Lafayette Parish Schools Expand eBook Access

Originally Posted on The Daily Advertiser, March 13, 2017 |

Lafayette Parish students now have access to nonfiction eBooks in all major disciplines. Titles also are available to help high school students with college and career readiness.

The eBooks are available through the Gale Virtual Reference Library, or GVRL, a platform from Gale, one of the main providers of library resources and a part of Cengage Learning.

The titles cover a wide range of topics, including science, geography, history, language arts and other subjects. Elementary-level titles will be available for younger students, as well as more challenging texts for middle school students.

“As the Lafayette Parish School System continues to embrace and expand Vision 2020 in regards to academics and technology, electronic resources are an essential component,” Chief Academic Officer Annette Samec said. “Gale’s eBooks are the perfect complement for schools with 1:1 devices.”

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Pellissippi State Community College Librarian Shares Why Gale Resources are Successful

|  By Jennifer Mezick, Acquisitions and Collection Development Librarian Pellissippi State Community College | At Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC), our users have access to many Gale resources through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL). Through our TEL setup we are able to track only statistics for PSCC users. From our statistics, we know that Gale resources … Read more…

The Greatest Resistance Stories

| By Debra Kirby |

In honor of Holocaust Month, which is observed in the United States in April, I’m sharing a few of my current reads and older favorites related to World War II resistance groups and individuals. With a background like mine—a lifelong interest in World War II history, French and Polish grandparents, and a tendency toward activism—stories about WWII resistance in Europe have long attracted my interest. Below are a few of my current and longtime favorites, as well as recommendations on which Gale databases you can visit to learn more about WWII resistance.

 Recent Nonfiction Favorites:

The Resistance, 1940: An Anthology of Writings from the French Underground translated and annotated by Charles B. Potter (2016). This fascinating first person accounting of four French Resistance fighters, including national heroes Jean Moulin and Germaine Tillion, would make an excellent primary source student resource.

The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (2007) chronicles the experiences of Polish citizens Antonina and Jan Zabinski and their sheltering of Jews on the grounds of the Warsaw Zoo. A movie based on the book and starring Jessica Chastain premiered in Warsaw in early March.

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Harry Potter and the…Philosopher’s Stone?

That’s right. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published under the title Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Maybe all you die hard Harry Potter fans knew that, but did you know: The “Philosopher’s Stone” is an object from legends, and dates back to 300 CE. According to lore, it was used in … Read more…

Irish Short Fiction: A Saint Patrick’s Day Review

| By Eric Bargeron, Layman Poupard Publishing |

This Saint Patrick’s day, readers of Literature Criticism Online can distinguish themselves from the masses by eschewing green beer and shamrock kitsch, and contemplating instead the many contributions of Ireland to the world of literature. As critic Terence Brown notes in Short Story Criticism, volume 226, “it is scarcely a disputable fact of literary history that Irish prose fiction writers have been drawn to the short story form and have indeed excelled in it.” That volume, which is devoted entirely to Irish writers, includes a lengthy entry on James Joyce. His stories, all of which are contained in the collection Dubliners, are widely considered to be among the best in the English language. Joyce himself was fairly convinced of the importance of the book, even before its publication, as Morris Beja writes in his essay “One Good Look at Themselves”:

During their dispute over the problems in bringing out an edition of Dubliners, James Joyce wrote the publisher Grant Richards that ‘I seriously believe that you will retard the course of civilization in Ireland by preventing the Irish people from having one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking-glass.’

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WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

| By Traci Cothran |

How wonderful is it that following the release of the movie “Hidden Figures,” the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson are now known by millions?  Their collective story is an impressive and important one, yet it’s a part of our history that’s been concealed for decades.

What other significant contributions by women are also shielded from view?  It’s a joy to uncover these gems, and allow them to inspire other women and girls today.  To me, that’s what Women’s History Month is all about—shining a light on the often overlooked contributions made by women throughout history.

Here are just a few, randomly chosen women from today and yesterday whose work and lives are notable.  You’ll find them all in Biography In Context, among other Gale resources.  As you read about them, you’re bound to discover other interesting women, too!

Maria Tallchief – (1925-2013) Tallchief was the first American-born woman to achieve prima ballerina status at a major dance company; she was also a member of the Osage Nation.  She’s featured this month in Research In Context.

Zora Neale Hurston – (1891-1960) A writer and major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston is a favorite of mine, for both her wonderful writing and her ability to live an unconventional life for women of her era.

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One Shining Moment in Space and Time

| By Debra Kirby |

While a history major in college, one of my classes was a one-on-one tutorial on the history of science.  During one session my patient professor was able to explain Einstein’s special relativity theory so that I was truly able to understand it—for one bright shining moment. I could almost feel my brain working! It was beautiful! Sorry to say, I was never again able to recapture that moment in quite the same way, despite later taking a “Physics for Poets” class and going through quite the hero worship phase, which included reading every book on Einstein I was able to purchase or borrow. I even hung a poster of him in my bedroom. Because my history focus was on World War II, I found Einstein biographies especially fascinating, since much of his life was intertwined with and influenced by that war.  In honor of Einstein’s birthday today, March 14, I recently visited Gale’s Science In Context to reacquaint myself with the great physicist. Here are just a few of the interesting facts I found:

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Cornell Professor and Librarian Collaborate to Contribute to Gale Researcher

Gale has partnered with Cornell College Professor of English Katy Stavreva to curate introductory British Literature content for Gale Researcher. In an article Cornell College’s News Center Stavreva describes the challenge of mapping out foundational content for the British Literature module, “This is no small challenge because the field is not only dynamic, but there are numerous ideologies and theories involved in deciding who and what may be foundational in it.” 

Stavreva also collaborated with her Cornell colleagues to create content for Gale Researcher. Cornell Interim Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Consulting Librarian Jennifer Rouse contributed to the collection with the essay “The Literary Research Process.” A recent article on the Cornell College News Center goes into more detail about Gale Researcher and Stavreva’s contributions.

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Teaching Research Made Easy with Gale

| By Lori Warren | Located in Chattanooga, the STEM School opened in the Summer of 2012 on the Chattanooga State Community College Campus. The high school’s name stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. All students enrolled: receive an iPad, participate in Project Based Learning Units, and pursue a STEM focused curriculum. As their … Read more…

Invest in Libraries

| By Christi Buker, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Library Association |

| Originally posted on The Daily Item, March 2017 |

Investing in libraries is an easy decision.

As we enter the state budget season, with the cuts and consolidations of departments, and tightening budget restraints, Pennsylvania libraries are the keystone that can fill the gap—holding all of these services together for our residents with a more efficient use of funding.

Libraries are highly efficient—sharing/borrowing is significantly less expensive than a citizen trying to purchase the same database access, resources, and expertise, as well as a real community center. Every $1 invested in libraries, yields nearly $5.48 in services and resources back to the community. What a great rate of return! It is not merely the fantastic value of the services, resources, and expertise that matters, but that libraries, when properly funded, have a positive impact on the education, employment, and economy of their communities.

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