Monday, September 11, 2017

Constitution Day

Let Freedom Ring!

Constitutional Day commemorates September 17, 1787. The 39 delegates met one last time at the Constitutional Convention to sign the United States Constitution. On this day the Constitution became the supreme law of the land.

"I am an American Day."

In 1940, there was a joint resolution passed by Congress to recognize all those who officially became an American citizen. The resolution was repealed in 1952; Congress moved the day to September 17 and deemed it Constitution Day. Now the day recognizes both the signing of the Constitution and those who have obtained American citizenship. The Library of Congress provides resources and laws from the Legislative and Executive Documents pertaining to Constitution and Citizenship Day.

There are a couple of requirements associated with Constitution Day. The first is that all federal agencies must provide educational materials and training related to the Constitution to every employee. The second requirement states that all educational institutions, K-12, receiving federal funds should hold programs for the students that emphasize the history and importance of this day. To fill one of these requirements, the Center for Civic Education provides lesson plans catered to each grade level. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education provides resources to learn more about Constitution day and to get involved.

Constitution Day recognizes the creation of the Law of the Land and celebrates the privileges and rights given to those who have gained American citizenship. The National Archives provides a list of activities that one can partake in to celebrate this historical holiday.

The OSU Library has a copy of the 2,789 page volume The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, also a Constitution Day display on the 5th floor and free copies of the U.S. Constitution!

- by Emily Hancz

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

NAFTA Renegotiation

President Trump is claiming that NAFTA is "the single worst trade deal ever." This statement has contributed to recent controversy, especially as Trump moves into the process of renegotiating NAFTA. NAFTA established trade negotiations between the United States, Mexico, and Canada when it was signed into existence by Bill Clinton on January 1, 1994. NAFTA incorporates many conditions and standards that are explained in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

During Trump's Presidential campaign, he advocated for revising or getting rid of NAFTA. Now the time has come where this issue is brought into focus. Trump wants to protect U.S. trade and believes that NAFTA is associated with the loss of American jobs. President Trump, President Enrique Pena Nieto, and the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have held a first meeting where it was decided that NAFTA needed to undergo renovations.

The proposed update of NAFTA has put key industries at risk.
  • The automobile industry is closely intertwined with the three countries, and the new agreement may disrupt the industry. This could potentially lead to a decrease in Mexican car production and the loss of jobs.
  • The revision of the trade agreement could lead to higher tariffs on apparel. The spike on tariffs would lead to increased prices and the loss of jobs associated with the apparel industry.
  • U.S. medical devices are produced in Mexico and therefore poses the risk of having to relocate all the facilities back to U.S. soil if Trump forgoes the agreement. This would create more difficulty in manufacturing processes as the the Food and Drug Administration would have to approve new products.
The loss of this trade agreement can jeopardize jobs and disrupt our way of living. America will continue to hold its breath as it anticipates Trump's decision on the stance of NAFTA.

The OSU Library catalog has many books and online resources that relate to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Come check out these and other resources to make your own opinion about this controversial subject.

 - by Emily Hancz

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Friday, September 01, 2017

Labor Day

Many students and workers across the nation are thankful that they have Labor Day off. However, how many actually know the reason behind why it is a celebrated day?

What is the origin of Labor Day?

Americans define the economy through their economic and social achievements. Workers are the key feature of increasing the standard of living and general prosperity of the United States. The first Labor Day celebrated was on September 5, 1882, in New York City. The U.S. Department of Labor elaborates on the labor movement, the process of establishing it as a National Holiday, and the importance of the day. The Library of Congress commemorates the holiday with pictures from the past.

The significance of Labor Day has been diminished in current times. There was once a time when the holiday was closely associated with hard work and progress. This article in the Atlantic, "When Labor Day Meant Something," relates how Labor Day is now associated with a break from work or sales that are happening.

Take the time to appreciate your ancestors' hard work that has allowed America to become a prosperous nation!

For more information on labor, go to the OSU Library and check out Futurework: Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century or check with OSU Library reference staff for help with locating information on labor statistics, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for example.

- by Emily Hancz

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey has taken Texas by storm. Harvey has caused widespread devastation in Texas and the Lone Star state is not out of the woods yet.  

Harvey is still causing destruction in southern Texas with its torrential downpours, high winds, and flash flooding. To stay aware of Harvey's path, storms can be tracked using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Hurricane Center - click on the red circle. The site also gives wind speeds, storm surge warnings, and rainfall potential. See also the U.S. Geological Survey's hurricane page.

Harvey has left loved ones in panic and concerned. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's page for the storm lists phone numbers, safety tips, resources, how to apply for assistance, and how to help. USA.gov's hurricane page includes how to apply for disaster assistance. DisasterAssistance.gov provides disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance.

Keep your family safe. It is important to be ready for potential hurricanes in advance so that the right steps can be taken. Ready.gov, from the Department of Homeland Security, helps citizens respond to emergencies: Prepare Your Home and Family for Flooding and Hurricane information. It provides information on how to anticipate a hurricane and what to do if a hurricane strikes.

- by Emily Hancz

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NASA and the Eclipse

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's or NASA's website for the Eclipse on August 21, 2017 includes the science behind the Eclipse, how to view the Eclipse safely, and links to Eclipse events across the country.

The site also includes the weather forecasts from the National Weather Service for the 21st, and transportation information from the Federal Highway Administration for states that will have close to 100% coverage.

The OSU Library will be receiving the Experience the 2017 Eclipse across American through the Eyes of NASA from NASA that will include posters, flyers, an eclipse path map, and solar filter sunglasses!


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Special Climate Change Report

A New York Times article published on August 8th points to a 673 page draft report on climate change not yet released to the public by scientists from 13 federal government agencies. The key findings are summarized on page 42 of the report and include that the global climate continues to change rapidly compared to the pace of the natural variations in climate that have occurred throughout Earth's history.

The report, a special section of the National Climate Assessment issued every four years, is part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The Fourth National Climate Assessment should be published later in 2018.

The OSU Library has copies of the highlights of the Assessments in paper and they are also available online.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Federal Agency Appropriations

Each year the U.S.Congress passes appropriations bills that provide funding in part for federal government operations for the upcoming fiscal year. The detailed process is explained here, A Brief Guide to the Federal Budget and Appropriations Process.

Congress.gov outlines and tracks the appropriations in its Resources section by topic for each fiscal year.

The U.S.House and Senate Appropriations Committees also track this legislation on their web pages.

The OSU Library receives copies of the appropriations hearings in film.

Recent appropriations in the news include funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, for the inspection of horse slaughter plants, allowing these plants to open again in the U.S., and for defense spending which includes funding for the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.