Irish Short Fiction: A Saint Patrick’s Day Review

| By Eric Bargeron, Layman Poupard Publishing |

This Saint Patrick’s day, readers of Literature Criticism Online can distinguish themselves from the masses by eschewing green beer and shamrock kitsch, and contemplating instead the many contributions of Ireland to the world of literature. As critic Terence Brown notes in Short Story Criticism, volume 226, “it is scarcely a disputable fact of literary history that Irish prose fiction writers have been drawn to the short story form and have indeed excelled in it.” That volume, which is devoted entirely to Irish writers, includes a lengthy entry on James Joyce. His stories, all of which are contained in the collection Dubliners, are widely considered to be among the best in the English language. Joyce himself was fairly convinced of the importance of the book, even before its publication, as Morris Beja writes in his essay “One Good Look at Themselves”:

During their dispute over the problems in bringing out an edition of Dubliners, James Joyce wrote the publisher Grant Richards that ‘I seriously believe that you will retard the course of civilization in Ireland by preventing the Irish people from having one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking-glass.’

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WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

| By Traci Cothran |

How wonderful is it that following the release of the movie “Hidden Figures,” the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson are now known by millions?  Their collective story is an impressive and important one, yet it’s a part of our history that’s been concealed for decades.

What other significant contributions by women are also shielded from view?  It’s a joy to uncover these gems, and allow them to inspire other women and girls today.  To me, that’s what Women’s History Month is all about—shining a light on the often overlooked contributions made by women throughout history.

Here are just a few, randomly chosen women from today and yesterday whose work and lives are notable.  You’ll find them all in Biography In Context, among other Gale resources.  As you read about them, you’re bound to discover other interesting women, too!

Maria Tallchief – (1925-2013) Tallchief was the first American-born woman to achieve prima ballerina status at a major dance company; she was also a member of the Osage Nation.  She’s featured this month in Research In Context.

Zora Neale Hurston – (1891-1960) A writer and major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston is a favorite of mine, for both her wonderful writing and her ability to live an unconventional life for women of her era.

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Invest in Libraries

| By Christi Buker, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Library Association |

| Originally posted on The Daily Item, March 2017 |

Investing in libraries is an easy decision.

As we enter the state budget season, with the cuts and consolidations of departments, and tightening budget restraints, Pennsylvania libraries are the keystone that can fill the gap—holding all of these services together for our residents with a more efficient use of funding.

Libraries are highly efficient—sharing/borrowing is significantly less expensive than a citizen trying to purchase the same database access, resources, and expertise, as well as a real community center. Every $1 invested in libraries, yields nearly $5.48 in services and resources back to the community. What a great rate of return! It is not merely the fantastic value of the services, resources, and expertise that matters, but that libraries, when properly funded, have a positive impact on the education, employment, and economy of their communities.

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Countdown to Summer Reading

Although the first day of summer may be a few months away, we know you are already preparing for an influx of learners seeking various types of content. And putting together a cohesive summer reading program that fits this year’s theme, Build a Better World™, not only for elementary aged children but also teens and adults, can be overwhelming.

But it doesn’t have to be.

We would love to learn more about your library’s summer reading initiatives because “Building a Better World” means something different to every library. Simply fill out our questionnaire and a Gale Representative will provide you with recommendations on new and notable eBook content added to Gale eBooks on GVRL tailored specifically to your library and programming needs. 

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The Hendry County Library Graduates First Class

Originally posted in The Clewiston News Thursday, Feb. 3, was a history making day for Hendry County, and the Mayor of Clewiston, Mayor Mali Gardner, was a witness. On this day, the county celebrated its first ever graduates from the Library’s Career Online High School. This is a high school program provided through select libraries … Read more…

Human Diseases and Conditions, an “Easy Read”

Searching for a resource to support researchers seeking authoritative health information? The search stops here with Human Diseases and Conditions! Offering in-depth coverage of all areas of health and disease, Human Diseases and Conditions offers current and accurate information on approximately 450 diseases and conditions. The topics covered include infectious diseases, many cancers, chronic and acute physical and psychological conditions, newly emerging and reemerging diseases, public health issues, and issues of interest to the young adult audience (eating disorders, sports injuries, growth, and puberty). Behavioral health is covered as thoroughly as physical health.

Want more? Read a review from Barbara Bibel, a Reference Librarian at Oakland Public Library:

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American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 is “Rich” and “Absorbing”

In recent years, decades-long movements in civil liberties have been at the forefront of the news. The struggle for civil rights and liberties defines our past and affects our present. Students and researchers can immerse themselves in civil rights history like never before with our new archive American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990, part of the Making of Modern Law collection. Drawing from the records of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), it focuses on civil rights, race, gender, and issues relating to the U.S. Supreme Court—topics intensely relevant to today’s curriculum and debates at both national and local levels.

See what Henrietta Verma, Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at Library Journal, thinks of this groundbreaking archive:

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Earn an Accredited High School Diploma at Brookfield Public Library

Originally Posted on the Chicago Tribune, February 8, 2017 Brookfield Public Library is offering qualified community members the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and career certificate for free. Through a partnership with its regional library system RAILS, Brookfield Public Library is joining 11 other Chicago-area libraries in offering scholarships to Career Online High … 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…

Wosets, Wockets and Waskets

The wild, wacky and wonderful world of Dr. Seuss has been the salvation of many an exhausted parent who, ready to call it a night, succumbs to their child’s plaintive cry for just one more bedtime story. The easy rhyming flow in Dr. Seuss stories always made it easy for me to read just a little longer.  There’s a Wocket in my Pocket was a favorite of both my daughters, who could recite word for word, page by page well before they were able to read – providing an opportunity for a little fun with unsuspecting relatives and friends who were amazed at how advanced my 3-year-old girls were.

I’ve been fortunate enough to continue to enjoy Dr. Seuss through my grandchildren and various mentoring programs through the years. The student I’m currently mentoring is a second grader who says Dr. Seuss is her favorite author, and Green Eggs and Ham her favorite book, though we recently both found Fox in Sox a little trying.

In honor of the National Education Association’s Read Across America, which kicks off on March 2, and is also Dr. Seuss’s birthday, I decided to learn a little more about the Pulitzer Prize winning author, whose real name was Theodor Geisel. There are many interesting and some surprising facts to be found in Gale databases. Here are a few:

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