50-Year-Old Flashbulb Memory

By Debra Kirby

Flashbulb memory is a term first coined in 1977 by psychologists to describe the vivid, detailed and lasting memories triggered by experiencing or hearing news of traumatic events. Most people have a list of “flashbulb memories” that, depending on their age and location, might include the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, and MLK assassinations; the Challenger explosion; and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. People often say they can remember in sharp detail where they were, what they were doing, and sometimes even what they were wearing when news of the event broke.

One of the events on my flashbulb list occurred on January 27, 1967 when astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White and Roger Chaffee perished in the launch pad fire at Cape Canaveral.

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The Topeka and Shawnee County Library team is continually developing approaches in services, programs, and collections that empower the citizens of our community. We believe the library’s role is to enable people to learn, connect, develop skills, and contribute to their community. In 2014, we surveyed 3,200 households to help determine specific needs, and received … Read more

Empowerment. Society, and our profession in general, have become romantically attracted to the word, yet most of us would more than likely define it differently. In fact, a library director and I were texting each other about the significance of this word and others just a few weeks ago. We discussed what it means for the work that we are doing in our respective institutions, quickly realizing our different definitions.

Here at The Seattle Public Library, it’s an unspoken tenet that the work we do each and every day should empower our staff and patrons of every age and walk of life to experience and enjoy life. For our staff, we offer training and professional development and learning experiences that they can draw upon, and feel empowered to serve the public confidently. We also give them the space to think of new programs and activities that will be of interest or benefit to our users and create more personal and meaningful experiences.

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The Highlander Center Raid

By Traci Cothran

When a new publication is released here at Gale, I like to take a peek at what colleagues have been working on. So today I opened up the new American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990and WOW! What a treasure trove of history it holds!

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Martin Luther King Jr. Declassified: 9 Primary Source Documents

Documents in U.S. Declassified Documents Online cover a broad range of topics from Presidential memoranda to confidential National Security Council documents. These nine documents reveal government intelligence related to Martin Luther King Jr’s activity during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

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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