Animal Farm Preface Reveals Truths about George Orwell

Posted on June 13, 2016

By Kelly Torpey

In my school-days, plenty of readings were required, but in all honesty, I didn’t care for most of them. However, George Orwell’s Animal Farm captured my attention. It was unique, I didn’t need a dictionary on stand-by, and I knew it had been banned from some classrooms.

Orwell may be one of the most read, well-known novelists of all time. With books like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, his work is a constant reminder that we must continually critique the actions of leaders and the acceptance of common thought.

British author George Orwell, (1903-1950) among his many books were "Ninteen Eighty Four" and Animal Farm"

Recently (as in a couple days ago) I discovered details about Orwell’s roots, upbringing, and perspectives in an interview clip from Public Radio International. This clip is available on Literature Resource Center. I quickly learned that I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to these details if a young Ukrainian scholar hadn’t sent a message to George Orwell in 1947. In his note, the scholar asked for permission to translate Animal Farm into Ukrainian. Orwell not only granted permission, but also refused any royalties and penned a detailed preface that we are all incredibly lucky to read. Orwell wrote:

I have been asked to write a preface to the Ukrainian translation of Animal Farm. I am aware that I write for readers about whom I know nothing, but also that they too have probably never had the slightest opportunity to know anything about me.

Read more

Calling all Libraries to Be a Part of the Big Picture

Posted on June 6, 2016

ENTER THE MY LIBRARY PIC PHOTO SWEEPSTAKES 

Libraries complete our big picture vision. And over the next few weeks, we’re asking YOU to participate in helping us shape that vision. Send us a picture of how your library integrates and embraces technology!

The My Library Pic Photo sweepstakes is for all libraries, big or small, and all types of photographers (professional or amateur). Now through June 30, 2016, submit a photo to any of the 4 categories below, and your library could win big.

Read more

Understanding Community Goals Leads to Success for Libraries and Communities – A post from the 2016 Library of the Year

By Leah Sewell, Communications Editor, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Have you ever been on the other line of a survey call? I haven’t, personally, but I’ve often wondered if I would be a willing participant. Perhaps in the midst of a particularly juicy book, soaking up one-on-one time with my fast-growing 9-year-old or closely watching a new recipe simmer, what would compel me to answer the phone, but also to converse with a researcher for an indeterminate spell? Well, for one thing, I’d pretty much drop everything and let dinner burn to gab with any stranger, on the phone or otherwise, when the topic is libraries.

You see, in my career as the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Communication Editor, I am enamored with the “public” part of the public library. How does the public feel about our services? How will they react to a minor or a major change? How can we woo them, engage them, help them feel a part the community through literacy and learning, and subsequently change their lives for the better?

My library is focused on the public and the public good. It’s asking the right questions, discovering people’s goals and needs and assisting them so they can reach them. Ultimately, it’s about making a difference in the community by working with our fellow citizens to make their lives better. That’s a good chunk of the reason why we’re the Library Journal / Gale, a part Cengage Learning 2016 Library of the Year. We have our ears to the ground.

When the 2016 Pew Research Center report, Libraries at the Crossroads, was released in September 2015, I wondered about the people on the other end of those cell phones and land lines. Those individuals that Pew cites variously as “a share of Americans” or “a majority of Americans,” or “low-income Americans” are real individuals with busy lives, loved ones and their own dinners to prepare. Yet, they all sat a spell to gab about libraries.

Read more

Worldmark Global Health and Medicine Issues:

a “Comprehensive” and “Informative” Resource

Posted on May 20, 2016

Searching for “very useful” information on global health and medicine issues in the modern world?  Worldmark Global Health and Medicine Issues, 1st Edition addresses health and medicine topics relevant to everyone’s lives across the globe. Organized alphabetically, the encyclopedia gives readers easy access to authoritative information on various topics.

This article was published in Booklist‘s May 15, 2016 issue; by Barbara Bibel. Read what she had to say!

CONTENT With the speed of modern travel and the global connections of commerce and industry, health issues quickly become international. This new encyclopedia does an excellent job of placing health and medical problems within social, political, and economic contexts. Using primary source documents, photographs, charts, and graphs to supplement the text, the book provides a brief but comprehensive overview of 90
topics affecting world health.

Read more

Ramona Quimby Becoming Ramona Quimby

Posted on May 12, 2016

By Kelly Torpey

…when I was a children’s librarian, that was about 1940, boys particularly asked where were the books about kids like us, and there weren’t any at that time. So when I finally told myself if I was going to write I should sit down and start writing, well, I expected to write about the maturing of a sensitive girl but I found I didn’t have anything to say on the subject, and so I thought about those boys who wanted books about kids like us….”

Read more

Do You Keep Your Library’s Business Resources Hidden?

Posted on May 5, 2016

You may remember last year when we published a blog about Samantha Cole’s editorial in Fast Company magazine. Since it’s National Small Business Week, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make sure you’re not 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.

Read more

Vast digitizing project will put Harvard’s colonial archives online

Published on April 6, 2016 Harvard University has launched a project to digitize almost half a million items from its 17th and 18th century archives – the largest digitizing effort the university has ever undertaken. The letters, journals, documents and drawings tell the story not only of the nation’s oldest institution of higher learning, but … Read more

Help Yourself! Self-Help Books on GVRL

Posted on March 31, 2016

Originally posted in February 2016 by Library Journal

It can be hard to maintain a positive outlook and self image in a world that places so much emphasis on material wealth and physical beauty rather than how we feel and think. We underestimate the importance of learning to love ourselves as we are rather than the way society tells us we should be. The right self-help books can and do provide a wealth of information to help you on your journey to understanding and improving yourself on your own terms. Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) provides a collection of insightful guides to help you meet your goals and reach your full potential.

Read more

Give Your Job Search a Boost Using GVRL

Posted on March 24, 2016

Originally posted in November 2015 by Henrietta Verma of Library Journal

Job seekers are some of your library’s most frequent users. They all seek the same goal—satisfying employment, quickly—but they have varying skills, educational levels, and different needs. One may need a part time job while his children are at school, for example, while another may be seeking leads on a high-level corporate position. Still others will be looking for internships and volunteer work that will enhance their résumé while they seek paying work. Among the thousands of books available on GVRL are many for those seeking a new job or a career change. See below for links to just a few of the relevant titles.

Read more