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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In Other News: D-Day

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

True story: I saw “Saving Private Ryan” in the theater twice because the fist time I couldn’t bear to watch the 27 minute opening scene — reputedly known for being one of the most accurate (read: horrifying) recreations of nearly 10,000 men injured or killed on a beach. (I also passed out while holding my breath during the final scene of “Black Hawk Down”; my fear and knowing the truth behind the real-life version of what happened next getting the better of me. But that is neither here nor there.)

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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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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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In Other News: Maya Angelou

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

For many of us, our first introduction to Maya Angelou came in the form of a required reading list. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” has graced innumerable backpacks and lockers. Her writing style, mission, and general awesomeness has not gone unnoticed. Ms Angelou has won Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards. She has received the Lincoln Medal (2008), the National Medal of Arts (2010), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2011). She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

She is also one of the most banned authors in American history.

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Remember and Discover Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou ebook

By Julia Furtaw 

This past Wednesday, May 28, we lost a warrior for equality, tolerance, and peace. Maya Angelou is best known as an author and poet, but her career was varied, and she was also an activist, actress, singer, dancer, playwright, director, and producer. With the publication of her best-selling autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of six autobiographies charting her life from her childhood in the segregated South, her travels around the world, and her work in the civil rights movement, she made her mark as a strong voice in contemporary African American literature.

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In Other News: Memorial Day

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

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer in the U.S. A holiday marked by barbecues, boats, yard work, and more so lately, retail sales on appliances. Random.

But Memorial Day is a time dedicated to remembering those who gave their life in service to the country. We celebrate their dedication to our freedoms by, well, celebrating our freedoms. Particularly the pursuit of happiness (and food and water sports). Originally begun as “Decoration Day,” this holiday takes time to remember and (safely) celebrate those who served. For them, we are grateful.

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Civil War History is 80% Off

By Geoff Schwartz

The American Civil War produced many legendary commanders whose deeds have been celebrated in song, paintings, and film. But what about the lesser-known participants, those who made an impact without the benefits of high rank and great power? Imagine someone with the guts to remove a musket ball from a jawbone with only a pocket knife, and to storm the beaches near Charleston, SC under heavy fire.

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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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