The newest content editor in the Boca Raton, FL, office shares her experience volunteering throughout her first year on the team.
In November 2015, I took a leap of faith and joined ProQuest. I was thrilled not only to fulfill my dream of becoming an editor but to find a company whose values spoke to me. One such value is Community–the realization that we are “citizens of the world” who must “understand our responsibility within it.”
This particular idea of Community appealed to me. An Orlando native, I knew that I had to leave my childhood home (of 25 years, no less) to make both a new living and a new life–all by myself. A couple of weeks after my initial interview, I packed up some bare necessities and my best business casual clothes, hopped on the Florida Turnpike, and wondered exactly how different life could be three hours south.
Here was a company who offered employees the use of 16 hours a year to be spent serving the community. This past year, I learned exactly how much good 16 hours can achieve.
At the Boca Raton office, I joined a highly skilled group of individuals whose passion for serving the community reflects in all that they do, both in the office and within the greater Palm Beach County area.
The ProQuest team made visits to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, where we sorted and boxed canned goods for distribution to families in hunger. We stuffed school supplies into brand new, brightly-colored backpacks for the annual Community Back to School Bash (BASH), and had a blast going through the piles of pencils, scissors, notebooks, etc. I especially loved going to Lake Worth to visit Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, where we made care packages for soldiers fighting abroad. During the winter season, we even signed holiday cards for the troops. As someone with friends and family in the military, I cherished the chance to let our troops know I appreciate their sacrifice.
These outings have provided wonderful opportunities to work closely with my team. ProQuest has allowed me to meet the diverse people who make our community great and to support outreach centers in person. My fellow editors inspire me to get involved in various causes. I love that our company encourages us to serve others, to see the fruits of our labor take shape as a force for positive change in the world.
It is more rewarding than I could have imagined.
We are a close team, and I am proud to call Boca Raton my new home.
These days there’s a lot of images floating around the internet. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when something is in the public domain (free to use), has a Creative Commons license (can be used with certain limitations), is for commercial use (for-profit use), or is copyrighted without permission to reuse.
Knowing the basics of copyright can help you choose images appropriately and even craft lessons centered around the key points of copyright and its uses. To help you stay within the lines, we’ve put together some tips and tools for finding content that works for you.
Tip #1: Ask yourself where the image came from.
Sites like Photopin and Flickr are good places to start. Here you can filter images by commercial/non-commercial use, check to see what type of Creative Commons licenses are being used and search a wide variety of images that can be used to illustrate lessons.
Tip #2: Look for signs of copyrighted work before using.
- Does the image have a watermark/byline?
- Does the image have a copyright symbol?
- Is the image from a reputable news source?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are this is an image that is not available for reuse. Usually, copyrighted works require permission from the agency/photographer. Often times this means there will be a fee accompanying permission.
Tip #3: Question the image use.
If you are staying within the educational/teaching realm, you may be able to benefit from “fair use.” This is a copyright law that enables copyrighted works to be used without permission if its use is deemed “fair.” Teaching, commenting on, criticizing or parodying copyrighted works are all deemed protected within “fair use.”
Tip #4: Know these helpful terms.
Here are some helpful definitions when figuring out if your content is safe to use.
Commercial Use: used in conjunction with profit. This applies to any business use and any purpose that intends to promote a brand/business. Use in a company blog would be commercial.
Fair Use: copyrighted works may be used without permission if its use is deemed “fair.” An example would be commenting, criticizing, parodying, or teaching a copyrighted work.
Non-Commercial Use: for use that doesn’t intend to make a profit. An example of this would be for use in an educational lesson that is without monetary gain.
Public Domain: works in the public domain are available to the public as a whole. An example would be a work with a copyright that has expired.
Creative Commons (CC): a license that enables free distribution of copyrighted works. Authors who enable CC licenses want to give people the ability to share, use and build upon their original works–with restrictions. The Creative Commons search engine is a good place to visit.
Want more? The U.S. Copyright Office is another helpful resource.
Are you creating a lesson centered around copyright use? We want to know about it. Tweet us at #ProQuest or comment below!
Engineering is the science by which the properties of matter and the sources of power in nature are made useful to humans in structures, devices, machines, and products. An engineer is an individual who specializes in one of the many branches of engineering.
There has been a lot of talk about in recent years about emphasizing STEM/STEAM in schools to help the U.S. fill jobs in many technical fields. One front in this effort is National Engineers Week, which in 2017 is February 19-25. Quoting from the website of DiscoverE, the organization behind it, National Engineers Week is intended to “Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world; Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers; Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.” The site has activities, videos and other resources to help educators expose students to engineering concepts and career paths.
Teachers, eLibrary also has you covered. Of course, students and educators can search the database for lots of interesting articles, websites, transcripts and more relating to the various branches of engineering. But we also offer lots of Research Topics on specific topics in the sciences. They can be discovered while searching (look for drop-down lists while typing in search terms–many of the items here will return a Research Topic at the top of the results) and by browsing the list of all RTs. Here is a small sampling of relevant RTs to get your students started in exploring the impact of engineers and considering educational and career paths in the sciences:
Computer Software Engineer
Golden Gate Bridge
I-35W Bridge Collapse
One World Trade Center
Three Gorges Dam
The CultureGrams editors are excited to announce a new Kids edition country report!
