Posts Tagged ‘SIRS Knowledge Source’

Recording Offers Sneak Peek of New SIRS Issues Researcher

Sneak Peek Webinar

The SIRS Knowledge Source portal, including the SIRS Issues Researcher product, is getting a makeover! The new interface moves forward our ongoing efforts to unify the research experience across all of the SIRS products.

Learn all the details on this recorded webinar from Product Manager Larry Wilkner on what you can expect from the new design including:

SIRS Issues Researcher Preview

The new design is intuitive and easy to navigate on any device, from Chromebooks to smartphones.

Improved Homepage and Leading Issues:
The fresh, clean interface includes Essential Questions to frame each issue, overview for background and context, viewpoints with supporting articles, and full results set for deeper research and analysis.

The Same Great Content:
One thing that isn’t changing is the comprehensive, editorially-selected content that sets SIRS apart.

Learn More

Comment at #ProQuest or let us know your feedback by commenting below.

How Do We Solve All These Problems?

digital media

Digital Media Leading Issue in SIRS Issues Researcher

Solving the world’s problems. That’s a very challenging task. There are so many variables and so many points of view. So many different interests to consider. But with critical examination of all the angles, and new ideas, nothing’s impossible! SIRS Issues Researcher has been helping guide the way through the world’s toughest issues for a very long time. Each year it gets better. Today it covers approximately 330 separate and sometimes related, but always sharply debated, issues. Coming soon, it will provide an all-new, exciting, and intuitive environment for elucidating young problem solvers in schools everywhere.  We’ll keep you posted on that.

Learn more about SIRS Issues Researcher today, or many of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by joining one of our monthly public webinars.  If you don’t see the class you’re interested in, contact us , and we’ll be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss the resources you’re interested in learning!

Poetry, Popularity, and the Spoken Word

Marine Corps Cpl. Juan M. Caraballo reads poem from “The Essence of a Young Poet."

Marine Corps Cpl. Juan M. Caraballo reads a poem from “The Essence of a Young Poet.” (Public Domain) [via Wikimedia Commons]

If we were to discuss poetry vs prose in terms of contemporary popularity, prose would win. Take a walk through a library or bookstore and you’ll usually find a small section of books of poetry peeking through the sprawling aisles full of books of prose.

But what if we looked at poetry a little bit differently?

Poetry isn’t simply words in a book. Poetry is words spoken aloud, poetry is words spray-painted on a wall, poetry is words in a greeting card, poetry is a posting on Facebook, poetry is words vocalized in a song.

When we perceive poetry in this light, we begin to understand just how popular poetry is.

Reading poetry aloud, or hearing someone speak poetry, assists in understanding the work’s deeper meaning. It allows the reader and listener to hear all the sounds, rhythms, patterns, and intonations in the poem. These things are just as important as the meaning of the poem itself.

Consider how poetry spoken aloud impacted cultures throughout history.

In ancient Rome, poetry was the literary vehicle of choice. Some poets’ works were written and read, but mostly, ancient Roman poetry was spoken aloud in private or public gatherings. This is the way poetry reached the masses. It was how poetry assimilated itself into Roman culture. The likes of Virgil, Horace, and Ovid were the superstars of their day!

Ancient Chinese poets of the Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279) and Han (206 BC – 220 AD) dynasties are still revered as the greatest Chinese poets. During their time, their poems were performed for royalty and beautifully scribed on scrolls that were housed in the emperors’ palaces. How did the common people discover these masterpieces of literature? The spoken word, passed to and through communities, memorized and loved.

During the Renaissance, the plays of William Shakespeare drew enormous crowds at the famed Globe Theatre. His works resonated with the elite and with the common folk. Are his plays considered to be poems? No, they are not—but his dramatic oeuvre is replete with poetic devices. Let us call his plays “poetical.”

Poetical…much like the lyrics of songs we listen to every day.

