World Holidays in April

Holiday Focus: Queen’s Day in the Netherlands

Celebrated on April 30 is the national holiday of the Netherlands: Queen’s Day (also known as the Queen Mother’s Birthday). The holiday honors Queen Beatrix, the nation’s reigning monarch since April 30 1980, when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated. That day was also Queen Juliana’s 71st birthday, and beginning that year, April 30 was set aside as a national holiday to honor her. Queen Juliana died in 2004 but the national holiday continues as a tribute to Queen Beatrix.

To celebrate, the Dutch attend carnivals and street festivals, which begin the night before April 30 and continue until late the next day. Many people dress in patriotic colors: orange (which represents the House of Orange, the Dutch dynasty) or the colors of the flag (red, white, and blue). It is also common for families to gather unwanted items from their homes and hold sidewalk rummage sales.

World Holidays Featured This Month

Worldwide – Easter  (this year) April 4
Easter is a movable holiday whose day of observation has for centuries been painstakingly calculated. This is because its day of observance is determined initially by the lunar calendar, like PASSOVER, but then must be put into terms of the solar calendar. The Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. set the formula for calculating the date of Easter still in use today. After many centuries of controversy among Christians, Western Christendom settled on the use of the Gregorian calendar (Eastern Christians use the Julian calendar to determine Easter), decreeing that Easter shall be celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon on or following the VERNAL EQUINOX. If the full moon is on a Sunday, Easter is held the next Sunday. In the East, Easter can occur between April 4 and May 8, but it must come after Passover has ended.

Rwanda – Genocide Memorial Day – April 7
Commemorates the start of the 1994 genocide.

Brazil – Tiradentes Day – April 21
Celebrates the death of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (known as Tiradentes), a nationalist who died in the struggle for independence.

Italy – Liberation Day – April 25
Commemorates Italy’s liberation in World War II.

Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, & Tonga – Anzac Day – April 25
Honors the armed forces and war dead.

Vietnam – Liberation of Saigon – April 30
Commemorates the 1975 defeat of South Vietnam.

To learn more about these holidays or other holidays in April try these online resources:


Credo Reference – Holidays, Festivals and Celebrations of the World Dictionary

Alice’s weird and wonderful world

This spring, moviegoers are buzzing about Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Johnny Depp. Before you see the film, check out Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, the classic works that started it all. The library also has older movie versions, biographies of Carroll and more! Get lost in Alice’s world.

The Virtual Library also Lewis Carroll’s books in eBooks and eaudio books format in our eMedia Catalog.

Shmoop Isn’t Just for the High School, College (and Older) Crowds

Shmoop – A web resource for students

Middle School. Jr. High. The sometimes forgotten “middle child” of K-through-12. Awkward years? Pshaw. We at Shmoop prefer to think of them as Wonder Years.

We now have scores of Learning Guides that suit Middle School classes and many more Young Adult topics in store for 2010.

47 Shmoop Learning Guides that Work Wonders for Grades 6-8


US History





@helloshmoop on Twitter | Shmoop on Facebook | 18 NEW Shmoop Teacher’s Editions

Who Reads eBooks? You may be surprised…

Contributor Cindy Orr takes a look at eBook consumers in her monthly post. From the OverDrive blog.

Experts say that 2010 will be a transformative year for technology. They’re buzzing about eBooks and eBook readers. Here’s why:

Early adopters of the Amazon Kindle had a few things in common–they were Amazon customers, could afford the device, were not afraid of technology, and saw how the reader could help them read while commuting or traveling. By and large they knew about no other readers, and were willing to buy all their books from Amazon. But now that the field is growing beyond this original group, where will the trend take us?

Surveys are beginning to give us a picture of the eBook reading community. Here are some things we’ve learned:

But what are the implications for libraries? Here are a few suggestions:

  • We should take advantage of the publicity and interest and make sure we have good eBook collections.
  • We should shape our collections with older users in mind.
  • We need to spread the word that the library has eBooks that can be read at no cost–legally.
  • We should make sure our patrons know that eBooks can be read not only on computers, but that they can use the OverDrive system to download and transfer them to many compatible devices, including the Sony Reader and the nook.
  • We should help readers understand that eBook readers will let them control text size and may make it easier for some people to hold and read a book.
  • We should help them understand that the Kindle is not compatible with their library’s collection but that there are other brands of electronic reading devices that are.

For a selection of eBook titles available from the Virtual Library of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District visit our eMedia Catalog.

Differentiated Instruction

SIRS Knowledge Source

Our SIRS Knowledge Source subscription provides integrated tools to support students with varied learning needs. The article translation tool and read aloud capabilities—including text-to-speech and downloadable MP3 files—aid in comprehension and increases readability.

  • Language Translator—Students learning to speak English or learning a foreign language can translate articles to 11 languages.
  • Read Aloud—Lower-level readers and ELL students can listen and follow along with text-to-speech with highlighting or downloadable MP3 files.

Application Idea:
Improve English proficiency through both audio and visual support!

Language Translator + Text-to-Speech Read Aloud =
Integrated Support for Students Learning English

1. Using the translation tool, convert an article to student’s native language

2. Print article after it has been translated

3. With printed article in hand, students follow along in their native language on paper as they listen in English through the read aloud functionality.