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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Discover new titles for Explorers like Chris

Explore travel ebooks DK publishing

By Kim Martin

Meet Chris, the explorer. He’s passionate about adventure, travel and discovering the world. Ever since he can remember, he wanted to know as much about other countries—their people, cuisine, geography, whatever he could possibly take in.  As someone who loves to immerse himself in other cultures, he needs the right resources and tools, for excursions near and far.

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Do you keep your library’s business resources hidden?

Who Needs Business School? The Hidden Startup Resources at your Local Library

By Harmony Faust

Samantha Cole, an editorial intern for Fast Company magazine, just gave your library a present—did you accept it graciously and immediately put it to good use? If not, you might be missing out on an opportunity to leverage the gift of free advertising. Keep reading; it’s not too late.

Cole’s article, “Who Needs Business School? The Hidden Startup Resources at your Local Library,” perfectly tells the value story of public libraries and specifically, how you support local entrepreneurs and foster economic growth. Do you ever read or hear something and think to yourself, “I couldn’t have said it better myself!”? This is one of those moments. What Cole has explained about libraries—and how she has explained it—is evidence-based and right on point.

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Truth Be Told: What is oil pulling and does it work?

does oil pulling work

By Harmony Faust

“Oil whatting?”

If that’s your response to the phrase oil pulling, you are not alone. What is oil pulling and why is everyone buzzing about it? First of all, it turns out that it’s not an alternative to fracking and has nothing to do with the environment. Based on the context clues provided in the various Facebook statuses and Pinterest pins I’d been seeing, I was able to gather it was a health fad of some sort. Not being much of a bandwagoner myself, I kept scrolling. 

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…April Fools!

By Carrie Stefanski

Gotcha, noddies! That’s what they call those who are tricked on April 1, in England. Although the Thorndike bathroom ad was an actual (ingenious) idea, Gale will not be using it at the next trade show. Some good ideas are best left as ideas, or, when timed right, April Fool’s jokes.

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In Other News: the Oscar Pistorius Trial

By Michelle Eickmeyer

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

March 21, 2014 – The Oscar Pistorius Trial

Whether you knew him as the first athlete to compete in the Olympics with prosthesis (it’s impossible to call him disabled) or for his current trial for the shooting death of his former girlfriend, Oscar Pistorius has spent much time in the international spotlight. The highest of high and lowest of lows. At just 27 he has accomplished much, and as his trial moves forward it remains to be seen what the future holds for him.

Here are five titles which look at the Oscar Pistorius trial from different perspectives:

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Featured Partner: Encyclopedia Britannica

An ongoing look at the partner publishers available through GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

For many of us, Encyclopedia Britannica has long represented the place to go to find information on just about everything. While the look of the book has changed, and how students and your community interact with it have changed, the standard of excellence has not. Founded nearly 250 years ago, Encyclopedia Britannica is still a trusted source of all kinds of information.

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Putting the “Pub” in Public Library

By Harmony Faust

To say I’m a fan of craft beer is accurate, but perhaps doesn’t paint the full picture. The fact is, for my husband and I, it’s “our thing.” We appreciate craft beer to the point that last month, for the fourth consecutive year, we traveled to the Annual Winter Beer Festival of the Michigan Brewers Guild. That’s right, Michigan’s Brewers Guild. This places us outdoors in the middle of February at a beer festival. The high was 24 degrees but surrounded by good beer and good friends, no one seemed to notice.

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In Other News: Malaysian Airlines Diaster

By Michelle Eickmeyer

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

March 14, 2014 – The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

It’s the worst nightmare of any traveler, their family and most regular people. An airplane takes off at 12:41 am from Kuala Lumpur headed to Beijing with 239 people on board. Just two hours later… it’s vanished. The speculation began almost immediately: How had people boarded the plane with stolen passports? Was there a bomb? Could they have turned around? How long after the last radar ping was the plane still flying? Why is the ‘black box’ orange? In 2014, how do you lose a plane? With nearly a week passing, we know little more than we did the first day. The world continues to hope for the best, fear the worst, and wait for word.

Here are five titles which look at the the disappearance from different perspectives:

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