Literacy

Reading One Book Changed His Whole Life

And now he owns one of the few bookstores, independent or otherwise, in an inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood.

Hakim Hopkins, who grew up in West Philadelphia and Atlantic City, was 15 and in juvenile detention when his mother gave him a copy of Native Son. "That book just took me out," Hopkins, 37, remembers. "I didn't know that a book could be that good. I became a book lover, and a thinker." Today, Hopkins runs the Black & Nobel bookstore at Broad and Erie that in the year since it expanded to that spot has become a neighborhood hub. Hopkins says that although business is drying up for other independent bookstores, Black & Nobel's mix of services is adding to its bustle.

Story at Philly.com.

Summer's Coming to a Close @ Your Library

Florida youth have not spent the entire summer at the seaside; in fact, many of them have been participating in summer reading programs!

From the Foster Folly News, an update on the Summer Reading Program at the Chipley Library. Childrens librarian Zedra Hawkins said 18 preschoolers, 114 elementary school students, 68 students from the middle schools, and 31 high school students participated in this year's summer reading program. More than 536 book reviews were entered for drawings for prizes.

Remember Shorthand?

NY Times: Shorthand wasn’t always just for secretaries and court reporters, Leah Price writes in her essay on the history of shorthand in the London Review of Books.

Before the 1870s, it was used more for writing down one’s own thoughts or discretely noting the conversation of others. Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens used it, as did legions of “spirit-rappers, teetotalers, vegetarians, pacifists, anti-vivisectionists, anti-tobacconists,” and other members of a “counter-culture of early adapters” who generated something of a shorthand craze in mid-19th-century Britain. Isaac Pitman, creator of the wildly successful “Stenographic Soundhand” method still used today, made arguments that don’t sound so different from the tweeting techno-evangelists of our age. When people correspond by shorthand, he declared “friendships grow six times as fast as under the withering blighting influence of the moon of longhand.”

I remember my mother with her spiral top notebook and two columns of lines writing down what seemed to me to be completely indistinguishable marks. Anyone out there know shorthand? Is it of any value today?

So What's the Problem?

An Essay of the LISNews Summer Series -- Read More

Lebanese Librarians Publish Book to Encourage Children to Read

BEIRUT, LEBANON: The Monnot Public Library just celebrated its first anniversary; a year dedicated to the promotion of reading among children. A textbook was released for the occasion, intended for librarians and teachers, “99 Recipes to Spice Up the Taste of Reading” (in Arabic I presume?).

The book aims at sharing a librarian’s experience with students. “I quickly realized that the sole presence of books wasn’t enough to get the pupils to read. The librarian plays a crucial role, [they are] the indispensable link between books and children,” explained Nawal Traboulsi, one of the authors.

But at first, it was difficult for her to find her place in the school’s hierarchy. “Librarians don’t have a defined role. They are neither teachers nor parents. Their relation with children is fundamentally different.”

'Early Literacy on the Go' Kits Help Win Award for Bernardsville (NJ) Library

Bernardsville Public Library was recognized at the State House in Trenton by Senate Resolution as a winner of the New Jersey State Library's contest on Best Practices in Early Childhood Literacy. Youth Services Librarian Michaele Casey and Library Director Karen Brodsky were on hand to receive the honor and a check for $500. At the ceremony, the library was cited for its "dedication and commitment to the early reader experiences of preschool children in its community." Only four New Jersey libraries were so honored.

Early Literacy on the Go Kits, developed by Ms. Casey and her staff, were key to winning the award. The kits, in colorful boxes, contain books, toys, sound recordings and information on how to practice early literacy. The acronym SHELLS (Start Helping Early Literacy Learners Succeed) was created to help direct parents, teachers and caregivers to the importance of early literacy. My Central Jersey has the story.

Books with Flava: Street Lit in Libraries

Stay cool this summer with street lit...

Last fall four early career librarian-trainees from the Brooklyn and New York Public Libraries chose to investigate current public library practice in collecting and offering street lit to teens. They cannily developed a survey using SurveyMonkey.com and distributed it widely among youth materials and public library list serves. They collected and highlighted their findings in an article in School Library Journal (”What Librarians Say about Street Lit“) this past February, and presented a more ‘formal’ review to a packed-house panel at BookExpo America this past weekend. They shared their knock-out power point primer on the development of Street Lit as a genre and the results of their survey.

Thanks to Barbara Genco, Director of Collection Development for the Brooklyn Public Library for the link!

Librarian Transformed into Human Popcorn Ball

I was hoping this one had a photo with it, but sorry...you'll have to use your imagination. It's another one of those "I'll do thus and such if you kids read X number of books" stories.

Report from Jackson, MS : Children's librarian Melissa Strauss laughed, "I'm here because I want to make good on a promise at the beginning of the school year." The promise: she would become a human popcorn ball. Before she got into the plastic pool filled with popcorn, the principal poured sticky syrup all over Strauss. Then it was time to jump in and roll around.

Why is this happening? This librarian challenged her students to read 10 million words from library books. "They read 10.5 million."

The pure joy of this mess thrilled the students. "I love the way she dived into the pool." "A little like something I want to do to somebody." " I think it was funny." " I love it."

Strauss apparently picks a new 'treat' for the kids each year, and thus far, they haven't let her down.

Once a country of fervent readers, Iraq now starving for books

In Iraq, a country where so much has been leveled by decades of dictatorship, international embargoes and war, few things are easy. Here, students often can't find the books they need. Libraries and schools are understocked, and many bookstores are closed. At those that are open, academic selections are usually limited.

Obama Knows Storytime

At the White House Easter Egg Roll this past Monday, President Obama read Where the Wild Things Are to a large audience. While reading, he stood, projected, moved around, asked kids questions about and engaged them in the text, and generally performed as though he'd passed Early Literacy-Focused Storytime training with flying colors. Click here to view Obama's "storytime"--his wild rumpus sound effects (more cute than wild) are not to be missed.

Syndicate content