Curriculum and Programs

In Context Helps Busy Librarian Improve Her Library and Prepare Students for College and Career

Kris Jacobson is a teacher/librarian at a busy high school outside of Chicago. With 3,000 students and a campus that recently went 1:1 with Chromebooks, Jacobson stays busy, but is constantly striving to make the library more useful for patrons.

Jacobson found that helping students conduct research in multiple information silos proved time consuming and the library was not seeing steady growth in database activity. As a Google School (and part of a Google District) Glenbrook High School prefers to utilize resources that work well with all things Google. This—and some of the library’s other challenges—became easier for Jacobson and her colleagues when they discovered Gale’s In Context family of online resources.
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Without Needed Textbooks and Resources, an Instructor’s Job Becomes Tougher Than Usual

Teaching college students about centuries-old works of literature, as Karen Gevirtz does at Seton Hall University, is especially difficult considering this: there are no textbooks or course materials designed for Gevirtz’s “Catholic Women Writers of the 17th and 18th Centuries” course.

Many of the texts that do exist are housed thousands of miles away on bookshelves the majority of Gevirtz’s students will never have an opportunity to touch or feel, much less read and study. It’s why she often found herself scouring the library and wasting time searching for materials to support classroom lessons. It reminded Gevirtz of the limitations she experienced as a doctoral student; using microfilm for research that was cumbersome and slow. The databases weren’t much better; they, too, were slow, and also difficult to search. For years, not much would change for students seeking hard-to-find texts.

What students trying to connect with works that are hundreds of years old often find beneficial is appreciating those texts in their cultural context and seeing them in their original form. A great way to achieve this for students, according to Gevirtz, is Cengage Learning’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), a cloud-based compilation of teaching, learning, and research resources that includes every significant title printed in the United Kingdom in the 18th century and thousands from the Americas.
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Gale’s Integration with Google Apps for Education Creates New In Context Fans

Librarians understand that today’s digitally connected students are put off by resources that are cumbersome to use. And, as more schools turn to Google Classroom to create a paperless learning environment, teachers
are looking for ways to connect seamlessly to a variety of online databases and resources needed for classroom projects.

As co-librarian at Prosper High School in Texas and leader of the Library and Instructional Technology Team for her school district, Richelle O’Neil always has the interests of K–12 students and teachers in mind. These days, that means showing them how productive they can be when they use Gale’s In Context integrated with Google Apps for Education.

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Librarian Uses DemographicsNow to Give Students Edge in Ultracompetitive Global Business World

Cara Cadena, the Business Liaison Librarian at Grand Valley State University, can see the future and knows exactly what budding college-aged entrepreneurs are in for: a highly competitive global business world that demands an edge to get ahead. It’s Cadena’s job to help students develop that edge despite a workload that requires her to juggle multiple responsibilities, like teaching library instruction courses, managing the library’s growing collection, and assisting students with research projects. Today’s college students have terabytes of data at their fingertips. However, that data is not always trustworthy, accessible, or housed in formats that best position Read More…


Share Your Insights on the Digital Humanities

Research projects that come under the fold of the “digital humanities” can take many forms, from the digitization and cataloging of sounds, documents, and images with cultural and historical significance, to interactive, born-digital projects that explore social and cultural trends through the analysis of “big data”… and beyond. For this reason, librarians and scholars are still working towards a definition of the term that encompasses all researchers’ efforts. However, without question, faculty and librarians can be—and, in fact, are—key partners in the creation, curation, preservation, and dissemination of the research produced in this burgeoning field. We want you to be Read More…


Encouraging Students to Use Research Databases

Guest contributor: Joseph Palmisano, Senior Editor at Gale, a part of Cengage Learning. As college instructors and academic librarians, you encounter it most working days: students who use free Web resources—rather than research databases—to complete course assignments. Do you ever wonder if academic research findings support your experiences? Well, let’s find out.   Based upon our survey of academic journals and trade magazines, students often demonstrate common online research behaviors. These include:

    Relying heavily on Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, often instead of libraries’ research databases (Anderson 2011)
    Using Wikipedia because “it meets students’ needs in terms of coverage, currency, convenience and
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Improving Collaboration Among Faculty and Librarians

Though their specific daily tasks differ, college faculty and academic librarians share the common mission of educating, engaging, and supporting students on their paths towards achievement of their academic goals. When they collaborate, their efforts can produce positive and effective results for students. But how often are faculty and academic librarians able to collaborate and interact to reach this level of maximum effectiveness? Library Journal and Gale, a global provider of library resources and part of Cengage Learning, recently conducted a survey of college faculty and academic librarians, which addressed a variety of topics related to Read More…


Bridging the Gap Between Faculty and Academic Librarians

As a college instructor, you understand how important your college’s library is to your students’ learning experience. The library’s services provide students with trustworthy sources for their research, a comfortable place to study, and numerous opportunities to learn about the proper use of information. However, you may not always know, or take advantage, of opportunities to collaborate with your college’s academic librarians to the fullest benefit of your students, your course, and your own research. Or, you may simply not have considered that the librarians could support your curricular needs. On the other hand, you may already partner with your Read More…


The Value of the College Library

We all know students must, at some point, use the college library. Some may love the experience; others may dread it. But would they say the value what it has to offer them? In our Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey, we asked: “Does the library and its resources provide value to your academic and career goals?” Nearly three thousand students responded; 89% agreed that the library is, indeed, a valuable asset. Likewise, we asked instructors: “Does the library and its resources provide value to your instruction and career goals?” Of the 682 people who responded, 79% said yes. Going Read More…


Top Four Reasons Students Use Their College Library

The college library is an important hub of campus life. There, you can check out books, conduct your research, find a quiet place to study, and maybe even flip through a magazine. What’s more, today’s college libraries extend their reach out into the Internet, making many services and resources accessible right from their websites. But how are students using this great wealth of resources? To better understand college students’ study habits, we wanted to explore how, and why, they use their school’s library. So, in our Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey, we asked: What do you do when you’re at your college library? Nearly 3,000 students Read More…