Lafayette Parish Schools Expand eBook Access

Originally Posted on The Daily Advertiser, March 13, 2017 |

Lafayette Parish students now have access to nonfiction eBooks in all major disciplines. Titles also are available to help high school students with college and career readiness.

The eBooks are available through the Gale Virtual Reference Library, or GVRL, a platform from Gale, one of the main providers of library resources and a part of Cengage Learning.

The titles cover a wide range of topics, including science, geography, history, language arts and other subjects. Elementary-level titles will be available for younger students, as well as more challenging texts for middle school students.

“As the Lafayette Parish School System continues to embrace and expand Vision 2020 in regards to academics and technology, electronic resources are an essential component,” Chief Academic Officer Annette Samec said. “Gale’s eBooks are the perfect complement for schools with 1:1 devices.”

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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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Harry Potter and the…Philosopher’s Stone?

That’s right. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published under the title Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Maybe all you die hard Harry Potter fans knew that, but did you know: The “Philosopher’s Stone” is an object from legends, and dates back to 300 CE. According to lore, it was used in … Read more…

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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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:

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Teaching Research Made Easy with Gale

| By Lori Warren | Located in Chattanooga, the STEM School opened in the Summer of 2012 on the Chattanooga State Community College Campus. The high school’s name stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. All students enrolled: receive an iPad, participate in Project Based Learning Units, and pursue a STEM focused curriculum. As their … 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…

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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New Professional Development Collections from Solution Tree

Gale recently partnered with Solution Tree, a premier provider of professional development resources, that strives to increase student achievement and ensure that every child in every school gets the world-class education he or she deserves. Thanks to this partnership, instructors and administrators can better enhance their professional development eBook collection to further meet strategic goals. … Read more…