Niles-Maine District Library

Among the animals now thought to be endangered are our closest cousins, chimpanzees.

Endangered Species: Worth Researching — and Drawing

What’s a library for if not to have detailed information about today’s hot topics? For example, species whose numbers have declined: what are some of the animals, and how much of a crisis is it?

The great thing about a library is that it can make content available to everyone in age-appropriate ways. An adult may question the validity of a news report he/she heard and want to do his/her own research. A young person would need more generalized information – as presented in recent books, for example – without the “breaking news” buzz. Both are served.

A UN scientific body just released a report saying, “One million of the planet’s eight million species are threatened with extinction.” An inquisitive patron could put this to the test with our subscription database PROQUEST. Database entries are indexed to be searched multiple ways (UN, report, species, extinction, endangered, etc.). Information becomes available fast: while it was still May 6 in the U.S., PROQUEST had content dated May 7 (New Zealand, India, etc.).

Meanwhile, relevant books appear on the shelves. Say I am a middle school student doing a report. I search my library catalog and locate Saving Endangered Species . Published in 2017, it discusses trends regarding wildlife populations and what can be done. Instead of just listing endangered species, it highlights both causes for alarm and reasons to be optimistic.

Since it is intended for students, the language is straightforward: “More than 20,000 species are currently threatened with extinction. Approximately 2,500 are critically endangered animals.” On the other hand, the second section of the book is headlined, “Endangered Species Act Has Been a Success.” There is the good news that some species, whose prospects had appeared bleak, have been brought back from the brink.

Finally, there is always the possibility that a topic that interests you may pop up in an entirely unexpected way. That’s the case here: KidSpace is hosting an August 7 workshop called “Drawing Endangered Animals.” Following on the heels of past workshops drawing superheroes, dogs, and butterflies, this one offers a chance to learn about species including polar bears, sea turtles, Asian elephants, chimpanzees, and something called pangolins.

Whatever your age, and whatever the topic, the library has you covered.

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