" discuss the issues the law is meant to address.

Returning to the different colored boxes, the last one, "Information For You," is helpful when you just want to know how the law affects your individual situation.  For example, if you have a family of four, you're not going to be as interested in how the law affects seniors or individuals.  When you mouse over the tab, a drop down menu will appear and you'll choose your "subject": individual, family with children, senior, etc.  For most of the choices, this brings up the page customized to your interest.  For a couple of them you'll have to make additional choices.  Several of the pages open with an available video.  All of them include an additional list of links on the left, a blue box on the right were you can start immediately researching coverage, and a set of links on the right that essential reword some of the links from the left.  Also note that you can change the "situation" you're researching at any time.  The "Information For You" tab is set up just like the "Understand The Law" tab.  Once you've made your original choice, you can always look just below the tab and see links to the other possible situations.  Clicking on any of them will take you to the new page.

Lastly, at the very bottom of the main page are stripped down links: to much of the information covered on the page above, to other sources like www.usa.gov, to information on accessibility for the disabled to the site's information, and to information on the viewers used on the site.  Wow, I hope you managed to stay with me through this whole blog!  And keep checking back for part, hopefully up within the next week.

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health health insurance pre-existing conditions nursing homes health care agencies health care health care law hospitals
<![CDATA[Tax info Update]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/01/24/tax-info-update.aspx Mon, 24 Jan 2011 16:15:00 G1T 2258 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/01/24/tax-info-update.aspx to post your comments!

First:  We have received most of the Federal forms we ordered!  We've also received the 1040EZ instruction book.  But, we're still waiting for the rest of the instruction books.   We've also received all of the State forms and instructions we ordered.  As for when we can expect the rest of the Federal instruction books?  Not before the end of January, probably sometime in February.

Second:  I just discovered that Southwestern United Way is also offering tax preparation help to those with low to moderate incomes.  Check http://unitedwayswi.org/programs_services.php?page=VITA%20Sites for more information.  You can also call 812-421-2800 to find out more details.

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1040A taxes united way tax forms tax aide
<![CDATA[Tax forms status?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/01/06/tax-forms-status.aspx Thu, 06 Jan 2011 09:27:00 G1T 2247 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/01/06/tax-forms-status.aspx to post your comments!

The status is...still waiting on our end.  Here at Central, we have yet to receive either Federal or State forms.  We're hoping the Federal at least will start trickling in over the next week or week and a half.  I know the little cards that came in the mail said the forms would be available at the local library, and they will, as soon as they're mailed to us. Smile

Until then, since you're reading this, you have a couple other options.  You can go to irs.gov for Federal forms and publications and print off your own.  Or if your printer is giving you fits, you can always stop by the library; we'll be happy to print off your forms and instructions for you...though I do want to warn you that we charge .15 cents per B&W page.  You can also wait until after January 14th and do the e-file through the IRS.

As for the State, you can go to http://www.in.gov/dor/4341.htm.  From there you can file online, or you can click on the "Find Indiana tax forms" on the right which takes you to the state's breakdown of individual and business categories of tax forms.  You'll have to continue with another click or two to get to the actual list of forms for individuals or businesses, depending on which you need.

Lastly, don't forget that we partner with AARP every tax season to provide tax preparation help to people with moderate to low incomes.  The service starts February 1st.  Here's a list of all the meeting dates and times, notice you can limit the list by location or time!

You can also contact our local State Revenue office at:

Evansville District Office
500 S. Green River Road
Ste. 202, Goodwill Building
Evansville, IN 47715
(812) 479-9261
(812) 471-8189 fax

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

And the local Federal IRS office at:

7409 Eagle Crest Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47715 

(812) 474-4800 

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

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tax indiana business magazine taxes state tax forms IRS federal tax forms tax forms
<![CDATA[Did you know February 14th was National Donor Day as well as Valentine's Day?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/02/12/did-you-know-february-14th-was-national-donor-day-as-well-as-valentine-s-day.aspx Fri, 12 Feb 2010 15:24:00 G2T 2084 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/02/12/did-you-know-february-14th-was-national-donor-day-as-well-as-valentine-s-day.aspx to post your comments!

You can learn more about it at http://organdonor.gov/.  The longer I thought about it, the more I vaguely remembered learning about the day long ago -- it struck me as apropo to celebrate giving the gift of life on the day famous for celebrating love -- but it was so long ago that I had essentially forgotten until I received an email about it from www.usa.gov.  And that's one of the things I love about usa.gov.  They offer email updates on over a hundred different subjects followed or supported by the US Government.  You can sign up to get emails, or in some cases RSS feeds, on subjects like climate and weather, child support or child care, elder care, government benefits/grants/financial aid, environmental resources...the list goes on and on.  My advice?  Go to the website click on 'receive updates by email,' follow the instructions on the next page (all you need is an active email address), and then scroll through the looong list of topics you can keep updated on.

