a KLA Community of Practice

When the days of rejoicing are over,                                                                                         When the flags are stowed safely away,                                                                                      They will dream of another wild ‘War to End Wars’                                                                        And another wild Armistice day.

  But the boys who were killed in the trenches,                                                                            Who fought with no rage and no rant,                                                                                         We left them stretched out on their pallets of mud                                                                   Low down with the worm and the ant. 

– Robert Graves,  Armistice Day, 1918

On Monday, November 11th, a century will have elapsed since President Woodrow Wilson, on that first Armistice Day, called on Americans to recognize the heroism of those who fell in service to their country, express gratitude in the victory secured the previous November, and “to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”  Twenty years later, Armistice Day (absent Wilsonian appeals to internationalism) formally became a national holiday until 1954 when President Dwight Eisenhower signed House Resolution 7786 into law, renaming the holiday Veterans Day.


Since 1954, we have set aside November 11th to honor and remember veterans, both the living and the fallen, for their service and sacrifice.

From my perspective, doing so in a meaningful, respectful fashion can sometimes prove challenging.  Per the Department of Defense’s Defense Manpower Data Center, there are just over 1.3 million people serving in the U.S. armed forces, representing .4 percent of the country’s total population.  Additionally, the most recent census data estimates that there are currently 18.2 million veterans in the U.S.  In short, this means that only 6 percent of Americans have served or are on active duty,  Much has been written about this gulf between those who serve and the general public, initially prompting this post.  In an atmosphere where the recognition of our veterans (and military service in general) can often be grossly politicized, trivialized, or otherwise reduced to performative gestures; what practices can both individuals and institutions undertake that truly honor those who served?  It strikes me that capturing the individual experiences of veterans and making them accessible to the public can foster a deeper appreciation of the former’s sacrifices and bridge the gap between civilian and military communities.           

Created by Congress in 2000, the Veterans History Project provides the framework and resources to realize this goal through the collection and  preservation of veterans’ experiences.  A project of the Library of Congress American Folklore Center, this program enables community groups, veterans organizations, academic institutions, libraries, and individuals to capture veterans’ wartime experiences through a variety of mediums by supplying interested parties with “field kits.”  The field kits provide forms for biographical information, releases for participating interviewers and veterans, sample questions and outlines for oral history interviews, guidelines for veterans wishing to submit memoirs, correspondence, and visual materials to the project, as well as other useful materials.  Upon submission, these personal accounts are cataloged and made accessible in the project’s database.


This month, consider reaching out to veterans in your family or community and ask them to share their stories with the Veterans History Project.  Through their narratives, we can come to appreciate (as best we can) the personal and shared experiences they’ve endured.

Man on the Moon

July 20, 1969.  Do you remember where you were? (please, no cracks about “wasn’t even born yet”)

I lived in Independence (KS), had just turned 16 ten days earlier, and was sitting in our living room with my parents and brother and our dog. We were nervously watching our console black and white tv, waiting to see the first person step on the moon. One of those moments in history with such impact we remember the details forever.

Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, descends the ladder of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module on July 20, 1969 before making the first step by a human on another celestial body. This view is a black and white reproduction taken from a telecast by the Apollo 11 lunar surface camera. The black bar running through the center of the picture is an anomaly in the television ground data system.

“Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, descends the ladder of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module on July 20, 1969 before making the first step by a human on another celestial body. This view is a black and white reproduction taken from a telecast by the Apollo 11 lunar surface camera. The black bar running through the center of the picture is an anomaly in the television ground data system.” [NASA]

Now it’s 2019 and we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of this historic event. Much of the information below is from NASA, of course, but I’ve also added links to other relevant government publications.  In addition there’s a section of links to other stories, collectibles, and items of interest connected to the anniversary…including limited edition Marshmallow Moon Oreos!

