Archive for the ‘ProQuest’ Category

April Training Webinars Posted

Libraries see surge in e-book demandNow’s a great time to catch up on the important elements of your ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ve posted our April webinars and would like to invite you to join us. Share this information also with some of your key faculty who you know would benefit from greater familiarity with your excellent ProQuest library research and learning tools. Our new public webinar page also expands your view of ProQuest possibilities. Not only may you access training for your K-12 focused resources, but you may also learn more about ProQuest’s full array of research and learning tools. Many of these have potential application in advanced secondary learning environments.

Sign up now for a class of your choice. If you don’t see the resource you’re looking for, contact us and we would be happy to schedule a private webinar with you!

The 2016 Presidential Election Is Gearing Up

By this time next year, a new president will have been sworn into office. Will it be Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders? Will a dark horse emerge from the Republican Party? Has election fatigue set in yet? Are you ready for it to be over?

The campaign for a new president seems to start earlier every election cycle. And although Ted Cruz was officially the first candidate to throw his hat into the ring just last March, his speech and posturing, along with incessant media speculation, started well before his announcement. And he surely was not the only one. Hillary Clinton did not announce her candidacy until April last year, but speculation about her candidacy had been rampant right after President Obama was inaugurated for his second term.

One week from today, the first primaries and caucuses will begin the long, arduous process of seating a new president, beginning with Iowa on February 1st, and then New Hampshire the following week.

The process of electing a president begins with narrowing the field of candidates through individual state primaries and caucuses leading up to the Republican and Democratic national conventions in July. Unless something unexpected happens, expect the field of candidates to narrow considerably after Iowa and New Hampshire.

State primaries, like New Hampshire’s, are typical elections by voters, where the general public go to the polls to cast secret ballots. Unlike New Hampshire, a caucus like Iowa’s is a system of state-wide local gatherings where voters decide which candidate they will support and to select delegates to represent their state at the national convention. Historically, caucuses were the most common way of electing party candidates. They recall  a day when up or down votes were cast by cigar-chomping delegates in smoke-filled halls who would call out yea or nay their nominees of choice. Today, most states hold primaries, with only 10 states holding caucuses.

After Iowa and New Hampshire, the caucuses and primaries of Nevada and South Carolina at the end of February, respectively, will lead to Super Tuesday on March 1, where 14 states (and the territory of American Somoa) will cast their votes. Typically, by the time all of the primaries and caucuses have ended in June, a candidate from each party will have emerged as their respective nominee, and it will be on to Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party will hold their national convention, and to Cleveland, which hosts the Republican Party’s convention.

eLibrary has a dedicated selection of Research Topics focused on current and past presidential elections that are good resources for you social studies and government classes. We have an active, updated U.S. Presidential Election, 2016 Research Topic that will help you keep tabs on the current campaign with profiles of each current and former candidates, polls and surveys, political issues and analyses, and primary updates to each current campaign. eLibrary also has Research Topics of past presidential elections (see below), along with a ProQuest Research Topic Guide on elections in the United States here.

Below are more Research Topic resources for your research and discovery:

What’s the Latest?

Schools Training Page

“What’s the Latest?” is a big question, actually.  In the research database world, everything is dynamic and constantly changing and updating.  In 2015, ProQuest SIRS Discoverer was all new.  ProQuest CultureGrams also received new looks — twice during the year — once over the summer, and again last month in December.  Content is continually being updated as well.  Most recently, we moved our “offices” — online, that is.  You have a new place to log into your ProQuest K-12 resources, and the training team has a new place for you to go to join us for training.  Sounds like a great time to get to know your resources even better!

Contact the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to learn all about what’s new and what’s so important about your ProQuest resources. You can contact us directly to arrange a free meeting or join us in one of our public webinars, as noted above. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you get a great start to the second half of this academic year!

10 Things About the King

Elvis Presley rose from humble beginnings to become the ‘King of Rock and Roll.’ He remains an international pop culture icon almost 40 years after his death. On the eve of his 81st birthday, here are 10 things you may or may not know about Elvis:

Elvis Presley's Birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi

Elvis Presley’s Birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi [public domain]
Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive via Library of Congress

1. Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi to Gladys Love (Smith) and Vernon Elvis Presley. He had a stillborn identical twin brother, named Jessie Garon.

