Love, passion, humanity – yes, please!

Unexpectedly, she saw a man standing on the sidewalk looking right at her. He was tall, with blond hair, and broad across the shoulders. He was also handsome; watching him stirred something in Olivia, a feeling that while unfamiliar was far from unwelcome……….. 

–Excerpt from Take Me Home by Dorothy Garlock

Romance novels have the same effect on their readers – stirring passion, happy memories, dreams, and, as public librarians know well, demand for more titles. Far more than the province of lonely women, romance titles attract readers of all ages with their lively story lines, adventurous plots, and exploration of all aspects of human emotion and experience.

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Widget Wonders: Save Students and Teachers Search Time

Posted on August 11, 2015

There’s a tsunami brewing in the Pacific, and several classes are working on a project to track its movement.  They have one class period to research and report. Ready? Go!  But wait…where do they begin? Can anything be done to help them find information more quickly and directly?

Here’s an idea to make you a hero in your school. Gale widgets.  They can give your students and teachers a shortcut to research on hot topics and ensure that content searched is trusted and relevant.

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In Other News: Race

three hands from different race people clasping hands

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

A fair skinned woman with a weave claims to be black. A white kid with twisted views killed nine innocent blacks while attending a Bible study. The president said the n-word. A lot of people are talking about a flag. The last two weeks have been filled with conversations of race and what it means in America.

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In Other News: Caitlyn Jenner & Gender Identity

transgender symbol

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

When Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer, he openly discussed a battle he has been fighting for most of his life. And on 24 April, he let the world in on his secret: Bruce Jenner, American hero athlete and reality pseudo-star, is transgender. Though Jenner is an actual stranger to most of us, many people do feel that they know Bruce. They may have seen him on TV, or on a magazine cover. They may have rooted for him all those years ago as he seemed to embody America’s battle against the USSR. Because of this unique position and circumstance, Jenner’s revelations and transition are special. For the first time, perhaps ever, most of the country (if not the world) can truly say they know someone who identifies as transgender. On ` June, the world said goodbye to Bruce, and hello to Caitlyn Jenner. She is who she has always been, and is now sharing her battle to be herself, and her appearance, with the world.

Caitlyn is the most recent in a growing list of main-stream transgender people. In 2007, Candis Cayne turned heads as Billy Baldwin’s mistress for 11 episodes on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, marking the first time a trans character appeared for more than a single episode on prime time American television. Chaz Bono began his transition in 2008, after suffering for years with the press. Laverne Cox, one of the stars of Orange is the New Black, became the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time Magazine (May 2014) for an article titled “The Transgender Tipping Point.” Andreja Pejic (Instagram) was the first transgender model to appear in Vogue magazine while Hari Nef (Instagram) signed with modeling agency IMF earlier this year, a first for the powerhouse agency. There are others, famous and not, making changes every day.

Less 1/3 of 1% of the U.S. population identify as transgender (Source). Historically, this group is the recipients of an extremely disproportionate amount of violence, 20% of murders and 40% of violence by police. (Source) More recent statistics for the first quarter of 2014 show that 10% of violent crimes were committed against trans kids under 18. Kids.They were beaten, stabbed, stoned, shot, hanged, strangled, and dismembered. (Source) Sometimes by strangers; sometimes by family. Too often, they kill themselves.

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In Other News: Bribery

man receiving rubber-banded Euros behind his back

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Boy, oh boy. American’s have an interesting relationship with soccer. For decades, soccer has held an unyielding grip on, well, every other country in the world. Though there have been the exceptional fanatic interspersed, soccer has largely remained relegated to a kid’s sport. Yes, most children play soccer. No, most adults couldn’t name 4 teams. Until 2014. (See my previous post here.)

During the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa, 34% of American’s watched at least some part of a match. And we didn’t watch too much. (Source) But in 2014? We were ready. A lot of us watched, and we watched a lot of the matches. Thirty-nine percent more of us watched 33 percent more. (Source)

Why is soccer’s time “now” in America? One theory is that all those kids who grew up playing soccer, are now adults and are putting their time and money where their hearts have always been. Another believes American’s have begun to embrace the opportunity for a “great and exciting” game to end with a very low score.

When the U.S. led the charge to investigate corruption within FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, it raised a few eyebrows. Why is America getting involved was asked by several people, but with varying tone. ‘You don’t even like soccer’ on one side, and ‘finally but how come someone who cared more didn’t step up a long time ago’ from the other. The most frustrating response, in my opinion — as an American who likes soccer — was from Russian president Putin who said we were once again meddling in world affairs which were not our concern and somehow tried to get Edward Snowden involved. (Source) That is the sole statement I have read expressing this (paranoid?) opinion; let’s leave it alone. Other voices from around the wold have been more supportive, including this BBC article.

Obviously, no one at the DOJ consulted me when they planned this action, but there are several reasons which make it easy to understand how/why we chose to act when others did not. We like a fair fight. We aren’t afraid to say no or ask tough questions, even if we have to ask them of our friends. We don’t like being taken advantage of. And, perhaps most importantly, we can sometimes see things differently because we don’t have years of “just accepting it” like many other countries.