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Online resources email U. S. Government federal government U.S. government United States Government
<![CDATA[Evansville's small claim to fame in the 1918 Great Pandemic & a tip for 2009 flu clinics in Evansville]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/10/the-great-pandemic-of-1918-and-evansville-s-small-claim-to-fame.aspx Tue, 10 Nov 2009 15:07:00 G11T 1933 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/10/the-great-pandemic-of-1918-and-evansville-s-small-claim-to-fame.aspx to post your comments!

Thanks to a very interesting question today, I discovered a surprising fact.  Evansville was involved in Indiana's first official report on the Spanish influenza.  According to http://1918.pandemicflu.gov/your_state/indiana.htm, in the "first official report from the state...officials reported that an epidemic had developed in Evansville beginning in the last week of September."  By October, "state officials were forced to admit that 'the disease has been reported from a number of places' in the state," but Evansville carries the distinction of being the first city in Indiana to be officially stricken with the epidemic.  I don't know whether you consider that good or bad, but I certainly found it surprising to learn that our city had a specific place in the history of the Great Pandemic.

I also found the website fascinating.  Coming from The Office of the Public Health Service Historian, the site offers a good overview of the Pandemic in the United States -- be sure to always click on "more"; each general topic only shows the tip of information being offered.  One can get a snapshot picture of average life in the US in 1918 as well as detailed information on the Pandemic's effects in each state; for example Indiana officially reported 154,600 cases while historians and epidemiologists now believe the count was closer to 350,000 cases.  Along with bibliographies for books and websites, biographies on people central to the Pandemic, and examples of media resources from the time it's a very comprehensive picture of the 1918 Pandemic.

If you're more interested in the current flu situation, the site's main page also includes a link to www.pandemicflu.gov.  That site helpfully pops up in a new window so you can continue browsing the historical information as well.  One last discovery I have to mention, while browsing the current flu site, I discovered that the Vanderburgh County Health Department offers email notification for H1N1 Vaccination clinics!  The notification comes through a catch-all category called "special events," so who knows what kind of notices a person may receive later on, but it could be worth not having to constantly check the department website or listen to the news all the time.

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health flu H1N1 1918 pandemic enfluenza
<![CDATA[November is National Diabetes Month]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/05/november-is-national-diabetes-month.aspx Thu, 05 Nov 2009 12:07:00 G11T 1924 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/05/november-is-national-diabetes-month.aspx to post your comments!

Considering the prevalance of diabetes in America today, I suspect the disease has touched many, many families in the Evansville and tri-state area.  It is certainly a topic near and dear to my heart since I have had family members and friends afflicted with both Type 1 and Type II.  For those who have never encountered diabetes, or those newly diagnosed, it can be a frightening disease.  So what better time to learn more about the disease than during the month dedicated to it?

To be honest, it had slipped my mind that November was National Diabetes Month until I got an email update from www.usa.gov talking about it -- check out www.usa.gov's website to find out about all the great email updates and RSS feeds people can sign-up for.  The email included a great link to their FAQ section on diabetes.  That section in turn offers several ways to get information on diabetes.  They include phone, address, and email for the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse as well as several links for different websites like National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, National Diabetes Education Program, and the American Diabetes Association.

You can find even more online information from www.usa.gov by browsing or keyword searching from the website's main page.  To browse, scroll down the main page until you see "Health and Nutrition."  Clicking will take you to a further breakdown of the subject.  Scroll down to "Health Topics A-Z" and click.  Then click on "D" and scroll down until you get to "Diabetes."  You'll see about twelve different topics on diabetes from diabetes and pregnancy to diabetic diet, kidney problems or even nerve problems.  Each topic leads to great information from Medline Plus that includes additional links on things like prevention, related issues, and research as well as links to videos, tutorials, and pictures where available.

You can also do a keyword search on diabetes by typing the term into the search box at the top of www.usa.gov's main screen.  You'll get a results page reminiscent of Google but without all the extraneous hits from questionable websites.  The neatest part of the results page is the topic breakdown on the left-hand side of the page.  The topic list is a breakdown of the search results into individual topics.  The numbers in parenthesis indicate how many hits your search had under that topic, and the plus button to the right indicates that the topic can be broken down even farther.  Clicking on the plus button will show that further breakdown while clicking on the topic itself will change the results list to the hits for just that topic.  Also, take a look at the Agencies breakdown.  If you didn't know, www.usa.gov searches state as well as federal websites.  Looking at "Agencies" will give you a concise picture of the places your results are coming from.  For example my "diabetes" search showed that the majority of my results came from the National Institutes of Health, but if you click to see "All" results for Agencies, you can scroll down and discover that Indiana has a page on diabetes coming from the IHS Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention.