2. Presley, who never received formal music training or learned to read music, studied and played by ear. He identified the Pentecostal church as his primary source of musical training.

3. When he was 13 years old, he and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records.

Sun Records Studio, Memphis, Tennessee

Sun Records Studio, Memphis, Tennessee [public domain]
by Carol M. Highsmith via Library of Congress

4. In December of 1957, Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three girls from Montana wrote a letter to President Eisenhower in which they begged him not to give Elvis a G.I. haircut and cut off his sideburns.

5. While he was in the Army and stationed in Germany, he met 14-year-old Priscilla Ann Beaulieu. They married eight years later, on May 1, 1967, at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.

6. Elvis is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, selling more than 1 billion recordings worldwide.

7. His only child Lisa Marie Presley was born on February 1, 1968. Ironically, the daughter of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ was briefly married to Michael Jackson, the ‘King of Pop.’

Richard M. Nixon Shaking Hands with Entertainer Elvis Presley in the Oval Office

Richard M. Nixon Shaking Hands with Entertainer Elvis Presley in the Oval Office
[public domain] via White House Photo Office/National Archives and Records Service

8. On December 21, 1970, Presley visited President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office. The photo of Nixon and Elvis shaking hands in the White House is the most-requested image in the holdings of the National Archives.

Visitors Pass by the Presleys' Graves--Graceland (Elvis Presley Mansion)

Visitors Pass by the Presleys’ Graves–Graceland (Elvis Presley Mansion)
by Adam Jones on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

9. Elvis died at age 42 at his Memphis home on August 16, 1977. Elvis bought the mansion named Graceland in 1957 for $100,000. It was opened for tours in 1982, and since then an average of 500,000 visitors pay tribute annually.

10. Elvis was buried twice. Elvis was originally placed in a crypt next to his mother, Gladys, at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis. Shortly after, several young men attempted to steal his remains. His father Vernon then decided to move both bodies to the grounds of Graceland. He received special permission from city officials to do so, and they both rest there today.

To learn more about Elvis Presley’s life, music, legacy, and his lasting influence on American culture, visit ProQuest’s eLibrary Research Topic page, or one of these editorially selected websites, available on SIRS WebSelect:

Elvis Presley

One Life: Echoes of Elvis

When Nixon Met Elvis

Thomas Paine Publishes “Common Sense”

Two hundred and forty years ago this week, the year the American colonies declared independence from the British crown, a relatively unknown English immigrant, recently transplanted from Norfolk, England, brought the new year in with a literary roar. Six months before Thomas Jefferson penned the inspirational draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine, known as a “professional radical” in some circles, anonymously wrote and published a small 7×5 inch, 79-page pamphlet called “Common Sense,” a manifesto advocating for immediate independence for the American colonies from England and the British imperial system. In the pamphlet, much like the Declaration of Independence, Paine systematically laid out the grievances of the colonists, detailed the tyrannies of the British monarchy (specifically, King George III) and aristocracy, and called for a democratic government and written constitution.

Unlike the Declaration of Independence, however, “Common Sense” was not only a list of grievances, but also a call to arms. Paine, a well-read, Enlightenment-era man, with a proclivity for scholarly writing replete with footnotes and Latin phrases, wrote the pamphlet in simple terms intended for the average layman. It was a rallying cry to colonists reluctant to commit to a war of independence. After publication, “Common Sense” immediately sold 50,000 copies leading up to the revolution, which in those days was unheard of. Its impact was profound. Farmers and townspeople alike stopped to read it. After publication of “Common Sense,” anyone who was sitting on the fence over whether to go to war suddenly found themselves on one side or the other. And Paine’s other writings had such a huge influence on George Washington that he ordered his officers read aloud Paine’s “The American Crisis” to his troops. Paine later had all royalties from “Common Sense” donated to buy mittens for the troops.

While Paine’s legacy is undeniable, his death and burial was sadly ironic. Because of his religious views (he had been held in contempt for his ridicule of Christianity), Paine died a broken man and his funeral was attended by only six people. Because of his views and writings on Christianity, the Quakers refused Paine’s request to be buried in one of their cemeteries. Ten years later, after being buried under a walnut tree on his farm in New York in 1809, journalist and friend William Cobbett, hoping to cement Paine’s legacy, disinterred his bones and shipped them back to England. After Cobbett was unable to gain support for a memorial in his honor, he put Paine’s bones in a trunk where they were eventually forgotten. Later, after Cobbett’s death, they were lost altogether.

