Why We Choose Gale

By Jenny Wirtz, Teacher Librarian, Ankeny High School

In Iowa, we are fortunate to have the support of Area Education Agencies (AEA) that assist the local K-12 school districts. One of the services that our AEA provides to us is access to many high-quality resources at no cost to our district, including several Gale products. However, I still choose to spend a portion of my shrinking budget on three specific Gale Databases because I believe they offer the best experiences for our high school students. What puts Gale above the competition? I believe it is their quality content, appealing layout and design, and above all the seamless integration between the Gale products and other tools we use such as Google Drive, Google Classroom, and EasyBib.

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Enhance Research with Opposing Viewpoints In Context

By Holly Hibner If there’s one source I love during a presidential election year, it is the Opposing Viewpoints In Context database! This is a librarian’s dream because our patrons are looking for information on all kinds of controversial topics, and matching their own stance to that of the candidates. Opposing Viewpoints presents all sides … Read more

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

By Traci Cothran

Reading is central to everything we do here at Gale—and whatbbw you do at your library every day—so it’s a good bet the majority of us use Banned Books Week to rally around the works that cause a little controversy.  This year’s Banned Books Week focuses on celebrating Diversity, and runs September 25 – October 1.

I’m an avid reader of middle grade and young adult fiction, so it drives me a little batty when parents ban amazing novels that speak to youth. Some authors are even dis-invited from appearing at schools to talk about their books and the issues affecting kids today.  For instance, the graphic novel Drama, by Raina Telgemeier, has caused grumblings for two gay characters kissing, but I’ve yet to meet a middle school girl who doesn’t love this series.  Author Meg Medina faced scrutiny with her novel about high school bullying, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, because the title has a swear word in it—and you know such language is never spoken in school hallways!  Kate Messner was dis-invited from a school speaking engagement while on tour for her book, The Seventh Wish, because the main character’s sister struggles with a heroin addiction, affecting the whole family.  But there’s no reason to talk about the real-life heroin epidemic affecting kids in high schools and middle schools across the U.S., is there?

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The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Foundational Influence

Published on June 9, 2016

By Debra Kirby

I listen to National Public Radio (NPR) on my daily commute. A series on All Things Considered called Generational Politics, which aired in June and which explored the events that shaped the political views of three different generations – 25, 45, and 65 year olds – got me thinking about what most influenced my views, political and beyond. Looking back it is no surprise that having spent some of my most formative years in the 1960s in Detroit, the events related to the Civil Rights Movement played a major role in shaping my beliefs, ideas and character. To this day, I feel privileged to have witnessed that exciting and often turbulent time – even though my parents refused, despite my most earnest and compelling arguments, to let their pre-teen daughter travel by bus to Washington, DC to actually participate in the historic events.  The anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 this July 2 provides the perfect opportunity to go beyond the more commonly known facts surrounding this historic act and the events and people who made it happen.

For example, did you know?

  • John Robert Lewis, civil rights movement veteran and U.S. Congressman from Georgia since 1986, was the only living speaker from the March on Washington present at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. After the ceremony, Lewis asked Obama to sign a commemorative photograph for him. The new president signed the photo with the message, “Because of you, John. Barack Obama.” — Biography In Context.

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Will You Be My Prom Date?

Posted on May 10, 2016

By Traci Cothran

Our Gale databases cover many serious topics, but did you know they also cover that most hallowed of teen events called PROM?  Yes, it’s prom season, and we’re noting it!  Look at what can be found on this topic:

  • “Is Prom $pending Out of Control? The average American household spent $978 on this annual rite of passage last year. Is that crazy? Two teens sound off.” Choices/Current Health in Student Resources In Context
  • “Choosing a Prom Queen, and Inclusion,” The New York Times in Opposing Viewpoints In Context
  • How about a novel about Prom? Books & Authors has them, from Prom Nights from Hell to The Anti-Prom to Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress.
  • “Hasan Minhaj of ‘Daily Show’ On Prom, Indian Dads and White Folks at Desi Weddings” – audio recording, All Things Considered, in U.S. History In Context
  • “Hospitalized Kids Get a Prom of their Very Own,” PR Newswire in General One File
  • “Having a Ball at our Homeschool Prom,” Practical Homeschooling in Kids InfoBits

So grab that tiara and your best dress or tuxedo, and read up on the issues surrounding that momentous night of each high school year!

What else can you find in our Gale databases?

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Gale Helps Cody High School Discover MeL Resources

Posted on April 21, 2016

By Tracey L. Matthews

Some schools acquire Gale resources on a state-wide level, offering broad access to our authoritative resources. But not everyone knows they’re available. Detroit’s (MI) Cody Academy of Public Leadership is one example.

In the course of setting up a mentoring program nearly two years ago with Cody High School’s Academy of Public Leadership, one of the first things we learned was that the staff was unaware they had access to any reference content. Like many other schools in the Detroit school district, their media specialist positions had been eliminated, leaving busy and challenged teachers with no help identifying resources for their students, who not surprisingly relied primarily on Google for their research needs.

Our first service to Cody was to hold a training session with Cody staff to introduce them to the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL), through which they had easy access to a wide variety of reference and periodical databases, including Gale products like Opposing Viewpoints In Context.

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Going Deep on Current Issues

By Judy Galens 

What does autumn bring? For many, the season means visits to cider mills, the return of jacket weather, and spectacular treetop displays of red, orange, and yellow. For sports fans, it’s weekend afternoons of football and evenings of post-season baseball. For all of us, in even-numbered years at least, the fall season also means the peak of political campaign season: a seemingly endless supply of junk mail, the intrusion of dinnertime robo-calls, and inescapable television and radio campaign ads.

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