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Libraries at the Cutting Edge: The trendiest meeting place on many college campuses these days features a coffee bar, wireless Internet zones, free entertainment and special programs, modern lounge areas and meeting rooms.
And free access to books. Lots of books.
This educational social hub is the campus library, which is beginning to look more like an Internet cafe than the academic library you remember from your college days.
Young adult author Lauren Mechling investigates the infusion of unbookish elements into youth library services, and wonders "If harridan librarians weren't going to be shoving my books down the teens' throats, would anybody read them?"
As it turns out, the answer seems to be yes. Melissa Jenvey, a young adult specialist at the Donnell Library in midtown Manhattan told me that after redoing the teen section four years ago, circulation of young adult titles rose 400 percent. "We just needed to have the merchandise that they wanted," she says. "It's like how they put the milk in the back of the supermarket to get you to buy all the other stuff." More from Boston Globe.
From Chasing Ray comes news of an appeal for reviewers, bloggers, librarians and others to send their advance reading copies to kids in Louisiana juvenile detention centers. Books2Prisoners has been delivering books to prisoners in the NOLA area for some time, and they have now started to gather books for the juvenile detention centers as well. Whatever they had before Katrina is now, of course, gone.
Colleen at Chasing Ray has an excellent and comprehensive post about the situation for kids (incarcerated and otherwise) in New Orleans, and about the kinds of books that Books2Prisoners would like to receive. Generally, they are looking for books from the middle grade reading level and up, primarily dealing with multi-cultural themes and characters. Naturally, not just ARCs, but also full-grown books are welcome.
Read the whole Books2Prisoners post at Chasing Ray for details, inspiration, and the mailing address for the program.
Update: 02/14 12:25 GMT by B :mdoniel says "So if you want to donate books to this program and don't have any funds to send them let me know. I'll pay for the first 5 boxes sent FedEx ground. I'll fax you a label to tape on the box."
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 The Blended Librarians Online Community is excited to get '07 off to a great start with their first webcast of the year. Join Steven Bell and John Shank, co-founders of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community, and their guests Robert H. McDonald and Chuck Thomas for a talk on "Discussing the Disconnects Between Library Culture and Millennial Generation Values" on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 3:00 pm EST (New York time). Although this event is free, advance registration is required to reserve a virtual seat. If you are already a member of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community, here is a direct link to the registration page. You need to join the Blended Librarians Online Community in order to register
Here's a success story of how the Lester Public Library (Manitowoc, WI) greatly improved its service to local teens by listening to teens. The Library's Teen Advisory Board formed in 2001 with seven members. Now the TAB has 41 members, about half of whom are active. For those of you who have tried teen outreach, you'll appreciate how significant that is! More of the story at the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter.
Joni Wilder, assistant director of the La Vista Public Library appealed to the La Vista Community Foundation for funds to middle-school aged boys into making regular forays to the library.
Wilder's plan is to visit La Vista elementary schools and promote a parent-son book club. She's currently compiling a list of paperbacks with guy-appeal for a discussion-activity hour once a week at the library. Story from La Vista Sun.
RMiller writes "The Greater Dayton IT Alliance and Dayton Metro Library are sponsoring an entrepreneurial contest in January for high school students, called The Miami Valley's Next Top Entrepreneur. The contest is featured on Business Bulletin blog.
The contest will ask students to write about a new product or service that they have envisioned, who the customers would be, and why this product or service would be successful. Lots of great prizes! You can find out more information about the national event.
I'll leave you with this thought from Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and inventor of the Segway Human Transporter: "We need to show kids it's more fun to design and create a video game than it is to play one."
Mister Cow Cow writes " Yahoo! News A high school principal has decreed that Captain Underpants has no place in an institution of learning. Three 17-year-old girls were told to leave Long Beach High School on Wednesday after they showed up on Superhero Day costumed as the subject of the best-selling children's books."
Mister Cow Cow writes "washingtonpost.com To be sure, pushing some students to challenge themselves is important, educators say. But there are points where kids read books before they can truly comprehend them and then lose the beauty of the work.
If adults liked to read books that were exceedingly difficult, they'd all be reading Proust.
So why, reading experts ask, do schools expect children to read — and love to read — when they are given material that is frequently too hard for them?"
Florida students read aloud together for record books: Gov. Jeb Bush joined hundreds of thousands of Florida middle-school students Thursday to try to set a new world record for people reading aloud at the same time.