To this day, the location of Paine’s bones are unknown. The impact Thomas Paine had on the American and international political and social landscape, however, is not.

You can read more about Thomas Paine, “Common Sense,” and the American Revolution in eLibrary. Check out these resources:

Research Topics
American Revolution
Common Sense
Declaration of Independence
Thomas Paine
Thomas Jefferson

Browse Topics & Publications
American Revolution
Declaration of Independence
Thomas Paine

Writings by and about Thomas Paine
The Age of Reason
The American Crisis
Thomas Paine and the Making of Common Sense

The Rights of Man
Works of Thomas Paine

This Day in History: Miami Dolphins Finish 1972 NFL Season Undefeated

On December 16, 1972, the Miami Dolphins tallied a 16-0 victory over the Baltimore Colts, completing the first undefeated 14-0 regular season record in the history of the NFL. They are the only team in NFL history to finish a season unbeaten and untied, and then go on to capture a Super Bowl victory that made them world champions, ending with a perfect 17-0 overall record. Over 40 years later, the Dolphins remain the only NFL team to complete an entire season undefeated and untied from the opening game through the Super Bowl (or the NFL championship game).

Six players from the ’72 Dolphins team have since been enshrined in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame: Nick Buoniconti (linebacker), Larry Csonka (fullback), Bob Griese (quarterback), Jim Langer (center), Larry Little (guard), and Paul Warfield (wide receiver), along with head coach Don Shula. It had not become common practice for Super Bowl champions to be invited to the White House until after 1980, so the 1972 Dolphins never got their White House visit. On August 20, 2013, 40 years after their historic perfect season, President Obama welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate and recognize their accomplishment.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a ceremony honoring the 1972 Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a ceremony honoring the 1972 Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) [public domain]

Prior to the 1972 Dolphins, the only other team to ever complete the regular season undefeated and untied is the Chicago Bears, who accomplished the feat in both 1934 and 1942. However, both of those Bears teams lost in the NFL Championship Game. In 1985, the Chicago Bears were 12-0 when they visited Miami in a nationally televised Monday night showdown. Members of the undefeated 1972 team were in attendance and watched the Dolphins claim a 38-24 upset victory. The Bears went on to an 18-1 season, capped by winning the Super Bowl, but the Dolphins’ claim on the only perfect season was still intact.

The most recent team to challenge the Dolphins’ exclusive hold on an undefeated season was the 2007 New England Patriots, who finished the regular season with a 16-0 mark. (The Patriots were able to compile a better regular season record than the 1972 Dolphins because the NFL lengthened the regular season schedule from 14 to 16 games in 1978.) New England added two playoff wins and entered Super Bowl XLII undefeated (18-0), but the dream of a perfect season fell short as they were defeated 17-14 by the New York Giants.

This season, with three games left in the regular season, the Carolina Panthers remain undefeated at 13-0. Stay tuned to find out if they can duplicate the perfection achieved by the 1972 Miami Dolphins team.

eLibrary has over 100 Research Topic pages related to the NFL and its teams, coaches, players and commissioners. To view a few of them related to this post, check out the links below:

Chicago Bears

Don Shula

Miami Dolphins

National Football League

New England Patriots

Super Bowl

Come See Us at AASL!

The American Association of School Librarians meets in Columbus, Ohio, from November 5th through the 8th, and ProQuest will be there in Booth #401 showcasing the resources that you use in your libraries and classrooms to prepare students for the research challenges of college and career.

Please take a few minutes to sign up here for User Group meetings for CultureGrams, SIRS Issue Researcher, or eLibrary and eLibrary Curriculum Edition. These are brief meetings that won’t eat into your busy conference schedule, and they are conveniently located at the exhibit hall entrance in a semi-private area in the ProQuest booth.

Reserve your space today! Seating is limited!

ProQuest Booth_cr

ProQuest Booth #401: Calm Before the Storm

We are looking forward to meeting with you and your colleagues to talk about your experiences with ProQuest. It is our privilege to have these face-to-face encounters, and we are always excited about discovering ways our developers and editors can address your evolving needs.

