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Posts Tagged ‘infographic’

10 Wacky Animals You Probably Don’t Know Exist

Animals are so much fun to learn about! My kids love to hear fun facts about animals. It’s so fun they don’t even realize they are learning.

To celebrate Animal Facts, a popular feature in SIRS Discoverer, here are facts about 10 wacky animals that you probably don’t know exist and that are perfect for student research!

When doing assignments on animals, direct your students to Animal Facts for all the information they need for an elementary-level research project. You’ll find Animal Facts on the front page under Explore Features on SIRS Discoverer.

Zines, Culture and Self-Expression

"lairs zine" by danie on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“lairs zine” by danie on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

At the heart of local culture and creative storytelling emerged zines. The beauty of a zine is its cut-and-paste eclectic taste that questions status quo and gives a voice to anyone and everyone who has something to say. They are visual forums without commercial backing. Zines haven’t gone away, and there are some today that remain pillars in culture for people from all different backgrounds and life experiences. Gritty and messy, zines are mostly about self-expression.

Even libraries have an interest in zines, with articles written about what some institutions are doing to preserve the culture and history of these handmade works. One such example is the University of Iowa Library, where science fiction zines and others from the 1930s and 1950s are being archived. Another example is at the University of Chicago Library where zines about women, music and activism are collected. The need to be heard is always growing, and zines make that possible.

With the first “science fiction fanzine” published in 1930, it’s easy to see that zines have been around for a while. The infographic I’ve created provides a brief history of zines with a more complete timeline found on the Duke University Libraries page.

Some colorful examples of zines can also be found here:

The Lab
Mashable
Creative Bloq

Does your library collect zines? Have you ever made a zine? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest! We’d love to hear about it.

Teen Driving Awareness Month

January is Teen Driving Awareness Month presented in the SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month. Safe driving is an important topic to discuss with beginning drivers as well as kids still too young to drive. Although studies show that more and more teenagers are waiting longer to get their driver’s licenses, thousands of teenagers still receive their driver’s licenses each year. Unfortunately, automobile accidents are the leading cause of deaths of people 15 to 20 years of age according to most recent data (2009) from the National Center for Health Statistics. Almost 300,000 teenagers are treated for car-accident injuries each year, and about 2,500 are killed.

Teen Driving Awareness

Those are pretty significant reasons for talking about driving safety with teenagers. In addition to inexperience, several issues face young drivers. The rise of technology has brought many distractions to driving. Using a smartphone for texting, browsing social media, or taking photos can take a young driver’s attention away from the road. Talking to passengers, searching for music, and poor weather conditions can also cause major trouble on the road.

Introduce the topic of teen driving with your students…and help keep them safe on the road. You can do so by directing them to SIRS Discoverer to find editor-selected articles and photos. Also, explore the Pro/Con Leading Issue: Teens and Driving for in-depth coverage.

Book-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Halloween goes hand in hand with creativity. What better complement to creativity than making a Halloween costume inspired by your favorite books? In honor of all the wonderful works that have displayed in e-readers, sat atop nightstands and rested on bookshelves, I’m inviting you to get creative with a book-inspired Halloween costume this year.

So many of our favorite stories became our favorites because of memorable characters like the Mad Hatter in “Alice and Wonderland” or Mr. “Cat in the Hat” himself. Even comic book superheroes have become popular choices, keeping up with the classic nostalgia. Novels also pose great options, allowing you to think boldly and unconventionally. I know from watching my mom create handmade Halloween costumes for herself and my sister and I growing up that it doesn’t take much to make something that stands out. I’ve seen her transform into Pinocchio, the Mad Hatter, the Bride of Frankenstein, Thing 1 and countless others. All you need is an idea and an eye for replicating from your very own closet. If you don’t want to make your own, there are plenty of low-cost character costumes at your local shop waiting to be worn too. Dressing up in a Halloween costume isn’t just for kids and teens. It’s the perfect opportunity to express enthusiasm for beloved book villains and heroes. Here are a few book-inspired costume ideas that can be made easily and quickly. Happy Halloween!

Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland)

Photo of my mom as the Mad Hatter. (Credit: Jaclyn Rosansky)

Photo of my mom as the Mad Hatter. (Credit: Jaclyn Rosansky)

While you may think this costume is difficult and time-consuming to make, I can tell you this is not so. Last Halloween (2014), I helped my mom create this costume using only pieces from her closet. We used layering techniques in her clothing to get her the Mad Hatter look. She wore a bright blue pair of tube socks, a black top hat from a previous Halloween costume. And I did her makeup complete with orange eyebrows. How did I give her orange eyebrows, you ask? Eyelash glue, cotton balls, and temporary orange hair spray. I pulled apart cotton balls to create an eyebrow shape, sprayed them in the hair spray and after drying, glued them to her own eyebrows with the eyelash glue. The final result? A Mad Hatter costume that was both cheap and simple to make.

