Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter weather

We Kansans can empathize with our east- and west-coast friends. We've seen and experienced the weather that they're currently mucking through--maybe not the mudslides, but the storms, snow, and ice. Been there. Luckily, Kansas government is prepared this winter to help when it hits the Midwest. (As we all know, it will eventually.) Take a look at how your government is preparing your community for the inevitable.

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning : Nature's Most Violent Storms : a Preparedness Guide
(Issued by the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross, a 16-page booklet in pdf format that can be printed off and distributed to schools, libraries, government offices and others)

Winter weather- create a preparedness kit with the help of FEMA:

Travel and weather
Check the roads before you leave home from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT):

Are You Ready?
(Issued by FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Administration, a guide for communities on preparing for disasters. Documents and kits are available in various formats and the guide is also printed in Spanish)

NOAA's All Hazard Monitor
Storm Prediction Center
(Fire, flood, drought and storms… the National Weather Service has it all here)

An Introduction to Storm Observation and Reporting
("Storm Spotting 101" from the National Weather Service Forecasting Office, Norman, OK)

FEMA For Kids
(Information on disaster preparedness and response for children)

Kansas Severe Weather Information Sources

(Kansas state and regional networks/agencies working together on disaster preparedness)

Tornado FAQ
(From the National Weather Service)

National Weather Service Offices Around the Region Serving Kansans

Lightning Safety
(Kansas Adjutant General's Department)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Regents Admission Requirements

Recent articles and news stories have reported on changes in the admission standards at Kansas' Regents schools. These standards, passed by the Kansas Board of Regents on December 15 will have an impact on freshmen entering high school in 2011. Below is information on the changes that will take place as well as current information on admissions.

December 15, 2010 News Release
(Announces the upcoming changes in admissions standards. Also provides information on the background of admission standards in Kansas, current admission standards, the new standards for 2011 admissions and a link to the December 15-16 Board Meeting Agenda document)
(View the current admission requirements at the six Regents universities)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A New Administration

The New Year will ring in a change to the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor’s Cabinet. The Kansas Constitution requires a special staff, called the transition team, to ease the changeover from one administration to another. Kansas Statutes 75-133 through 75-137 dictate how the transition team is to be funded and utilized by the incoming and outgoing governors.

You can find the text of KSA 75-133 through 75-137 at:

Information on the inaugural events for Sam Brownback can be found at:

Contact Governor-elect Sam Brownback’s office at:

Articles regarding the transition team:
Pittsburg Morning Sun
Kansas City Star

Official Kansas Governor's website:

List of current Executive branch boards, commissions and department members:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Online shopping safety tips

It has been reported that the Monday after Thanksgiving set records for internet sales. This holiday season many individuals are choosing to shop online rather than fight the crowds and weather. Online shopping is fun, easy, and can be done quickly, but it does come with some risks. Here are some safety tips from the State Library and other state and federal agencies to keep you and yours safe and happy this season.

Protect your online identity with these tips from the Kansas Attorney General:

Federal Trade Commission tips:

What to do if you've been a victim of identity theft:

Tips brought to you by a conglomerate of Federal agencies:

Research the reliability of your online store at the Better Business Bureau:

Check for the Verisign logo or the Better Business Bureau logo on the sites where you shop:

Tips from the U.S. Postal Service regarding mail fraud:

Giving to charity this season? Ensure your dollars are going to the cause you wish to support at the Kansas Secretary of State's site:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Caffeine and Alcohol

Last week, the FDA announced findings that alcoholic energy drinks containing high of amounts caffeine and malt liquor were unsafe and issued warnings to the producers of such beverages. Monday, the Kansas Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) division announced that alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko, are banned and should be removed from shelves.

Kansas Statute Annotated 41-210 states the Director of the Kansas Alcohol and Beverage Control "...shall have broad discretionary powers to govern the traffic in alcoholic liquors and to enforce strictly all the provisions of this act in the interest of sanitation, purity of products, truthful representation and honest dealings in such manner as generally will promote the public health and welfare. All valid rules and regulations adopted under the provisions of this act shall be absolutely binding upon all licensees and enforceable by the director of alcoholic beverage control through the power of suspension or revocation of licenses."