In Case You’re Thinking of Climbing Mount Everest …

With the recent release of the movie “Everest,” based on journalist Jon Krakauer’s best selling book “Into Thin Air,” the lure of climbing Mount Everest continues unabated. The book and movie is an account of a 1996 expedition that left eight dead, including expedition leader Rob Hall and fellow guide Scott Fischer. Attempts to summit Everest have increased dramatically in the past 20 years, and now over 500 people a year attempt to ascend it. Since George Mallory’s last attempt at Everest in 1924, where he died along with fellow climber Andrew Irvine, more than 250 people have perished trying to summit the mountain and over half of that number have died since that deadly 1996 expedition. In the past two years alone, 33 people have been killed by avalanches. Krakauer’s original intent in writing about Everest was prompted by overcrowding and commercialization of the mountain. Overcrowding at base camps and routes to the summit has contributed significantly to the increase in abandoned gear and refuse, not to mention the increase in the frozen corpses that have been left behind.

So, why do people want to climb Mount Everest? What is the allure that draws people to climb such a dangerous mountain? Most don’t really have a logical answer and a good proportion of people succumb to Mallory’s well-worn rejoinder, “because it’s there.”

Whatever your reason might be (if you become so inclined), before you start thinking about actually climbing Mount Everest there are a few things you need to consider before embarking on such a monumental expedition. Never mind the cost (count on spending at least $60,000) and the time it takes to make the trip. The physical and mental effort to take on the mountain and its elements is no small feat, and the chances of you actually making it to the summit are tenuous, at best.

Consider the air. By the time you make it to the South Base Camp at an altitude of 17,598 feet, you will have lost 15 percent of your oxygen. If by chance you make it into the Death Zone (26,000 feet) the air pressure will be approximately one third of that at sea level. At this point, without an artificial source of oxygen, your body no longer replenishes enough oxygen to sustain life. For normal human beings, without proper acclimatization, this can mean acquiring any of the following types of mountain sickness: acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude cerebral edema, and high altitude pulmonary edema. The only cure for these complications is to move to a lower elevation, which means, unless you have bottomless pockets and plenty of time on your hands, you’ll be going home without bagging Everest.

If the lack of air doesn’t cause you to head back to base camp, the weather might oblige. Unpredictable is an understatement, and it can turn on a dime. The temperature never reaches above zero Fahrenheit atop Everest and can dip to 70 below zero. Winds can reach hurricane force at 150 mph. Blizzards are common and can dump several feet of snow in a matter of hours. Avalanches, like the recent one last year that killed 16 Sherpas, can block the trail up to the summit, causing you to turn back.

If the stars are aligned and you don’t get sick from lack of air and the weather doesn’t force you to retreat back down the mountain, maybe the Khumbu Icefall, where those 16 Sherpas were killed, will give you pause. The icefall, considered one of the most dangerous sections of the South Col route, is formed by the Khumbu Glacier, a massive, constantly shifting flow of ice that can move six feet in a day. When George Mallory first encountered it, he turned back declaring it impassable. Crevasses as large as skyscrapers can open up and close in a day. After leaving base camp, you’ll encounter a number of rope and ladder systems that crosses the many crevasses of the icefall. It’s a slow, arduous journey across the icefall and it can take up to 12 hours to complete. After committing to this section, one misstep here and thoughts of turning back, and all your other earthly thoughts, will be permanently erased.

Finally, after you’ve negotiated the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, battled through blizzards, hurricane force winds, deadly low temperatures, and you have enough air left in your lungs, there’s the Hillary Step. Named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was one of two people who were the first to summit Everest in 1953 (along with Tibetan Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay), the Hillary Step is the final obstacle to the summit, a formidable 40-foot vertical wall of rock and ice and one the most challenging technical climbs in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, the mountain has become so crowded that a waiting line has developed causing dangerous delays from people ascending and descending this section. Once you’ve cleared the Hillary Step, you have just enough time to go up to the peak and take pictures before swiftly making your way back down the mountain before it gets too late.