Cat Woman (Based off of the comic book)

Photo Credit: "Cat Woman 4" by Joe Colburn. nodomain1 / Foter / CC BY

Photo Credit: “Cat Woman 4” by Joe Colburn. nodomain1 / Foter / CC BY

Cat-inspired costumes are great because they don’t take much to make. Whether it’s Cat Woman or Cat in the Hat, all you need is some makeup, black clothing and possibly a few accessories. For this costume, a pair of black leggings, a black shirt and black heels or boots can give the look of this superhero. To make cat ears, an old wire hanger bent into the correct shape and a way to attach them could be a clever option. Even a headband with cardboard cat ear cut-outs attached could work. As for the black mask, you can find one at the local craft store or paint one directly on your face with makeup.

Pinocchio

Photo of my mom as Pinocchio. (Credit: Jaclyn Rosansky)

Photo of my mom as Pinocchio. (Credit: Jaclyn Rosansky)

The main character of this childhood story was a puppet with a knack for lying. This is another costume my mom made one year, and I was impressed with how well she captured Pinocchio’s essence without spending much or devoting a ton of effort. Once again, my mom raided her closet and found red shorts, an appropriate shirt, and she made her own suspenders. Buttons and felt cut to size gave the right look. A piece of scrap fabric was used for her collar and eyeliner was used to draw on her puppet lines. For her nose? She attached two rubber finger protectors together and wore them on her nose. It still surprises me how well it stayed on!

What book-inspired Halloween costume will you make or wear this year? Share in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest.

50 Things You Can Borrow from Libraries Besides Books

When most people think of libraries, books come to mind — rows and rows of books as in the picture below. Some might add that you can also find newspapers and magazines — or even movies, audiobooks and music — at your library.

library-488690_1280

Picture of the interior of a library by jarmoluk [Public Domain] via Pixabay

But there’s more — a lot more — inside your library than you might think.

One of the things that impressed me about the library in the town where I grew up was that it was more than a place to check out a good book. One image in particular that stands out in my mind was my mother picking through grocery store coupons that the library maintained in a neat little row of boxes. Anyone was welcome to take whatever coupons they needed from the bins or leave any extra coupons they might have for sharing with others. I remember how appreciative my mom was and how that helped us stretch our food budget.

Thinking back on that image made me wonder what else – besides books and coupons – libraries offer to their patrons.

Are there any unusual items you can check out?

Curious, I decided to google libraries and strange and/or unusual things you can borrow. I came up with a list of more than 60 items, which made me think — as I’ve often thought of in the past — that libraries are really like the Doctor Who and his Tardis. As with the Tardis — that flying contraption used by the Doctor to travel across space and time in the BBC TV show, Doctor Who — libraries are bigger on the inside and full of all kinds of nifty things.

In my search, I found things, such as Santa Suits (Bolivar County Library System in Mississippi) and snowshoes (Baldwin Memorial Library in Wells River, Vermont). (As I write this, I am in Florida in summer. It is hot. Very hot.)

I even found libraries where you can check out actual people or even dogs!

After I showed my list to a colleague of mine, Jaclyn Rosansky, she offered to pair it down to a more manageable 50 and created the infographic below.

So, for all you librarians and library lovers out there, enjoy! And the next time you drive past a library, stop, go inside, and explore because it — like the Tardis — offers much more on the inside than you might expect.

Education Activist Malala Yousafzai: “Books Not Bullets!”

Infographic: Girls' Education Access

On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman stormed Malala Yousafzai’s school bus in Pakistan, asked for her by name, and shot her in the head. The Taliban tried to silence Malala, an outspoken advocate for girls’ education rights. Malala survived. Her voice has soared. Since the attack, Malala has continued to fight for education access, particularly for girls.

Girls worldwide face specific challenges because of their gender. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 31 million girls of primary school age are denied access to education. Two-thirds of illiterate people worldwide are female. World conflicts, poverty, health-related issues, childhood marriage, pregnancy, and biased cultural attitudes are all factors that limit girls’ access to education. Increased education access improves social outcomes, such as lowering maternal childbirth rates, improving the health of families, and narrowing the gender wage gap.

When Malala turned 18 in July 2015, she addressed the issue of education funding. Her message to the world: “Books not bullets!” Malala called on world leaders to divert a portion of military spending to fund education. She cited an Education for All Global Monitoring Project study, which found that if the world halted military spending for eight days, the savings would be enough to fund 12 years of free education for every child in the world. This proposal, outlined in a Malala Fund report, demonstrates that funding for universal education is within reach.

The Twitter campaign #booksnotbullets features people around the world showing their support for education access by showcasing their favorite books. Books open worlds, bullets close them. Malala’s inspiring words remind us all, especially during the back-to-school season, that education should be our top priority.

Share your #booksnotbullets images with us on Twitter @ProQuest.