The new Togo report includes detailed information on the history, culture, language, food, and daily life of this country.
Here are some interesting Did You Knows about the Togo:
- Togo is believed to have been named after a town on the shore of Lake Togo. The name comes from the Ewe words to (water) and go (shore).
- Most homes in Togo do not have running water, so fetching water is a common daily chore for children.
- Among the Ewe, babies are named after the day of the week they are born but are often given a personal first name as well.
- To show respect, young people kneel when greeting an elder.
The gathering of information begins with a need or desire for an answer to a question. Perhaps that question is posed by a teacher or by the student herself. The next course of action in schools these days is usually to consult a website, or perhaps a book. Information literacy skills support students in navigating this process of finding answers.
But once students are equipped with these vital research skills and find answers to questions, what is the next step toward understanding and integrating the information they find?
Another way to ask that question might be this: How can we turn information gathering into wisdom?
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”—Socrates
Socrates prized questioning over information gathering. He valued the qualities of critical thinking and engagement with a topic. He believed in creating a learning atmosphere of cooperation, dialogue, listening, and further questioning—cornerstones of the Socratic method, and foundations of the Socratic seminar.
Socrates believed that collecting and memorizing information provided little opportunity for true learning. And as learning was best nurtured in a social atmosphere, the lone activity of research provided little support for critical thinking and comprehension.
Navigating and bridging the educational essentials of research and the art of critical thinking may be a challenging journey.
The Socratic seminar is one way to help connect these two elements of a successful classroom.
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”—Socrates
The Socratic seminar provides students with a forum to ask questions and exchange ideas with their peers on a specific topic, event, or piece of literature. Students come prepared to engage in discussion with fellow students, having read assigned materials, conducted appropriate research, made personal connections, and formulated questions to bring to the seminar.
The teacher becomes the seminar’s facilitator, keeping the students on topic and asking open-ended questions when necessary. The goal is to allow students to practice the art of true dialogue. Emphasis is placed on the value of listening and respecting everyone’s questions and opinions. Socratic seminars are not debates; rather, they are cooperative conversations geared toward critical thinking and discovery.
Interested in learning more about this teaching and learning tool? Check out this Socratic Seminar Strategy Guide and this Seminar Discussion Rubric, and select from these Socratic seminar lesson plans on literary texts, immigration, and human gene editing.
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”—Socrates
Depending on which part of the U.S. you live in, your students will celebrate their 100th day of school pretty soon (it usually occurs in January or February each year). Many schools across the country celebrate the 100th day of school. It’s not only a milestone but also a great opportunity for teachers to practice math with their students. This is especially important in preschool and kindergarten, where students are learning their numbers. But it also provides good activities for all elementary-level students.
For example, you may ask your students to bring in “100” of something. It could be a collection of paperclips, or macaroni noodles, or buttons. The possibilities are endless! When my son was in preschool, he brought in a collection of 100 animal fact cards that we collected from National Geographic Little Kids magazines. We laid out all the cards on the floor and I helped him count all the way to 100. We also practiced counting by 10s. This activity is a good way to introduce more numbers.
See these fun activities that you can use in your classroom:
In SIRS Discoverer, we love to find resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. See our activities page and math resources for more ideas. Also, see this cute story from Highlights for Children entitled 100 Things about a girl who is trying to find 100 things to bring in for the 100th day of school celebration.
Are you celebrating the 100th day of school? We want to know about it. Tweet us at #ProQuest or comment below!
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese military conducted a bombing raid on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In the wake of that attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on February 19, 1942, signed a document that would itself live in infamy and have lasting consequences for Japanese Americans. Executive Order 9066 authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe “military areas” which would confine persons who were restricted from living in or traveling to coastal areas, mainly the West Coast of the United States. As a result of the Order, the Western Defense Command began the removal and detention of tens of thousands of residents of Japanese ancestry, mostly from California. (Anti-Asian prejudices had existed in California since the mid-1800s, beginning with Chinese immigrants. Anti-Japanese movements became widespread in California around 1900.) Within six months after FDR signed the Order, some 122,000 men, women and children were involuntarily taken to assembly areas. They were then moved to and confined in relocation centers, or, internment camps, that were isolated, fenced-in behind barbed wire and under military guard.
Entire communities of Japanese Americans were uprooted. The U.S. government made no official charges against them, nor could they appeal their relocation and incarceration. Most of those relocated were American citizens. All lost their personal liberties; many lost their homes and personal property. There were ten relocation centers in remote areas in six western states and Arkansas: Heart Mountain, Wyoming; Tule Lake and Manzanar in California; Topaz in Utah; Poston and Gila River in Arizona; Granada in Colorado; Minidoka in Idaho, and Jerome and Rowher in Arkansas. For the next two-and-a-half years, Japanese Americans endured extremely difficult living conditions and poor treatment. Several prisoners used the legal system to challenge the government’s actions. Fred Korematsu, a U.S. citizen of Japanese descent, refused to go to an internment camp and was arrested, tried and convicted in federal court. He challenged FDR’s executive order, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Justices upheld Korematsu’s conviction on the grounds of military necessity.