Four other states have issued similar bans: Michigan, Utah, Oklahoma and Washington.

Letter from Thomas W. Groneman, Director of Alcohol and Beverage Control, directing liquor stores to remove caffeinated alcoholic beverages:

Press release from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding caffeinated energy drinks:

More information on caffeinated malt beverages from the FDA:

Fact sheet from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the dangers of mixing energy drinks and alcohol:

News related to alcoholic energy drinks:

Los Angeles Times:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Clean Out Your Refrigerator

Thanksgiving is coming. You know what that means: friends and family visiting, lots of food to buy and prepare. The day arrives, and you wade into the refrigerator looking for the chilled cranberry sauce. Where is it? Behind the container of Greek yogurt, that expired (is “use by” really that important?) 2 weeks ago? Maybe the cranberry sauce is lurking behind the carton of Chinese takeout from last week that you were going to eat for lunch … on Monday. Oops!

November 15th was National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. This annual event originated in 1995 by Whirlpool and is a good time to demonstrate just how varied and informative government documents can be. And though November 15th is past it’s never too late to take care of those culinary treasures in your refrigerator which have lost a bit of their nutritional luster.

So, grab a strong trash bag, don your plastic yellow gloves and put on your air filter face mask. But first, check out the treasure trove of government information below.

Food Safety from the USDA

Refrigeration and Food Safety

Food Product Dating

Fall and Winter Food Safety

What does “Fresh” turkey really mean?

Removing Odors from Refrigerators and Freezers

More Fact Sheets on food safety:

Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart

Frozen Foods and Power Outages

FoodSafety’s Channel on YouTube
Lots about turkey right now

Regulation of refrigerators and freezers

Refrigerator Safety Act

Warnings about children and unused refrigerators

Recalls by product type (freezer, refrigerator)
or all household products

Energy Efficiency

What is the Energy Star program , and does your refrigerator or freezer qualify?

How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Home Appliance

Find a qualified refrigerator or freezer

Federal Trade Commission, Appliance Energy Data

Appliance labeling FAQs

Incidentally, November 29 is “Throw Out Your Leftovers Day”. After reading through these government documents, I bet you will already have taken care of that!

Article contact: Cindy Roupe

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs

They have done their duty; let’s do ours.
The first sentence of the Mission Statement of the Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs states that "the mission of the Kansas Commission on Veterans’ Affairs (KCVA) is to provide Kansas veterans, their relatives, and other eligible dependents with information, advice, direction, and assistance through the coordination of programs and services in the fields of education, health, vocational guidance and placement, and economic security."

As an advocate, resource center and service agency for military veterans and their families the Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs provides a wide range of programs which benefit clientele statewide whose service time ranges from World War II to newly completed service within any branch of the U.S. Military.

Below are links to some of the programs and services offered by the Commission:


(Address, phone and fax numbers, email and comment form)

(The Commission has field and service offices in Colby, Garden City, Fort Dodge, Wichita, Winfield, Independence, Lawrence, Kansas City, Junction City, Salina, Emporia and Topeka)

(Information on: Disability Benefits, Dependents' and Survivors' Benefits, Burial Benefits, Health Care, Education and Training, Home Loans, Life Insurance, Military Distinctive License Plates, Filing Claims, Appealing Claims, Medals, DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), Prescription Drug Coverage, and Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment)

(Includes contacts and information on: Medical treatment, Claims assistance, the Persian Gulf War Health Initiative, Ionizing radiation exposure and Type II Diabetes treatment support for some Vietnam War era veterans.