If you're not on information overload yet, or if you prefer your information in a more tangible format, EVPL has an amazing collection of print material on diabetes ranging from books on the disease, complications, and diet to cookbooks for the diabetic.  My simple keyword search using the term diabetes then limiting to books turned up over 400 books.  Or, if you'd like to see magazine articles you can go back to the computer, go to our databases, and select a general database like Masterfile Premier, (see it under our list of "Popular Databases" or find it through our "Alphabetical Sequence") and do a keyword search for articles on diabetes.  You can also choose "Category Sequence" and click on Health and Medicine to see a list of databases that will narrow your search to just medical journals.

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nonfiction health Online resources evpl evpl.org masterfile Premier medicine diabetes diabetic
<![CDATA[Is there a silver lining to knowing in advance that you're going to lose your job?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/22/is-there-a-silver-lining-to-knowing-in-advance-that-you-re-going-to-loose-your-job.aspx Tue, 22 Sep 2009 15:29:00 G9T 1859 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/22/is-there-a-silver-lining-to-knowing-in-advance-that-you-re-going-to-loose-your-job.aspx to post your comments!

When faced with that imminent pink slip I would think it would be hard to see any upside to the situation, but I read an article on MSN.com a few days ago that made lemonade out of losing a job.  The article was primarily pointing out the famous businesses (like Microsoft) that had been started during similar past recessions, and pointing out that a few of those very founders had been laid-off workers thanks to their recessions.  Now, I'm not advocating that everyone who's lost their job go out and start their own business.  That's very hard work.  You can learn more about the involved process and if it's for you at www.sba.gov.

But, the article did get me thinking about another silver lining that's been pointed out regarding losing one's current career and having difficulty finding a new job in the same field, the opportunity to explore a new, possibly even more enjoyable, career.  And that is the only silver lining I can see in knowing ahead of time that you're losing your job...the opportunity to plan ahead, to get those applications out, or explore other possibilities while you still have an income.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration is a good source of online resources for exploring new careers, dealing with job loss, and learning about financial support while pursuing career training.  Some of the information they offer is generated directly on their website, but the majority of the information is accessed through links to other sites they are affiliated with, such as O*NET and Career One Stop.

O*NET stands for the Occupational Information Network.  The service was started through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (learn more about O*NET's origins and the organizations behind its continued development and implementation).  When you visit O*NET be prepared to spend some time.  The site offers a vast array of information for job searchers and employers.  The main page (O*NET OnLine) is a tad intimidating.  On one hand I found the O*NET Resource Center to be a nicer place to start.  It gives explanations of all the tools available through O*NET, but once you get off the introductory page there isn't a quick and obvious way back to O*NET's main page -- you have to click "OnLine" from the left hand list of links (under Products) and from there click on O*NET OnLine.

Now, I did like the Interest and Ability Profilers from the Resource Center better than the Skills Search available from O*NET OnLine.  For those of us who are clueless about what we'd be good at these Interest and Ability tests are designed to give us some insight into "our work related interests."  Note, when you're looking at the drop-down menu, if you want to take the tests via computer, you'll need to choose "Computerized Interest Profiler."  Otherwise all you'll get are PDFs that will need to be printed out so you can take the tests by hand.  Also be aware that if you want to take the computerized version, you will need to download software for it.  The download was quick and painless and I thought it well worth it not to have to fill out and then tabulate the tests by hand.

You can also skip the Profiles and the Resource Center all together and just search O*NET OnLine.  That's a good idea when you're already sure of the jobs you're interested in.  You can search for a specific job; you can find out what jobs are most in demand within industries; you can broaden your search by choosing a career group ("education, training & library" rather than "librarian" for example) -- that will give you a larger results list in comparison to the specific job title search; and you can search for a job by how much preparation (training) you're willing to put in -- from a little to a lot.  These aren't the only choices for searching, but they are the most obvious.

I did a search for the job title "editor."  That brought up obvious choices like technical writers and editors and less obvious choices like order clerks -- I guess order clerks sometimes have to edit mistakes on orders that come into them...  The breadth of the list is nice to help remind the searcher that they don't have to be locked into one interpretation of their career choice.  Another of O*NET's nice touches is the "Indemand" label.  It clues the searcher to which jobs are expected to grow in the coming months/years.

Once you choose a career/job to look at, you get a report that includes a summary of a dozen aspects of the career such as expected tasks, knowledge needed, and wages & employment.  There's also a more detailed report of all those aspects as well as a custom version that allows the searcher to view the results depending on what aspects are important to the searcher.

