This semester I’m taking a government documents class and here’s my first round of research answers:

1. Look at the newspaper and find which agencies are involved in a front page story.

Monday’s newspaper had a story on China and cyber security as a lead story under US News. The article refers to:

Segal, A. (2016, February 1). Why China Hacks the World. Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2016/0131/Why-China-hacks-the-world on February 1, 2016.

2. Which agencies have leading and which have secondary roles in disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or tsunami?

To find out which agencies have a role in relief efforts after a natural disaster, I checked the U.S. Government Manual (http://usgovernmentmanual.gov/), but didn’t find a clear document

I expected the Federal Emergency Management Agency (http://fema.gov) to top the list, but it wasn’t. FEMA’s website did not provide much background information, but their mission is to manage disasters such as the Flint, MI water crisis, tornados, hurricanes and more.

On DisasterAssistance.gov I found George W. Bush’s Executive Order on Improving Assistance for Disaster Victims (http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/displayEO.cfm?id=EO_13411_) which lists several secondary agencies under the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA. Furthermore another search yielded Connecticut’s Natural Disaster Plan, which can be used as an example of how disaster relief is organized within a state.

A chat with an information specialist at USA.gov resulted in getting this document (http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/PDFS/CHAP03/D03-07.PDF), which seemed thorough and easy to read, but rather old.

For emergencies in Illinois, I found http://www.illinois.gov/iema/About/Pages/default.aspx by starting at GovSpot (http://www.govspot.com/state/il.htm) which was listed on a UICU Lib Guide. I would share the emergency management agency for whichever state I worked in with a patron asking about this topic.

3. You’re asked about a new government report on global warming but don’t know more about it. Where would you look for the report?

To find out more about a new government report on global warming, I would take the following steps:

I. Search online for more newspaper articles on the new report using “global warming,” “global change” and “climate change” as keywords.
II. Use our textbook to see which agencies cover global warming. I found on pages 285-288 that in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) these agencies have a mission to study climate change:
a. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency: noaa.gov
b. US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP): globalchange.gov
Since USGCRP aggregates several government agencies that handle climate change, I would expect to find the report under its “Publications” heading.
III. If I didn’t work at a Federal Depository library and still hadn’t found the report, I would call the closest one, e.g. Northwestern University after locating its phone number from fdlp.gov.