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June 2017

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017

Recently released by the Department of Defense:

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017

These annual reports are required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 and were amended in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.

The 2017 report includes: an executive summary along with its annual update on developments in China’s military strength, training, and activities. Also included are chapters on: understanding China’s strategy; force modernization goals and trends, resources for force modernization, force modernization for a Taiwan contingency; and U.S.-China Military-to-Military Contacts.

March 2017

2020 Federal Census & American Community Survey

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released information about its planned subjects for the upcoming Decennial Census of Population and Housing (commonly referred to as the 2020 Census). Federal agencies, businesses, researchers, and even our local libraries use the data collected to make important decisions that impact you.

2020 Census Program Memorandum Series: 2017.09 documents the submission of planned subjects for the 2020 Federal Census and American Community from the U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) to Congress.

Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey handbook explains the relationship between the proposed subjects and how the collected data benefits communities and federal agencies. Also explains how federal agencies use the data.

Census Bureau Blog: Planned Subjects for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey. This blog post explains the legal requirement to submit the planned subjects and also their decision on the request from 75 members of Congress to include sexual orientation and gender identity as subjects for the American Community Survey.

January 2017

Presidential Documents

As our nation moves to a new Presidential Administration it seems an appropriate time to feature Presidential papers and documents. These documents provide insight into the past and a convenient means to view current situations.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

From Herbert Hoover through Barack Obama, these annual 2-volume compilations provide easy access to Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks. Electronic copies of the papers of Presidents George H.W. Bush through Barack H. Obama can be access online through the link above. Search RamCat for the complete list of available papers.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

Keep up-to-date on recent Presidential activities. This weekly publication contains executive orders, The President’s Weekly Address, statements, letters, and more. For print copies, search RamCat or browse the AE 2.109: range of the U.S. Government Documents Collection in the library’s basement. Use the link above for online access.

November 2016

In honor of Veteran’s Day, this month’s featured Government Documents highlight service provided by different branches of the United States Military during different eras in American History.

The First 109 Minutes: 9/11 and the U.S. Air Force  by Pricilla D. Jones                                                         An informative piece on the events of September 11, 2001 and the response of the U.S. Air Force in defending U.S. airspace.

The Last Full Measure of Devotion: ARSOF fallen from the War on Terrorism, 2001-2014                         A biography of US Army Special Operations Forces

War in the Shallows: U.S. Navy Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam, 1965-1968 by John Darrell Sherwood                                                                                                                                                              An authoritative account of the U.S. Navy’s hard-fought battle along Vietnam’s rivers and coastline from 1965-1968.

The United States Marine Corps in the World War by Major Edwin N. McClellan, USMC                                An account of the activities of the 4th Brigade of Marines, 2d Division of Regulars and the Day Wing, Northern Bombing Group as part of the American Expeditionary Forces during a series of campaigns in France during World War I.

September 2016

George S. Patton Papers: Diaries, 1910 to 1945

Get to know both the personal and professional side of George S. Patton. The Diaries of U.S. Army officer George S. Patton provide insight on Patton’s daily activities and observations during the Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War I, and World War II. Look here for more information about this collection. These diaries are part of the larger George S. Patton papers collection.

Digitizing Historical Newspapers: Chronicling America Project

The Library of Congress announced the addition of the Gazette of the U.S. National Gazette, and the National Intelligencer to its national digital newspaper program. The announcement, with information about the project can be found here.

This link goes directly to the Library of Congress site for its Chronicling America project which offers both basic and advanced search features. The All Digitized Newspapers 1789-1922 tab provides access to approximately 2,100 titles and can be searched by state, ethnicity, and language. Also available is the U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present of approximately 153,900  newspapers published in the U.S. This directory can be searched by an alphabetical listing, or using keywords with limiters for location and time frame.

April 2016

New USGS Maps Forecast Earthquakes from Human-Induced and Natural Causes

Recently the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a series of maps that, for the first time, include potential hazards from human-induced causes. The USGS also released a report 2016 One-Year Seismic Hazard Forecast for the Central and Eastern United States from Induced and Natural Earthquakes that serves as the first step in developing an operational earthquake forecast for the Central and Eastern United States.

Source: USGS news release (28 March 2016)

March 2016

Congressional Directory for 114th Congress Available

In addition to being a guide to the members, committees, and officials of the 114th Congress, the directory is the only government document issued by Congress that shows the organization of the two chambers, their committees, officials, and support groups.