Beyond that information, you can also find out about the job's prospects in each state, but that takes you to Career One Stop, and at this point I think that needs to be a separate blog.

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government Careers jobs job descriptions employment U. S. Government U.S. government United States Government career assessment
<![CDATA[Do you stand in front of your closet every morning wondering what will fit, not what do I want to wear?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/10/do-you-stand-in-front-of-your-closet-wondering-what-will-fit-not-what-do-i-want-to-wear.aspx Thu, 10 Sep 2009 09:55:00 G9T 1811 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/10/do-you-stand-in-front-of-your-closet-wondering-what-will-fit-not-what-do-i-want-to-wear.aspx to post your comments!

Here's my dirty little secret; I've been doing that all summer.  To look at me no one would say I have a weight problem, but thanks to sports injuries and other medical issues this summer, I've been sidelined from my normal active lifestyle.  Sprawling on the chaise lounge and reading instead of chasing a fuzzy green ball across the tennis court and doing yard work has been a surprisingly enjoyable change.  Unfortunately, I didn't change my eating habits along with my reduction in activity and the inches have been creeping on.  Every morning when I reach for the elastic waist pants I tell myself 'this is it, gotta cut back', but each night I eat my healthy, delicious, home-grown cherry tomatoes, and still reach for the French Fried Onion rings (ever get one of those big bags from one of the warehouse stores?).  Since even my "fat cloths" are getting tight, it's time to get serious.

Counting calories and making a point of skipping the junk food is the best way to do that, but that can be boring (yeah, like that's an excuse -- but what can I say).  Doing the right thing can be easier when it's also fun, and I know just the place to go www.mypyramid.gov.  Be prepared for a near information overload.  Designed and run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the site's main page has so many links to useful information that you hardly know where to start.  There are waaay too many of them for me to go through here, but I do want to tell you about my favorite, www.mypyramidtracker.gov.

You start out by telling the Tracker your age, weight, and height (why fudge? No one but the computer will know and if you don't tell the truth, later you won't get an accurate breakdown of what nutrition you need). Next you're asked to list all the foods you ate for the day, then the number of servings.  After that the Tracker will analyze your intake for the day and shoot you to a page where you can choice to see if you met the 2005 Dietary Guidelines -- they use cute little emoticons as well as showing you the amount you actually ate and the amount that is recommended; you can see your nutrient breakdown for the day -- you get your total calories consumed along with a breakdown of your fats, proteins, and vitamins; you get "Pyramid stats" which show you graphically whether you got your recommended daily amount of milk, meat, veggies, grains, etc; and lastly you can view your "healthy eating history by day, month, up to a year -- this is assuming you've registered and have faithfully input your eating habits for a while.

Registration is free or you can use "check it out" daily without registering.  I think the benefit of registering is that you can save your information for at least a year in order to track how well you're doing.  Plus, you won't be able to access your "check it out" information from the whole day if you don't use the same computer all day -- no adding breakfast and lunch at your work computer then going home and adding dinner.  You'd have to start from scratch adding your entire food intake for the whole day.  Frankly, I think the benefits of seeing how your eating habits change over time is well worth the registration.

Plusses and minuses of the Tracker...well, today I couldn't find Velveeta sliced cheese, so I had to compensate with the next best thing (American/cheddar cheese, processed), but I could choose one slice as my serving size.  Plus, I could add plain M&M's and select as few as 10 pieces as my serving size!  The Tracker strives to offer a huge range of foods to choose from, from simple foods like bananas to restaurant food like McD's Big Mac.  And they have very flexible serving sizes, from a whole apple (and you can even choose large or medium) to a slice as a serving size.  My only real quibble is that they don't show you the calories for your individual foods.  I like to know how many calories those 10 M&Ms are verses one (or two) Hershey's Kisses so I know which food choice will be cheaper calorie-wise when I'm limiting my sweets intake.

I won't bore you with the anal way I figure that out on my own, but I will tell you about a book that I absolutely love "The Calorie King Calorie Fat Red, white, & blue cover with pictures of a burger and fruits.and Carbohydrate Counter" (613.23 CALOR 2009).  I looked up M&Ms in the book, and it actually told me how many calories there were in one M&M!  Okay, okay it only told me the calories for the plain M&M.  It didn't go on and do the same for the peanut, almond, or peanut butter, but I was still impressed.  Plus, it not only tells you the calories, it also gives the fat and carbohydrate counts.  The book covers the normal basic foods -- like meat, breads, fruits veggies, etc -- and an amazing array of sweets (like M&Ms) as well as a huge section on restaurant foods.  I found the Outback, O-Charley's, Sizzler, Red Lobster along with the usual suspects like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell.  Starbucks was even in there.  Do you really want to know how many calories your favorite frappuccino are costing you?

