Posts Tagged ‘SIRS’

What are you celebrating today?

Christopher Columbus photo via Wikimedia, indigenous Guatemalan girls photo via CultureGrams.


Today, or on a day soon to come this month, countries throughout the Western hemisphere will mark some aspect of the European encounter with the Americas. Which aspect they choose to celebrate depends on their perspective. And in fact some cities within the same country (namely the U.S.) will be celebrating under different titles.

In many Latin American countries, this October holiday is called Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in an effort to highlight the indigenous cultures Columbus encountered when he arrived in the Americas. However, some indigenous groups, such as those in Chile, find nothing to celebrate on this day and instead call it Día de la Resistencia Indígena, or Indigenous Resistance Day.

Within the United States, the federal holiday is called Columbus Day, a title that, according to the New York Times, has been controversial from the start. Formally made a recurring holiday in 1934, Columbus Day began as a celebration more significant to Italian-Americans than the general population, and Italian-American groups today still advocate for the holiday to be called Columbus Day. As the figure of Columbus broadened to represent general European settlement of the Americas, resistance to the holiday deepened. As one Christian Science Monitor article (available via SIRS) put it, “For many native Americans, Columbus is a symbol of European colonialism, enabling widespread destruction of indigenous cultures and its people and paving the way for rampant oppression and forced relocation.” In response, many states with high native populations stopped celebrating Columbus Day and some cities and states added “Indigenous People’s Day” to the holiday name or changed the name entirely. Today only 25 states in all observe the holiday.

However, shifting the celebration from Columbus to the people he and other Europeans colonized is not itself without controversy. Last month an opinion piece (available via eLibrary) in The Weekly Standard argued that “up until fairly recently the European discovery of the Americas was regarded as a milestone in Western civilization . . .” The author also likened Columbus Day to other U.S. holidays that are outdated but “represent the great American habits of adaptation and historical amnesia.”

So what is the holiday called where you live today? Or is it considered a holiday at all? And do you agree with that status or name? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. In the meantime, check out more Columbus Day/Día de la Raza/Indigenous People’s Day articles and information in CultureGrams, SIRS, and eLibrary!

5 Reasons to View a ProQuest Webinar!


Created with recitethis.com

Professional development is pivotal for any educator to stay on top of trends, utilize tools, and prepare themselves for success in the classroom or library. Here are five reasons to register for a live session or watch a recorded ProQuest webinar or video today:

1. Use It or Lose It. Money doesn’t grow on trees and neither does your budget. With every precious budget dollar, you want to make sure you are using every resource effectively. Since each ProQuest webinar is with a live person, that means you can ask questions and learn from a professional how resources can match your individual needs. And if you watch a recorded webinar, trainers are available via email to answer any questions.

2. New Updates and Products. ProQuest products are updated regularly to stay relevant for educators. Webinars help you stay on top of the latest updates to products like CultureGrams, eLibrary, SIRS and ProQuest Research Companion.

3. Educator Tools. You may not realize that ProQuest products have many useful educator tools to help apply resources to your curriculum. Many webinars focus on tools to make your work easier like curriculum guides, note organizers, activities, lesson plans, and tutorials

4. Just Like Coffee, Training Can Be Customized. If your class or topic of interest isn’t posted on the online schedule, that’s OK! Help is just an email away. Contact the team at training@proquest.com and they will schedule a class for you.

5. Equipped Teachers Light Fires. When you are fully equipped with the best educational tools and resources, then you are prepared to equip your students as lifelong learners. You are the spark that lights their fire and passion for learning. Then the possibilities are endless!

ProQuest training resources are available to help you. Sign up or watch a video today!

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!

New in Researcher: Election 2016 Leading Issue!

Just in time for election season, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher’s Election 2016 Leading Issue will help your students gain an understanding of the latest race for the White House.

Campaign Fund-Raising Arms Race

Nearly $400 million has been raised during the first half of 2015, and next year’s presidential contest is expected to cost up to $5 billion, which would make this election the most expensive on record. Rather than going directly into the campaigns, most of the money is flowing into super PACs and other outside groups that are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from wealthy individuals, corporations and labor unions. According to a New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission reports and Internal Revenue Service records, there are less than four hundred families responsible for almost half the money raised so far in the 2016 presidential election.

With so much money being raised by so few people, our Election 2016 Essential Question poses the question — Will the super-rich buy the 2016 election? Editorially-selected yes/no viewpoint articles are provided to help students critically assess the issue and come up with their own answer.

How would you answer our Election 2016 Essential Question?

(If you can’t see the poll below in your browser, click on Playbuzz.)

[playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/amyshaw10/election-2016-can-the-white-house-be-bought”]

Tell Us What You Think

What other issues are of importance to you and your students in this election? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

New on CultureGrams: Average Person Infographics


Denmark Average Person Infographic

CultureGrams editors are excited to announce the addition of a new feature to the World and Kids Editions. The Average Person Infographics! These colorful infographics, based on statistical averages and other measures taken from the CultureGrams data tables, highlight factors such as income level, family size, language, religion and more.


  • Thumbnails and descriptions are available on World and Kids landing pages
  •  A high-res PDF is available for printing
  • Statistical sources are listed at the bottom of each file
  • A citation generator is available for this feature at the bottom of the enlarged image box
  • Each infographic will be updated yearly

More Infographics

SIRS Issues Researcher’s new one-click infographics feature also has a variety of informative infographics and their Common Core-aligned guide, Understanding Infographics, will help students analyze three major components of an infographic: layout, content, and story.

Want to learn more about infographics and how they meet Common Core Standards? Click here.


Best of Share This: Top 14 of ’14

Here at Share This, we wanted to look back at 2014 and see what resonated with our audience. Showcased are the top 14 posts created in 2014 that you viewed the most.