Listen to a favorite song and consider the figurative and sound poetic devices found in the lyrics. What do you hear? Imagery, alliteration, metaphors, similes, personification, repetition, assonance, consonance, meter, rhyme? How do these devices impact the meaning or message of the song? How do these devices, along with the meaning of the lyrics, make you feel? Are the lyrics written as verse, as lines of poetry? What meaning do the lines hold separately; what meaning do they convey together?

This is a great activity to engage reluctant students of poetry. Poetry on a page offers quite a different experience than poetry spoken aloud, shared, heard. Listening to songs in a classroom setting—or hearing the lyrics aloud in spoken word—can transform students’ perspectives on this time-honored literary form.

Celebrate National Poetry Month during the month of April with poetry in any form. Help students discover and love the poetry in their world! Gain inspiration from the SKS Spotlight of the Month.

Coming This Summer: The All-New SIRS Issues Researcher!

We are excited to announce upcoming enhancements to
SIRS Issues Researcher!

SIRS Issues Researcher Preview

The SIRS Knowledge Source portal, including the SIRS Issues Researcher product, is getting a makeover. The new interface moves forward our ongoing efforts to unify the research experience across all of the SIRS products. Here’s what you can expect from the new design:

The new design is intuitive and easy to navigate on any device, from Chromebooks to smartphones.

Improved Homepage and Leading Issues:
The fresh, clean interface includes Essential Questions to frame each issue, overview for background and context, viewpoints with supporting articles, and full results set for deeper research and analysis.

The Same Great Content:
One thing that isn’t changing is the comprehensive, editorially-selected content that sets SIRS apart.

Learn More

Comment at #ProQuest or let us know your feedback by commenting below.

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 New 10: Which Woman’s Face Will Grace the New Bill?

In June of last year, the Obama administration announced that, in the year 2020, a woman will grace the front of the $10 bill. The redesign and unveiling will be in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States.

The question is…who will it be?

There are two requirements: the woman must be deceased, and she must exemplify the theme of “Democracy.”

There are many women who have deeply impacted this country and its history, and who fill the two above criteria. Selecting one woman to fill this extraordinarily symbolic role will be challenging. Which historic achievement will be highlighted, and which female innovator will be featured?

The Treasury Department has asked for help in the selection process. It launched a website, https://www.thenew10.treasury.gov/, that provides details of “the new 10” and has created a public discussion via the use of social media and #TheNew10 hashtag.

So let’s discuss. It is Women’s History Month, after all.

Susan B. Anthony (standing) consults with her long-time collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Though the picture is obviously posed, it captures something of their mutual trust and respect over many decades.

Susan B. Anthony (standing) consults with her long-time collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. [Library of Congress, Public Domain], via SIRS Knowledge Source

Perhaps, because the new $10 bill will be revealed on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, a woman who was integral to women’s suffrage will be chosen. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were both prominent leaders of the movement, cofounding the National Woman Suffrage Organization and working tirelessly for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. They contributed to the writing of The History of Woman Suffrage and were both passionate abolitionists. Anthony, however, has already appeared on U.S. currency: her portrait was featured on the $1 coin from 1979 to 1981.

Sacajawea already appears on the dollar coin (which is no longer in general circulation), but she deserves consideration. A Shoshone Native American, Sacajawea served as the interpreter for Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their 8,000-mile journey into the American West and to the Pacific Ocean. She was integral to their travels, and thus to the information and research that the explorers shared with the world.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman [Library of Congress, Public Domain], via SIRS Discoverer

The era of slavery is a dark one in American history but gave rise to extraordinarily strong and brave African American men and women who helped transform this country. Harriet Tubman, known as “the Moses of her people,” escaped slavery and was determined to help others do the same. She travelled the Underground Railroad many times after her escape, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom. Sojourner Truth also escaped slavery. She became a strident abolitionist and was the first female African American orator to protest slavery. Her speeches inspired people throughout the Northern and Midwestern states.