Government Documents

View of the moon with Earth on the horizon, known as the famous Earthrise photo. This image was taken before separation of the lunar module and the command module during Apollo 11 Mission in July 1969.
“This view from the moon, the famous Earthrise photo, was taken before separation of the lunar module and the command module during the Apollo 11 Mission.” [NASA]

This is the official crew portrait of the Apollo 11 astronauts. Pictured from left to right are: Neil A. Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Module Pilot; Edwin E.
“This is the official crew portrait of the Apollo 11 astronauts. Pictured from left to right are: Neil A. Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Module Pilot; Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Lunar Module Pilot. Apollo 11 was the first manned lunar landing mission that placed the first humans on the surface of the moon and returned them back to Earth. Astronaut Armstrong became the first man on the lunar surface, and astronaut Aldrin became the second. Astronaut Collins piloted the Command Module in a parking orbit around the Moon. Launched aboard the Saturn V launch vehicle (SA-506), the three astronauts began their journey to the moon with liftoff from launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 8:32 am CDT, July 16, 1969.” [NASA]

July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap for Mankind
A NASA piece written in 2017; includes a moonwalk video.

Apollo 11 Mission Overview

Apollo 11 videos
Part of NASA’s Apollo series of videos

Apollo by the Numbers: a statistical reference
by Richard W. Orloff (item number 0830-I)

H.R. 2726 – Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act

S. 1694 – One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act

H. Res. 405 – Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission, and Supporting the Week of July 16 through July 20 as the Apollo 50 Celebration Week

Additional items of interest

Neil Armstrong’s quote when stepping on the moon’s surface for the first time
This short article discusses the “a” which may or may not have preceded the word “man” in one of history’s most famous lines.  Technology has set the record straight…or has it?  Not a govdoc but interesting all the same.

Events Celebrating Apollo’s 50th Anniversary

PBS Commemorates Apollo 11’s 50th Anniversary with 8 Days: To the Moon and Back

Apollo 11 Moon Flight Certificate
“personally viewed the launching of Apollo 11 from earth on the first flight to land men on the moon” [Illinois Digital Archives]

Commercial Collectibles

Oreo to Celebrate Moon Landing 50th with Limited Edition Cookies

Budweiser Brews Limited Lager for Moon Landing 50th Anniversary

Fisher Space Pen Marks Apollo 11 50th with Moon-Flown Material

Road to Apollo XI 50th Anniversary


“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on
incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment
among the several States, and without regard to any census or

  • U.S. Const. art. XVI

“Cause from those total wages earned
Down to that net amount that’s due
I feel the painful sense of loss between the two”

  • Johnny Cash – After Taxes

Despite my proclivity toward Cash (and country music in general), I never quite understood the genre’s general antipathy toward the graduated personal income tax.  From Paycheck to Nelson, troubadours pen song after song lamenting their tax bill (in Willie’s case life imitated art after he ran afoul of the IRS).  To my knowledge, there has yet to be a paean to Tax Day.  The closest we get is Henson Cargill’s castigation of tax cheats in 1967’s Skip a Rope.

So, with the deadline for filing individual tax returns rapidly approaching, I wanted to share some public resources that might alleviate those tax day blues.  While your friendly government documents librarian can’t offer tax advice, these resources should get you back “on the road again” before April 15.  And you don’t have to be a country music legend to use them.

Did you know that there may be IRS-certified volunteers in your community able to assist you with your filing?  Particularly for taxpayers making $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities or limited English speaking taxpayers, or retired persons, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax assistance and preparation (an overview of what volunteers are able to prepare and what the filer must provide can be found here).  This tool can help you find volunteers in your area.

For those brave souls filing without the assistance of a tax-preparer, Free File options are available at irs.gov.  This site even offers brand-name tax preparation-and-filing software to filers with incomes below $66,000.  The Internal Revenue Service’s website can also answer your tax questions, supply forms and filing instructions, and provide options for paying outstanding tax bills.





Wreaths Across America Day

Saturday, December 15, is Wreaths Across America Day.  On the third Saturday of December, thousands of volunteers will honor and remember our nation’s veterans by laying more than a million wreaths at soldiers’ cemeteries across the United States and overseas.

