Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4th of July


Independence Day, commonly known as The 4th of July, is a day celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the rights and freedoms bestowed upon us by the men and women who struggled to establish a new nation over 230 years ago.
It is a day of parades, picnics, outdoor concerts and of course fire work displays.

Below are links to some information on the Day, celebrations in Kansas and associated topics.


Basic Readings in U. S. Democracy

Our Flag / U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Printing, 2003. (H. doc./108th Congress, 1st session; 108-97)
(You'll need Adobe Acrobat software to view this document online)

Fun facts about the Fourth of July (U.S. Census Bureau )

Today in History – July 4th from the Library of Congress

Decarlation of Independence (National Archives "Charters of Freedom" web site)

The Fourth Of July (from

Star Spangled Banner (Smithsonian)
(Though the original poem was written during the War of 1812 we're including it here as it is very much a part of 4th of July celebrations)

4th of July Celebration at Fort Leavenworth

Fourth of July Celebration

Freedom Festival


KCRiverFest 2011
(Kansas City, Missouri)


Star Spangled Spectacular
(Overland Park/Shawnee Mission)

Sundown Salute
(Junction City)

Click on any of the following headings to browse through lists of material available at the State Library of Kansas, the Kansas State Historical Society (partial holdings for KSHS ) and other research libraries in Topeka, Kansas.

Fourth of July
United States. Declaration of Independence
United States. Continental Congress
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Check out the ATLAS Catalog for other resources:

If you see something you'd like to borrow from the State Library of Kansas or have further questions feel free to contact us

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stay Safe this Summer

The summer solstice has come and gone yet the hottest days of summer are still looming. Summer in Kansas means fishing on the lakes, harvesting, baseball, festivals, picnics and camping. Fun activities full of wonderful memories! We want to keep those memories happy and ensure the safety of all families as we enjoy the great Kansas outdoors this summer. Several Kansas government state agencies offer tips and assistance on how to stay cool and safe this summer.

Beat the Heat! Tips from the Department of Health and Environment:

Whether in lakes, rivers or pools- swim with a buddy!

Don’t forget your sunscreen and prevent accidents:

Make sure your kids are not locked in hot cars this summer with tips from Safe Kids Kansas:

Before you take a trip, check out these tips on carseat safety:

Other driving safety considerations:

As you bike on Kansas trails keep these tips in mind:

As always, use your best judgment and better safe than sorry!

Article contact: Kim Harp

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kansas' Part-time Legislature

Due to our agricultural heritage, Kansas has a part-time Legislature; this means that our Representatives and Senators meet daily from January through May to make or amend laws. Seventeen other states have part-time Legislatures and our closest neighbors, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado, have two-thirds-time legislatures. Senators and Representatives receive $88 per day they are in session plus a $123 subsistence pay per day they are in Session. This equates to around $18,990 for a 90 day session, thus most legislators hold other jobs aside from being a Senator or Representative. The dates for Session are convenient for those legislators who run farms, especially since there is a break in session in early April to get spring crops going. 12.7% of Kansas legislators are retired from other occupations.

But just because the Legislature has left Topeka and gone home for the remainder of the year, does not mean that they have stopped working for their constituents. The period between Sessions is known as “interim.” During the interim, legislators prepare arguments, work on boards or commissions, hold interim committee meetings called for by the previous Session to discuss potential bills or legislation, and meet with their constituents. Interim is also the time that legislative state agencies perform audits and studies that were either called for by legislation in the previous Session or are in preparation for the next Session. So while the Capitol building is quiet, legislative business is still buzzing.

Learn more about the make-up of our Legislature at (click on Kansas from the map):

Once the 2011 interim committee schedule has been decided, it will be posted under the interim link on

After each interim committee meets, it develops a report to the following Session. See 2010’s reports:

See an index of all interim committee reports since 1934:

See what audits are being performed this interim and find older audits from the Division of Post Audit:

Interim is a great time to speak to your legislators with any concerns. Your legislator does not have staff during the interim so you will need to contact them at home. Their home numbers are published and they expect calls from constituents. You can find their numbers by going to and clicking on either “House” or “Senate” from the tabs along the top.

For a complete directory of the Legislature go to (available in PDF or Excel):

If you do not know the name or contact number for your legislator go to and input your county and your address. Or you can call the Legislative Hotline, 1-800-432-3924, to learn how to contact your legislator or to leave a message for your legislator.

Article contact: Kim Harp, Legislative Reference Librarian

Friday, June 3, 2011

Breast Cancer and AIDS/HIV Resources

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of an article by the US Centers for Disease Control announcing the discovery of a new disease we now know as AIDS. Also in June we celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day (June 5th). Our blog topic this week is two-fold then providing paths to resources on breast cancer and AIDS/HIV.

"In the United States in 2007, 202,964 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,598 women died from the disease. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women." (CDC website)

Breast Cancer And You
(Online pamphlet with basic information)

Basic Information on Breast Cancer
(US Centers for Disease Control)

Breast Cancer Screening
(US Centers for Disease Control)

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

University of Kansas Cancer Center
Breast Cancer Information

Breast Cancer in Kansas
(Online Kansas Department of Health and Environment pamphlet)

Kansas Early Detection Works Program
("The goal of the Early Detection Works program is to reduce death from breast and cervical cancer among the women of Kansas")

Thirty years ago this week medical scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control published a paper identifying a new disease which became known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). During the past three decades about 30 million people have succumbed to the illness worldwide. It is estimated that another 33 million are currently infected with the HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) around the globe as well.


(US Centers for Disease Control)

HIV/AIDS Fact Sheets
(US Centers for Disease Control)

HIV Testing
(US Centers for Disease Control)

AIDS Timeline

"AIDS 30 Years Later"

LinkU.S. Statistics

U.S. Response to the Global Threat of HIV/AIDS: Basic Facts

World AIDS Vaccine Day

Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Kansas HIV/AIDS Program

Kansas HIV/AIDS Bi-Annual Data Tables

Kansas HIV Prevention Education and Risk Reduction
(The focus and strategies of HIV prevention efforts continue to change in response to shifting needs of individuals and communities across Kansas. Simply stated, the goal of this program is to reduce the spread of HIV infection in the state of Kansas)

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