If all our copies of Calorie King are checked out, there's always the Reference copy you can use here, or you can try any of these other calorie counting books.

I'd like to talk more about www.mypyramid.gov but if I do that, this'll become a novel rather than a blog -- it's already leaning in that direction -- so just check it out on your own.  If you have any questions on using it, pipe up here or give us a call at Reference!

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nonfiction health useful web sites food useful websites websites U. S. Government U.S. government United States Government diet calories U.S. department of Agriculture
<![CDATA[Would you like to work for the federal government?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/25/would-you-like-to-work-for-the-federal-government.aspx Tue, 25 Aug 2009 12:04:00 G8T 1797 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/25/would-you-like-to-work-for-the-federal-government.aspx to post your comments!

If so, take a look at www.usajobs.gov.

This is a great resource for people interested in working for our federal government.  On their main page this morning they showed 33,530 jobs available worldwide with the United States government.  Now before your jaw hits the floor and you start drooling on your keyboard, let's do a reality check and remember that none of us are qualified for all 33,000 jobs.  They're sure not going to hire me as a NASA engineer.  And, I don't think I want to fill a librarian position in Timbuktu - okay, when I did a search for librarian positions, I didn't see any in Timbuktu, but you get the picture. :-)

The search was easy as pie.  I just typed librarian into the search box right under "Search Jobs" on the main page and hit "Run Search."  14 positions popped up.  With the exception of a couple all were positions looking for actual librarians, and even the two that weren't were for positions with the Library of Congress.  For example, one was for a General Engineer working out of the Office of the Librarian; maybe a position similar to EVPL's building manager?

That was the simplest search.  You can customize your search by clicking on the "Search Jobs" tab on the main page.  From there, you can narrow your search by choices like agency, occupation, and location, to name a few.

Say you'd like a job with the government, but you don't know what job you'd enjoy.  They have an area to help you with that as well.  I couldn't find a direct link from the main page, but I saw links to it from the Search page and the Information Center page.  Once you're on either page, look for the Career Interest Center and click on the "learn more."  From there you'll find a list of subjects that lead to interactive questionnaires that will help you figure out what job would be right for you.

What else?  Too much to go over everything in what's supposed to be a "short" blog. :-)  But, two last things I've got to mention before I go.  Be sure to check out the "My USAJOBS" tab.  You'll be able to create your own account which will allow you to post your resume (I thought I read somewhere on the site you could post even more than one), apply for the jobs online, and receive email updates tailored to jobs that you're interested in.

And the other "thing," be sure to play around with the "Information Center" page.  Among the many services it offers, it provides help in understanding the convoluted federal hiring process.  You can get help creating your resume.  There's also an area where you can find out about the top agencies hiring, the most popular jobs, the areas in the country looking for the most jobs, etc.

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government Online resources Careers useful web sites jobs hiring employment websites U. S. Government work federal government U.S. government United States Government
<![CDATA[The Health Care Reform Act turmoil]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/18/the-health-care-reform-act-turmoil.aspx Tue, 18 Aug 2009 12:33:00 G8T 1779 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/18/the-health-care-reform-act-turmoil.aspx to post your comments!

Opinions and concerns abound about this issue, sometimes to the point that the facts get obscured. Can I separate all the facts from the fiction? Nope, I can be duped and sucked in as easily as the next person. But I can tell you where to go to form your own opinions undiluted by anyone else with an agenda. Thomas from the Library of Congress is an excellent site for following legislation and the workings of Congress. As a matter of fact, Thomas has made it easy for people right now. You don't even have to search for the House's health care bill. They've put up a direct link on the very front of their website. From that link, you can then read a summary of the bill, see what Committees it's been referred to, see who is sponsoring it, and read the bill word for word yourself. Be warned, the bill's over 1,000 pages long and very dense to read! That doesn't mean I think it's not worth reading; I'm just saying don't expect to skim through it on your lunch hour unless you belong to Mensa. :)

You can also get some very useful links from Congressman Brad Ellsworth's "Online Office." He has the PDF of the full bill, just as Thomas does, but he additionally has links to the committee work being done on the bill.

And while we're talking Congressmen, if you want to share your opinion, do you know who to share yours with? Indiana's Senators are Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar, while Evansville's Congressman is Brad Ellsworth.

Lastly, here's on other place I like to go when I'm inundated with opinions, http://factcheck.org/. They appear non-partisan to me. They've debunked pro and con statements surrounding the health care debate. And, their website/services don't exist solely for the health care debate (it just looks that way right now :). Take a look at their Archives or Ask Factcheck to see some of the other political issues they address.

