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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Stand Back:  Heroes (No Villains) Land in Your Library for Summer

Children's Summer Reading Program YA

Do you remember the glorious childhood feeling of the last day of school? Walking out of your classroom with your face to the sun, eager to explore a whole summer of swimming, biking, and…reading! Wait, reading?

Studies show that children who don’t read or who read rarely over the summer stagnate or decline in their reading skills. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider these studies:

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If You’re Reading this Blog, Thank a Techie

eBooks for Techies

Technology-savvy people are the explorers and gladiators of our great Information Age.  Without them, we’d have no blogs, our phones wouldn’t be smart, and none of us would be able to look up the name of that actress we always forget from you-know-that-one-show in a few keystrokes.  The Techie’s thirst for knowledge – whether budding young techies or adult tech users – is boundless.

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Librarians Overcome Distance and Tradition with GVRL eBooks

GVRL eBook Success Story

Terry Beck, the Information Services Manager for Sno-Isle Libraries north of Seattle, knows firsthand how to deal with logistical nightmares. Beck is responsible for serving approximately 697,000 people in two counties across 21 community libraries. To complicate matters further, Beck lacks a central or main library location from which to work and was quickly running out of room for reference materials.

“We don’t have one great big place,” Beck bemoaned. “We knew we needed to grow our reference collection but we had no room for additional print materials.”

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It’s Always Time to Love Thy Own Heart

By Jacqueline Longe

This winter has seen record lows with artic freezes, seas turned red by the blood of 21 Egyptians, a measles outbreak, viable threats of terrorism in malls across America, and a whole host of other things to make even the warmest of hearts turn cold.

Despite reason for melancholy, there is focus on one matter that we can all rally around—heart health. Though the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide is heart disease, this month facing such a fact and doing something about it on a personal level is a step toward optimum health. That warms the heart.

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Whipping Up the Right Mix of Cooking Resources

Sushi.  Cupcakes.  Acai.  Paleo.  Kale.  Hot food trends never end.  And neither do peoples’ interests in cooking for their friends and family.  But many want to look beyond Pinterest and popular websites to learn new skills and take a fresh look at culinary arts.

Members of your community are hungry for resources to help them develop their cooking skills and repertoire.

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In Other News: Groundhog Day

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

This week, I heard recount of trying to explain to someone in Mexico, who was off Monday for a federal holiday, that our “holiday” on Monday was not quite the same thing. Yeah. No. From the outside looking in, this must seem one of the most ridiculous things we Americans have done yet. (I’ll let you in on something, as an American, I wouldn’t have much to argue with you about that.) On the first Monday of February, a rodent predicts the weather. It’s covered by the news. Punxsutawney [punk-suhtaw-nee] Phil, the most major of the rodent forecasters, rules from a rather comfy perch in Pennsylvania. There are other groundhogs, including this one in Wisconsin who bit the mayor (who is fine, so it’s ok to laugh at it). The principle is simple: if the ground hog does not see its shadow, spring will come early. If it does, winter continues for six more weeks. Practically, its a lot more ‘show’ than that. I also find it interesting that you never hear reports of a groundhog forecast in the south or west — is Groundhog Day a northern/eastern observance only? (Any comments on that welcome!)

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Responsive Design (and more) Coming to Gale Products

Have you ever muttered disparagingly about a website or app that doesn’t look or behave the way you expect it to?  Does it frustrate you when icons don’t make sense to you, or when you can’t find navigation aids?

We hear you.  And that’s why we’ve initiated a whole range of improvements that make a huge difference in user experience in GVRL, InfoTrac, and In Context* resources, including the PowerSearch platform as well as Genealogy Connect, Twayne’s Authors Online and Scribner Writers Online.  The enhancements are coming April 2nd.

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The Research Habits of Public Library Users:
Are You Meeting Their Needs?

Consumer behavior studies, industry stats and eBook usage reports reveal what people want from their libraries, how and what they’re researching, and what libraries are doing to meet the growing (yes, growing!) demand for credible, cross-searchable nonfiction eBook content.

  • More than half of today’s public library users say they visit the library to research topics of interest1—and what’s of interest is often history, self-help, cooking, health and fitness, business and careers, hobbies, general reference, how-to and DIY projects.2
  • In fact, “to do research and use reference materials” is second only to quality time with grandkids (aw!) as a reason for increased library time—ranking higher than borrowing books and using computers.3

Other than databases, nonfiction eBooks are a primary resource libraries use to meet the needs of these researchers. Today, 95% of libraries offer eBooks, 26% of which are nonfiction.4

We know that research matters to today’s public library users, and we know that libraries are expert in selecting the content they need—so the reports and studies should be all good, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

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To Change the Way Students Learn, We Must Change Professional Development

By Dan Alpert, Program Director: Equity/Diversity and Professional Learning, SAGE Publications

Each year, scathing critiques of public education flood our newspapers and social media.  It may be an old story, but public school K-12 educators are at a critical point in time this school year.  We are deep into the massive project of implementing rigorous new standards for college and career readiness.  Despite the passage of 60 years since Brown v. Board of Education, 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and despite significant shifts in our nation’s demographics, we’ve made little progress closing sizable achievement gaps between our privileged and marginalized student populations.  And the inauguration of new high-stakes assessments, the brainchildren of two interstate consortia – PARCC and Smarter Balanced — will undoubtedly launch a fresh, new wave of dire predictions.

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