Secret Search Tips Revealed by a GVRL Expert

Vegetable Garden library resources

By Nicole Rakozy

As the weather heats up and as school lets out, many of us are thinking of outdoor activities and summer projects. For me, summer fever has introduced idealistic visions of cultivating a vegetable garden with my one-year old daughter, but unfortunately I know very little about growing plants. In full disclosure: Some of my potted companions did not survive their winter stay at Casa de Rakozy. And despite my understanding that gardening with a toddler is likely to have more to do with stopping her from eating dirt rather than tilling it, I decided to give it a shot.

My first step was to do some research to answer basic questions like: What tools will I need? Where is the best spot to put a garden? Which plants are easiest to grow? I began by skimming one of the many gardening and horticulture e-books available to me in Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).

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Accommodate Your Community Members’ Career Goals

goal-getter professional development resources for public libraries

Keisha is busy. In addition to being a mom, volunteering at the school, and working full time as a customer service representative, she’s looking for opportunities to advance her skills and move into a better job. A few co-workers have moved into management, but she’s been told she doesn’t have the background needed to be promoted. With school-aged kids and a 40-hour work week, Keisha’s schedule doesn’t accommodate traditional classes.

You’ve probably met Keisha – or a  goal-getter  just like her – in your library. To meet her needs, you can connect her with dozens of resources that can help her sharpen professional skills and pursue new opportunities for herself…and her family. All directly from your library website. Online learning programs, eBooks, and other resources are available 24/7 to answer questions and help members of your community expand their professional horizons (and earning opportunities).

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Summer Reading Now and Then

Kids Summer Reading Books and Authors

By Debra Kirby

With summer fast approaching and news related to educational standards, common core, and the increasing need for students to focus on reading skills to meet the demands of the 21st century, educators and parents will be looking for ways to keep student skill levels high over the long break. A summer reading list is one way to meet that goal. Helping spark a child’s interest in reading and keep them reading through the summer, and hopefully for life, often hinges on finding the right book – one that will draw them in and introduce them to the wider world waiting to be discovered.

With that background, being part of the editorial teams responsible for the Books and Authors and the What Do I Read Next? (print and ebook) series of products has been especially gratifying, but somewhat frustrating too. Editors who work on this series make ample use of these resources to create their own personalized reading lists. For example, last summer, I used the targeted search features of Books and Authors to find what I felt would be the perfect book to take on vacation to Mackinac Island. By searching on “Romantic Suspense,” “Island” and “New England,” I was able to find the perfect light summer reading.

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A Publishing Executive’s Perspective on the Value of Older Titles

Relevancy in older book titles

By Frank Menchaca

Library collections are developed with a keen eye towards selection criteria like quality, currency, and relevancy. These are logical considerations for any budget, but especially in today’s landscape, where libraries of all types and sizes are being tasked to make an increasingly greater impact, often with fewer financial resources.

When consulting with our library partners, we discover that oftentimes, currency implies relevancy and older titles, though tried and true, are quickly dismissed.

In the spirit of the old adage, “make new friends, but keep the old,” we’ve asked Frank Menchaca to share his personal perspective on the value of offering a collection which includes these older, but not outdated, research eBooks. Frank is the Senior Vice President of Global Product Management for the Gale, National Geographic Learning, and Professional groups at Cengage Learning.

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Caregivers in your Community? Help has Arrived!

Caregiver resources and ebooks

Jennifer’s friends often say to her, “I don’t know how you do it.” Most days, Jennifer doesn’t know either. Her mother’s health has been declining, and Jennifer is caring for her by monitoring her health, communicating with doctors and insurance companies, and even providing basic nursing care. This week, she’s trying to find out how to evaluate nursing homes. She tried doing a Google search, but the results are confusing and, in some cases, contradictory.

Jennifer, and many caregivers in your community, are looking for dependable resources to guide them to answers to improve care for their loved ones.

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Truth Be Told: 5 Fast Facts about Juice Fasting

juicing library resources

By Harmony Faust

There are several people in my inner circle who regularly and voluntarily consume nothing but fruit, vegetable and plant juices for days at a time. This. Blows. My. Mind. Juice fasting is a practice I’ve been hearing about for years and I still don’t get it.

If I’m being completely honest, the crux of my problem with juice fasting probably lies at the intersection of my natural skepticism and laziness—I don’t have a great track record with activities related to health and fitness.

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Health resources to support better living!

Healthy lifestyle ebooks

By Carrie Stefanski

Meet Sara. She’s a mom with three young children and has parents who are getting up there in age.  She wants the best for her family, and that includes good health. She needs reliable, up-to-date resources that to turn to, whether seeking new yoga poses for herself, healthy cooking for her family or researching specific health concerns such as heart disease.

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You have to start somewhere, help out your beginners!

Idiot Guides and For Dummies ebooks on GVRL for libraries

Meet Connie, a spunky 72-year-old grandma who just received her first computer. Her grandkids want her online, so online she must go! “I don’t know what took me so long and I want to learn everything I can,” she says, “but I guess I’m a little hesitant because I don’t know quite where to start.” We couldn’t think of a better way than an eBook like  Laptops For Seniors For Dummies, 3rd Edition. Connie can read and follow activities on her screen at the same time, it’s a perfect match.

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May the Fourth Be with You: Using the Force

Star Wars Research GVRL library

By Robert Lisiecki

May the fourth be with you. Wait, I thought it was, “may the force be with you.” You know a film made a monumental impact on society when people assign a date in the calendar year to geek out. Let’s get geeky, Star Wars friends.

I’m admittedly not a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd, but I’ve had a few light saber fights in my day, and I was Jar Jar Binks one year for Halloween; so, that counts for something… right?

It’s fascinating to think about the impactful nature of Star Wars, and how it still remains a force today (they just released the cast for the new movie!). Not only was it a monumental cinematic success, but it also impacted Hollywood, pop culture, and merchandising.

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Out of the Office: In Germany!

Explore travel DK publishing

By Bethany Dotson

For Christmas last year, my husband bought me the Rosetta Stone German Level 1-5 Set. He was so excited to give it to me, in fact, that he convinced me to open it five days early (I have to admit—I wasn’t hard to convince).  But upon opening the gift, I had to wonder out loud—why German? I had never expressed any interest in learning German—had I?

My patient husband, who is a mechanical engineer by education, by natural inclination, and by trade, responded that he knew that I wanted to take another trip to Europe, and he had settled on Germany as his #1 choice: not because of the fantastic history or culture, or even because of the food and beer, but because, and I quote, “they have a lot of engineers there and their trains run on time.”

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