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From the Reference Desk...

This blog provides links to current resources to help you find what is new and noteworthy in the state of Kansas. State Library staff will highlight a topic of specific interest and supply links to important news and services in the state of Kansas.

Oct 30

Halloween Facts, Safety, & Some Spooky Stuff Too!

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Brett Rurode

Census Facts about Halloween:

Occupations that could be costumes:

Safety Tips from Kansas Department of Health and Environment:

Halloween Safety: Safety.pdf

“Haunted History” by Susan S. Novak, Kansas Heritage, Volume 13, Number 3 (2005)

“Tour Kansas: Spirit Guide” by Cecilia Harris, KANSAS! Magazine (Fall, 2012)

“Take the Trolley. If You Dare” by Kim Gronniger, KANSAS! Magazine (Fall, 2003)
For full article, please contact State Library of Kansas Reference Desk.

Take the Trolley. If you dare

“Whispers from the Past” by Sammy M. Snell, photos by Michael Snell, KANSAS! Magazine (Fall, 1998)
For full article, please contact State Library of Kansas Reference Desk.

Whispers from the Past

State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3919

Oct 15

Government Information on Ebola

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 11:11 AM by Candace Leduc


The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has been one of the significant stories of late 2014. Federal and state government efforts have focused on preventing Ebola from entering the United States, quarantining confirmed and potential Ebola patients, and educating the general public on the disease.

Ebola is an often-deadly virus that infects its victims with severe flu-like symptoms such as fevers, aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. The pathogen is spread via direct contact with body fluids of someone who is currently infected and already showing symptoms. These usually appear 8-10 days after exposure, but may not appear for up to 21 days. Therefore, a person who has avoided exposure to Ebola for more than three weeks, and who is not showing symptoms, is Ebola-free.

Currently no cure or vaccine for Ebola exists. Treatment of Ebola patients consists of replenishing lost fluids and providing blood transfusions.

The U.S. federal government and the state government of Kansas have published educational materials and interactive tools to keep the public up-to-date regarding Ebola. Links to these resources are provided below.

U.S. government

CDC Website displaying current Ebola information

CDC Travel Advisory updates

Kansas state government

Kansas Department of Health and Environment website displaying current Ebola information

Frequently Asked Questions

Oct 10

Be Informed About Road Conditions in Kansas

Posted on October 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM by Candace Leduc

 winter road

With winter quickly approaching, it is time to review how Kansans can be informed about road conditions.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) offers an interactive map where visitors can look at pictures from cameras across the state to see road conditions. This includes road construction as well. Also, this map can be narrowed down to specific regions, metro areas, counties, cities, and routes.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) has an interactive map that features information at certain mile markers along the turnpike.  Just click on an icon to view the information.

For travelers in route across the state, information for road conditions in both Kansas and Nebraska can be obtained by just dialing 511 on your phone for information.  The website about 511 Traveler Information from KDOT offers more explanation. Also, KDOT does have a website detailing the use of your mobile device to connect with 511.

KDOT also offers traffic and travel information for a variety of travel opportunities in Kansas, including by regional travel in the United States, as well as national travel information. This website also has a variety of ways to connect with KDOT via social media.

The National Weather Service has put together a list of phone numbers to obtain road reports in the neighboring states of Kansas, as well as websites to obtain road conditions for the Midwest region.

To find information for roadway readings, including surface and air temperature, visit KDOT’s RWIS (Road and Runway Weather Information System) map.

Be sure to check your individual area for road condition information if you are a Kansas resident. For example, Wichita has its own interactive map with road information.

Also, follow your local weather people and news channels on Twitter, in addition to #kswx, for up-to-date reporting of weather events and road conditions.

Safe travels!

State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3919