The Greatest Resistance Stories

| By Debra Kirby |

In honor of Holocaust Month, which is observed in the United States in April, I’m sharing a few of my current reads and older favorites related to World War II resistance groups and individuals. With a background like mine—a lifelong interest in World War II history, French and Polish grandparents, and a tendency toward activism—stories about WWII resistance in Europe have long attracted my interest. Below are a few of my current and longtime favorites, as well as recommendations on which Gale databases you can visit to learn more about WWII resistance.

 Recent Nonfiction Favorites:

The Resistance, 1940: An Anthology of Writings from the French Underground translated and annotated by Charles B. Potter (2016). This fascinating first person accounting of four French Resistance fighters, including national heroes Jean Moulin and Germaine Tillion, would make an excellent primary source student resource.

The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (2007) chronicles the experiences of Polish citizens Antonina and Jan Zabinski and their sheltering of Jews on the grounds of the Warsaw Zoo. A movie based on the book and starring Jessica Chastain premiered in Warsaw in early March.

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Grow Your Nonfiction Collection with Britannica Digital Learning Titles

Posted on September 2, 2015

Easy to search and highly visual nonfiction titles from Britannica Digital Learning can be a resource for your libraries and classrooms to help meet the education research needs for students of all ages. Available on Gale’s award-winning GVRL platform, students can take advantage of popular tools like automatic citation generation highlighting, annotation and more.

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Fiction, Schmiction. How About Some Reality?

Thorndike large print memoirs and biographies

Some readers crave fiction. But a growing number of readers are hungry for nonfiction. In fact, a recent analysis of circulation data from libraries around the country revealed phenomenal growth of circulating nonfiction over the last 20 years. Why? Well, here are two possible reasons: 

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The Research Habits of Public Library Users:
Are You Meeting Their Needs?

Consumer behavior studies, industry stats and eBook usage reports reveal what people want from their libraries, how and what they’re researching, and what libraries are doing to meet the growing (yes, growing!) demand for credible, cross-searchable nonfiction eBook content.

  • More than half of today’s public library users say they visit the library to research topics of interest1—and what’s of interest is often history, self-help, cooking, health and fitness, business and careers, hobbies, general reference, how-to and DIY projects.2
  • In fact, “to do research and use reference materials” is second only to quality time with grandkids (aw!) as a reason for increased library time—ranking higher than borrowing books and using computers.3

Other than databases, nonfiction eBooks are a primary resource libraries use to meet the needs of these researchers. Today, 95% of libraries offer eBooks, 26% of which are nonfiction.4

We know that research matters to today’s public library users, and we know that libraries are expert in selecting the content they need—so the reports and studies should be all good, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

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Re-thinking Ready Reference with GVRL

nonfiction ebooks

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

In the olden days before computers, ready reference collections were the soul of a library. Librarians helping patrons to answer questions or understand a topic always started in the reference section of the library. They were the most expensive materials and librarians were vigilant in guarding those precious items. I have been admonished by a librarian more than once for not handling these books carefully.

Ready reference collections have adapted to the new world of instant access, anywhere and anytime. Patrons still have questions and are trying to understand topics as always, but now they want it faster, more convenient, and always reliable. The reference need is still there, but now librarians have to think about access and delivery to patrons.

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