| By Lemma Shomali |
You know when you find the perfect gift for someone? That feeling when they tear open the wrapping carefully, anticipation building . . . then the moment of recognition that flits across their face, followed by the gush of giddiness and gratitude? You’re standing there, your heart constricting, hoping that you’ve made the right choice, thinking about how every minute spent picking that gift, every dollar you spent on it—large or small—was in service of THIS MOMENT, and you want the moment to be as perfect as possible.
I was blessed to have an entire weekend of those moments at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 2019 conference. A few weeks ago, we launched Gale In Context: For Educators, a revolutionary solution that we believe will bring libraries to the forefront of education and change the way we teach the next generation of K‒12 students. Although we’d done reams of research—read studies, conducted interviews, visited schools large and small, planned for every contingency we could think of (check out our “Behind the Scenes” series for more nitty-gritty details)—still there’s always that tiny doubt at the back of your mind. Did we get it right? Are they going to love it as much as we think they will?
From the time the show began to the day it ended, our booth was flooded with librarians and school educators getting their first look—or coming back for a second. As I caught snippets of conversation throughout the weekend, I couldn’t help but break into a huge smile and happy dance. To know that what we had built was resonating, that we had devised a solution that was going to elevate the library in education and drive meaningful connections to the curriculum was the best gift ever to give AND to receive. This is what we live for at Gale—solving problems with innovative content and technology. We live for that moment of recognition that we found the perfect gift. Suzanne Sherman, a librarian at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee, summed it up nicely:
I was thrilled to have a chance at AASL 2019 to explore the For Educators product alongside the Gale staff. The In Context databases have been the backbone of my research lessons with high schoolers for a number of years and all of the upgrades have further enhanced the products; this one, however, is a game changer! Knowing that I could have the opportunity to collaborate at an even deeper level with content area teachers by helping them discover and implement vetted, high-quality resources that are seamlessly aligned with their individual curriculum is definitely something that I am excited by!
So as we enter into the holiday season, as we take the time next week to reflect on our blessings, I want to say thank you to everyone who visited Gale and spent time looking at For Educators. You may not have realized it, but your enthusiasm and attention was the very best gift you could have given us. We treasure your time and will continue to do our very best to give back to you all year long.