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This Week's Facts:

  1. USA.gov Connects the Public to Elected Officials
     

  2. NASA Wants Your Take on Human Space Flight
     

  3. mymoney.gov Offers Useful Wealth Management Tools
     

  4. Department of Homeland Security Encourages Firework Safety

SSA Releases 2008 Most Popular Baby Names!

The United States Social Security Administration has posted the top 10 baby names for 2008 on its Popular Baby Names website. Take a peek and find out what names are now above Emily (last year’s favorite for females) in the ranking. Your patrons can also explore fun data tools on the left hand side of the website under Baby Name Data. Use Popular Names by State to discover the top 100+ male and female names for any year between 1960 and 2008 for any state in the nation. Look up the Top Five names over the last one hundred years, the popular names for twins born in 2008, or take their City Name Quiz.

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Friday Facts is a production of the Indiana State Library

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator
Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal
Documents Librarian
&
Kim Brown-Harden
State
Documents Coordinator

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USA.gov Connects the Public to Elected Officials

USA.gov

There are a lot of hot-button issues being discussed in our government today – both within the state and the country at large.  You probably have patrons who feel strongly about one issue or another.  However, they may not realize that one of the best ways for a citizen to participate in their government is to contact their representatives.  While a Senator or Representative’s website is usually an easy search away, Usa.gov provides a one-stop shop for finding federal elected officials, thus making it even easier.  Citizens can choose to look for their Senator or Representative, their State Legislators, the Governor and even the President.  They don’t even have to know the name of their representative – patrons can search by state or ZIP code to find the proper person to contact.   The search results include a link to each person’s website, as well as his or her email address.

NASA Wants Your Take on Human Space Flight

NASAAccording to Robert Longley, About.com’s U.S. Government Information blogger, “NASA Wants Your Views on Human Space Flight.”  Starting this month, the National Air and Space Administration is providing public access to the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee website. The Committee would like the public to voice their opinions about maintaining a “safe, innovative, affordable, and sustainable human space flight program” for the future, according to the website. You can encourage the public to communicate with committee members by providing suggestions or asking questions via this website. You and your patrons can also watch for important documents, follow the committee’s updates on Twitter, and post to a public opinion forum.

mymoney.gov Offers Useful Wealth Management Tools

MyMoney.gov

With times being tight for a lot of people, many of your patrons may be looking for ways to save money.  Finding advice on the internet is almost unavoidable; however, as we know, not all of it is reliable.  Produced by the US Financial Literacy and Education Commission, mymoney.gov is one good source.  This site is full of helpful information, from advice on how to invest wisely and information about Social Security to savings guides and consumer resources.  It even has separate categories for budgeting and taxes, financial planning and paying for education.  Additionally, there is a listing of different calculators to help people figure out credit card repayments, mortgage payments vs. rent, and other financial issues.  Do you want to know how much your nine-year old savings bonds are worth?  Visit this site!

Citizens are also encouraged to order a free “My Money” Tool Kit.  They can either order it online or call 1-888-696-6639.  Quantities are limited, so interested patrons should request one as soon as they can.

Finally, those seeking additional information should be sure to check out the Federal Citizen Information Center.  This is full of good information about consumer products, as well as helpful tips such as how to go green and the facts and myths about sunscreen.

Department of Homeland Security Encourages Firework Safety

Indiana Department of Homeland SecurityThe fourth of July is a time for celebrations and good times, but it can also be dangerous.  Fireworks are beautiful to look at and fun to watch, but they can also be deadly.  The Indiana Department of Homeland Security  can help you stay safe and know the various fireworks laws in Indiana. In 2006, approximately 9200 people were injured by fireworks in the United States; and most of these injuries resulted in a trip to the emergency room. Indiana has updated fireworks laws since 2006 in order to protect consumers from injury and possible death.  Some tips for Fireworks safety include:  never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks; always purchase fireworks from reliable, licensed, fireworks dealers; have a fire extinguisher, hose, water supply, or bucket of water nearby; and use fireworks outdoors, never indoors. For more tips, please visit the Indiana Department of Homeland’s Security website.  Enjoy this upcoming Fourth of July with fireworks, food, and fun, but remember to do it safely!  

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