The Congressional Directory also includes:

  • Historical statistics
  • Information on the Capitol buildings and their grounds
  • A guide to other agencies of the Legislative branch
  • Information on the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch
  • The U. S. Courts
  • International organizations
  • Foreign diplomatic offices in the United States
  • Members of the congressional press, radio, and television galleries
  • A Name Index

Search RamCat for Congressional Directory.

Source: FDLP news release (16 March 2016)

February 2016

American Heart Month

Hearts are popular in February. In addition to Valentine’s Day, heart health advocates designated February as American Heart Month.  This month’s spotlight focuses on government resources that provide information on a variety of topics related to heart health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CDC Wonder

  • Provides patients, family members, and members of the public current information about clinical research studies. Use search terms such as “heart attack” AND Texas to retrieve local information.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)  

  • Provides links to available information for health information and health education resources.
  • Results include sources recommended by NIH Health Information
  • Lists a wealth of health promotion and education materials

PubMed Central

  • Web-based searchable archive of journal literature for all of the life sciences
  • Use search terms such as “heart disease”, “myocardial infarction”, “heart failure” to search over 3.7 million articles.

December 2015

For the Young and the Young-at-Heart

On December 1, 2015 the North American Aerospace Defense Command released this year’s                      Official NORAD Santa Tracker with a countdown to Christmas, Santa’s Village in the North Pole, games, music, video clips, and more.  Enjoy!

Apollo 8: Christmas at the Moon: relive, or learn about, the first manned mission to the moon. Well known for its stunning “Earthrise” photo, this NASA article provides highlights from the mission and video clips of the Christmas message from the astronauts (Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders) and of Jim Lovell’s recollections of Apollo 8’s launch day.

November 2015

ISIS and National Security

In light of the November 13, 2015 terrorist bombings in Paris, France and the reported release of an ISIS video threatening Washington D.C with Paris-Style attacks; ; this month from the ASU Depository of Government Documents in the links below address the topic of protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, both foreign and home-grown. To date, in 2015, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Congress met numerous times to discuss several different aspects of protecting the nation against terrorism.

Some featured meetings are:

The administration’s strategy to confront ISIS : hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Countering violent Islamist extremism : the urgent threat of foreign fighters and home-grown terror : hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security

ISIL in America : domestic terror and radicalization : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations of the Committee on the Judiciary

One flight away : an examination of the threat posed by ISIS terrorists with western passports : hearing before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security of the Committee on Homeland Security

September 2015

Global reach: a view of NASA’s international cooperation

Global reach: a view of NASA’s international cooperation  This new eBook from the Government Publishing Office is available in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF versions.  In this publication, you can learn more about NASA’s continuing international partnerships and gain a sense of the breadth of NASA’s cooperation with other nations, as well as the accompanying benefits that such cooperation yields.

January 2015

Veterans Health Benefits Guide

The Veterans Health Benefits Guide provides the latest information on VA health care services, providing tools to help you determine how you can receive care. Find information about eligibility, health benefits (including preventive care, dental, medical, and much more), patient rights, and VA centers.

December 2014

Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

This month, the Senate released the Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, together with a forward by Chairman Feinstein and Additional and Minority Views (Senate Report 113-288). While the full classified report will be maintained by the Committee and shared with President Obama, a declassified version of the report contains a summary of the Committee’s findings. You may read the report here.

November 2014

The Fed: What Is It, Anyway?

The Federal Reserve – often referred to as the Fed – is the central bank of the United States, so it provides financial services to the US government. Its other services, put very simply, are to oversee monetary and banking policies to protect consumers and stabilize prices of goods.

The Federal Reserve website has many useful resources for those researching finance and banking. It has a variety of economic publications, including working papers and the Beige Book, which is a noteworthy source for regional economic analyses. 

The Federal Reserve website also has financial information for consumers on topics including credit reports, paying down credit cards, mortgage foreclosure, identity theft, and much, much more.

October 2014

Ebola Resources

The U.S. Government Printing Office published a wide range of information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including facts about Ebola; various preparedness checklists for patients, hospitals, and healthcare coalitions; and a handout on “What you Need to Know About Ebola.” Check out the list here.

Center for Disease Control. (2014). Facts about Ebola in the U.S. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

September 2014

The U.S. Constitution

Two hundred and twenty-seven years ago this month, delegates to the Constitutional Convention created the United States government in writing and signing the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution established two houses of legislature, an executive power, a Supreme Court, and a process for ratification and amendment. Although it’s been amended several times, the basic outlines of the U.S. Constitution remain the same as it appeared in 1787. Find the full text of the U.S. Constitution here.

August 2014

Economic Census

The Economic Census is taken every five years and is the US government’s official five-year measure of the American business and the economy. In the 2012 Census, four million businesses participated, including large, medium and small companies representing all US locations and industries. Respondents were asked to provide a range of operational and performance data for their companies.