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politics current events health library of congress government public opinion propaganda Online resources legal policy useful web sites legislation websites health risks U. S. Government law insurance health insurance
<![CDATA[Be A Smarter Consumer]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/06/be-a-smarter-consumer.aspx Thu, 06 Aug 2009 15:39:00 G8T 1740 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/06/be-a-smarter-consumer.aspx to post your comments!

Cover of the 2009 Consumer Action HandbookThat’s what it says on the front of the 2009 Consumer Action Handbook, and that’s what this book is trying to help us all become.  Created by the GSA ( U.S. General Services Administration) Federal Citizen Information Center in conjunction with several other federal agencies and corporations, the book offers a multitude of useful information and resources for the in-the-know and the wanting-to-know consumer.

 

The book breaks into IV sections.  The first gives detailed tips for consumers on subjects that range from buying a car or TV to choosing health insurance and a doctor to how to protect oneself against identity theft and how to handle wills and funerals.  The subjects are too numerous to completely list here, but each topic is addressed fully.  The second section offers advice for filing a complaint, how to use Dispute Resolution Programs, and covers Small Claims Court as well as contacts for reporting fraud and safety hazards.  The third part lists additional sources for consumer information, and the fourth is a long list of direct contacts for assistance from the government and corporate America.

 

We have two circulating copies of this little gem as well as a reference copy here at Central.  Or, since those of you reading this obviously have computer access, if you prefer you can get the same information from the www.ConsumerAction.gov website.  If the website’s information seems too chaotic and you’d prefer the information displayed the same way it would be in the book, you can use the PDF from the website instead.  One nice little extra on the website is the Consumer News section.  It’s a box situated on the right hand side of the main page and offers links to events of consumer interest like “Kolcraft Recalls 1 Million Play Yards Due to Fall Hazard” or “Five Tax Facts About Summertime Child Care Expenses.”

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<![CDATA[Cash for Clunkers…or the CARS Program: what you should know before you walk into a dealership]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/28/cash-for-clunkers-or-the-cars-program-what-you-should-know-before-you-walk-into-a-dealership.aspx Tue, 28 Jul 2009 10:15:00 G7T 1704 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/28/cash-for-clunkers-or-the-cars-program-what-you-should-know-before-you-walk-into-a-dealership.aspx to post your comments!

I was listening to the radio this morning when one of the announcers started talking about the great deal you could get by trading in your old gas guzzler for a new more fuel efficient car.  It’s great that they’re helping to get the word out, but I don’t think they had enough time to go into the important details.  And those details are great to know before you start talking to a car salesman.

 

For example, the announcer said the rebate is $4,500 but that’s only partially true.  The rebate will be either $3,500 or $4,500.  Which amount you get will depend on the difference in the fuel economy between your old car and the new one.  Go to the FAQ section of the CARS program and look under “What is the value of the credit for the purchase or lease of a new…” to understand how the amount is figured.  A $1,000 can be an important distinction when you’re counting your pennies.

 

The main page of www.cars.gov gives you a quick rundown of the most pertinent info you need to know about the program.  From there you can click through to the questions that will determine if your car meets “clunker” status, you can peruse the above mentioned FAQs for more in-depth info, and you can find out which dealers are taking part in the program.

 

Happy car shopping to those who qualify!

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car auto government Online resources hot topics fuel economy shopping automobiles cars incentive programs automobile rebate program rebates
<![CDATA[$8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit…]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/22/8-000-homebuyer-tax-credit.aspx Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:33:00 G7T 1699 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/22/8-000-homebuyer-tax-credit.aspx to post your comments!

There’s a lot of information out there about this credit, but I always like to get my information straight from the horse’s mouth, so I went to www.usa.gov and found this nifty little question and answer page from www.irs.gov.   It does a great job of explaining the current $8,000 credit and the previous $7,500 credit and includes additional links for people who want to know even more.

Www.usa.gov also offers a great page for homeowners and prospective homeowners that’s full of helpful links, from how to avoid foreclosure to useful tips for current homeowners and how to protect yourself and your belongings when hiring movers.

If you checkout the RESOURCES FOR HOMEOWNERS or MORTGAGES – FEDERAL PROGRAMS, ETC be prepared to be taken to new pages with tons more helpful links!

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Online resources money tax credit useful web sites useful websites U. S. Government mortgages homeownership homes taxes homeowners
<![CDATA[Speak your mind…opinions welcome, wanted, and appreciated]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/09/speak-your-mind-opinions-welcome-wanted-and-appreciated.aspx Thu, 09 Jul 2009 10:11:00 G7T 1662 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/09/speak-your-mind-opinions-welcome-wanted-and-appreciated.aspx to post your comments!

