Beyond Books

Make a decision to see the world through the library

2014-01-20T00:00:00Z Make a decision to see the world through the libraryBy Susan Gempka, Lake County Public Library
January 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Do you ever wonder about important international issues that influence our lives? The ice is melting in the Arctic and the Russians have planted their flag there. . .how threatening is this?

What are some compelling reasons for the U.S. military to stay in Afghanistan?

What do you know about Cyber-security or the NSA? What does NATO do? And what's really going on in Syria? Are today's headlines enough to help us understand global challenges – or is there more?

Our answer is, yes, there is more and you can find it at the library. We offer an excellent and exciting discussion program as well as a number of scholarly and interesting databases to help us become better citizens, to question, to learn, and gain confidence in making our voices heard by policymakers.

The Great Decisions Discussion group meets twice a month, at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays, at the Highland branch of the Lake County Public Library, 2810 Jewett St.

This discussion program developed by the Foreign Policy Association ( focuses on a specific topic each month.

We share ideas, news and resources to deepen our awareness and understanding of the world. The group welcomes new members . . .people who are enthused about discussing important issues in a safe and respectful environment and, as an added bonus, enjoy good fellowship and camaraderie.

During the year, the FPA provides opinion ballots and sends results to the White House, U.S. State and Defense departments, and members of the U.S. Congress. This is a great opportunity to make our voices heard.

Topics in February and March are "Defense Technology" – the weapons and technologies that are moving “from science fiction to battlefield reality;” and "Israel and the U.S." - including modern Israel's struggles with the Palestinians, Iran, failed peace talks, and a strained relationship with the U.S. Find out more at

Explore a database

Four databases are available to assist with research papers, travel plans, and learning about a country's customs and business climate.

Our newest, A to Z The World, gives you factual information on every topic for any country. Examples include a look at the land, music, holidays and festivals; business culture, security and travel briefings; human rights reports. For teachers, lesson plans are included for each country.

At Library Press Display you'll find newspapers from all over the world. Most can be read in English. If English is your second language, this is where you can find news in your native language.

World History in Context offers a large amount of historical information for research.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context offers different views on just about any issue. You'll enjoy access to podcasts, journal articles, court cases, primary source documents and more.

As you delve into the wonderful, global world, library staff is always happy and available to assist you. Hope to see you at Great Decisions.

This month's Lake County Public Library column was written by Susan Gempka, librarian at the Highland branch of the Lake County Public Library, 2810 Jewett St. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake Town Hall

7408 Constitution Ave Cedar Lake, IN 46303

Cedar Lake Police Department

7408 Constitution Ave Cedar Lake, IN 46303

Cedar Lake Fire Department

P.O. Box 459
9400 W 133rd Ave. Cedar Lake, IN 46303

Cedar Lake Parks and Recreation

7408 Constitution Ave Cedar Lake, IN 46303

Hanover Community School Corporation

9520 W. 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 46303

Latest Local Offers