Product Updates: New In Context content for 09/29/14

Gale is continually updating and adding new content to our In Context products, ensuring that they offer timely, authoritative, useful information. The items below were added or updated during the week of September 29, 2014.

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Why Libraries Matter

By Frank Menchaca

Libraries, it seems, are under attack everywhere. Schools are eliminating librarians. College libraries receive less than three cents of every dollar spent on higher education. Marketing guru Seth Godin— and a chorus of others—has questioned the relevance of libraries in particularly stinging terms.

But there’s good news too. Ninety-five percent of Americans believe that public libraries play an important role in helping people live more successful lives. Students who visit their college libraries even once a semester are much more likely to return to school the following semester than those who do not. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “the vast majority of readers aged 16-29 have read a print book in the last year.” And 60 percent of Americans under the age of 30 have used a library within the last 12 months.

The message is clear. Libraries—whether academic, municipal, or special purpose—are essential to the health, wealth, and education of the communities they serve. There’s no doubt libraries are challenged by funding cuts and bad press or that they need to beef up their marketing efforts, but the rumors of their death have been greatly exaggerated.

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Getting to Know U: Alexandra

By Melissa Rayner

Well, it’s that time again. Time to meet another inspiring Gale U resident as part of the weekly Getting to Know U blog series. So far, we’ve met a librarian and a faculty member, and today I’d like to introduce our first student.

By the way, if you haven’t yet checked out Gale U, we encourage you to visit the campus map and do some exploring.

Now, without further ado, let’s see what’s happening with Alexandra, a freshman biology student who regularly visits the campus Writing Center for a little extra help.

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In Other News: Women in the News

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Some amazing women did some amazing things this week. And sadly, some horrible things were said about and done to some amazing women this week as well.

This post is going to be a slightly different format than usual. Hopefully you’ll find the information just as useful.

Here are five titles that look at women from different perspectives:

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Heart and Soul

By Kate I.

When I landed on the USC campus as a freshman in the fall of 1996, the only thing I knew I needed to do for sure was find a work-study job. For fear of waiting too long and losing out, I took the very first job I was offered — a $5.25 an hour job at a campus library. USC has a multitude of libraries, and that fall was the year a brand new library opened its doors…it was beautiful, bright, beckoning, a center of social activity, open 24 hours, bays of gleaming computers, print stations, fully staffed on site technical support, and friendly, cheerful librarians to help you maneuver the clearly labeled areas of the large building. Leavy Library.

Alas, my job was not at Leavy, it was in the much older, marble entombed, silent and still Doheny Library. With narrow stacks, a terrifying cage where the dissertations were kept, and a “periodicals” section with the most amazing ceiling, Doheny was one of the older buildings on campus and the opposite of a social space, even with the Cinema Library in the basement that allowed students to watch movies on Beta, VHS and laser-disc to their hearts’ content. The lighting was dim, the stacks were dusty, and getting lost was a nightly occurrence. There was no social hour, it was a haven for grad students and for anyone looking to disappear into their work for a little while.

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Libraries Provide Educational (and Creative) Resources for All

By Farah F. 

I was listening to an interview on NPR with Regina Spektor one summer, where she stated that libraries are sort of a level playing field for everyone. Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn, to enjoy books and film, music, and research. Libraries help keep our communities educated, and allow these resources to ALL.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have a decent internet connection. Our house was on 5 acres of land. But we were required to use the internet for our projects in school. Needless to say, the library helped me with this. Even in college, I would look up my grades, pay my tuition, and more, at the library if I was back home for break.

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Finding a New Job

By Aaron C. 

I was in my 2nd year at GMI / EMI which is a school that had a calendar of 3 month CO-OP engagement, 3 months of schooling, 3 months CO-OP, and 3 months of schooling as a 5 year program. My CO-OP sponsor was in California and my family was in Michigan. I tried to lobby for a new CO-OP sponsor with the school but was told that in order to change sponsors I would need to find my own. I walked out of that office and straight to the library.
During the library introduction at the beginning of the semester I remembered them showing us the various company registries and how you could find any company in them. I spent hours pouring over the listings and creating a mailing list of the companies that worked in automation which is not only what I wanted to do but it applied to my degree program.

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A Second Home

By Courtney C. 

Growing up, I spent a good chunk of my summers at our public library since it was impossible to be bored there. My summer ritual was going to the library at least once a week and taking out a bag full of books to occupy my time until I could return them again. It was comforting to have a place to call my second home.

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19th Century Nitty-Gritty: Out of Savagery into Civilization

By Melissa Rayner

Native American rights have been in the news quite a bit lately, especially as they relate to the Redskins controversy. That got me thinking:  How were things back in our favorite century?

And what I found broke my heart, much in the same way reading The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison breaks my heart every single time (yes, normally, these blog posts are kind of hilarious, and I promise to return to hilarity next week).

My search turned up an autobiography by Joseph K. Griffis (formerly Tahan), Out of Savagery into Civilization, in which he recounts–and even dumbs down–his many adventures as a wild man of the plains and how he eventually found his place among learned, civilized society. Here, the introduction lays out his many experiences:

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