Wreaths 3

Leavenworth National Cemetery

The story of this tradition began in the state of Maine in 1992, when the Worcester Wreath Company first honored those who serve by donating remembrance wreaths, transporting and placing the wreaths on graves at the Arlington National Cemetery.  By 2007, the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America had formed, expanding the outreach.  Organizing a nationwide effort, Wreaths Across America has continued to cooperate with family, friends, and volunteers to place wreaths on the graves of servicemen and servicewomen at cemeteries throughout the country during the December holiday season.

For a number of years, the U.S. Congress has recognized this undertaking.  On December 11 of this year, the U.S. senators from Maine once again introduced a resolution which was passed by the Senate.  Senate Resolution 719 designates December 15, 2018, as “Wreaths Across America Day.”  The full text of the resolution is available at this link:  S. Res. 719.  The resolution recalls the mission of Wreaths Across America to “Remember, Honor, Teach”:

(1)  remembering the fallen heroes of the United States;

(2) honoring those who serve; and

(3) teaching the next generation of children about–

(A)  the service of veterans; and

(B)  the sacrifices made by veterans and the families of veterans to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by the people of the United States;

S. Res. 719, 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Podium Photo

“The Glory of Their Deeds Lives”

Activities have been in progress to culminate with Saturday’s events.  On Monday, a wreath laying ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol and at state capitols across the nation, including our own.  That same day, a convoy with patriotic escort set out from Maine to transport the balsam fir wreaths once again to the Arlington National Cemetery.  The story of Wreaths Across America continues on this third Saturday of December, as wreaths are delivered to cemeteries throughout the country and thousands of people gather to pay respects, lay wreaths, and speak the names of those who have sacrificed.

For additional details regarding Wreaths Across America locations and ceremonies at national and state veterans cemeteries, view these websites :

Maryland Cemetery

Maryland Veterans Cemetery at Cheltenham


August is almost upon us and in the coming weeks many will be squeezing in that last family vacation of the summer.  For most, the annual trek entails weeks of careful planning and time spent packing up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster (points if you get the film reference).  However, even the best laid schemes of mice and men can often find oneself in a hotel room in southeastern Alberta watching their vay-kay quite literally go up in smoke.  When that happens (but preferably before), resources available through the National Park Service can pull your vacation plans out of the fire.

Why all the fire-related puns?  In July 2015, I was on my way to Wood Buffalo National Park in extreme northeastern Alberta to hike and take in the park’s eponymous wood bison and whooping cranes.  Per Parks Canada, the wildfires ravaging British Columbia and western Alberta were being contained and my route unobstructed when I left Kansas.  By the time I’d reached Medicine Hat, it had become abundantly clear that it was time to make other plans.  That’s when I turned to the National Park Service’s Find A Park feature and discovered what Montana had to offer.  This feature allows users to search state-by-state for national historic sites & monuments, national parks & recreational areas, and trails all under the management of the National Park Service.  In turn, each park listing contains up-to-date park alerts & conditions, basic information, an events calendar, and maps.NPSThe NPS also provides a Trip Planning Guide that helps you identify activities appropriate for your group, learn about your destination & become aware of any potential hazards, and pack accordingly.  The NPS website also provides interactive and informative pages for children and educational materials for teachers.   Unsure where to visit or just can’t get away?  The NPS Multimedia Search provides users with a preview of our national parks by allowing them to view photos, listen to audio files, and watch videos taken by park visitors and personnel.

Without NPS Find A Park, I might have driven straight to the Yellowstone Ecosystem (and still had a grand time).  Instead, I spent a eight glorious days tooling around western Montana, getting a guided boat tour on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park,  visiting the Great Falls Portage on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, and enjoying all points in between before wandering into West Yellowstone and running into this guy.  YellowstoneAnd yes, the NPS can even tell you the difference between the plains bison that makeup the Yellowstone Herd and their northern cousin.

When I was a small child and would get sick, my mother called good ol’ Dr. Beahm and he made a house call.  For those of you too young to know about house calls, Dr. Beahm (as most other family doctors) actually came to our house to examine me, left instructions with my mother, and often gave me a shot of penicillin or a friendly pat on the head as he left, depending on the ailment.

