One Shining Moment in Space and Time

| By Debra Kirby |

While a history major in college, one of my classes was a one-on-one tutorial on the history of science.  During one session my patient professor was able to explain Einstein’s special relativity theory so that I was truly able to understand it—for one bright shining moment. I could almost feel my brain working! It was beautiful! Sorry to say, I was never again able to recapture that moment in quite the same way, despite later taking a “Physics for Poets” class and going through quite the hero worship phase, which included reading every book on Einstein I was able to purchase or borrow. I even hung a poster of him in my bedroom. Because my history focus was on World War II, I found Einstein biographies especially fascinating, since much of his life was intertwined with and influenced by that war.  In honor of Einstein’s birthday today, March 14, I recently visited Gale’s Science In Context to reacquaint myself with the great physicist. Here are just a few of the interesting facts I found:

Read more

Canada oh Canada – Neighbor to the North, East, South (depending)

Canada has been in the United States news more than usual recently, with the visit of Justin Trudeau in early February, the proposed resumption of construction on the Keystone Pipeline, and news that some immigrants residing in the United States are now fleeing to Canada. In many parts of the United States, Canada may not … Read more

Library Media Specialist Points Fellow Librarians to Opposing Viewpoints In Context

Originally posted on School Library Journal, February 15, 2017 Fake news is everywhere, and many Americans in this digital age struggle to sort fact from fiction. As the concern for fake news and what to to with it grows, students and researchers are turning to the library for reliable, authoritative tools to aid proper research. … Read more

Using Gale for College and High School Instruction

By Lori Warren Another plus for using Gale databases for library and research instruction is the integration of Google and Microsoft Tools. The STEM school on our campus uses the Google tools and our college students and faculty use the Microsoft tools.  As our high school students move into college classes, they transition naturally to … Read more

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.)

Read more

In Context Shorter URLs

Gale is happy to announce that its In Context family of products will now provide shorter citation and bookmark URL links. What you’ll find is:

  • Shorter URLs that provide users with a direct link to a Gale document or portal page.
  • Users are taken directly into a single document or portal page without an authentication request.
  • Multiple citation formats are available in the product citation tool to make it easier for users to cite their research.
  • EZ Proxy information is now displayed in the citation URL when present in the school or libraries Gale Admin account.

Additionally, new and updated content has been released into many of the Gale In Context products. Some of these include:

Biography In Context has added new homepage spotlights featuring Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; Katherine Johnson, a former NASA scientist and one of the women featured in the film “Hidden Figures”; Golden Globe-winning actress Emma Stone; the late “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher; and Lady Gaga, who is scheduled to perform at this year’s Super Bowl.

Read more

Winter in Michigan—It Could Be Worse!

By Debra Kirby What do winter in Michigan, the Detroit Zoo, and the “greatest survival story of all time” have in common?  Answer: The Shackleton Endurance Exhibit that runs through the end of the year at the Detroit Zoo, one of my favorite local hang outs—with or without kids in tow. I visited the exhibit … Read more

Digital Resources Support Healthy Debates

According to TeachingTolerance.org, the 2016 Presidential campaign is unlike any other in recent history. They surveyed 2,000 teachers and learned that it’s emboldening students to mimic the tone of the campaign, disrupting opportunities to teach about political campaigns and civic engagement, and more. 

speech
Quotes from the teachers surveyed about this election

Read more

How Well Do You Know Your Presidents?

By Traci Cothran

Who served as both Vice President and President of the United States, without having earned a single vote in the election?

Gerald Ford, that’s who!

museum1
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Last week I traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, and visited The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. During this 2016 election season, it was a breath of fresh air to wander amidst all the exhibition reminders of Ford’s “character,” “integrity,” “teamwork,” and how he “led by example” – detailing his life from his days as a Boy Scout, to college football player, to Navy man, and into his long career in government.

Read more

Funny Cat Videos or Historical Perspective – Take Your Pick

By Debra Kirby Like so many fellow “political junkies” I know, the current U.S. presidential election season has provided more than enough fodder to hold our interest—sometimes a little too much! From checking polling websites and political news coverage numerous times a day to spending way too much time in the evenings watching cable TV, all while using … Read more