How Well Do You Know Your Presidents?

By Traci Cothran

Who served as both Vice President and President of the United States, without having earned a single vote in the election?

Gerald Ford, that’s who!

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Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Last week I traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, and visited The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. During this 2016 election season, it was a breath of fresh air to wander amidst all the exhibition reminders of Ford’s “character,” “integrity,” “teamwork,” and how he “led by example” – detailing his life from his days as a Boy Scout, to college football player, to Navy man, and into his long career in government.

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Funny Cat Videos or Historical Perspective – Take Your Pick

By Debra Kirby Like so many fellow “political junkies” I know, the current U.S. presidential election season has provided more than enough fodder to hold our interest—sometimes a little too much! From checking polling websites and political news coverage numerous times a day to spending way too much time in the evenings watching cable TV, all while using … Read more

U•X•L Titles: “Valuable” and “Recommended” Resources

Searching for comprehensive reference books with information presented in an attractive, inviting way? The U•X•L  family is an “extraordinary, ambitious” collection “recommended” for serving the reference needs of middle school students. Producing several types of books: Encyclopedias, Biographies, Almanacs, Chronologies, and Primary Source volumes, U•X•L titles offer a number of ways to explore a particular subject.

The reviews speak for themselves…

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American Governance: An “Exceptional” Resource

Searching for  “exceptional” content suitable for high school or undergraduate students? Your search stops here with American Governance. Supported by images and primary source documents, the 700 original, peer-reviewed entries written by content specialists present topics of American governance in a clear and compelling manner. American Governance engages users in developing higher understanding of America’s complete system of governance.

This title was reviewed on Booklist OnlineAugust 2016

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Why We Choose Gale

By Jenny Wirtz, Teacher Librarian, Ankeny High School

In Iowa, we are fortunate to have the support of Area Education Agencies (AEA) that assist the local K-12 school districts. One of the services that our AEA provides to us is access to many high-quality resources at no cost to our district, including several Gale products. However, I still choose to spend a portion of my shrinking budget on three specific Gale Databases because I believe they offer the best experiences for our high school students. What puts Gale above the competition? I believe it is their quality content, appealing layout and design, and above all the seamless integration between the Gale products and other tools we use such as Google Drive, Google Classroom, and EasyBib.

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Enhance Research with Opposing Viewpoints In Context

By Holly Hibner If there’s one source I love during a presidential election year, it is the Opposing Viewpoints In Context database! This is a librarian’s dream because our patrons are looking for information on all kinds of controversial topics, and matching their own stance to that of the candidates. Opposing Viewpoints presents all sides … Read more

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

By Traci Cothran

Reading is central to everything we do here at Gale—and whatbbw you do at your library every day—so it’s a good bet the majority of us use Banned Books Week to rally around the works that cause a little controversy.  This year’s Banned Books Week focuses on celebrating Diversity, and runs September 25 – October 1.

I’m an avid reader of middle grade and young adult fiction, so it drives me a little batty when parents ban amazing novels that speak to youth. Some authors are even dis-invited from appearing at schools to talk about their books and the issues affecting kids today.  For instance, the graphic novel Drama, by Raina Telgemeier, has caused grumblings for two gay characters kissing, but I’ve yet to meet a middle school girl who doesn’t love this series.  Author Meg Medina faced scrutiny with her novel about high school bullying, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, because the title has a swear word in it—and you know such language is never spoken in school hallways!  Kate Messner was dis-invited from a school speaking engagement while on tour for her book, The Seventh Wish, because the main character’s sister struggles with a heroin addiction, affecting the whole family.  But there’s no reason to talk about the real-life heroin epidemic affecting kids in high schools and middle schools across the U.S., is there?

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Libraries Build Community Partnerships in the Name of Economic Development

The Decatur Public Library, Forsyth Public Library, Mt. Zion Public Library, and several local entities joined forces in the name of economic development to offer DemographicsNow: Business & People, an online business tool that provides detailed demographic data on more than 24 million active businesses, and 206 million consumers. This new resource makes it easy for all types of users to collect, analyze and act upon information, all from a single location.

Watch this video from Decatur & Macon County to see how DemographicsNow can help local entrepreneurs.

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Fall into Great Titles

By Candy Jones-Guerin

Did you know? Geoffrey Chaucer, known as the Father of English literature, first used the word autumn in 1374 to name the brisk season after summer. Derived from the Latin word autumnus, meaning “the passing of the year,” Chaucer’s word, autumn, became popular around the 16th century. Meanwhile, in 1545, North America coined the term “fall” to describe the season when leaves are falling from the trees, which was previously known to them as “harvest.”

No matter which term you use, it’s time to bundle up, break out the sweaters, and get ready to enjoy the cool, crisp air that the season is known for. It’s also a great time to celebrate all things fall in your school, and we’re here to help with some great titles to get you started!

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National Bullying Prevention Month

By Debra Kirby

When my oldest daughter, now a middle school teacher, brought home her first essay, it was on the subject of bullying. She wrote it after reading Judy Blume’s Blubber for a school assignment. The essay, which I still have, provided a preview of what a kind, compassionate person and awesome teacher she would one day become. As the 10th anniversary of National Bullying Prevention Month approaches this October, I thought I’d do a little research on the subject, which was never the focus of national attention when I was a student. It’s only in relatively recent years that bullying has been commonly recognized as something other than a “natural part of growing up” or rite of passage.

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