(financial support for veterans seeking further education at colleges/universities, vocational/technical schools, apprenticeship programs, other on-the-job training programs and flight schools)

(Lists of organizations which give support to military families)

("The State of Kansas sponsors "Operation Recognition" to honor World War II and Korean era veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma")

(A care center for Kansas veterans located in Fort Dodge, about five miles southwest of Dodge City)

(A care center located in Winfield)

("Senate Bill 19 was passed in 1999 authorizing the Kansas Commission of Veterans Affairs to establish, operate, and maintain a state veterans cemetery system, to serve the veterans, spouses, and eligible dependents of the veterans of Kansas")

Kansas Military Bill of Rights and other services provided by the State
Includes the following services and benefits provided by the State of Kansas:
Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Drawing the Lines and Divvying up the State

Now that the election has come and gone and votes have been tallied, one of the next tasks for the State Legislature is redistricting and apportionment. During the process of redistricting, the Legislature will use the new 2010 census population data to re-draw Kansas House, Kansas Senate, Kansas Board of Education and the state's four Congressional districts. As population shifts, counties may gain or lose representation in the State Legislature or Congress. The final drawing of boundaries will occur after the adjournment of the 2012 legislative session.

Public Law 94-171, enacted by Congress in December 1975, requires the Census Bureau to provide state legislatures with the small area census population tabulations necessary for legislative redistricting.

The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee has already begun work on compiling resources for the Legislature.

Find maps, demographic tables and profiles for current Kansas House and Senate districts enacted by the 2002 Legislature. The population information was derived from the 2000 US Census of Population and Housing. The same information is available for Kansas' 10 State Board of Education and four Congressional districts:
Find your Legislative, Congressional and Board of Education district numbers:

See the data available to the Legislature to use to help determine district boundaries: and

Guide to the 2010 Redistricting Data from the U.S. Census:

Learn more about the timeline for redistricting in Kansas from the Legislative Research Department:

As prescribed by the Constitution, the first decennial census was conducted in 1790. Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State at the time, directed the enumeration. Since then, the census has been taken in each year ending in a zero digit. Thus, the most recent enumeration (Census 2000) was the last census of the 20th century.

Learn more about apportionment at the U.S. Census:

View current state data for Kansas from the State Data Center of Kansas:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The general election is less than a week away. You've heard and read the ads, debates, news reports, pamphlets and speeches. The most important opinion is still to come... YOURS! The only way you can make that opinion heard is by voting.

The Secretary of State has a great site with information on how/where/when to vote at:
The site includes information on the voting process, accessibility, the complaint process and contact information if you have other questions or comments. Among the helpful links on this site are:


(Do a search to find out where you vote)


Don't forget that we're also voting on two State Constitutional Amendments this election. The Secretary of State provides links to the proposed amendments here:

Proposed Amendments to the Kansas State Constitution

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prison Beds in Kansas

On October 9th, The Kansas City Star reported that Kansas had run out of beds for male prisoners. The Kansas Sentencing Commission (KSC) and the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) have been studying this trend and making projections for some years. KDOC Secretary Roger Werholtz is asking the Kansas Legislature for extra funding for more beds, parolee programming and alternative placements. This issue is likely to be addressed this next year.

Letter from the Chairman of the Kansas Sentencing Commission regarding the current state of available beds and inmate reduction

Report of the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight to the 2010 Kansas Legislature

Monthly Offender Population Report from the Department of Corrections

Statistical Summary- FY 2009 Community Corrections Offender Population

Article contact: Kim Harp

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court

"The Supreme Court enjoys all but free rein in selecting which cases to review. From the end of one term in the summer until the start of the next, on the first Monday in October, the work of the court is to sift through thousands of petitions from parties…” (New York Times)

Each year in early October the Nation, if not the world, turns its attention to nine men and women meeting in a stately building on East Capitol Street in Washington D.C. The first Monday in October is designated by U.S. Statute as the opening of a new term of the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and there is often great interest in knowing what cases the Court has chosen to hear and the eventual outcome of the court's decisions.

This year especially interest in the proceedings of the Court has increased in Kansas due to a case involving the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Local media have focused on the arguments of both parties and Kansans have read and listened to explanations of how cases are presented to the Supreme Court and decided by the Court.

