April 2017 Picks

| By Elyse Monahan |

April Editors’ Picks 

Jump to the Library Reads List 

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Hand-picked titles from our expert editorial team are here! At Thorndike Press, our editors have a knack for picking the next great reads. They have been doing so for over thirty years! Here is a list of April titles they know your patrons will enjoy.

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The Los Angeles Public Library Hosts Second Career Online High School Graduation

| Los Angeles, March 22, 2017 | The 2017 graduating class of Los Angeles Public Library’s Career Online High School program received their diplomas today in a ceremony held at Central Library. The ceremony was officiated by City Librarian John F. Szabo and Board of Library Commissioners President Bich Ngoc Cao. The 26 graduates range … Read more

A Remarkable Review for Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History

History is not just a list of dates and events. But history taught well is vibrant, relevant, and engaging. And nothing brings history to life like primary sources that give students a close-up look at history as it unfolded.

Gale and Smithsonian have partnered to deliver an online resource that includes unique and seminal primary sources, including documents, maps, historical objects, and other materials from the museums and archives from the collections of the Smithsonian and from Gale’s leading digital collections: Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History.

Designed for use by both teachers and librarians, this resource from Gale supports core and Advanced Placement U.S. history programs. Primary source images are hand-curated by scholars at the Smithsonian – experts who have a unique knowledge of U.S. history as seen through the Smithsonian’s valuable collections and shaped for the school curriculum by an advisory board of teachers.

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources:

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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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Pellissippi State Community College Librarian Shares Why Gale Resources are Successful

|  By Jennifer Mezick, Acquisitions and Collection Development Librarian Pellissippi State Community College |

At Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC), our users have access to many Gale resources through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL). Through our TEL setup we are able to track only statistics for PSCC users. From our statistics, we know that Gale resources are heavily used by PSCC patrons and there are a few reasons behind this success:

In Class Instruction
Our students primarily use the resources shown to them during class. PSCC librarians provided research instruction to 137 classes this past fall semester. PSCC librarians and teaching faculty find that students who receive in-class research instruction achieve higher grades on their research assignments. One of the lessons we present to students is the importance of finding background information before searching for journal articles. Opposing Viewpoints In Context is our go-to database for demonstrating background research. All the “In Context” databases contain Topic Pages for select topics, which provide histories and explain the different viewpoints of those topics or issues.

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Faculty Outreach
Because not all of our faculty can find the time in a 5 to 16 week semester to have us in their classes, educating our faculty about our resources is the next best way to reach our students. Our faculty learn about Gale databases at our New Faculty Academy, where we introduce library resources, and at Faculty In-Service, where we demonstrate new databases or changes and new features to current databases. Librarians at PSCC are faculty and serve as subject liaisons. With this designation comes the responsibility to serve on campus academic committees and attend academic department meetings (and sometimes share after-work beers). Relationships with faculty are formed through these committees. I find that these relationships make faculty more comfortable talking with librarians about research assignments and available resources, which provides us the opportunity to recommend the most appropriate resources for their upcoming assignments (or their own research).

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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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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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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

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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