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Pop Culture Does A Mind Good

GregS* writes "When the ultimate curmudgeon gives a postive outlook to pop culture notice should be taken. John Derbyshire reviews Everything Bad Is Good For You and discusses why we have an culture that is "intellectually demanding".

Rochelle adds this NPR interview with the book's author.


In chick lit, girls rule

Anonymous Patron writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Registration MAY be required) carried the story In chick lit, girls rule, a piece which relates the explosive popularity of books for teen girls:

"Since the late 1990s, teen chick lit -- think Bridget Jones in high school -- has been gaining popularity, reaping profits for publishers and booksellers, prompting established adult authors to target younger audiences and giving teens and tweens (9- to 12-year-old girls) their own heroines.

"Chick lit "is still growing each year by double digits," said Joe Monti, national young-adult buyer for Barnes & Noble. "I can't see a ceiling yet, and I can't even gauge when that ceiling will be hit."



Pew Internet & American Life Project: Teens Online

Blake writes "Here's A New Pew Internet & American Life Project Report that says More than half of American families with teenagers use filters to limit access to potentially harmful content online. But both teens and parents believe that teens do things on the internet that their parents would not approve of."


Manga: Racy Fluff --or--Reading Aid?

What are kids reading these days? Many are reading manga, the Japanese graphic novels that can offer extreme sexist stereotypes and gratuitous situations, atypical if what you're used to is the American version of comic book heroes and villains.

At Deering High School in Portland ME, the manga collection is so popular that it needs to be kept under lock and key to prevent theft. This story from the Portland Press Herald tells how many middle and high school students find the novels both fascinating and off-putting; parents, librarians and comic-book store owners weigh as well on this popular genre.


Kew loses over 800 years of history

The Telegraph Reports More than 1,600 historical records, some of which date back to the 12th century, have gone missing from the National Archives in Kew.

Details obtained by The Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 1,672 original documents have disappeared. The papers, which span more than 800 years of British history, include 21 records from the private offices of various prime ministers and 24 Cabinet Office documents.


Schools told: don't make pupils read same books year after year

Julie Henry, Education Correspondent for The Telegraph Reports Secondary schools are to be given new Government guidelines to improve children's reading in response to evidence that pupils are reading the same books in different years.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has expressed concern that the range of texts taught in schools is too narrow. The same novels are now being taught to pupils as they progress through schools, according to the watchdog.


Teen Literacy

Colleen Mills Williams writes "U.S. News & World Report has an article on teen literacy written by Anne McGrath. On the contents page, the tagline begins "EDUCATION: Attention, teens, this is a book..."

Willard Brown teaches chemistry at Skyline High in Oakland, Calif. But what he really hopes his students master on their way to learning science is a skill most people, the teenagers included, assume they nailed long ago: the ability to read. Too often, he says, students have an incomplete notion of what reading actually means. "They think, 'My eyes passed over the page, and I pronounced all the words.' They don't notice that they really didn't get it."


Library gives teens what they want

Anonymous Patron writes "I know what you'te thinking, an article entitled "Library gives teens what they want" must surely be all about pornography, beer and video games. No such luck here. The Palm Springs, California, Public Library is reaching out to teens in a not so unusual way - it's giving them a room of their own."It's just a room done by kids for kids," Anna Hammond said as she described the new teen center that will open at the library Wednesday afternoon.

Roberts was shocked to learn from surveys that many teens didn't feel welcome in the library, she said. Some avoided the children's room, where the young adult books were housed, while others shied away from the computer stations and the impatient glances from adults."


New Princeton (NJ) Library A Welcoming Home For Teens

When the new Princeton Public Library opened last April, it included a much improved space for young adult patrons--they were previously squeezed in with younger children. The teens, whose high school is nearby, are enjoying it fully.

Kids are doing homework, studying together, playing scrabble, or leafing through fashion many as 30 or more teens spend a part of their afternoon at the library each day. Many have taken leadership roles at the library by joining the Teen Advisory Board and working on special programs for their peers, such as music and poetry readings on Friday nights and a film series showcasing movies created by Princeton teens, said Susan Conlon, teen services librarian.

The library staff has put in place a specific procedure to deal with misbehavior. If someone repeatedly misbehaves or a more serious incident occurs, he or she is asked to leave the library and may not return without a parent or a guardian; here's the story from zwire.


Boston-area Libraries Pay Attention to Teen Users

Good piece about YA librarianship at its best from the Boston Globe. Vicki Solomon, YA librarian at Cambridge (MA) Public Library wanted to better serve her patrons,

So she put together a 16-member board of junior and high school students, as well as one very ''well-read" sixth-grader.

Their mandate was to recommend books, CDs, and DVDs that the library should acquire, invite guest authors, and start other activities that could make the library a teen hub.

'The library is a great place to socialize," said Sonia Booth, 17, a member of the board. Booth has been involved in library groups since she was young. 'It is a great way to spend my time because it is such a great atmosphere.'



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