Posts Tagged ‘ProQuest’

Leading Issue: School Uniforms

Editors for ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher review customer usage of our database on a monthly basis. Inevitably, School Uniforms is among the most searched subject headings and the most viewed pro/con Leading Issues, and this pattern has held true for many years. School uniforms and school dress codes are issues that students are personally interested in and passionate about.

Minis: A Maximum School Worry

“Minis: A Maximum School Worry” by Irv Bubleigh (Los Angeles Times) via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

The School Uniforms Timeline in SIRS Issues Researcher highlights some of the history of this issue. Although students have long rebelled against dress codes that prohibited trendy hair styles and fashion, the 1960s brought increased demands for the right of individual self-expression. Historical newspaper articles like Minis: A Maximum School Worry (see image at right) and OK’s Dress Code for Teens highlight some of the fashion trends of the day and the steps that school administrators took to regulate them.

The 1970s ushered in more student rebellion against restrictions on hair styles (Hair Raises Growing Concern Among Human Rights Groups) and the right of girls to wear pants to school (Girls in Pants Defy School’s Code on Dress).

The push for school uniforms in public schools intensified in the 1990s as school districts sought to limit gang influences in school and reduce crime. President Bill Clinton urged schools to adopt school uniform policies in his 1996 State of the Union Address as a way to keep teens “from killing each other over designer jackets.”

The debate over whether school uniforms have improved the climate in schools and influenced more positive behavior in students is still a matter of debate today for school districts, parents and students. One thing is for certain, though—students will always rebel against restrictions on their freedom of expression, and they can rely on Issues Researcher to provide them with the articles that support their point of view.

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:

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

The Top Share This Posts of 2015

Happy New Year

Here at Share This, we want to look back at 2015 and see what resonated with our audience. Showcased are the top posts authored in the past year that you viewed the most:

1. 50 Things You Can Borrow from Libraries Besides Books: See this wildly popular post that featured an infographic of 50 unusual things you can check out at libraries around the world.

2.  They Say It’s Your Birthday: Learn about three fascinating individuals who share the birthday of July 21, which is also the birthday of the post author.

3. CultureGrams—New Kids Country: Vatican City: Discover fascinating facts about Vatican City with a link to view more in the Vatican City report.

4. The Constitution in the Classroom: Petitioning for Change: View this valuable post about Constitution Day that features an engaging petition activity for students to learn about the First Amendment.

5. Come See Us at AASL!: See how ProQuest interacts with customers during conferences. Your feedback is highly valuable.


Unusual Library Things: 2015’s Number One Post on Share This Blog

6. Welcome to Congress, Bella Abzug!: Discover the fascinating life and work of Bella Abzug, an icon of the Women’s Movement.

7. Exploring the Causes of the Civil War: See all the resources that eLibrary contains to teach the causes of the Civil War.

8. Increase Student Engagement: Help Launch the #AskAStudent Movement: Find tips to get to know your students and the life issues they face through engaging questions and writing prompts.

9. 50th Anniversary of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch: Explore the history of the St. Louis Gateway Arch through the extensive historical collections of ProQuest K12 products.

10. Create Your Science Project or Experiment with eLibrary’s Help: Discover how eLibrary can help get any science project or experiment off the ground.

Have a healthy and happy New Year! Here’s to an awesome year of learning, discovery, technology, and connection in 2016!

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.


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.

Back to School Bash

Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

Every year Palm Beach County, Florida helps students as they get ready for back to school. As a partner with United Way, we at ProQuest were privileged and excited to participate in this annual event!

The 2015 Community Back to School Bash (BASH) took place on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, 2015. BASH works with nonprofit organizations throughout Palm Beach County. It serves disadvantaged and at-risk students from grades pre-K through 12 by providing school supplies such as crayons, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, binders plus school uniforms, shoes and much more.

BASH started in 1995 and “assisted 120 children. It has since grown to include over 70 non-profit agencies serving more than 12,000 children.” The 2015 event had over 16,000 children registered. Take a moment to visit their website and see the great work this organization does.

Sponsored by the United Way, the Spirit of Giving Network and other organizations, the annual event takes place in four locations: Belle Glade, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Delray Beach. On Friday, volunteers took inventory, unpacked, sorted and merchandised the donations. Several ProQuest editors volunteered at the set-up event at Village Academy in Delray Beach. Three thousand children were expected so there was a lot of work to be done! Volunteers spent time counting, unpacking boxes, folding uniforms and t-shirts, setting up the shoes and merchandising eight tables with the school supplies. Working alongside other local volunteers, we were able to get everything ready for the kids and it was certainly a proud moment for all!