Hello out there to everyone in EVPL blogland,

 

I have a dilemma that I could use your help with.  Every year I sit down to plan a workshop on useful government documents and websites (more websites than actual documents now-a-days) and every year I get overwhelmed with the glut of information I could offer… Do I focus on how to find useful health and nutrition information?  Or on how to find those interesting statistics you always hear quoted from the Census and Labor Departments?  Or what about consumer safety information?  Or how to navigate Social Security’s website?  Or how about following legislation?  The list can go on and on.  So, I’m opening the floor to all of you, the people that the government is trying to reach with all of this information.  What do you most want to know about?  What do you need help discovering?  Let me know how best to help you.

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google internet politics training government public opinion Online resources polling search engines reference questions research hot topics tutorials useful web sites useful websites customer service White House public data websites U. S. Government polls
<![CDATA[Sound financial advice…]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/07/sound-financial-advice.aspx Tue, 07 Jul 2009 09:49:00 G7T 1649 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/07/sound-financial-advice.aspx to post your comments!

There’s a lot that goes into understanding money management, from learning how to budget, to how to save and invest wisely.   You have to look in a lot of different places for good advice on these subjects which takes a lot of time.  So, the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission decided to lend a helping hand and shorten the search for information.  They’ve created http://www.mymoney.gov/default.shtml.  The website pulls together good, solid advice on all aspects of budgeting and financial planning throughout life.  It includes calculators, advice on avoiding scams, how to deal financially with life changing events, taxes, and even information on starting a small business.

 

There’s an immense amount of information right at your fingertips from the site, but if it’s all just a little overwhelming to you, and you’d prefer to sit down with some good old-fashioned paper in your hand, you can do that too.  You can order their free “My Money” Tool Kit from the website, or over the telephone.  Just call 1 (888) Mymoney. That's 1 (888) 696 – 6639, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. eastern time (except Federal holidays).  The tool kit won’t give you quite the depth and breadth of information that the website will, but it will offer a good start for those seeking basic financial advice.

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internet money budgeting finances U. S. Government
<![CDATA[Vacation on a budget...]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/23/vacation-on-a-budget.aspx Tue, 23 Jun 2009 16:38:00 G6T 1630 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/23/vacation-on-a-budget.aspx to post your comments!

Nowadays everyone’s talking about staycations.  This reminded me of the wonderful vacations my parents took me on even when we had to watch every penny.  How’d we do it?  By visiting our National Parks and State Parks (and camping, but that’s a whole ‘nother story).  Most parks have entrance fees for an entire passenger car that are cheaper than an individual ticket to Disney World.

 

Starting in the winter my parents would send away for scads of pamphlets and maps of parks like the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, and Slide Rock State Park.  Planning early is still a good idea but now it’s even easier.  All you have to do is go to www.nps.gov.  From there you can learn about every national park in the country.  They have a great search tool on that front page.  Just click on the state you’re interested in visiting and you’ll get a list of all the parks in that state.  But what if you know the name of a park but not what state it’s in?  No problem.  Click on the “Advanced SearchTool and Map.”  From there scroll below the map and you’ll see a great browser tool that will let you pick your park by name, location, preferred activity, or even topic (like mountains or volcanoes or coral reefs).

 

But what about state parks?  Well, if there’s a site out there that pulls all state parks under one “roof” I haven’t found it yet, but putting “state parks (insert the state name of your choice)” into Google does a terrific job of pulling up each state’s website.

 

And, if you’re at Central Library stop by and take a look at some of the books and pamphlets the National Parks Service still puts out.  We have a whole series of pamphlets on the Blue Ridge Parkway trails.  Just ask one of us about Call # I 29.149.  Or if you’re interested in the historic details of sites, you might want to take a look in our I 29.88 area.  Those are historic structure and site reports on places like Fire Island Lighthouse, the Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site, and Antietam National Battlefield.

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central library google Online resources nature collections evpl useful websites vacation holiday economy library summer
<![CDATA[Grown-up dollhouses…]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/20/grown-up-dollhouses.aspx Wed, 20 May 2009 20:28:00 G5T 1522 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/20/grown-up-dollhouses.aspx to post your comments!

Have you stopped by Oaklyn to check out their Miniatures display yet?  Or at least taken a look at the great pictures we have online?  I admit I haven’t gotten over to Oaklyn personally, but I have enjoyed looking at the pictures on our website.  They reminded me of how much fun I’ve had looking at other miniature collections, like the Thorne Rooms in various museums around the country,  Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and the Museum of Miniatures in Carmel, Indiana.

 

But just as you don’t have to actually go to Oaklyn to enjoy Marian G. William’s Miniature Collection, you can also enjoy other miniature collections through our books.  There’s the Period Rooms of Ruth McChesney, Treasures in Miniature, Dollhouses, Miniature Kitchens, and Shops from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, and for a bit of whimsy Fairy Island: an Enchanted Tour of the Homes of the Little Folk.