Below are some links with further information on the U.S. Supreme Court, its duties, history, members and actions. Also included are links to some media information on the case called "Albert Snyder, Petitioner v. Fred W. Phelps, Sr. et al."

About the Supreme Court

Court Procedure

Supreme Court Firsts and Other Trivia

Associate Justice Elena Kagan’s investiture

“No candid cameras in the Supreme Court”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram October 5, 2010

Has The Supreme Court Limited Americans' Access To Courts?
( Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 111th Congress, First Session, December 2, 2009)

A Bill To Permit The Televising Of Supreme Court Proceedings
(hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 110th Congress, Second Session, September 8, 2008)

As the court begins its 2010 term, a case with Kansas connections has received national and world notice

Albert Snyder, Petitioner v. Fred W. Phelps, Sr. et al

“Snyder v. Phelps a ‘big’ case”
Topeka Capital Journal October 3, 2010

“High court struggles with funeral protest case” Wichita Eagle October 6, 2010

“U.S. court considers anti-gay protests at funerals”
Toronto Sun October 6, 2010

Article contact: Cindy Roupe (Resources); Bill Sowers (Text)
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Water, water everywhere...

Living in a plains state makes Kansans unique in their uncanny sense of the weather and of water resources. Kansas has its watersheds, 14 reservoirs, and 12 river basins that help to keep metropolitan areas in drinking water and farm fields irrigated. The Kansas Water Office and Kansas Water Authority are charged with maintaining and preserving and preparing Kansas waterways. The Water Office coordinates the Kansas water planning process in concert with the Kansas Water Authority which advises the Kansas Legislature and the Governor in policy-making. This week, the Legislature meets in interim committee meetings regarding the water planning process. They will be looking at water supply and conservation issues, including the nature of the supply, where and whom it serves, and what it will look like in 10-20 years. Learn more about your Kansas government's plan for our water resources.

Kansas Water Office home page:

Kansas Water Authority and its members:

2009 Kansas Water Plan:

2010 Water Plan Status:

2010 Annual Report to the Governor and the Legislature:

More reports and publications by the Kansas Water Office:

Kansas Department of Agriculture- Division of Water Resources:

Kansas Geological Survey- Water Resources:

Kansas State Conservation Commission (SCC):

Article contact: Kim Harp

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mental Health Awareness Week, October 3-9

October 3-9 is Mental Health Awareness Week. During this upcoming week mental health agencies and groups as well as supportive individuals will offer programs, web pages and public walks to raise public awareness in state and local communities about mental illness and the need for treatment and recovery.

Below are a few links to resources for Kansans on mental health and mental illness.

Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
Mental Health Services
(The Kansas Mental Health System offers an array of services for children and adults in need of mental health treatment)

Community Mental Health Centers and/or Consumer Run Organizations
(Use the clickable map or search box to locate centers and organizations that may be of help)

Directory of Mental Health Resources in Kansas, 2010
(A guide to statewide and community mental health services in Kansas. Includes locations, website URLs, email addresses, telephone numbers and names in assisting Kansans find help. this is the 20th edition of this excellent publication by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services)

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance's website's website includes general information on the following forms of mental illness:
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Kansas
(This is NAMI's presence in Kansas)


Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas

Mental Health America of the Heartland

Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Of algae and other things

Blue green algae blooms (cyanobacteria) have been in the news recently. Although algae blooms are a natural phenomenon and are caused by certain weather patterns, they can make people, livestock and pets ill. Are you concerned which lakes and ponds you can take your children or pets swimming in? Which waters its safe to fish. Do you wonder what algae blooms are and how they'll affect the public drinking water? The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is charged with monitoring waters in Kansas and informing the public which waters to avoid.

KDHE overview of what algae blooms are:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) overview of cyanobacteria:

CDC's facts about harmful algal blooms:

Current algae bloom advisories:

Examples of the signage you will see at waterways that are closed due to algae:

Explanation of symptoms brought on by ingestion of blue green algae:

* Be sure to respect the warnings, soon the algae will die off naturally and activities can be resumed.

