Help! Participating in National Volunteer Week (April 23-29)

National Volunteer Week…an opportunity to give back, to devote time, energy and emotion to helping others. And what an ideal opportunity to show students the multitude of benefits–tangible and intangible–of working together to help make the world around them a better place.

The concept of National Volunteer Week was born in 1974 when President Richard Nixon established, with an executive order, an effort to encourage people of all ages to contribute to the betterment of their communities.

Volunteering Research Topic

Volunteering Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

The list of ways to volunteer in your area is endless. And absolutely anyone can do it: students, retirees, folks with plenty of free time, and even those with very busy life schedules.

Many companies, like ProQuest, offer Volunteer Days to their employees. Whether it’s organizing and boxing up goods at a local food bank, or mulching and raking a trail at a nature preserve, no feeling quite equals the satisfaction of helping others.

ProQuest employees volunteering at Dare to Care food bank

(Photo Courtesy of ProQuest)

ProQuest employees volunteering at Creasey-Mahan Nature Preserve

(Photo Courtesy of ProQuest)











“Volunteers help drive our country’s progress, and day in and day out, they make extraordinary sacrifices to expand promise and possibility. During National Volunteer Week, let us shed the cynicism that says one person cannot make a difference in the lives of others by embracing each of our individual responsibilities to serve and shape a brighter future for all.”

President Barack Obama (2016)


Alex Haley’s “Roots”: The 40th Anniversary

In January 1977, a miniseries aired on ABC, and it would essentially change the face of television.

“Roots,” based on Alex Haley’s novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” won nine Emmy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family Research Topic

Roots: The Saga of an American Family Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an African adolescent who was brought to Colonial America and forced into slavery.

The story was based on what Haley claims to have discovered after conducting research to trace his ancestry.

Alex Haley Research Topic

Alex Haley Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

eLibrary offers a multitude of additional information related to the subject matter of “Roots,” including these Related Topics:

Atlantic Slave Trade

ProQuest Research Topic Guide: African-American History

ProQuest Research Topic Guide: Slavery in the U.S.


Slavery in the U.S.

Bing’s “White Christmas” First Performed 75 Years Ago!

In the malls. At the restaurant table. On your car radio.

This time of year, you can practically hear Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” EVERYwhere! That’s because it is one of the world’s favorite holiday songs, and it was first performed 75 years ago, on Christmas Day in 1941.

“White Christmas,” penned by Irving Berlin, is one of the best-selling singles of all time, selling over a million copies worldwide. The song even inspired a 1954 movie by the same name.

Want to find out more about the man with the smooth voice singing this famous tune?

Bing Crosby Research Topic

Bing Crosby Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

eLibrary also offers lots more information about Christmas Day itself, including its origins and traditions.

Christmas Research Topic

Christmas Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Here are other Related Topics you might find interesting:

Bob Hope

Danny Kaye

Dorothy Lamour

Frank Sinatra

Rosemary Clooney

Author Beatrix Potter, Born 150 Years Ago

This week (July 28, to be exact) marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of famed author Beatrix Potter. In addition to her writing, Potter was also known for her fascination and work with nature and science.

Beatrix Potter Research Topic

Beatrix Potter Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Potter wrote approximately 30 books, 24 of which were children’s tales. And undoubtedly, her best known and beloved story is The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which was published in 1902.

Peter Rabbit and His Mom

Peter Rabbit and His Mom [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Peter Rabbit in the Cabbage Patch

Peter Rabbit in the Cabbage Patch [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons






The following year, Potter published The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester…and from there, the remainder of her treasured stories were penned.

Bowie, Merle & Prince: Gone, but Not Forgotten

The year 2016, though not even halfway completed, has been an especially harsh one on musical pioneers. Several gifted singers and instrumental geniuses have passed away this year. Let’s put a final spotlight on three of them.

David Bowie, who died January 10 at the age of 69, was a singer, songwriter, actor and record producer, renowned for his innovative style and his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.

David Bowie Research Topic

David Bowie Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Country music legend Merle Haggard passed away on April 6–his birthday–at the age of 79. Haggard rose from a rocky, difficult childhood to become one of the most beloved country performers of all time.

Merle Haggard Research Topic

Merle Haggard Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, died unexpectedly at the age of 57 on April 21. He had a flamboyant stage presence, became an expert at multiple instruments, and was perhaps best known for his classic album (and movie), Purple Rain.

