The History of Transcontinental Travel: The Unknown Horizon

American Progress, by John Gast, 1872. Chromolithograph published by George A. Crofutt. Source: Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

By Ryan Price

John Gast was a painter based in Brooklyn when he was commissioned to paint this picture for George Crofutt, a publisher of a popular series of western travel guides. The images Gast put to canvas represent a historical timeline of transportation technologies up until 1872 when the painting was completed. The Indian travois, the covered wagons, Pony Express, overland stage and the three railroad lines are not only progressively pushing one another forward (from East to West) but also driving the indigenous inhabitants — buffalo, bear and Native Americans — almost literally off of the painting. In the wake of this expansion are the tall ships in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Columbia (a personification of the United States) guides the way, holding a schoolbook in one hand while stringing telegraph wire with the other. The imagery is a vivid and dynamic telling of not only the history of westward expansion but the future of it as well.

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When a Question Reveals a Collection

Ms. Valentine, do you have a book on the Greek alphabet?

Why, yes. Yes I do.

It’s Camp Read a lot time, and I can hear children at the picnic table, their voices raised to that particular shrillness that usually means an argument is about to boil over. There’s activity over at the fishing pond, too – but I don’t have a line of direct sight to the lines to see if anyone is swinging them…ah, no swinging yet. But I have, I estimate, about forty seconds to help you find a book on the Greek alphabet. After that, who knows what will happen with the fishing lines and the picnic argument.

You walk over to the foreign language collection in the 400s, perhaps the shelf I am prouder of than any other in this collection of 14,000 items. I built it from nothing, almost. We needed materials for our ESL students.

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Road Trip Safety Tips for Summer and Beyond

Explore travel ebooks DK publishing

By Jacquelyn Goetz Bluethmann

Planning a summer road trip? In addition to packing the life vests, fishing poles, and bike helmets, you’ll want to give some thought to making sure the adventure is both fun and safe for all involved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends a number of steps to prepare you, your family and your vehicle for the road. Some of those NHTSA resources follow:

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10 Tips for Resume Perfection

Resume Resources for Job Seekers

By Phyllicia Morgan

It’s no secret how much a resume can make or break your chances of landing a job interview, or better yet, being chosen for the gig. According to recent studies, a recruiter spends an average of 6 seconds before they decide upon moving a resume forward or tossing it in the trash. Here are 10 tips for resume perfection that are bound to get your resume past the initial glance, keeping it out of the trash!

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Genealogy Tips to Handle the Pitfalls of Passenger Records

Genealogy Public Library Resources

By Michael Tepper

Researchers often run into problems when they are on the trail of an immigrant ancestor. The most common misconception about passenger lists is the belief that people had their names changed when they got to Ellis Island. In fact, immigrants did not change their names unless they applied for a change of name by deed poll at a courthouse or when they were naturalized. During processing at Ellis Island, officials had the actual ships’ manifests in front of them. They called each immigrant by name, according to the manifests, and often put a check next to the name after it had been called. So the passenger records are an exact reflection of the immigrants’ identities before they crossed the Atlantic, not after.

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Michigan eLibrary Boosts Local Economy

Public Libraries support local business

By Gale Marketing Research Team

In June 2013, the Michigan eLibrary (MeL), a service of the Library of Michigan, added three Gale online resources – DemographicsNow: Business & People, BusinessInsights: Global, and Gale LegalForms – plus a collection of business-oriented GVRL eBooks to their portfolio.

The decision to purchase business resources for Michigan resulted in funding proposed by the office of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as part of his “Economic Gardening” initiative to grow businesses in the state, which was then enacted by the Michigan state legislature.

Before MeL had these new business resources available, libraries had to buy their own. Many didn’t have the funds to do so, according to Deb Biggs Thomas, Michigan eLibrary & Outreach Coordinator at the Library of Michigan.

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