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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.

Apr 22

Money Smart Week 2016

Posted on April 22, 2016 at 2:05 PM by Sarah Tenfelde-Dubois

Money Smart Week kicks off on April 23 this year. Money Smart Week is a great time to help patrons learn to manage personal finances with events and activities.   Understanding the workings of personal finance, financial planning, lifestyle flexibility and locating helpful services become important tools in life. This includes starting at a young age and learning to make wise decisions about earning and spending, then moving on to thinking about how to prepare for retirement.

To help with financial literacy education, the State Library of Kansas has put together resources that might be helpful in education for all individuals. For more information, please see our Financial Literacy for Kansans page.  This year, we've added a Total Boox shelf to the financial literacy Digital Books page, as well as some additional titles. Feel free to check back, as other titles might be included.

If you are a librarian or educator who wants to create a financial literacy program, the State Library has created a resource page that contains links to various curriculum resources, programming ideas, and possible grant opportunities.  The programming section has several links to free financial education publications that can be ordered for libraries. Additionally, from an American Library Association news release, libraries can have the opportunity to have access to finance subject ebooks through HarperCollins for a fee through April 15-May 15, 2016.

For further information, links to Kansas government financial literacy resources are highlighted on the Financial Organizations in Kansas tab in the Financial Literacy portion of the State Library’s website.  New this year is Kansas Money, which was created for financial information concerning Kansans, by state agencies in Kansas. In other government news, Governor Brownback has declared April as Financial Literacy month in April.  To view the proclamation, please see the Kansas Office of the Securities Commissioner’s press release.

These helpful and knowledgeable links on different topics of financial literacy and personal finance can be shared throughout the year, but are especially relevant during Money Smart Week.

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



Apr 08

Summaries of Legislation

Posted on April 8, 2016 at 12:09 PM by Brian Herder

There is no 'typical' legislative session, but in the past five years an average of almost 150 bills a year have been passed by the Kansas Legislature. Since many of these consist of multiple bills bundled together during an eleventh-hour conference committee, keeping track of the laws that get passed every year can get complicated.

To help with that, the Kansas Legislative Research Department publishes an annual Summary of Legislation. This is a very helpful publication that selects major bills to summarize in 'lay language', similar to supplemental notes that come out during the year. This usually comes out in July after the session has adjourned and passed laws typically go into effect.

For an example, see the 2015 Summary of Legislation.

Additionally, during session, Legislative Research will publish one or more Preliminary Summaries of Legislation compiling legislation that have passed the Legislature to date. The following is the 2016 Preliminary Summary of Legislation.

To read current and recent Summaries of Legislation, check out Legislative Research's Publications page, and don't forget to check back in for the full 2016 Summary of Legislation in July!

Mar 16

SAGE Knowledge Resources on Elections

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 12:45 PM by Brian Herder

Everywhere people are talking about the upcoming presidential election. Do you get asked “Just what is a superdelegate?” and “What happens at a brokered convention?” If someone calls you a 'Brass Collar Democrat', should you be offended? What about a 'Mugwump'?

The answer to these questions and more can be found in Elections A-Z, an encyclopedia found in SAGE Knowledge, on the main Online Resource page under Stats & Government.

Elections A to Z explains how campaigns and elections are conducted in the United States. Entries range from short definitions of terms such as superdelegate to in-depth essays exploring vital aspects of elections such as primary types and voter trends. This resource offers revised and updated content. The mostly one- to three-page entries, many with sidebars and illustrations, are enhanced by black and white portraits, photographs, and political cartoons. Users may search across all entries or browse by letter.

To discover the answers to these questions and more, paste the DOI to the right of each italicized term into the SAGE Knowledge search bar:

Superdelegate ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n241

Brokered Convention ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n26

Brass Collar Democrat ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n25

Mugwump ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n141


* Or brush up on Primary Types ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n182

* What is Fusionism? Hint: State Librarian Annie Diggs (1898-1902) was one:
Fusionism ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n93

* The phrase Stalking Horse has been mentioned this election. What does it mean?
Stalking Horse ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n232

* Did you know that some states have Sore Loser Laws? ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n226

* Where did the term Straw Vote come from? ----> 10.4135/9781452234144.n237

To see these entries and more, go to and then paste 10.4135/9781452234144 into the search bar.



Tarr, David R and Bob Benenson, eds. Elections A to Z. 4th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2012. SAGE Knowledge. Web. CQ Press: American Government A to Z Series