Curriculum and Programs

University Librarian Seeks Research Materials with International Perspective for Beginning College Students

Sara Rizzo is a reference librarian at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. She is also the lead advocate for the school’s library and a key conduit between new college students and a well-rounded global perspective.

As a subject librarian, professors often ask Rizzo to provide their first- and second-year students with reference materials needed to complete research projects and multipage essays. To ensure students have the materials and perspective the university desires, Rizzo turned to Global Issues in Context (GIC) database from Gale. GIC is a cloud-based platform designed to promote global awareness by supplying authoritative multidisciplinary and multimedia rich content that spans continents and cultures.

The GIC database, which integrates news, global viewpoints, and primary source documents in a single search, connects students at Nazarbayev University with content and perspectives they might not otherwise acquire due to them just beginning to learn about academic research and its importance. GIC also helps ensure that these students, who generally lack academic investigatory skills, can easily find, access, and use reliable and trusted research sources.

In this success story, you’ll see how Rizzo has seen usage levels improve dramatically as new students choose Global Issues in Context resources over free online alternatives. You’ll also see how GIC’s ease of use and high-quality sources save faculty’s time and

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Large-Campus Librarian Uses Digital Tools to Emphasize Research Skills

Anne Abney, teaching librarian at Creekview High School northwest of Atlanta, faces key challenges as she leads students through the process of working on their assigned research projects, which are structured through a joint effort among Abney and the course instructors. For one, she must determine how to emphasize key research and critical thinking skills in the school’s large, and often crowded, library. Secondly, she also must organize the library and its new resources in a way that meets the student population’s needs.

In the following success story, you’ll read how Cengage Learning’s Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), a cloud-based platform that provides digital research and educational resources to libraries, helps Anne Abney accomplish her goals. Abney describes how students’ research skills are becoming more effective, as well as more efficient, as they learn to use GVRL for their projects. You’ll also read how GVRL supports the development of students’ analytical and critical thinking skills.

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World History in Context Brings the Past into Focus for Danish Students

Tue Gaston is a librarian at Borupgaard Gymnasium, a college preparatory school in Ballerup, Denmark that prepares students for advanced academic study.

Tue was introduced to Gale databases when he began working at the library, which has a subscription to several In Context online knowledge portals (World History, Biography, Opposing Viewpoints, Global Issues, and Science) as well as the Literature Resource Center and Contemporary Authors: Contemporary Literary Criticism® Select. He quickly became an advocate for their use.

World History in Context in particular is front and center in many of his interactions with students. This online portal provides access to an overview of the most-studied events, periods, cultures, civilizations, religions, conflicts, wars, ideologies, cultural movements, people, and more — reaching back to the ancient world and forward to today’s headlines. Rare primary sources, reliable references, and multimedia content put world history into context for students as they complete their assignments.

In this success story, you’ll see how Gale’s powerful, easy-to-use search features help students develop information literacy as they access high-quality, credible resources through their online research. You’ll also learn how Tue’s students broaden their horizons and build critical thinking skills through exposure to World History in Context’s varied resources, including rare primary sources, multimedia content, news items, and more.
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Librarian Convinces Teachers to Trust Digital Reference Assets

Teri Richardson, librarian at Washingtonville High School in New York, once struggled to convince teachers, who were initially hesitant to let their students use digital library materials, that these offerings are trusted sources and of the same caliber as traditional books. Furthermore, she has the responsibility of persuading students to use the web more responsibly and to properly cite high-quality sources appropriate for their assignments.

It took two years, but Richardson says once reluctant teachers are now advocates of the library’s digital materials. Richardson credits Cengage Learning’s Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), a cloud-based platform that provides digital research and educational resources to libraries, with helping them to see the benefit of digital reference assets. She said, “Every time I show a class how it works, the teachers are impressed with all of the information available.”