 

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In Other News: Charity

close up of charity entry in the dictionary

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Saving and improving lives is expensive work. And without donations, most of it would not be possible. This week, the Federal Trade Commission charged four “charities” and their administrators for out-right stealing nearly $200 million. Two charities have already been dissolved. Reprehensible behavior. But if you want to give, how do you know with whom to spend your money? One solution is Charity Watch, an independent organization that can help you understand where and how a donation might be spent. There are a number of other resources and websites; that is just one.

In 2013, Americans gave $335.17 billion to charity. Of that, $240.6 billion was given by individuals (Source).  I’ve been especially interested in final numbers of donations for 2014 for a number of reasons. First, my cousin’s 2-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia. (Did you know that the National Institute of Cancer dedicates only 4% of its funding to pediatric cancer research (Source ) Why did cancer have to touch my family to learn that?) Second, the ice bucket challenge (and Mike Rowe). Here’s my previous post on it! In 2014, the ice bucket challenge raised $220 Million for the ALS Association (Source). That’s about 700% more than the year before (Source). Did more people give in 2014, or did people give more, or did they just give differently? The new numbers, expected next month, will tell.

Who currently gives (or doesn’t), and how much, when, and why are sometimes surprising. Low- and middle-income people give a higher percentage of their income than their high-income counterparts. Residents of large cities are less likely to give. When you compare the level of giving across states and the District, of the 20 most generous, only two voted democrat in the last election (Source). All sorts of assumptions will not be made on why that is the way it is.

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In Other News: BB King

black Gibson guitar

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

This week, the world lost a prolific and highly-esteemed musician, B.B. King. For non-jazz fans, B.B. (born Riley B King) was probably the only jazz musician whose name was recognizable (perhaps second to Louis Armstrong). Infamous for his black Gibson guitar, Lucille, B.B. was synonymous prized instrument. Though he consistently carried “Lucille” throughout his career, there were, in fact, many of ‘her’ along the way. Unlike his peers, B.B. named each of the guitars he carried Lucille as a reminder to make good choices and avoid risks. In fact, B.B. nearly died trying to rescue the first Lucille from a bar fire in Kansas, which was ignited during a fight. Over a woman. Named Lucille.

In the end, it was diabetes that ended his reign as King of the Blues. Having worked and shared the stage with many extraordinary artists, including U2 and Mick Jagger, BB’s influence on music is undisputed.

I would also like to note that earlier this month, jazz percussionist Jerome Cooper died at 68. Sad times for jazz fans.

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In Other News: the New Princess

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Here she is – HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. (I’ve yet to answer if this means William Wale’s daughters name is Charlotte Cambridge, so any insight on that is appreciated.) Three lovely names, all for important people in the lives of Prince William and Duchess Catherine.

What’s with all the names? It has been said the King Albert and Queen Victoria had aspirations to have their names continue down the throne. History (and The King’s Speech) tells us that not all kings have ruled under their given first name. Prince Albert did rule as King George, after all — though George was among his many given names. (The name someone uses for their reigning title is their regnal name.)

When Will and Kate were married in 2011 there was much speculation if Kate would accurately repeat Will’s many names back during the exchange of vows. After all, his mother Diana and his aunt Sarah (Ferguson) both botched it.

There is a clear call to history in noble naming, which feels appropriate given the ‘”without them I’d have no claim to this” quality of the role. Prince William, who the world fondly knows as Wills, full name is His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis, Duke of Cambridge. Prince Charles, having two titles needs a lot of space on his signature line: His Royal Highness Charles Phillip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall. Phew!

The women of the family, even the queen, have less naming baggage. Duchess Catherine has only one middle name, Elizabeth, as did Diana (Frances). The Queen has a mere two, HRH Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.

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In Other News: Nepal

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Oh Nepal… This week’s earthquake, the following tidal wave of repeated avalanches and mudslides, and the heartbreak of loss has shown a new light on this little-known part of the world. Such a tiny country, the majority of the world know Nepal as merely the home of Mt. Everest. As with most of the world, the history of Nepal is marked with conflict, evolving borders, and the quest for singular identity. It is the birthplace of Buddha and the home of about 28 million people. Its beautiful and full of prayer flags and industrious sherpas. Beyond that, what do you know?

Fundamental life in Nepal is drastically different from the U.S., and many of these differences are key in making the recovery from the recent earthquake and subsequent mudslides, avalanches and other suffering dramatically more difficult. It is slightly larger than the state of Arkansas (with a scant 3 million residents), and divided into 3 regions. A Nepalese resident will use 99.28% LESS electricity, 98.9% LESS oil, and make 97.16% LESS money than the average American. They will be more likely to be unemployed, die sooner (if they make it through infancy) and have more children. Life in Nepal is difficult (source). Nepal ranks 121st (of 158) in this year’s world happiness report. Some comparisons: Canada, 5; Australia, 10; United States, 15; United Kingdom, 21. (source)

In many ways, Nepal is the cultural center of finding yourself. Whether its through the physical dedication to a life-threatening climb, or through the mental dedication of peace and wisdom of Buddhism. Serendipitous these two activities occur in the same location? Probably not.

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