Thursday, March 31, 2011

Playwriting plaudits for a member of our Biography team

We hope you join us in congratulating Molly Hagan, of our Current Biography team, who has been chosen as a national finalist in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Ten-Minute Play Award for her work, Spaceships and Things That Look Like Them.
Molly's play, along with the other ten-minute plays in the final, will be staged at the Kennedy Center Family Theater in Washington, D.C. on April 22.
We wish Molly the best of luck in her category.

Break a leg, Molly! (Do you say that to the writer?)
Molly has worked at H.W. Wilson since October 2010, and Inside Wilson asked her a few questions about her writing.

What inspires you as a writer?
As a playwright, I'm inspired by theatricality and the challenge of writing for the stage. The neat thing about theater is that what we see is largely dependent on language. The play exists in the mind of the audience.
At Current Biography, I am interested in introducing readers to fascinating people who they may not know.

Of all the profiles you've worked on for Current Biography, whose was the most interesting or surprising?
I just finished working on a profile of Connie Rice. She's a civil rights lawyer and founder of an "action tank" (as opposed to a think tank) called the Advancement Project. She's also an expert on gang warfare in Los Angeles - and is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's cousin. I had never heard of her until I came across an article about her on the Daily Beast. Rice is incredibly smart and seemingly fearless. I could have written a book about her.

How has access to Wilson resources helped you in your writing?
Working at Current Biography, I have access to the life stories of thousands of people. I have found lots of inspiration for characters, not only in the research for the biographies that I write, but in the countless biographies that exist in our database as well. I think we do a good job of providing a detailed portrait of our subjects, rather than just a list of their accomplishments.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor on Cinema Image Gallery

Today's quiz marks the passing of screen icon Elizabeth Taylor. We're asking you to identify these five movies from various stages of Taylor's career, just five of the hundreds of images of Elizabeth Taylor we have in Cinema Image Gallery, all licensed for use in non-commercial settings like schools and libraries.

We will, as usual, tweet the answers later today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy... International... Talk Like William Shatner... Day.

Yes, it's the second annual Talk Like William Shatner Day, and today it just so happens to fall on the great man's 80th birthday.

Happy birthday... Mr. Shatner.

Here are some Shatner facts from our Biography Reference Bank database to help you wow your friends with your arcane knowledge:

  • Shatner's father, Joseph, ran a successful clothing manufacturing firm called Admiration Clothes.
  • Shatner got his first taste of acting success performing in a play at the French-Canadian summer camp he attended, where he also gained his great love of the outdoors.
  • His first acting job in U.S. films was in MGM's production of the Brothers Karamazov (1958).
  • After the famous Saturday Night Live parody sketch in which he told Trek fans to "get a life," Shatner admitted that it took him many years to understand the depths of passion Star Trek inspired in its legions of devotees.
  • Shatner was inducted into the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2006.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Women in Movies quiz with Cinema Image Gallery

Because we just can't shake the movie buzz this week, and because next week is International Women's Day, we decided to ask you to identify these actresses and film makers.

You'll find the answers in Cinema Image Gallery, (which has been updated with all the Oscar information for 2011), or you can wait until later today when we will tweet them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Book Day with Core Collections on WilsonWeb

March 3 is World Book Day, an event set up by UNESCO to encourage the celebration of books and reading. Whether you are participating through a library or on your own, Core Collections on WilsonWeb and WilsonWeb Mobile can help you choose books for you, your family, friends, reading group, children, study group, or whatever group of people is joining you in your love of books.

Looking for books on gardening? Graphic novels suitable for under-12s? Naval adventures? Psychological thrillers? Books translated from other languages? The best specialist dictionaries? Whatever kind of book you want, our Core Collections databases are filled with recommended titles grouped according to age and type of books covered:

  • Children's - covering fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books, and magazines for readers from preschool to sixth grade.
  • Middle & Junior High - covering fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, and collections for readers in grades five through nine.
  • Senior High - covering fiction, nonfiction, collections, graphic novels, and more for readers in grades nine through twelve.
  • Fiction - featuring classic and contemporary fiction for a general adult audience, including literary, general, and genre fiction.
  • Public Library: Nonfiction - featuring reference and non-fiction books for adults.
  • Graphic Novels - highlighting around 2,000 titles from this increasingly popular and important literary form.

Core Collections databases feature best-of lists, starred reviews, excerpts from substantive reviews, links to sites where you can buy your chosen books, and many more features designed to make collection building and readers' advisory easy, no matter who you are choosing books for.

Interested in Core Collections? Sign up for a 10-day free trial here.

You'll also find useful tips, lists, features, and updates in The Core newsletter, and around the site built by librarians for librarians: