Gale Success Stories

Enrich Project-Based Learning with Gale and Google for Education

Napa Valley Unified School District Enriches Project-Based Learning with Gale and Google for Education Located in California’s wine country, Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) serves 18,000 students at more than 30 schools. The district’s mission is threefold: to prepare students for college and careers, provide equitable access to learning resources, and instill future ready skills. To meet these goals, NVUSD focuses on project-based and inquiry-based learning that engages students in practical, real life experiences. Technology plays a leading role, and features a “game-changing”
digital solution that integrates database resources from Gale/Cengage Learning with the communication and collaboration features of Google Apps for Education.

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Competing with Google and Providing Vetted Reference Materials

Finding quality, curated research material—and getting students to look beyond Google—can be challenging. But there is a better way. Librarians want their students to locate the best information for research projects without wasting time fishing around on the Internet, hoping what they find is relevant and trustworthy. However, many college students are so used to using search engines like Google, and crossing their fingers that what turns up is appropriate, and changing ingrained behavior can be tough. Lasell College librarian Jill Shoemaker has discovered a better way to help her honors students find and identify trusted resources for their research Read More…

 Time-Strapped Instructor Searches for Ways to Provide Students with Research Topics and Vetted Resources 

Melanie Claybar, an English teacher at Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated School District, often felt as if her hands were tied. Claybar teaches AP English Language Composition to some of the 1,100 students in the Orange, Texas school district. But she often found herself lacking the resources necessary for her students to create the well-rounded research papers with authoritative sources she expected. “We were just so limited on the topics students could choose,” Claybar said. “I would have to develop a list of topics and identify a collection of websites I knew were credible for students to use. It took a Read More…

Graduate Student Lacks Access to Rare Niche-Specific Reference Materials  

Monica Smith, a student working toward a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction writing, was looking for a needle in a haystack. Specifically, Smith wanted to write a series of children’s books about African American aviators. The problem she faced was a lack of access to high-quality reference materials necessary to create books that are visually compelling, informative, and engaging. “Some of the people I wanted to write about are less known,” Smith said. “Besides information on pilots involved in an African American civilian pilot training program, I needed pictures to make these stories come alive for Read More…

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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NewsVault Erases Research Restrictions Caused by Limited Supply of Nineteenth Century Newspapers

Do readers today understand works of Victorian fiction like Dracula the way readers in the nineteenth century did? It’s a question Linda Friday, a teaching assistant and sponsored Ph.D. candidate at England’s Edgehill University, has spent much of her academic career trying to answer. “The contemporary reader’s understanding of a novel such as Dracula would have been different from ours,” Friday contends. “That perspective would have been influenced by the newspapers they were reading at the time, which is something lost to the modern reader who is unaware of the relationships between news items and the novel.” Besides the complexity Read More…

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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Librarian Employs Unconventional Marketing Tactics and DemoNow to Reach New and Underserved Residents

If you’re looking for Kathryn Lynip, Manager of Technical Services at Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, Colorado, don’t assume she will always be stationed at the reference desk waiting to help. Instead, you might find her out among new developments in her city, at a table in a public place, reaching out to gain potential cardholders. Her tactics help reach the people in her community who may not be aware of the library’s resources or how they can be used to make smarter decisions that can improve lives.

While Lynip still takes a few shifts at the library’s reference desk, she won’t likely run out of new parks to visit anytime soon as the city of Broomfield is growing rapidly. If current projections hold, hoards of new residents are expected to move to town without any firsthand knowledge of the library.

Besides being a conduit between the library and underserved populations, Lynip also helps the city plan for the future with Gale’s DemographicsNow: Business & People (DemoNow), a highly customizable, cloud-based collection of rich business and demographic data that provides patrons easy access to real-time demographic, purchasing, and consumer behavior data.
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Libraries Nationwide Rely on DemoNow to Deliver Extensive Sources of Business Data for Students and Entrepreneurs

Whether it’s a student enrolled in a college business course or an executive navigating the complexities of global commerce, the business community is looking for an edge. Increasingly, that means a trip to the library regardless of whether it’s on or off a college campus.

Cara Cadena, a Business Liaison Librarian at Grand Valley State University, knows this firsthand, as does her public library colleague, Steven Assarian, who heads the public library in Grand Rapids. Each is responsible for connecting information seekers with data that can determine whether their next homework project or business decision is a success. They, along with other Michigan librarians like Karrie Yukon of Bloomfield Township Public Library, encounter patrons who are looking for business resources every day. To help students and other patrons on their quest for information, the librarians point them to what’s quickly becoming a secret weapon for business—the the library’s highly customizable business and demographic data reporting through Demographics Now: Business & People (also known as “DemoNow”).
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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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