21 Voices, Predictive Findability, and What Have Your Students Taught You Lately

By Daniel Marano

At Gale and Cengage Learning, we conduct hundreds of user studies in any given year. In each study, we talk to and observe dozens of users as we iteratively design or modify our resources and tools. We have been doing and learning from this user-centered design approach for years now, and have a centralized user experience department that conducts this research for the entire organization.

What this traditional form of user-centered design leaves out, however, are certain types of longitudinal data, and the evolving habits and technologies that a student moves through over time. That’s why last year we launched a novel new research study called 21 Voices.

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Fulton County Schools: Getting Curriculum Support Right

Posted on July 17, 2015

By Tina Creguer

New technologies offer all kinds of new ways for students to learn, for teachers to teach, and for school systems to provide a learning environment.  But the sudden convergence of content, technology, and tech-savvy students has created as many conundrums as opportunities.  So, during a time rampant with experimentation and piloting, when a school system figures out ways to make all systems work together to enhance learning, people stop and take notice.

Fulton County (GA) Schools has done just that.  And, for their efforts, they were recognized last month by the Center for Digital Education (CDE) with a Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award for K-12 at the International Society for Technology in Education 2015 conference in Philadelphia.

Alan Cox, Senior Vice President for the CDE, announced the awards, saying, “It is clear that schools all over the country are moving from pilot projects to full-scale implementations. Districts are combining content created by their faculty with content curated from other organizations or purchased from private-sector curriculum providers in ways not truly realized in past years. This year’s honorees are taking the practice of education to new heights that show great promise for other districts to follow.”

Fulton County was one of just six large (12,000+ students) districts to be recognized for its innovation and diligence in digital content and curriculum program implementation.

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Josephine Community Libraries: Providing Real Community Value

P1280371By Kate Dwyer 

Josephine Community Libraries (JCL) increased its Gale database usage by 230% over previous years. By using public presentations with a ‘how to’ delivery style, JCL’s librarians are able to meet people where they are on topics they care about.

Under the umbrella of The Expanding Opportunities Program, funded by A Library Services and Technology Act, the mission of the program is to increase information literacy in Josephine County, Oregon, in the areas of employability, education, and entrepreneurship. The grant provides a full-time staff member to educate community members about the modern library available at their fingertips.

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GVRL Pleases Patrons, Young and Old, in Santa Clara County Library District

GVRL eBook Success Story

Lora Cokolat is a Collection Development and Reading Librarian for the Santa Clara County Library District, working in the District’s Services and Support Center in

Campbell, California. Lora purchases e-books, DVDs, book club kits, and e-magazines to support patrons who use the district’s seven libraries and two bookmobiles. Part of the District’s mission is to provide diverse resources on a wide variety of subjects and viewpoints, and to help people use those resources — a task right up the alley of GVRL eBooks.

“We are committed to offering a variety of subject areas, topics, and viewpoints,” says Lora. “Providing electronic versions of reference sources can be more cost effective than print copies at multiple locations.”

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Librarians Bridge Access and Availability Gaps with Technology

GVRL eBook Success Story

Part of any librarian’s job is to provide access to information people may not immediately know they need, exists, or is accessible. Amy Calhoun, Virtual Branch Coordinator at the Sacramento Public Library, understands this challenge as well as anyone. It’s why she and her colleague Laurie Willis, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the San Jose Public Library, both set out to find a solution designed to ensure people would have access to information when and where it was needed.

“It just made sense to expand our offerings,” Calhoun said. Expanding her library’s science related content and making sure the information was current quickly became a priority.

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Highlights and Notes tool coming to Gale’s digital resources

We all know the rules – don’t take notes in your textbooks and don’t write in books you’ve checked out from the library, or else you might face a fine.

As eBooks and digital resources have become more and more popular, a similar problem has presented itself: how can a user easily take notes without opening a separate program? Gale has found the solution with our new Highlights and Notes tool, scheduled to launch on or around Tuesday, September 30, in Artemis Literary Sources, GVRL, In Context*, InfoTrac, Kids InfoBits, Literature Resource Center, LitFinder, and PowerSearch.

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Summer Reading Now and Then

Kids Summer Reading Books and Authors

By Debra Kirby

With summer fast approaching and news related to educational standards, common core, and the increasing need for students to focus on reading skills to meet the demands of the 21st century, educators and parents will be looking for ways to keep student skill levels high over the long break. A summer reading list is one way to meet that goal. Helping spark a child’s interest in reading and keep them reading through the summer, and hopefully for life, often hinges on finding the right book – one that will draw them in and introduce them to the wider world waiting to be discovered.

With that background, being part of the editorial teams responsible for the Books and Authors and the What Do I Read Next? (print and ebook) series of products has been especially gratifying, but somewhat frustrating too. Editors who work on this series make ample use of these resources to create their own personalized reading lists. For example, last summer, I used the targeted search features of Books and Authors to find what I felt would be the perfect book to take on vacation to Mackinac Island. By searching on “Romantic Suspense,” “Island” and “New England,” I was able to find the perfect light summer reading.

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A Publishing Executive’s Perspective on the Value of Older Titles

Relevancy in older book titles

By Frank Menchaca

Library collections are developed with a keen eye towards selection criteria like quality, currency, and relevancy. These are logical considerations for any budget, but especially in today’s landscape, where libraries of all types and sizes are being tasked to make an increasingly greater impact, often with fewer financial resources.

When consulting with our library partners, we discover that oftentimes, currency implies relevancy and older titles, though tried and true, are quickly dismissed.

In the spirit of the old adage, “make new friends, but keep the old,” we’ve asked Frank Menchaca to share his personal perspective on the value of offering a collection which includes these older, but not outdated, research eBooks. Frank is the Senior Vice President of Global Product Management for the Gale, National Geographic Learning, and Professional groups at Cengage Learning.

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Open Casting Call for the 2015 Gale Catalog!

Let’s face it, passion drives everything we do—the choices we make, the jobs we acquire, even how we spend our free time.

We’d like to offer you the opportunity to take your passion and turn it into a real “notice me” opportunity. That’s right; we’re looking for a few shining stars to feature in our upcoming catalog. Not only will you be able to share your passion—and your smiling face—with the world, but you’ll also be put into circulation of over 18,000 copies, literally putting you in front of thousands of librarians, researchers, teachers, administrators, and faculty all across the US and Canada!

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