What about First Ladies? Some have affected noble and lasting changes, both politically and socially. Two come to mind: Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt. Adams was the nation’s second First Lady, wife of President John Adams. She never held political office, but took an active role in politics and national matters (including the Revolutionary War), was an early supporter of women’s rights, and had great influence on her husband. Her letters to him are full of her insightful observations. More than a century later, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt exerted tremendous political and cultural influence in her position as First Lady. She was an extremely vocal advocate for social causes, spreading her message by holding press conferences, hosting a radio show, and writing a daily newspaper column. Known as an activist for the rights of women, African Americans, and immigrants, she influenced her husband to embrace the civil rights agenda. Her humanitarian career continued after she left the White House: she served as a U.N. delegate for seven years and headed the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King jr. (ca. 1955) [USIA/National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group 306, Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century gave rise to many female activists. One, in particular, changed the national conversation about civil rights by taking a stand and sitting on a bus. Rosa Parks made a transformative decision on December 1, 1955. She violated Alabama’s bus segregation laws and refused to give her seat to a white man and was arrested. Considered the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, her act of courage inspired the Montgomery bus boycott and roused activists to nonviolent action across the country.

What about Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut in space? Or Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator who successfully completed a transatlantic flight? Or Margaret Sanger, who crusaded for women’s reproductive rights? Or Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross?

So whose face will grace the new 10? Do you have an opinion? If so, make your voice heard–whether it be to the Treasury Department, in the classroom, in the lunchroom, or around the dinner table. Each inspirational woman mentioned above, and all who will be considered for this tribute of currency portraiture, had strong voices and opinions that changed the world.

Learn more about these women, and find out details of the new 10, on SIRS Knowledge Source and SIRS Discoverer. While you’re there, check out the March SKS Spotlight of the Month on Women’s History Month.

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

“Teen dating violence is a serious violation that can affect a young person’s safety, development, and sense of comfort. Perpetrated by a current or past intimate partner, dating violence takes many forms, including physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and can occur in person or through electronic communication and social media.….Approximately 1 in 10 teenagers reports being physically or sexually victimized by a dating partner, and too many other victims do not report it….During National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, we recognize the urgency needed in addressing this problem and recommit to preventing it by educating our youth about its dangers and consequences, and reaffirm the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse.”A Proclamation by President Barack Obama, January 29, 2016

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
[Public Domain] via Administration for Children & Families/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

While many people may think of February as Black History Month, or associate it with Valentine’s Day, it is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The teen dating violence awareness and prevention initiative was spearheaded by teenagers across the nation who organized to take a stand to stop teen dating violence. In 2005, the importance of addressing teen dating violence was highlighted by its inclusion in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Now supported by dozens of national, state and local organizations, the call to end teen dating violence was formally recognized by both Houses of Congress in 2006 when they declared the first full week in February “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.” In 2010, Congress first dedicated the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.

SIRS Leading Issue: Dating Violence/Date Rape by ProQuest LLC <br /> via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

SIRS Leading Issue: Dating Violence/Date Rape
by ProQuest LLC via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

Facilitate student research on teen dating violence by directing them to SIRS Researcher’s Leading Issue: Dating Violence. The SIRS Leading Issues feature offers comprehensive coverage of over 350 of the most researched and newsworthy topics for student researchers. Editorially created Topic Overview pages help build a solid foundation for understanding the issue through its background and history and by putting it into context. Terms to Know and Additional Resources are also available here. The Perspectives section features quotes from prominent figures on the issue, as well as Critical Thinking & Analysis questions to facilitate discussion. Essential Questions promote Common Core-aligned standards such as critical thinking, problem solving, information literacy and analytical skills that students need to succeed. Other research tools include a Timeline, and Global Impact and Statistics sections.

Delve into more information and resources on teen dating violence at these editorially-selected websites available on SIRS WebSelect:

Break the Cycle

Love Is Respect: National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

That’s Not Cool

Presidential Election Season — Study Election Issues

Elections 2016 SIRS

If you’re studying elections and their issues, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher provides some great material. From election finance to legal issues, voting rights to voter fraud, or the effect of wealth on the electoral process, you can find a great deal to both learn and discuss.  Team this up with other major issues such as terrorism, economic policy, and illegal immigration, and you have some very powerful tools and content for research, decision making, and ideas for problem solving.