 

And if your tastes run more to doing than looking, try these subject searches.  An easy start is dollhouses.  You’ll find books from A Beginners’ Guide to the Dolls’ House Hobby to The Modern Dolls’ House and The Dolls’ House Wedding Book.  Another good search is doll furniture.   You’ll get some overlap with your dollhouses search, but you’ll find additional books like 55 Embroidery Projects in Miniature and Simple Country Furniture Projects in 1/12 Scale.   If you’re more into making accessories rather than building furniture miniature craft would be the search for you.  You’ll get embroidery, cross-stitch, and needlepoint projects as well as learn how to make miniature food.

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oaklyn branch libraries evpl evpl.org doll furniture dollhouses crafts miniatures
<![CDATA[Census Bureau is hiring in preparation for the 2010 Census!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/29/census-bureau-is-hiring-in-preparation-for-the-2010-census.aspx Wed, 29 Apr 2009 14:13:00 G4T 1457 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/29/census-bureau-is-hiring-in-preparation-for-the-2010-census.aspx to post your comments!

These are tough times for everyone.  Some people have lost jobs; others just need a little extra income to help make ends meet.  For those people even a temporary job can be better than no job at all.  If you're in that situation, you should checkout http://www.census.gov/rochi/www/2010Jobs.html.  From there you can access all the 2010 Census job opportunities the Bureau has available.  You'll have to click on each link and read through the different PDFs.  It looks like most of their current hiring is for office work, but Evansville is one of the geographic areas they're hiring for...  And, as we get closer to the Census kick-off date of April 1, 2010, they'll no doubt start hiring part-time temporary help as well so if you don't see a job that fits you right now, keep checking back.

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census government jobs hiring employment
<![CDATA[Local Yearbooks at EVPL...]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/17/local-yearbooks-at-evpl.aspx Fri, 17 Apr 2009 11:11:00 G4T 1434 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/17/local-yearbooks-at-evpl.aspx to post your comments!

Just this week I was helping a library user who was very grateful, but surprised to discover we had a collection of local yearbooks.  Their surprise and gratitude made me wonder how many others out there aren't aware of this wonderful resource.

So for those who didn't know or have forgotten, yes, we have a very nice collection of local yearbooks in our Indiana Room at Central.  Made up primarily of high school yearbooks, the collection also boasts some local college yearbooks and even a couple for elementary/middle schools.  Looking at them can be a hilarious and poignant walk down memory lane as well as a handy resource for those doing research.

Now, before you rush downtown to view yourself in all your high school glory, I need to give you a couple of caveats.  First, be sure the Indiana Room is open before you make the trip here (if that's the only reason you're coming to Central).  The Indiana Room is only open when our Special Collections Librarian can be present to help you with your research, so be sure to check here for the Room's hours of operation.

And, the second caveat, before rushing down, you might also want to make sure we have the yearbook you're interested in.  Our collection has been built from donations and unfortunately we are missing some years for all the schools.  Here is the list of those books we have.

Speaking of those missing years, we're always looking to fill those holes and continue to grow the collection.  If in your spring cleaning you run across an old yearbook you no longer want and wonder what to do with it, donate it to us!  We'd be thrilled to have it.

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central library evpl.org evansville history indiana room yearbooks
<![CDATA[Want to see how our voting preferences have changed over the last 160 years?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/04/want-to-see-how-our-voting-preferences-have-changed-over-the-last-160-years.aspx Thu, 04 Sep 2008 14:36:00 G9T 391 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/04/want-to-see-how-our-voting-preferences-have-changed-over-the-last-160-years.aspx to post your comments!

Visit Voting America, United States Politics 1840-2008.  A project from the University of Richmond, Voting America offers interactive maps, with data to the county level, of our Presidential elections.  Along with this, the project offers expert video analysis of our voting trends and special periods in our voting history.

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politics elections voting
<![CDATA[Over 100 people running for President in 2008!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/22/over-100-people-running-for-president-in-2008.aspx Fri, 22 Aug 2008 15:51:00 G8T 266 SuDocQueen@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/22/over-100-people-running-for-president-in-2008.aspx to post your comments!

So far over one hundred people have announced or filed for candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.  Visit Project Vote Smart to learn about them and the front runners McCain and Obama.  Project Vote Smart is a non-partisan organization endorsed by leading newspapers and journals, the United States Government, and organizations such as the American Political Science Association.  The organization provides information on candidates and government officials from the national to the local level.  You can access information on your elected officials from voting records to campaign finances.

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politics elections government voting