If you need any assistance finding economic data by industry or topic, or you have questions about using data tools like Industry Statistics Portal, Data Ferrett, or Hot Reports, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 325-486-6527 or

July 2014

Government Information on Bringing New Drugs to the Market

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempts to protect the health of humans and animals by regulating drugs and drug information. Its regulations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21: Food and Drugs.

When a new drug is being developed, a pharmaceutical company files various applications with the FDA. At the earliest stage of development, companies file an Investigational New Drug (IND) Application with the FDA. Once that is approved, the drug will go through a series of clinical trials to prove the efficacy and safety of the drug.

There are four phases of clinical trials, each with an increasing number of human participants. Information on trials may be found in:

In phase 3, the pharmaceutical company will submit a New Drug Application (NDA) with the FDA, containing new information on the drugs’ effectiveness. Review of NDA content is available for most drugs at Drugs@FDA.

After the pharmaceutical company’s patent expires, other companies may want to make generic versions of the drug. Those companies submit an Abbreviated New Drug Application to the FDA to demonstrate how their generic version will have the same effects as the original drug. Information related to producing generic drugs is found in Orange BookApproved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations.

Source:Huber, J. T., & Swogger, S. (Eds.). (2014). Introduction to reference sources in the health sciences. Chicago: Neal-Schuman.


June 2014

Take a rare glimpse into scholarly conversations about research!

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the peer review process? How do scholars evaluate one another’s work to ensure their information is accurate, analysis is strong, and results are presented well? Traditionally, these discussions have always been behind closed doors…

Until now! As more publishing happens online, more venues are appearing to enable scientists to comment on one another’s work. One such venue is PubMed Commons, which is part of PubMed. (PubMed is a database from the National Institutions of Health and has millions of citations for biomedical literature, with some links to full-text content.) PubMed Commons is intended to be a forum for open constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues. At this point, only authors who have had an article published in PubMed are eligible to participate. They can comment on any publication in PubMed, rate the helpfulness of comments, and invite other eligible authors to join.

PubMed Commons is an exciting opportunity for conversations about scientific research to be brought out into the public sphere. Go check it out and let me know if you have any questions or comments! You can contact me at [at] 


May 2014

America’s Economy App

Now available: America’s Economy app! Receive the latest updates for 19 economic indicators released from government bureaus. The indicators provide important data in the areas of employment, manufacturing, international trade, retail sales, and residential construction. You may download it here. If you have any questions about the app, please don’t hesitate to contact me (kimberly.wirth [at] or 325-486-6527). 



April 2014

Where’s Your Refund? Find out on the IRS website!

Now that tax returns have been filed (…right? If not, you may want to file for an extension!), if you’re expecting a refund, the IRS has a nifty resource named Where’s My Refund to help you track it. 


For more information, Rachel from the IRS can break it down for you:



March 2014

President Obama’s Budget for the U.S. Government, FY 2015: Available as an App!

President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget was released on March 4th and can be found here.  On that same page, you’ll see that the Budget is available as a mobile app. It provides users with access to images and text of the Budget, including the Budget Message of the President and information on the President’s priorities. It also has links to other supplementary information, like Historical Tables. If you have any questions accessing the Budget online or with the app, don’t hesitate to contact me ( or 325-486-6527).

February 2014

Exciting Improvements to ERIC

ERIC stands for Education Resource Information Center and it is considered to be the primary database for education literature. It is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education and it includes journal articles, conference papers, technical and policy reports, publications of scholarly / professional associations, research / policy organizations, federal, state and local agencies, and more.

ERIC is undergoing some exciting changes. Its librarians are creating a new submission system for authors to submit their work, including conference papers, dissertations, and theses. The system is slated to be released in spring of this year. Librarians are also revising their selection policy to index more open access journals, so the size of ERIC’s holdings should greatly increase. Finally, librarians are creating a new section on the ERIC website that will highlight research in nearly a hundred topics in education.

To take advantage of these new services, check out our ERIC database or go to its website.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me ( or 325-486-6527).

January 2014

THOMAS Fades Away; Welcome,!

THOMAS was launched in 1995 by the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. THOMAS enabled researchers to search for bills, resolutions, public laws, floor, calendars for the House and Senate, Committee Reports, Presidential Nominations, treaties, and more.

Links to THOMAS are now redirecting researchers to incorporates all of the information available on THOMAS and adds several exciting enhancements in search capabilities. For a demonstration, please feel free to contact me ( or 325-486-6527) or register for training here.

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  Updated: June 2017