Posts Tagged ‘historical newspapers’

Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be with You

Lego Star Wars Stormtroopers

Lego Star Wars Stormtroopers by Andrew Martin [Public Domain], via Pixabay

Since the Beginning: Librarians and Star Wars

The first organized Star Wars Day celebration occurred on May 4, 2011, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada. However, librarians — experts in tapping into popular culture as a way of reaching out to their patrons — have been holding Star Wars events long before this date.

Shortly after the film series began in 1977, libraries began offering Star Wars-themed reading programs, film screenings, children’s shows and other events. For example, a quick search in ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers reveals that, in the summer of 1978, La Mesa Library of the San Diego, California, County Library, offered children a space-theme series with a film screening of Hardware Wars, a Star Wars spoof.

ProQuest Historical Newspaper article screencap

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the July 13, 1978, edition of the Los Angeles Times

Here’s another ProQuest’s Historical Newspaper article from 1979,  detailing a Star Wars reading program for children by Terryville Public Library in Terryville, Connecticut.

star wars reading program

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 26, 1979, edition of The Hartford Courant

Star Wars Day in Libraries Today

West Regional Library Staff Celebrate Star Wars

West Regional Library Staff Pose with a Stormtrooper. (Photo used with permission by Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC)

star wars pancake

Yummy Darth Vader Pancake made with PancakeBot. (Photo used with permission by Xenia Community Library)

Librarians and libraries everywhere continue to offer a host of Star Wars programs and events. Here are three such happenings going on:

Cameron Village Regional Library Staff Celebrate Star Wars

Cameron Village Regional Library Staff and a Stormtrooper. (Photo used with permission by Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC.)

Moraga Library in Moraga, California, is hosting a Star Wars Day event for kids and teens from 4:00 – 6:00 pm today. Event goers, who are encouraged to come costumed as a favorite Star Wars character, can make origami Star Wars figures, watch a movie and more.

Wake County Public Libraries in Raleigh, North Carolina, are having a Star Wars Fest for all ages at Cameron Village Library, North Regional Library, West Regional Library,and other libraries across Wake County.  The festivities will include a screening of The Clone Wars, crafts, activities, and Star-Wars themed books. Some libraries will be holding events later in the week. Check out the website for registration and information.

Xenia Community Library in Xenia, Ohio, is offering an assortment of Star Wars crafts and activities from 4:00-5:00 pm today. According to Head Librarian Kevin Delecki, they will be making buttons, creating Death Stars with cupcake liners and coffee filters, and designing Star Wars-themed pancakes with their PancakeBot (You can read more about PancakeBot here: PancakeBot producing food, opportunities).

Star Wars Origami

Star Wars Origami. (Photo used with permission by Moraga Library, Moraga, CA.)

Activities, Party Ideas & Lesson Plans

Whether you’re a teacher or a librarian (or both!), here are six links to Star Wars-themed activities, party ideas and lesson plans perfect for Star Wars Day, Star Wars Reads Day or any time throughout the year.

Lesson Plan | Teaching ‘Star Wars’ With The New York Times

Library-Star Wars Reads Day Party Ideas

NASA: Star Wars Day Shareables

Star Wars in the Classroom

Star Wars Program Ideas

Star Wars Reads Day Program Ideas

 Fun Facts

* The Star Wars character Maz Kanata, introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is based on a high school English teacher named Rose Gilbert.

* Diehard fans continue their celebrations on May 5th, Revenge of the Fifth Day, a play on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans release their inner Sith and celebrate the Dark Side.

*May the force be with you” was first uttered by General Jan Dodonna to the rebel troops in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

* Star Wars featured a librarian, Jedi Master Jocasta Nu, in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones (2002) and in the video game adaption of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005).

* Historians at the British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts Department revealed a Yoda-like image in a medieval manuscript of canon law now known as the Smithfield Decretals.

Share with Us!

Does your library or classroom hold Star Wars Day events or activities? If so, let us know what you’re doing in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest!

Four ProQuest Resources on Jobs for Youth and Minimum Wage

Good news!

Summer job prospects for young people in the U.S. are looking rosier this year than in previous years and many are paying higher than the federal minimum wage.

During and after the Great Recession (2007-2009) and the years immediately following, jobs were scarce, especially for teens. But this summer, entry level positions are freeing up and youth unemployment, while still higher than the overall unemployment rate, is lower than it has been in years. And, according to a national survey conducted between February 11 and March 6, 2015 on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll, 53% of employers offering summer jobs are offering positions paying $15 or more per hour on average.

Delve into the following four ProQuest products to learn more about jobs for teens and young adults as well as the issue of minimum wage, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, disproportionately affects the young (50.4% are ages 16 to 24).

1. eLibrary 

eLibrary offers two editorially-created Research Topic pages on Summer Jobs and Teenagers and Minimum Wage. These pages include links to handpicked articles, websites, primary source documents, videos, and images. You can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the following link on the search page:

research topic link

Summer Jobs and Teenagers

Screenshot of eLibrary Research Topic, Summer Jobs, and Teenagers

2. ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher 

ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Minimum Wage leading issue. Inside this issue, you can find an overview, key definitions, an interactive map on minimum wage laws in the United States, articles on multiple perspectives, and much more. The Minimum Wage essential question, with supporting pro-con questions, asks the following question:

minimum wage essential question

Screenshot of SIRS Issues Researcher Essential Question for the Minimum Wage Leading Issue

3. CultureGrams

CultureGrams provides a trove of reliable, up-to-date cultural content, including an infographic of an average person for each country. Faces of the World Interviews offer an intimate glimpse into the life of an ordinary person–an adult, teen or child–within a particular country. Take a look at some of the youth interviews to glean information and discover what is involved in a typical day, including education and/or any type of job they hold.