These Japanese Americans were not allowed to return to their homes until January 2, 1945. In an ironic twist of history, during the course of World War II, only ten Americans were convicted of spying for Japan, and not one of them was of Japanese ancestry. In 1988, calling the internment of Japanese Americans “a grave wrong,” President Ronald Reagan signed a bill authorizing that each surviving internee receive a check for $20,000 along with an official apology from the United States government.
You can find out more about this important topic in U.S. history by searching eLibrary. Here are just a few related resources:
The CultureGrams editors are excited to announce a new Kids edition country report!
The new U.S. Virgin Islands report includes detailed information on the history, culture, language, food, and daily life of this country.
Here are some interesting Did You Knows about the U.S. Virgin Islands:
- The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only location in the United States where people drive on the left side of the road.
- There is an underwater national park in Trunk Bay, off the coast of Saint John. It is one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean and is marked by underwater signs.
- Famous impressionist painter Camille Pissarro was born in Saint Thomas.
- The islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas each have a nickname. They are known as Twin City (Saint Croix), Love City (Saint John), and Rock City (Saint Thomas).
Read about the Carnival celebration, life as a kid, and traditional foods, all in this colorful new report.
According to the U.S. State Department, America has accepted more than three million refugees since 1975. Last year, the U.S. welcomed 84,995 refugees from around the world. Currently, there has been a torrent of court filings over President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries. While courts have temporarily blocked Trump’s travel ban, the issue is far from being resolved and may even reach the U.S. Supreme Court. As an editor for SIRS Issues Researcher who works on the Immigration Leading Issue, I am following the multiple angles of this issue closely. Regardless of varying opinions on the current controversy, once refugees enter the United States legally, they often need assistance. I have always been impressed with the amazing services libraries offer the community. So I was curious as to what role libraries play in welcoming refugees who legally enter the United States.
I have learned that libraries across the nation have often been a welcome spot for refugees and immigrants. Through a wealth of immigration services and programming, libraries play an important role in raising awareness about the naturalization process and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship and in helping refugees and other newcomers to the U.S. participate in the broader society.
Since 2013, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has partnered with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help libraries assist refugees with immigration and citizenship information and resources. As a result of this partnership, hundreds of public libraries have set up areas known as “Citizenship Corners,” which include free brochures and immigration forms.
In addition, in 2015, the American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table issued Guidelines for Outreach to Immigrant Populations. These guidelines for library services and programming offer ideas on how to help immigrants adjust to life in their new homeland while preserving their cultural and linguistic heritages.
Free Legal Help, Cooking Classes and More
Two such libraries that are helping immigrants and refugees are the Brooklyn Public Library and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The Brooklyn Public Library offers programs for immigrants in many languages and includes citizenship classes and study groups, bilingual family arts and culture programs and courses to help immigrant businesses succeed. Additionally, the library’s immigration services include free immigration legal help with the Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC). IJC Fellows hold office hours at select branches to help immigrants file applications for citizenship and green cards as well as offer other legal support.
In addition to offering a myriad of immigration and naturalization resources, events and classes, the Free Library of Philadelphia also offers a unique six-week course via their Culinary Literacy Center called Edible Alphabet. The program uses food as a way to unite people from different cultural backgrounds and helps immigrants learn English through cooking lessons. According to Liz Fitzgerald, the Administrator of the Culinary Literacy Center, the meals they prepare include a smoothie, carrot coriander soup, panzanella, pancakes, pasta primavera, and chana masala. The library partners with a non-profit organization called the Nationalities Service Center (NSC), which has been helping immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area since the 1920s.
Tell Us Your Story
Does your library offer services to refugees? If so, drop us a line in the comments section below or Tweet us at #ProQuest!
February is Black History Month! In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week and then in 1976 President Gerald Ford proclaimed February as “Black History Month.” African Americans have played vital roles in shaping the country’s past and present. We encourage you to observe Black History Month in your classroom and media center by teaching about African Americans. On SIRS Discoverer, young researchers can find articles and images on the accomplishments, history, culture, and heritage of African Americans. Here are samples of what they can find:
- John Lewis — A vigorous civil rights worker, he has served as a Congressman from Georgia for more than 30 years. He is now the only organizer of the 1963 March on Washington who is still alive.
- Frederick Douglass — Born into slavery, he was a journalist, public speaker, and well-known antislavery leader.
- Sojourner Truth — Also born into slavery, she was an advocate for the abolitionist movement and women’s rights.
- Ralph Bunche — A diplomat and a mediator working for the United Nations, he was the first African-American to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
- Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson — These barrier-breaking African-American athletes defied racist attitudes and became trailblazers in their sports.
- Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison — Award-winning and prolific, these authors wrote about the experiences of African-American women.
- Ruby Bridges, the Greensboro Four, and the Freedom Riders — These children and students played pivotal roles in the civil-rights movement.
How are you celebrating Black History Month in your library or classroom? Let us know in the comments or tweet us with #ProQuest.