She says GVRL has empowered the district to achieve another of the library’s goals: to teach students to become responsible users of web resources. GVRL has changed the way students complete their research assignments and positively impacted the quality of their work. Richardson says students are now less reliant on Internet searches since they have access to everything
they need in the Gale databases. After teaching students how to properly research their papers, Richardson says she often receives encouraging feedback from teachers.
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Librarians Bridge Access and Availablility Gaps with Technology

Part of any librarian’s job is to provide access to information people may not immediately know they need, exists, or is accessible. Amy Calhoun, Virtual Branch Coordinator at the Sacramento Public Library, understands this challenge as well as anyone. It’s why she and her counterpart Laurie Willis, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the San Jose Public Library, both set out to find a solution designed to ensure people would have access to information when and where it was needed. Expanding her library’s science-related content and making sure the information was current quickly became a priority. Likewise, Willis was Read More…

High School Students Build Information Literacy with Help from Student Resources in Context

Kathy Krepps, Myles Laffey, Kerrin Riley, and Leah Giarritano, Teaching Librarians at Hinsdale Central High School, were seeking comprehensive, relevant, and easy-to-use databases for an Information Literacy program geared at equipping students with vital research and citation skills.

Student Resources in Context (SRIC) from Gale is one of two databases used exclusively by the school for the Information Literacy curriculum. SRIC’s approach to organization via portals allows students to efficiently search and narrow down resources within a particular topic, helping them build academic-level research skills while enabling them to avoid information overload. Many students who have experienced SRIC in the Information Literacy program choose to use it for other assignments instead of open-web resources.

Though the Information Literacy curriculum is only two years old, Hinsdale Central’s teachers and librarians are already starting to see improved outcomes in students. Hinsdale Central’s student assessments have shown improved scores and the librarians are hearing anecdotal evidence from teachers as well.
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MeL and Gale Join Forces to Boost Michigan’s Economy

MeL and Gale Join ForcesWondering how libraries can help business grow? This study explores the partnership between Gale and the Michigan eLibrary to offer new resources to Michigan’s business owners. Sheryl Mase, Statewide Library Services Director at the Library of Michigan, noted, “I’m not sure the business community knew they could go to the library to find the information they needed in the first place. They likely would have gone to the Chamber of Commerce or the SBDC [Michigan Small Business Development Center].” With MeL providing business-building tools at the state level, funding concerns by libraries are reduced, and small businesses owners or entrepreneurs have the resources and guidance that they need. Read More…

Read It, Watch It, Listen to It — Gale It!

McKinley Technology High School

Gale Resources Efficacy Study — Year Two Results

How would incorporating accredited digital resources from Gale into a high school classroom affect students and teachers? This white paper highlights the results of the McKinley/Gale Study Project conducted by Project Tomorrow for Cengage Learning during the 2011-2012 school year at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC. The purpose of this efficacy study is to evaluate and document how teachers can use high-quality, digitally rich Gale resources from Cengage Learning to develop students’ 21st century skills, and what effects the use of technology in the classroom has on student engagement and performance. Read More…

Making Information Accessible via Digital Preservation

If you assign projects that require primary-source research — or, if you have conducted much of this research for your own projects — you know that it can prove challenging to locate and access appropriate and relevant documents. Oftentimes, specific documents aren’t cataloged in the archives’ container lists, making the identification of relevant materials tricky. If you can locate a desired piece of documentation, it may be housed in a library thousands of miles away. Even if the collection resides in a nearby archives, you may find that the archives’ hours of operation conflict with your own schedule. To compound Read More…

Keys to Success in the Library

Guest Contributor: Katherine Johnson. Whether writing a research paper, or tracking down reliable sources to support our ideas, library research is a skill that can help you ensure that your information is sound. Katherine Johnson, Adult Services Librarian at Highlands Ranch Library, Douglas County Libraries, outlines tips to make library research effective, manageable, and enjoyable. Share this information with your students, or use them to brush up on best practices that you can apply when doing your own research at the library.
Though library research can seem like a daunting task, it does not have to be. With these Read More…