ProQuest volunteer Jaclyn sets up the high school table.
Photo by Ilana Cohen

On Saturday, the children were paired up with personal shoppers to escort them through the “store”. Parents also received health and career counseling. Children were given haircuts, dental check-ups, and a free lunch.

The tremendous turnout for the Back to School Bash speaks to the need in our community. Although Palm Beach County is considered to be an affluent area, there are still thousands of students whose families cannot afford basic school supplies. The burden also falls on teachers who often use their own money to buy school supplies and classroom items for their students.

This was our third year participating this awesome event and we look forward to returning next year to help students start their school year equipped with resources they need to succeed.

New User Interfaces Are Here — Learn About Them With The Training Team

New UIs 2015

It’s official:  The NEWLY UPGRADED user interfaces for ProQuest, CultureGrams, and SIRS Discoverer are now up and running.  There’s no better time to learn about all of the changes and see how they can help make research a successful experience for learners at all levels.

You can see and learn more about all of these new changes, and all of your other ProQuest resources by joining the Training and Consulting Partners in one of our free monthly webinars. Alternately, you can contact us directly to get some one-on-one time or to schedule time for a group of educators in your school or district. There’s a lot of great things to learn this year — join us and we’ll keep you up-to-date!

Library Quote Matching Game

What kind of library lover are you? Test your knowledge by matching each library quote with the correct person. (If you can’t view the matching game below, you can access it on PlayBuzz.)




Celebrate Inventors!

“Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.
Mark Twain (pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910),
who earned three U.S. patents for his inventions.

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931),
who earned a record number of 1,093 U.S. patents.

Inventions are the ultimate expression of creativity that offer real contributions to the world. And studying inventors is a great way to teach students the practical value of expressing and harnessing their creativity! Let’s take a look at some inventors and their innovations.

Many people are familiar with some of America’s most famous inventors–Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), Eli Whitney (cotton gin), Thomas Edison (light bulb) and Orville and Wilbur Wright (airplane). Two of America’s Founding Fathers were also prolific inventors: Benjamin Franklin (bifocals, lightning rod and many others) and President Thomas Jefferson (iron plow), who was also the first administrator of the American patent system when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was founded in 1790. Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. president to hold a patent for an invention. He invented a tool to lift riverboats stuck on sandbars, and received Patent #6,469 on May 22, 1849.

Edison's Electric Lamp Patent

Thomas Edison’s electric lamp patent drawing and claim for the incandescent light bulb
(public domain) via Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.
Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-97960


Here are a few lesser-known but equally important American inventors, and the contributions they made:

Katharine Blodgett: The first woman to be hired as a scientist at General Electric invented non-reflective or ‘invisible’ glass in 1938. The invention became very useful in the photographic, optics, and automotive industries and in consumer products such as picture frames and camera lenses.

Jack Kilby: In July of 1958, the Texas Instruments engineer conceived and built the first integrated circuit (microchip). Ten years later, Kilby also helped build the first popular machine to make widespread use of the chip–the hand held calculator.

Theodore Maiman: On May 16, 1960, the physicist working at Hughes Aircraft Company shined a light on a synthetic ruby crystal and invented the first functioning LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) in the world.

Stephanie Kwolek: One of the few women chemists at DuPont in the 1960s, her work led to the development of Kevlar, a fiber best known for its use in bullet-resistant vests.

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer is a multidisciplinary database for elementary and middle school learners and educators. The Spotlight of the Month covers timely, curriculum-related topics including: an Events Calendar that features notable birthdays, holidays and anniversaries; a Visual Literacy feature that offers a highly-visual graphic with corresponding critical thinking questions; and In the News highlights an important current issue with an age-appropriate article and graphic to stimulate thought and discussion.

To learn more about inventors and their inventions, check out the all-new ProQuest SIRS Discoverer’s Spotlight of the Month for August.

Join the Training Team — See What’s New!

NEW Discov NEW ProQuest

Upgraded user interfaces for ProQuest SIRS Discoverer and ProQuest Research Library / ProQuest Central

School’s just around the corner.  At ProQuest we’ve been working overtime this year to help you get started with something exciting, new, and improved. Extensive changes have or will soon take place with many ProQuest resources, including Ebooks, SIRS Discoverer, CultureGrams, and ProQuest databases. You can see and learn more about all of these new changes, and all of your other ProQuest resources by joining the Training and Consulting Partners in one of our free monthly webinars. Alternately, you can contact us directly to get some one-on-one time or to schedule time for a group of educators in your school or district. There’s a lot of great things to learn this year — join us and we’ll keep you up-to-date!