Blog module icon

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.

Nov 21

Thanksgiving safety tips from the Kansas Fire Marshal

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 10:53 AM by Brian Herder

Thanksgiving can be hectic and typically involves lots of potentially dangerous heat in the kitchen. Today the Kansas Fire Marshal posted tips for how to keep Thanksgiving as safe as possible:

Kansas Fire Marshal offers fire tips for Thanksgiving cooking

As Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen states, "We encourage all Kansans to take common sense precautions to prevent a fire tragedy on their holiday." Some of these common sense tips include:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food,
  • Keep flammable items such as fabric, wooden utensils, towels, and curtains away from the cooking area
  • Avoid using the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol
The Fire Marshal also discourages the use of turkey fryers in general and suggests buying deep-fried turkeys instead.

For further information about the office of the Fire Marshal, check out the Fire Marshal's full website and the State Library's online collection of Fire Marshal documents.



Nov 16

Now that the election is over, what happens next?

Posted on November 16, 2016 at 3:46 PM by Brian Herder

The period between the election of a president and the swearing in of the successor to that office remains largely a gray area, rooted in tradition and constitutional compromise. A lot happens in 75 days. Provide authoritative answers using the following SAGE Knowledge resource: Chapter 5 of Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch. SAGE Knowledge can be found on the main Online Resources page of the State Library under Stats & Government.

The Electoral Vote

“As the electoral system operates today, electors gather in their state capitals on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December [December 19, 2016], cast their ballots, and prepare a statement of their vote to send to Washington. Congress counts the votes on January 6. States receive one elector for each representative and senator they have in Congress.” (page 358) This guide discusses the origins of the Electoral College and historical developments.

More information about the Electoral College (who, how, and when) can be found on the National Archives web site https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/ with a link with key dates https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/key-dates.html .


The Transition Period

Political scientist Richard E. Neustadt calls the transition from campaigning to governing the eleven-week scramble (page 363).  This book places our current transition into a historical context.

If you know of someone interested in one of the 4,000 political appointments in the new administration, the place to go is the United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions - commonly called the Plum Book.The nickname comes not only from the purple cover, but also because some of these jobs are considered political “plums”.

Compiled by the Senate Committee on Government Affairs and published by the Government Printing Office, this book will be available in federal depository libraries and online https://presidentialtransition.usa.gov/2015/09/23/plum-book/ .


The Inauguration

“Ritual acts pervade politics in recognition that the symbolism of public rites reassures and binds together diverse peoples.… Yet almost nothing of that ceremony is required by law. Most of it has evolved by way of tradition.” (page 365)

Using this work, delve into little known facts about Inaugurations. Which president-elect didn’t use a Bible for the oath?  Who moved the site from the East Front of the Capitol to the West Front? Who vetoed the idea of a parade and simply walked to the Capitol on the sidewalk?

Source: Nelson, Michael, ed. Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch, 5th Ed.. 5th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2012. doi: 10.4135/9781452234298.



To view this resource, paste the DOI 10.4135/9781452234298 into the SAGE Knowledge search box. By clicking “On This Page” you will be able to go directly to the sections on the Transition Period or the Inauguration. Information about the Electoral College appears in the section The Election.

Nov 02

Handy resources for the General Election

Posted on November 2, 2016 at 2:06 PM by Brian Herder

Here are some handy resources for the upcoming General Election:

http://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/elections/2016_General_Election-Advance_Voting_Locations.pdf 
Advance voting information by county – locations, dates and hours

https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView/Home.do
Under Registration Information, find a sample ballot for the general election.
Under Polling Place, find polling addresses and district numbers.
Mobile site link is at the bottom of the page.

There is an amendment to the Kansas Constitution relating to the right to hunt, fish and trap. You can see the proposed language for 2016 HCR 5008 on page 1446: 
http://www.kssos.org/pubs/sessionlaws/2016/2016_Session_Laws_Volume_2_including_2016_Special_Session.pdf .

Election night you can watch the results roll in here - http://www.sos.ks.gov/ent/kssos_ent.html