Top 14

Created with Canva

14. The Super Moon, and Isaac Newton’s “Principia” and Law of Universal Gravitation

13. 100th Anniversary of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

12. Remember the Maine?

11. CultureGrams―World Religion Quiz: Buddhism

10. 60 Years Ago: Brown v. Board of Education


STEAM was both a top post and a top K12 educational trend of 2014.
Credit: Fractal Art by werner22brigitte [Public Domain] via Pixabay

9. STEAM Resources for the Classroom and Library

8. eLibrary Content Showcase: Bridgeman Art

7. Weathering the Polar Vortex

6. CultureGrams–Regional Quiz: Oceania

5. St. Patrick’s Day 

4. CultureGrams: Beyond the Nigerian Schoolgirl Abduction

3. Anniversary of “The Raven”: Why Poe’s Famous Poem Lives On Forevermore

2. ProQuest Learning Literature Offers Citation Generator

1. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity Published

Have a healthy and happy New Year. Here’s to an awesome year of learning, discovery and connection in 2015!

Which Animal Are You?

To celebrate our newest feature Animal Facts in SIRS Discoverer, take this PlayBuzz quiz to find out which animal you most resemble. The quiz answers have information taken directly from Animal Facts.


[playbuzz-item url=”http://www.playbuzz.com/jenniferoms10/which-animal-are-you”]

TBT: The History of SIRS

High School Teacher and Trailblazer

In 1973, Elliot and Eleanor Goldstein founded SIRS, Inc., Social Issues Resources Series. But the idea for SIRS was first born in the 1960s as Eleanor, then a high school teacher in Boulder, Colorado, realized that many modern societal ills, such as drugs, over-population, pollution and crime, were not being addressed in school textbooks. Eleanor wanted to get her students thinking critically about controversial social issues, but she realized these social problems were most thoroughly researched and described in newspapers, magazines and government publications.

Making Information Accessible

Eleanor discovered that the valuable material contained in these publications, usually irretrievable soon after it was published, was nowhere to be found in an organized compilation. The Goldsteins soon devised a system to locate information, organize it into meaningful structures, obtain permission to reprint and make the information readily accessible to libraries and schools. This system enabled them to launch the SIRS products.

SIRS print volumes found in the ProQuest Boca library. Credit: ProQuest

SIRS print volumes found in the ProQuest Boca library.

First of Its Kind

The original three print volumes of SIRS Social Issues Resources Series–Pollution, Population and Drugs–became the first such compilation of articles pertaining to modern social concerns. The series grew steadily each year, reaching a total of eight volumes. The popular print volumes became the foundation for the SIRS Researcher CD-ROM which debuted in 1989. In the late 1990s, the online databases debuted and are considered one of the most important innovations in SIRS history.

In 2003, ProQuest Information and Learning acquired the SIRS product line. Four years later, the decision was made to sunset the print edition of SIRS.

Did You Benefit from the Binders?

Which editions of the SIRS products have you used: print, CD-ROM, or online? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

Author’s Note: As a high school student, I was a big fan of the binders. They made my research so much easier. Little did I know that years later I would be working for the company that created them!

Teacher Appreciation Week: SIRS Tools to Assist Educators

As the nation celebrates National Teacher Week inside of schools, here at ProQuest we are honoring educators by highlighting how SIRS Educators’ Resources can assist them in their daily classroom challenges, helping America’s nearly seven million teachers better enhance the learning experiences of their 77 million pupils.

ProQuest’s LibGuide, for example, provides a tremendous overview of SIRS products and product features. Learn about different ways to highlight content in lesson plans, from varying approaches to navigating over 330 Leading Issues, to Research Tools including timelines, global impact highlights, and statistics.

Research Tools

SIRS’ MyAnalysis offers students an alternative method of laying out research for papers and assignments. Taking the student step-by-step, the SIRS tool guides learners through six stages, beginning with selecting a topic which interests them, to writing a proper thesis statement, and finally applying the knowledge they have obtained to the project at hand.

Whether focusing on shaping lesson plans around the Common Core Standards, or searching for a novel approach to incorporating current events into the classroom, SIRS’ abundant educational tools are ready to help make that transition seamless.

Behind the Scenes with SIRS Issues Researcher

Our SIRS Issues Researcher collection of 300+ Leading Issues continues to grow. Recently, we’ve added three new Leading Issues to the collection:

Want to know how SIRS Issues Researcher selects these and other Leading Issues?

SIRS Issues Researcher






Our dedicated editorial team is constantly monitoring worldwide current events and searching trends for major social issues. We examine these issues and select those that are the most researched and debated in the classroom today.

The editorial process involves the creation of a main issue, such as Alternative Education, and related sub issues, such as the above-mentioned Virtual Classroom, to help scaffold information for students.

SIRS editors then construct concise introductory overviews that help students save valuable time in selecting and framing a Leading Issue topic.  Essential Questions with answers and viewpoint articles are crafted to expand upon the background information. And unlike mechanically compiled sources, editors read each article to make sure it is relevant to the issue.

We’ve also got the global perspective covered for each issue. Our editors hand-select content from more than 300 internationally-published sources. They also create timelines, each linked with articles and images, and provide the best-of multimedia, statistics, primary sources and historical content to help students gain a greater understanding of an issue.

Alternative Education_Global Impact

Once an issue is created, it continues to receive attention in the form of real-time editorial review. Editors constantly monitor each issue to keep it up-to-date with the latest information that is hand-selected from the most relevant media.

Check out our latest Leading Issues and tell us what you think!

Do you have an idea for a Leading Issue? SIRS Editors would like to know.