Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy birthday Baryshnikov

Russian-American ballet dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov is 62 years old today. Although he started studying ballet at the relatively mature age of 12, Baryshnikov attained high status as a dancer in a short space of time. In his late teens he became a soloist in Russia's acclaimed Kirov Ballet, and was one of its leading dancers by the time he was 20. Unhappy with the restrictions placed upon him by Soviet authorities, however, Baryshnikov defected to the U.S. in 1974, along with other prominent Soviet dancers of this time.

He is widely regarded as the best ballet dancer of his day, is a star choreographer, and has also achieved acclaim as an actor. His leading role in the Broadway play Metamorphosis (1989) earned him a Tony award nomination, and he recently appeared in several episodes of the HBO comedy Sex and the City. 

The content of this post is from Biography Reference Bank, and some of the photos are from Cinema Image Gallery.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sundance Film Festival

Today marks the start of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Now an established part of the independent cinema calendar, there have been doubts about the festival's ability to turn up a box office winner in the past. An article from Variety, January 12-18, 1998, reminds us that
"all of the films picked up during the 1997 festival were commercial disappointments",
and that the only two commercial successes to come out of that year's festival--In the Company of Men and Kiss Me Guido--were picked up after the festival had ended.

By 2009, however, things had certainly turned around. According to an American Cinematographer article in April, last year's festival turned up such critical and audience favorites as Sin Nombre, directed by Adriano Goldman; An Education, directed by Lone Scherfig; and Push (now Precious): Based on the Novel by Sapphire, directed by Lee Daniels.

Articles come from Omnifile Full Text, Mega Edition and photos from Cinema Image Gallery.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ALA Midwinters Past

To commemorate the ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston this weekend, we took a look through our databases to see how library journals have covered the event in the past.

An article cited in ERIC reminds us that in 1981 the technologies under discussion were
"microcomputers, videodiscs, and other forms of the newer technologies in school library media centers."
Twenty years later, Midwinter 2001 began to address an issue now familiar to librarians: how to position libraries as the information providers of choice when the Internet appears to offer so much. According to the symposium "Building the Virtual Reference Desk in a 24/7 World,"
"libraries must adapt traditional strengths of acquiring, describing, and serving information to an environment that is not bound by time or physical place, the virtual library without walls."
Now, in 2010, we can see that libraries and companies in the library sector have responded to this challenge with enthusiasm and inventiveness. Library patrons can now text a librarian, and will soon be able to tweet a librarian when they have a query.

Our own services have expanded to include a search widget that librarians and patrons can embed in their own Facebook pages, bringing the social networking and research worlds even closer together.

So why not make this Midwinter doubly social and twice as networked? If you don't already have a Twitter account, sign up for one now and follow conference news at #alamw10.

You can even follow us at HWWilsonCo.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cinema Image Gallery makes the Booklist list of best reference sources, 2009

According to Booklist's review,

"Researchers and fans wanting access to more than 152,000 high-quality film stills and related images copyright-cleared for educational use—as well as linked biographies and articles on actors, directors, films, and related topics—could do no better than Cinema Image Gallery."

You can read the full list on the Booklist website. It's a highly impressive list of resources. Cinema Image Gallery is in excellent company.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Katherine Paterson becomes the latest National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Paterson will take over the role of National Ambassador for Young People's Literature from Jon Scieszka, who has held the post since 2008.

Did you know that Katherine Paterson was born in China? And that she is a two-time Newbery medalist and a two-time winner of the National Book Award?

You can read more about Katherine Paterson, and see more photos of her, in her autobiographical profile on our Junior Authors and Illustrators database.