Here is an excerpt from a CultureGrams interview with 16-year-old Ali of Mopti, Mali, when he was asked to describe a typical day of the week for him:


Screencap from CultureGrams Faces of the World Interview with Ali, age 16, Mopti, Mali

The first thing I do is feed the goats in the garden. After this, I wash myself and go to the shore of the river to see if one of the fishermen needs help in their pinasse. The pinasse is the motor boat that the fishermen use in the river to go fishing or sometimes to go to other villages and bring people or food to Mopti. There are many of those in Mopti. Sometimes there is no work, so I have to go back home and stay there, but if I find work, then I go with the fisherman and help him load the pinasse and drive it in the river. Then at the end of the day, they pay me some money. Sometimes it is not much, because it depends if they have to transport people or not. If they get a lot of fish, then they give me some of it, and I take it back home to my mother.

4. Historical Newspapers (Graphical) 

Historical Newspapers (Graphical) contains full-text historical newspaper articles covering the enactment of minimum wage laws in the United States. From either the Topics or Timeline tabs, you can click on The Great Depression and locate the Great Depression & Labor Subtopic to learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established minimum wages and also set child labor guidelines.

Additionally, Historical Newspapers is an excellent resource for learning about what types of jobs teens and young adults held in decades past to compare with the typical jobs of today. A keyword search narrowed to the decades of the 1920s and 1930s and using the words “summer jobs” and “girls” and results in all sorts of interesting articles that provide a window into the past about the types of summer work done by girls or young women. Some jobs mentioned are typical — such as camp counselor or waitress — but others, such as the ones mentioned below are of a more unusual nature.

Capturing Baby Elk

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 24, 1928, edition of the Daily Boston Globe

1921 Historical Newspaper Article

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 4, 1921, edition of The Baltimore Sun

We are constantly adding new material to our products.

If you have suggestions for new topics for consideration for our products, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

Six ProQuest Resources for Holocaust Remembrance Day

We teach so that genocide on a mass scale, the specialty of the past century, can be circumvented in the future.”
― Bogdan Michalski, Why Should We Teach about the Holocaust?

As the quote above states, learning about genocide is more than a history lesson–it is an essential life lesson. Never forget. For this reason, the United Nations General Assembly designates each January 27–the anniversary of the liberation of concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau–as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, the United Nations encourages member states to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to develop educational programs to prevent future acts of genocide.

As many countries, including Germany, Austria and France, and several U.S. states have mandatory Holocaust education in the schools, I highlight six ProQuest products where you can find a wealth of resources designed to meet the needs of students learning about the Holocaust and genocide.

1. ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Human Rights Leading Issue, which includes sub issues on Holocaust Denial and Genocide. Here, students can find timelines with links, overviews and articles on multiple perspectives to support their research. Perfect for debates or papers analyzing more than one side to an issue, each sub issue contains an essential question with supporting pro con articles. The Holocaust Denial essential question asks students the following question:

Should Holocaust denial be a crime punishable by law?

human rights

Visual Browse of the Human Rights Leading Issue, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher


2. eLibrary offers more than fifty well-crafted Research Topic pages on the Holocaust, genocide and related issues. These pages are powerful visual testimonies with links to carefully selected articles, websites as well as a trove of primary source documents, videos and images.  Students can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the following link on the search page:

eLibrary link to list of Research Topics

Screenshot of eLibrary link to list of Research Topics

Rescue of the Danish Jews (see below) is one such Research Topic page:

Rescue of the Danish Jews

Example Research Topic Page, ProQuest eLibrary


3. Access CultureGrams to get concise historical overviews and maps of the countries in which the Holocaust occurred. CultureGrams is a fantastic resource full of reliable, up-to-date cultural content, including primary source interviews, videos and more. Students researching the Holocaust can use it to compare contemporary society with the ideologies, policies and governing methods of the totalitarian regimes during the time of the Holocaust.

CultureGrams: Germany

Screenshot of Germany in CultureGrams


4. History Study Center has in-depth study units with historical reference material on the Holocaust, Genocide in the Twentieth Century and more. Each unit includes both primary and secondary sources, including biographies, maps and video clips.

history study center

The Holocaust Study Unit, ProQuest History Study Center


5. Historical Newspapers (Graphical) offers a unique collection on the Holocaust with full-text newspaper articles from that time period. Students can access the collection via the timeline or the Topics tab.

historic newspaper article

Nov. 12, 1938, New York Times article via ProQuest Historical News Graphical


6. ProQuest Research Companion is a terrific resource that supports information literacy, writing and research skills to help students to effectively find, verify and use information. One of the valuable tools in this resource is the Source Evaluation Aid, which provides website information, such as top level domain, site owner and site description. This tool also indicates whether or not a particular site a student accesses online is a possible hate site, which is useful because sometimes it is not readily apparent whether or not a site might belong to a hate group.

Screenshot of the Source Evaluation Aid tool in ProQuest Research Companion

Screenshot of the Source Evaluation Aid tool in ProQuest Research Companion. The red flag alerts users that the website accessed is a possible hate site. The URL entered in this example belongs to the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), which is listed in the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active Holocaust Denial group.

We are constantly adding new material to our products. If you have suggestions for new Holocaust topics for consideration for our products, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.