You can learn more about ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher, or any of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by contacting the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to arrange a privately scheduled webinar. You can also join us for one of our monthly public webinars on many of our exceptional ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ll answer your questions for you, and provide guidance on how these resources can best fit your needs. See you soon!

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!

Conservation Lessons from Monterey Bay

I love Monterey, California. It is my favorite place in the world, primarily because of its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Being from the East Coast, I am always thrilled to see the sea otters, sea lions, and harbor seals that inhabit the bay. After viewing a recent PBS special celebrating the diverse marine life converging off California’s coast, I realized that a great way to help students understand the importance of marine conservation is to teach them about the revival of Monterey Bay.

Humpback Whale at Monterey Bay

Humpback Whale at Monterey Bay
By Chananst (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Monterey Bay may be brimming with wildlife now, but that wasn’t always the case. Today, southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters are some of the most easily seen marine mammals in the bay. I’ve spotted sea otters along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail from Cannery Row to Old Fisherman’s Wharf, while on the Elkhorn Slough Safari boat tour in Moss Landing, and from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s ocean-view deck. It is hard to believe that these charismatic creatures were almost exterminated for their luxurious fur.

Sea Otter in Moss Landing

Sea Otter in Moss Landing
By Agunther (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


In the 1700s, fur traders began killing sea otters for their valuable pelts.  It is estimated that the population of southern sea otters numbered 16,000 before the commercial fur trade began. By the 1900s, sea otters were nearly extinct. Luckily, steps were taken to protect the plummeting population. The “International Fur Seal Treaty, which banned the hunting of sea otters and fur seals,” was signed in 1911. By the 1930s, most people thought that southern sea otters had been completely wiped out by the fur trade. However, in 1938, a group of 50 sea otters was “discovered” near the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, California. The small group thrived–from those survivors, the population today is approximately 3,000–and expanded their range, eventually reaching Monterey Bay.

Sea otters weren’t the only animals exploited and they aren’t the only ones that have returned to the bay. Whales were heavily hunted for commercial purposes and sardines were overfished by the fish canning industry. Pollution and overharvesting caused the sardine population in Monterey Bay to collapse after World War II. The disappearance of sardines from Monterey Bay brought financial disaster to Cannery Row, the canning street made famous by author John Steinbeck. The loss was an early lesson for the community about the consequences of depleting the bay’s resources. So after decades of pollution and overfishing, how did the bay recover? Monterey Bay is healthier today than it was 50 years ago because of the efforts of environmentalists, politicians, and scientists—including Dr. Julia Platt.

Dr. Julia Platt arrived in the nearby seaside town of Pacific Grove in 1899 with a Ph.D. in marine zoology. She observed the growth of the canneries and the pollution of the bay. In 1931, she was elected mayor of Pacific Grove. She convinced the “California legislature to pass a law granting Pacific Grove the right to manage not only the town’s waterfront but also ‘certain submerged lands in the Bay of Monterey contiguous thereto.’” With that legal authority, Platt established the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge and the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens. Platt’s foresight to create refuges to protect the marine life in those areas would eventually help restore the bay’s health.

Additional conservation efforts to protect ocean habitats and wildlife also helped the bay recapture its former glory. The Marine Mammal Protection Act enacted in 1972 provided sweeping protections for sea otters, whales, sea lions, and seals. In 1977, southern sea otters were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened on Oct. 20, 1984. The world-class aquarium has become a global leader in ocean conservation. Public awareness raised by the aquarium’s exhibits showcasing the unique habitats and sea life of Monterey Bay sparked the designation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 1992. This federally protected marine area, often referred to as the “Serengeti of the Sea,” stretches along California’s central coast from San Francisco to Cambria. The sanctuary is home to 34 species of marine mammals and offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. The dramatic recovery of marine life in Monterey Bay is a conservation success story that shows what can happen when ecosystems and wildlife are given a chance to recover.

To learn more about Monterey Bay and ocean conservation, explore these resources available in SIRS WebSelect:

Classroom Resources from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

For Educators—Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Monterey Bay