3.21.2017

Time Machine Tuesday: Child Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month.  This campaign for awareness of healthy eating began with National Nutrition Week in 1973, and expanded to a full month of commemoration in 1980.*  While National Nutrition Month promotes healthy eating for everyone, child nutrition is a special focus of the awareness campaign.

Colorado's promotion of child nutrition began long before the national commemorations were put in place.  In 1931, the Colorado Agricultural College's Extension Service published Health and Nutrition of the School Child, which you can read online from our library.  In comparing the child nutrition practices in this publication with those of today, readers will find that although technology and packaging have evolved (check out the portable oven on page 7!), the basic emphasis on fruits and vegetables, milk, and whole grains, along with fresh air, exercise, and good sleep, has not changed in nearly a century.

For more online publications visit our library's digital repository.


*Source:  http://www.eatright.org/~/media/eatright%20files/nationalnutritionmonth/nnmhistory_032006jada.ashx

3.20.2017

Spring is Here!

Hooray, today is the first day of Spring!  Are you interested in learning about the plants and animals that Colorado springtime brings?  Our library has many resources that you can use to learn -- or teach your kids -- about springtime in Colorado.

Hearken!  It's Spring is a publication from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.  This title from their "Colorado's Wildlife Company" series is written for all ages, with fun facts and illustrations about Colorado wildlife.  Search our library's web catalog to find more titles from Colorado's Wildlife Company.

Planning a flower garden this spring?  Check out Spring-Planted Bulbs, Corms and Roots to learn about the best bulbs for growing in Colorado.  This is only one of hundreds of resources on Colorado gardening available from our library; search our web catalog for more titles.


3.17.2017

St. Patrick's Day Activities for Kids

St. Patrick's Day is a celebration of Irish heritage and culture.  It's also a holiday for all ages and therefore a great day for teaching youngsters about Irish traditions.  In The Ties That Bind, an arts lesson plan kit from the Colorado Council on the Arts, you can find a chapter on St. Patrick's Day lessons for kids, especially tailored to Colorado.  The activities also tie in with Colorado education standards for social studies.  Teachers and activity leaders can use this toolkit to plan lessons about many aspects of Irish culture.  The kids can learn about Irish foods, art and music; Irish immigration to the United States; and more.   

The Ties That Bind is a helpful toolkit for teachers use year-round, as it includes lesson plans for teaching about other Colorado cultural traditions, including American Indians, Latinos, Hmong cultures, and even cowboys, as well as artistic traditions that reach across cultures.



Happy St. Paddy's Day from the State Publications Library!

3.14.2017

Time Machine Tuesday: Public Opinion on Water Quality

This week we're only going back a decade, to 2007, but a lot has changed in ten years concerning today's topic.

A decade ago, the State of Colorado's Water Quality Control Division (WQCD) issued a report entitled Public Opinions on Water Quality Issues, which you can read online courtesy of our library.  The report contained the results of a statewide survey on water and environmental issues.  Recall, however, that in the decade since this report was published we have experienced events such as the Flint, Michigan water crisis, Colorado's 2013 floods, the 2015 Animas River spill, and increased interest in fracking, all of which may have caused opinions to change.  For instance, according to the 2007 report, just 71% of Coloradans surveyed reported that "the impact on public health is a very motivating reason to improve water quality."  Further, 93% of Coloradans believed their home drinking water was safe. 

How did opinion change over the decade?  In 2014, the WQCD issued a follow-up report that showed some moderately increased concern, although the percentage of respondents who believed their home drinking water to be safe only decreased from 93% to 90% (remember, the Flint crisis was just beginning in 2014).  However, the 2014 follow-up survey did show that water pollution had replaced air pollution as Coloradans' top environmental concern.* 

Now, three years have passed since the follow-up survey.  Have recent events caused more concern in Coloradans?  Or have state and local governments' recent efforts to improve water quality helped to bring back water users' confidence? We'll have to stay tuned for the next survey.

For many, many more reports and resources on water quality and other environmental issues in Colorado, search our library's online catalog.    



*Survey respondents were asked to rate the following environmental concerns:  water pollution, air pollution, climate change, habitat loss, and threatened/endangered species.  In 2007, air pollution and water pollution were nearly tied, with 35% of respondents rating air pollution as the top concern while 34% chose water pollution.  By 2014, the number of respondents rating water pollution as the top concern jumped to 42%, while air pollution trailed in a distant second at 21%.  The numbers for the other three concerns remained relatively stable.

3.13.2017

Colorado Governors: William Gilpin

The first governor of Colorado Territory, William Gilpin, was appointed by Abraham Lincoln and served 1861-62.  Born in Pennsylvania in 1813, Gilpin participated in several western expeditions in the 1840s, served as a Major in the Mexican-American War, and was made a General in charge of protecting white settlers on the Santa Fe Trail.  When the Civil War broke out, Governor Gilpin helped raise troops to defend Colorado Territory from Confederate invasion.  He was removed from office a the following year after bringing the territory into debt.  Gilpin's post-gubernatorial career focused on railroad expansion.  He died in 1894; Gilpin County is named for him.

Publications from Gilpin's governorship are rare, but you can come to our library to view the 1861 House Journal of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Colorado.  Secondary sources on Gilpin include several articles in Colorado Magazine, including
  • "The Civil Administration of Governor William Gilpin," by Sheldon S. Zweig, in the July 1954 issue
  • "My Recollections of William Gilpin," by Clarence S. Jackson, which is Jackson's recollections of Gilpin's visits to his boyhood home in the 1880s.  Jackson's father was the famed photographer William Henry Jackson.  This article appears in the July 1949 issue.
  • "William Gilpin:  Sinophile and Eccentric," by Kenneth Porter, which discusses his views on the Chinese and railroads, in the October 1960 issue.  
  • "William Gilpin and the Destruction of the Desert Myth," in the Spring 1969 issue, which explores how Gilpin served as one of the West's great promoters and sought to shatter the myth of the "Great American Desert."
You can also find a biography of Gilpin's wife, Julia, in "Colorado's First Ladies:  Julia Pratte Gilpin," in the October 1961 issue.

For more resources on all of Colorado's governors visit our library's web catalog.


Photo courtesy Colorado State Archives