Article contact: Kim Harp

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Supporting our Troops

Last night it was announced that combat will end in Iraq. Many soldiers and their families are encouraged by the thought that they may be returning home. This prompts major changes in a soldier's life and the lives of his or her family. As a citizenry, we need to know how we can continue to support our troops as they readjust to civilian life. Learn more about the Federal and State resources and services which are available to veterans and families in finding job opportunities, counseling, and health services.

"Because part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it" -President Barack Obama

President Obama's message regarding the end of combat missions in Iraq:

Welcome home events:

Benefits to U.S. Veterans and their families from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

Benefits for returning veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom:

Army and National Guard emergency relief:

Army Career and Alumni Program:

Education and GI Bill benefits:

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program:

Jobsite for Vets, VetSuccess:

Kansas Military Bill of Rights:

Kansas Military Service Scholarship Program:

Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs:

Benefits available to families of Kansas Veterans:

Veterans Upward Bound- KU program:

National Center for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder):

Other organizations with benefits for veterans and families:
American Legion:

Kansas American Legion:

Veterans of Foreign Wars Kansas:

Disabled American Veterans:

If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call toll-free: 1-800-273-8255.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Food Safety

With over 1,000 cases of salmonella poisoning across the country and the recall of about a half billion eggs from stores, restaurants and homes food production safety and inspection have come to the forefront of the news lately.

As Federal and state health officials continue to investigate it's good to know what resources are available to you on food safety. We've included some links below to state and federal information:


Salmonella Enteritidis Outbreak in Shell Eggs
(From the US Food and Drug Administration's What's New in Food)

Investigation Update: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Associated with Shell Eggs
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's web page on salmonella)

How can I tell if my eggs have been recalled?
(From the US Food and Drug Administration's What's New in Food)
(Information from the federal government on home food safety, food poisoning, inspections and compliance, etc.)


Kansas Food Safety and Consumer Protection
(Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Kansas Department of Agriculture
(The Department's Food Safety and Lodging web page. Includes information on dairy inspection, meat and poultry inpection, as well as a food safety and lodging inspection results database)

Kansas Department of Health and Envrionment
(The Department's Bureau of Surveillance & Epidemiology web page. Includes information on disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and education. Among the duties of the the Bureau is the investigation of foodborne ilnesses)


Keep Food Safe! Food Safety Basics
(US Dept of Agriculture)

K-State Extension Food Safety
(A website from Kansas State University educating consumers on safe food handling with food preparation, food preservation, food service and more)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Friday, August 20, 2010

League of Kansas Municipalities

2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the League of Kansas Municipalities (LKM). The League is not a state government agency but "a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of over 500 Kansas cities. It operates as a public agency and is defined by state law as an instrumentality of its member cities. The powers and duties of the League are prescribed by state law and in bylaws adopted by the voting delegates of its member cities." [from the League's website]

Besides working as an advocate and resource center for municipalities in Kansas the League of Kansas Municipalities also offers up a treasure trove of information on city-related topics, much of which is available to the general public on the League's website.

Below are links to resources on the LKM's website along with links to some other local government organizations in Kansas:


Directory of Kansas Public Officials
(The Directory allows searching by city, county, public school district and by personal name. There is also a clickable map. General contact information is supplied not only for local officials but for state and federal legislative representatives in the city sections too.

Sample Ordinances
(Grouped by topics such as animals, cell phones and motor vehicles, concealed carry and zoning the League provides simple examples of ordinances which can be modified by local government attorneys to meet the needs of municipalities)

Legislative Guide
(The League puts out an annual guide to the Legislature with contact information as well as information on committee membership, legislative leadership, key session dates, and support staff contacts)

Fiscal Year Budget Tips
(Some basic information on taxes, government funds and budget preparation to assist local officials in preparing their operating budgets for the coming year)

Kansas Cities on the Web
(The League provides links to over 200 official city websites in Kansas)


Kansas Government Journal
(Includes an online archive of past articles going back to 1914)

League News
(Newsletter with back issues available online)

Comprehensive Publications List
(Includes League of Kansas Municipalities publications available for sale)

Legislative Alerts
("Breaking news" bulletins)

Standard Traffic Ordinance (STO)
Uniform Public Offense Code (UPOC)
(Order form link page)


Kansas Association of Chiefs of P0lice

Kansas Association of Code Enforcement

Kansas Association of Counties

Kansas Association of Local Health Departments

Kansas Association of School Boards

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to School!

