Hidden No Longer

By Debra Kirby

Sometimes it takes a critically acclaimed movie to shine a light on extraordinary achievements. This has proved to be especially true when the subjects of those achievements are women or members of minorities. The movie Hidden Figures, based on a book of the same name, has recently generated interest in three African American women who played important roles in the U.S. Apollo Space Program. As is often the case, once you start digging into the details around historic events or people, you discover many related interesting facts and stories. When your sources include Gale databases you can spend hours exploring and learning.

Here are some of the facts I found when I began my journey to learn more about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson—the fascinating women whose stories are told in Hidden Figures.

  • Katherine Johnson began her career as a “human computer” at the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), NASA’s predecessor. Before the age of electronic computers, NACA employed hundreds of women mathematicians as human computers. Men with similar qualifications were classified as professionals; women were sub-professionals. Black mathematicians were segregated in their own office and loaned out to various divisions as needed. (Read more about Johnson in Biography In Context.)

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Evolution of Flight: A Recommended Resource

From the hot air balloons of yesteryear to the commercial airline carriers of today, mankind has always been fascinated by the concept of flight. Public interest in aviation peaked during the twentieth century, leading to rapid development of its corresponding technology. From this period of fervent focus emerged the celebrated pioneers of aviation:  Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Wiley Post, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, and many others, who forever changed the way humans interact with the world. Their theories, feats, and record-breaking efforts are all captured in Evolution of Flight, 1784-1991.

 

Drawing from the treasure trove of images, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, government documents, and other primary source materials available within the National Air and Space Museum Archives, the National Air and Space Museum Library, the Smithsonian Archives, and Smithsonian Libraries, this newest collection in the Smithsonian Collections Online series offers unparalleled insight into the era of aviation and its lasting impact on today’s society with content that spans more than two centuries, 1784-1991.

 

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources:

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New Year’s Resolutions: Some Lessons from Literature

Now that the ball has dropped, the confetti has been swept away, and 2017 has arrived, it is time to put those New Year’s resolutions into effect. Easier said than done. For readers who seek help along the road to self-improvement, we offer some unconventional advice and context, gleaned from the digital pages of Literature Criticism Online, on some common resolutions.

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Offsetting the Diploma Deficit

Today, the high school dropout rate has reached epidemic levels. There are nearly 40 million Americans without a high school diploma—and those adults looking to return to high school have limited options. The startling figures below from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, uncover just how many adults in each state has less … Read more

Broward Libraries Graduate First Online High School Class

Originally published by the Sun Sentinel http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/fl-high-school-diplomas-20161215-story.html December 15, 2016 By Caitlin R McGlade Judith John dropped out of high school 20 years ago, but Thursday she stood before her classmates and family, clad in blue cap and gown, to celebrate meeting a milestone. She and 20 others this year became the first class to graduate … Read more

Are Your Students College Ready?

Did you know? Nearly 3/4 of college freshmen lack research skills. 1 Too many students start college underprepared, but Gale can help them cultivate the skills they need before they graduate—and they agree. Listen to what 12th-graders participating in a Project Tomorrow® study reported as the top benefits of Gale resources: Download the infographic to learn more about … Read more

The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World: Recommended for All Libraries

Looking for an “expanded” and “recommended” resource designed to support users’ religion and history understandings? The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World provides rich historical content partnered with coverage of the issues, countries, and people that are important in today’s world to provide knowledge of Islam’s influence on all areas of human activity. This updated edition should be considered for beginning students for any library.

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Gale Gets Ready to Toast the New Year

This year was nothing short of a wild ride. As 2016 comes to a close and we lay our sights on what we want to accomplish in 2017, we took a few minutes to chat with product and marketing leaders at Gale for their thoughts, hopes and predictions for the coming year.

Overall, they predict academic libraries will be taking on more visible roles when it comes affordability and advancing digital scholarship (aka digital humanities). An exceptional year in politics globally may lead to more calls for diversity-based content and will likely present new opportunities for public libraries to support Americans and American workers when it comes to information and media literacy as well as education and workforce training. As the digital transition in K-12 moves full speed ahead, personalized learning environments and flexibility will be key especially as ESSA legislation is implemented.

More from our experts here….

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Help Students Improve Their Employability

For many undergraduate students, employment looms large as they look toward graduation.  How can you help them prepare?  Two words:  information literacy. More than half of employers surveyed* recently rate “the ability to locate, organize, and evaluation information from multiple sources” as “very important” when it comes to hiring recent college graduates. How to help … Read more