These days many of us jump online to Google symptoms and see what they may (or may not) mean.  This can be useful if you discover good resources with reliable information.  However, not everything on the Internet is true (duh! as my grandson would say) so solid, verified health information is crucial.  Where to begin?  Since this is a GODORT blog we’ll begin with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While you know they are heavy into research you may not realize a large section of their website is dedicated to Health Information.  This searchable plethora of health information covers topics from handling stress and managing your cholesterol to locating local health services and how to talk with your doctor.  There are even Wellness Toolkits to find ways to improve your well-being in any area you’d like.


Another great resource is healthfinder.gov with its friendly interface, a health quiz, and even “myhealthfinder” to help you know which preventive services you may need.

These websites are the perfect way to begin locating reliable health information for yourself and those around you.  Here are just a few more you can count on:


Celebrating Inventors

Celebrating Inventors


National Inventors’ Day was made into law in 1978 (Pub.L. 95-463) and was celebrated for the first time in the United States on February 11, 1979 – the anniversary of Thomas Edison’s birth. President Jimmy Carter’s proclamation 4635 acknowledged the “important role played by inventors in promoting progress in the useful arts” and recognized “the invaluable contribution of inventors to the welfare of our people” (The American Presidency Project, 2018). However, Ronald Reagan is often credited with the first proclamation of National Inventors’ Day in 1983.

The government resources mentioned below may be helpful to government information librarians seeking resources for inventors and business owners.

Searching for Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides electronic access to all U.S. patents and published patent applications at https://www.uspto.gov/. The website also provides information on the patent application process, a basic patent searching tutorial, resources for locating legal assistance, and more.

Foreign patents and published applications can be found at the European Patent Office http://www.epo.org/, the World Intellectual Property Organization http://www.wipo.int, and Google Patents https://patents.google.com/, as well as other foreign patent office websites.

Inventors and Government Contracts

Small business owners who engage in research and development for the government with the potential for commercialization may be interested in applying for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funding or collaborate with a research institution to apply for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program funding. More information can be found at https://www.sbir.gov/.

Patents and Trademark Document Collections

“The Patent and Trademark Resource Center [PTRC] Program began in 1871 when the federal statute (35 USC 12) first provided for the distribution of printed patents to libraries for use by the public” (USPTO.gov, 2018). Initially, these libraries were called Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries and the primary focus was providing access to printed patents to the public. Libraries with this designation today are called Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) as the primary focus shifted in 2011 to providing patent and trademark information to the public, not exclusively print materials. Today’s PTRC representatives provide patent and trademark search training, help patrons navigate the USPTO website and databases and provide resources to assist pro se applicants in filing patent and trademark applications.

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers that were formerly depository libraries and select Federal Depository Libraries (FDLs) that are not PTRCs may have older print, microfiche, and/or CD formats of patent and trademark publications in their collections, such as:

  • Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office
  • Index of Patents
  • Plant Patents (printed in full color)
  • Cassis CDs for searching patents (pre-dates current patent databases online)

If you’re unsure of where to start when helping inventors or entrepreneurs, contact your local PTRC. A map of current PTRC libraries can be found at https://www.uspto.gov/.


Public law 95-463, 95 Congress, session 2, joint resolution: To designate October 7, 1979, the Sunday of “Fire Prevention Week” as “Firefighters’ Memorial Sunday”; to designate October 14, 1978, as “National Jogging Day”; and to designate and authorize the president to proclaim, February 11, 1979, as “National Inventors’ Day”. U.S. Statutes at Large 92(Main Section), 1276-1278.

The American Presidency Project. (2018). Jimmy Carter: Proclamation 4635—National Inventors’ Day, 1979. [Online] Retrieved from http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=31413

Uspto.gov. (2018). History and Background. [Online] Retrieved from https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/support-centers/patent-and-trademark-resource-centers-ptrc/history-and-0