Prince Research Topic

Prince Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

The music and memories that these three created will live on in the hearts of millions of fans.

Here is just a partial list of additional musicians, actors, athletes, etc. who have left us in 2016:

Abe Vigoda

Alan Rickman

Dan Haggerty

Dave Mirra

Garry Shandling

Glenn Frey

Gordie Howe

Harper Lee

Maurice White

Monte Irvin

Morley Safer

Muhammad Ali

Patty Duke

50th Anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution

This month marks the 50th anniversary of a movement set forth in the People’s Republic of China. This 1966 campaign was called the Cultural Revolution.

Cultural Revolution RT

Cultural Revolution Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

This revolution, which utilized violent means to re-establish the Communist ideology, lasted until 1976. It was spearheaded by Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

Mao Zedong Research Topic

Mao Zedong Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

After Mao’s death (in 1976), reformers led by Deng Xiaoping slowly began to remove the oppressive policies set forth by the former leader.

Learn more about the Cultural Revolution in eLibrary by searching the aforementioned Related Topics and articles, as well as others associated with this movement, including:



Great Leap Forward

Human Rights in China

Red Guard


Gregory Peck, Born 100 Years Ago Today!

Today, April 5, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of actor Gregory Peck (he passed away in 2003).

Gregory Peck Research Topic

Gregory Peck Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Peck was in many notable films, including The Yearling, Twelve O’Clock High, and The Guns of Navarone.

But perhaps his most famous portrayal was that of lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, the legendary film based on the novel by Harper Lee. In fact, in 2003 the American Film Institute deemed Atticus Finch to be the greatest hero in the history of American movies.

To Kill a Mockingbird Research Topic

To Kill a Mockingbird Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

In addition to his acting talents, Peck was also a lifetime humanitarian, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969.

Rosa’s Refusal: 60th Anniversary

Sixty years ago today, on Dec 1, 1955, an African American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her crime? Refusing to surrender her seat to a white man.

Rosa Parks Research Topic

Rosa Parks Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Her arrest as a result of this incident sparked a 381-day boycott of Montgomery buses by African Americans.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Research Topic

Montgomery Bus Boycott Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Even before the incident, Rosa Parks was an activist for civil rights, influenced by her husband, Raymond, and her grandfather. But her courageous stance on that bus in 1955 cemented her legacy as being the “mother of the civil rights movement.”



Rosa Parks receives an award from Bill Clinton

[Public domain],via Wikimedia Commons

eLibrary has an abundance of information on this and other historic events in the civil rights movement, including these:

Brown v. Board of Education

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights (U.S.)

Freedom Rides

Freedom Summer

Greensboro Sit-Ins

Martin Luther King Jr.

Selma to Montgomery March

The 5 Costliest Hurricanes in U.S. History

Hurricanes are one of the most destructive and dangerous forces Mother Nature can dish out.

Hurricanes Research Topic via ProQuest's eLibrary

Hurricanes Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Hurricanes, large rotating storms that center around an area of very low pressure, have winds blowing at an average speed of more than 74 mph.

Ten years ago, two of the costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States occurred.

Which are the top five? eLibrary offers you a detailed look at each:

5. Hurricane Wilma (2005)

4. Hurricane Andrew (1992)

3. Hurricane Ike (2008)

2. Hurricane Sandy (2012)

1. Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Hurricane Katrina Research Topic via ProQuest's eLibrary

Hurricane Katrina Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Links to other devastating hurricanes to hit the U.S.:

Hurricane Charley
Hurricane Frances
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Hugo
Hurricane Ivan


Bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo

June 18, 1815 marked the end of an era…what many would say was a tyrannical era. On this day, the Battle of Waterloo took place.

Battle of Waterloo Research Topics Page

Battle of Waterloo Research Topics Page via ProQuest Library


In this decisive battle, which effectively ended the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon Bonaparte and his French Imperial Guard were defeated at the hands of the British army and its allies, led by the Duke of Wellington. This force was aided by Gebhard von Blucher’s Prussian army.

Map of the Waterloo Campaign

Map of the Waterloo Campaign
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

To better understand the significance of this battle, perhaps it is best to know the background of this defeated French commander, and his reign leading up to this fight.

Napoleon Bonaparte Research Topics Page via ProQuest Library

Napoleon Bonaparte Research Topics Page

After Waterloo, Napoleon gave up the throne and later died while in exile.