Holidays are enticing only for the first week or so. After that, it is no longer such a novelty to rise late and have little to do.
- Margaret Laurence

Yes, it's that time of year when parents are shuffling through school supply lists and checking to see whether back packs are still intact. Preschoolers are psyching themselves up for their first year at Kindergarten. Big kids are making their last few visits to the pool and getting excited to see old friends. High schoolers are squeezing as much sleep as they can out of their last few days of summer. College students are comparing prices on mini-fridges and asking mom to do their laundry one last time. It's also the time of year when your Kansas and local governments are ramping up to tackle another school year.

See Commissioner of Education Dr. Diane DeBacker's welcome back to school message at:

Can't remember which vaccinations your child needs before heading back? Learn more at:

Need assistance with preschool tuition?

Learn more about your school or district by reading its "report card":

Read about the Kansas curricular standards at:

Want to learn online this year? Find a list of Kansas virtual schools at:

Learn more about the charter school option at:

Full list of Kansas education associations and organizations:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The State Library of Kansas

Of all the state and federal agencies that we've covered on this blog, we've neglected to familiarize you with our own, the State Library of Kansas.

What is the State Library of Kansas (SLK)?
The State Library was founded on the basis of the Kansas Territorial Library first funded in 1855. In 1863 the Kansas Legislature made the first appropriations of $2,000 to establish the Kansas State Library. The initial annual salary of the State Librarian was $500. At this time, the State Library was housed in a room in the East wing of the Capitol. In 1900 the State Library was moved to its current site in the North Wing on the third floor of the Capitol.

The State Library’s services have changed and adapted as Kansans' needs have changed. In 1889, the State Library began a traveling library service to serve rural Kansans. In 1964, a system of grants was developed to assist rural libraries. The needs of individuals with low vision are met through the Kansas Talking Books service, begun in the early 1970s. A service to help Kansans obtain important U.S. and Kansas census information began in 1980. The State Library continues to serve the needs of state agencies, legislators, and the general public and will continue to evolve.

Our Mission
In service to Kansas libraries, residents, and government, the State Library of Kansas:

Collects and shares resources and government information;
Delivers information and solutions;
Educates librarians and trustees:
Promotes literacy and reading for everyone; and
Advocates for open and equitable access, intellectual freedom and excellence in library services and support.

Learn more about us and our programs at

Briefly: what does SLK have and what do they do?

Search SLK's holdings:

Services and Programs of the State Library:
-Audiobooks, Music and More- website which allows Kansas residents to download audiobooks, ebooks and music to their computers or mobile devices
-online statewide databases- available to all Kansas residents
-In-house research databases- available to visiting patrons
-Talking books services- audio books and devices available to those with low vision or reading disabilities, braille services
-Reference Services
-Kansas Reads to Preschoolers
-Homework Kansas- free online tutoring for Kansas residents K-college
-Grants and funding to local public libraries
-Continuing education for public librarians and library trustees
-Interlibrary Loan
-Library and Trustee Certification
-Letters about Literature
-Kansas Notable Books
-Marketing assistance for libraries

Who does SLK serve?
Namely: YOU! Our patrons also consist of legislators and state government agencies.

Article contact: Kim Harp

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beat the Heat!

Cole Porter put it best, "It's too darn hot!"

As this oppressive heat wave continues we are hearing news stories of tragic deaths associated with the weather. The elderly, children, athletes, joggers, pets and agricultural animals... All are affected by extreme heat.