All of this points toward a very dangerous endeavor for anyone who chooses to make the climb. In the past 20 years, with the help of eager guides, it has become easier and easier for novice climbers to attempt Everest with little or no experience. Not only is it more dangerous for inexperienced climbers, but the increase in human traffic has had a negative effect on the environment there. Human remains, tents, sleeping bags, oxygen cylinders, and general human refuse are left along the trail. That’s why it was a good sign two weeks ago when the Nepalese government announced that it will consider putting restrictions on who can climb Everest. Age, experience, and ability would become major considerations for those who wish to climb the world’s tallest mountain, and only those who have already scaled mountains of 6,500 meters (21,325 feet) would be regarded as eligible.

If after you’ve considered all the costs, become proficient at mountain climbing, and you eventually accomplish this amazing undertaking, perhaps one day when you’re asked why you wanted to climb Mount Everest you can come up with a better response than Mallory’s “because it’s there.” Temporary insanity is always a reasonable explanation.

To learn more about Mount Everest, the Himalayas, and mountain climbing, dig into eLibrary for more information.

Altitude Sickness
Edmund Hillary
Mount Everest
Mountain Climbing

Teacher-Media Specialist Collaboration Is Recipe for Student Success


As editors, we are privileged at times to get out of the office and visit schools and libraries to witness how librarians, media specialists, teachers and students use ProQuest resources at their points of need. We visited Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and observed a recipe for student engagement: the collaboration of a media specialist and teacher.

Deb Svec, media specialist, collaborates with as many teachers as she can who are willing to join her on fun, innovative projects for high school students. Knowing this, we were very excited when Deb welcomed us to her media center to consult on use of our resources and observe her current project in partnership with 10th grade English teacher Julie Mooney. Deb and Julie joined forces for a lesson centered on the book Escape from Camp 14, the story “of the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped.” Nonfiction was selected due to Language Arts Florida Standards’ emphasis on nonfiction proficiency.

ProQuest provides content-based reading and research for nonfiction units.

The nine-week lesson starts with pre-research to learn about the contextual themes of the book including North Korea, human rights, genocide, torture, and historical comparison to the holocaust. Deb demonstrates three ProQuest resources in the media center: CultureGrams for country research, eLibrary for in-depth current and historical reference and SIRS Issues Researcher to delve into the ethical angles. Then with Julie’s guidance, students team up in the computer lab to research ProQuest resources and gather as many facts as they can. In another class, they produce poster boards illustrating their research, which are posted in the classroom for reference.

Collaborators in Education: Julie Mooney and Deb Svec
Palm Beach Gardens Community High School (Photo by Christie Riegelhaupt)

Next, the students are immersed in the story of Shin Dong-hyuk through reading and discussion of the book. As their understanding is enlightened through the narrative of Escape from Camp 14, students return to the media center to dig deeper into thematic research in ProQuest resources including eLibrary Research Topics specially created by editors for this topic. In subsequent class activities to engage in critical thinking, students answer questions through Cranium Core games to prompt in-depth discussion and promote comprehension.

In their final project, the students collaborate and produce public service announcements (PSAs) on the horrors of North Korean internment camps. These PSAs are broadcast via the school media network.

At the end of other book units, Deb and her collaborative teachers often invite authors for Skype or in-person visits with the students. Students are inspired by the experience of interacting with authors who often have experiences similar to their own.

Collaborative lessons like Escape from Camp 14 don’t just promote rote knowledge but build college-ready skills through collaboration,  reading comprehension, technology use, information literacy, critical thinking, and oral presentation. Educators like Deb and Julie are an example of how collaborative teaching and use of media center resources provide dynamic immersive learning.

Research Topic

Shin Dong-hyuk, one of several ProQuest eLibrary Research Topics
created specially by editors for the Escape from Camp 14 unit.


Originally published November 12, 2014.

Arrange Training Just For Your School

Trending Leading IssuesThe ProQuest Training and Consulting Partners don’t provide only pre-recorded training videos or public webinars. We are also available to arrange training directly with your school to meet your local needs. Our privately arranged training is available to any licensed ProQuest customer at no cost. We are happy to discuss unique interests and needs you’d like to cover, and you can invite faculty and staff members to join. To get started, just email the Training and Consulting Partners at training@proquest.com . We’ll respond back to you and work to get everything arranged!

If public webinars are all that’s needed to meet your needs, visit us at www.proquest.com/go/webinars.

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