Below are links to some resources on beating the heat, staying hydrated and taking heed of the signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion:

State Officials Urge Precautions Against Heat
(From, The Wichita Eagle)

Current Watches, Warnings and Advisories for Kansas
(List of Active Alerts by County provided by the National Weather Service)

National Heat Warnings
(From the National Weather Service)

Heat: a Major Killer
(From the National Weather Service)

Heat Index (Apparent Temperature) Chart
(From the National Weather Service)

Heat Stroke, Children and Cars
(From Safe

Hot Weather and Vehicles
(Pamphlet from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

The Heat Is On!
(Ways in which you can beat the heat in order to protect yourself under hot conditions from Texas A&M University)

Cool Tips for Beating the Heat
(From Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Precautions for Heat-Related Illness
(From Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
(From K-State Research and Extension)

Hot Weather, Dogs and Outdoor Activities
(From Kansas State University News Services)

Heat-Related Animal Calls on the Rise
(From The Lawrence Journal World)

Extreme Heat and Kansas Cattle
(From The Kansas City Star)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Have you registered to vote yet?

It's time to start thinking about the August 3, 2010 primary election. Primary elections decide which candidate will be on the general election ballot for each party. The deadline to register to vote for the August Primary is Monday, July 19, 2010. You still have time to get out there and register.

Where can I register?
Libraries, many banks, some grocery stores, while getting your drivers license, Online

Step 1. To find your district for Congressional leaders, State Board of Education, and state officials, go to . Type in your address and your current elected officials will pop up, as well as your districts.

Step 2. Once you know your districts you can find out who is running foroffice in your districts at the Secretary of State’s candidate list at:

Step 3. To find out where you need to go to vote, contact your county election office. A list of offices and their phone numbers is available from the Secretary of State’s website at:

Another way is to access your personal voter registration information. This will name your polling site. You can find that at:

Step 4. Be sure to mark August 3 on your calendar! If you would like to vote in advance, follow the steps provided at:

*For more information on registering to vote and advanced voting go to

Article contact: Kim Harp

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kansas Wheat

"Wheat was and is the crop of first importance. It is the backbone of our economy and has made Kansas famous around the world." --Erich Freuhauf (KSHS Wheat in Kansas Lesson Plan)

The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported today that 84 percent of the wheat acreage in our state had been cut before rains over the July 4th weekend shut down the harvest.

Besides the nickname, "The Sunflower State," Kansas is also known as "The Wheat State" or "The Breadbasket of the World." About 25 percent of the U.S. hard red winter wheat harvest is grown in Kansas.

"Nearly one-fifth of all wheat grown in the United States is grown in Kansas. Kansas ranks first in the nation in flour milling, wheat gluten production and wheat stored. Roughly one-third of Kansas' 63,000 farmers grow wheat. Normally, Kansas farmers produce about 400 million bushels of wheat a year, with a production value that hovers around $1 billion." [from: Kansas Dept. of Agriculture]

Wheat is a vital part of our economy, culture and history. Below are links to information on Kansas wheat provided by various state and federal agencies.

Kansas Wheat Commission
(The Kansas Wheat Commission is a grower-funded, grower-governed wheat products advocacy organization)
Their site includes:
--Educational Materials
--Information for Buyers and Processors
--Information for Consumers
--Information for Wheat Producers
--Just For Kids
--Kansas Bakeries Directory
--Kansas Wheat Blog
--Online Videos
--Photo Gallery
--Straw Art
--Wheat Facts
--Wheat Mania: All About Wheat

Wheat Page
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Wheat People: Celebrating Kansas Harvest
(An online exhibit provided by the Kansas State Historical Society)

Kansas Memory: Wheat
(Digitized primary sources provided by the Kansas State Historical Society)

Kansas Wheat History (2009 publication by Kansas Agricultural Statistics cooperating with the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture)

Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas
(A transcription of a 1944 history of wheat in Kansas agriculture written by James C. Malin)

Kansas Wheat (FaceBook)
(A FaceBook page that promotes wheat growing and growers in the Sunflower State)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)