Literacy

Novel way to increase library use

A mayor in Spain who pays children one Euro per hour to read at the local library in an attempt to keep them in school.
The CBC Says Agustin Jimenez, Socialist mayor of the agricultural town of Noblejas in central Spain, is recommending the town's children be given a euro - the equivalent of $1.50 - for every hour they spend reading in the local library. The sweetener is part of a string of measures to be voted on by the Noblejas council in March.

Librarians' Sport of Choice

Librarians' sport of choice: Teaching information literacy through fantasy football. Paul Waelchli, C&RL News, January 2008.

"Librarians want students to effectively identify and evaluate information and make decisions based upon what they discover . . . . One library, University of Dubuque, did just this by teaching fantasy football research to incoming student athletes."

The "Google generation" not so hot at Googling, after all

The British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee have released a report showing that "kids born since 1993 aren't quite the Internet super-sleuths they're sometimes made out to be." Story at Ars Technica.

ISU-based center to help librarians train info consumers

Teaching people to find, evaluate and use information effectively has always been part of a librarian’s job, but Ward wants to create a centralized one-stop shop to help. With a nearly $60,000 federal grant in hand, he aims to build the Illinois Center for Information Literacy at ISU.

“The idea is to have one place to see what is going on in Illinois in terms of information literacy,” Ward said.

‘Google Generation’ is a myth, says new research

Gary Price Points Out This report shows the many roles the info professional can and needs to play in an age when many think all answers are only one-click away. Btw, Google is a name grabber but this paper is more about online and web info in general.

White bread for young minds, says university professor

Google is “white bread for the mind”, and the internet is producing a generation of students who survive on a diet of unreliable information, a professor of media studies will claim this week.

In her inaugural lecture at the University of Brighton, Tara Brabazon will urge teachers at all levels of the education system to equip students with the skills they need to interpret and sift through information gleaned from the internet.

She believes that easy access to information has dulled students’ sense of curiosity and is stifling debate. She claims that many undergraduates arrive at university unable to discriminate between anecdotal and unsubstantiated material posted on the internet.

The great unread

Is your New Year's resolution to read more? You could always bluff it, argues Pierre Bayard.

These lies we tell to others are first and foremost lies we tell ourselves, for we have trouble acknowledging even to ourselves that we haven't read the books that are deemed essential. And here, as in so many other domains of life, we show an astonishing ability to reconstruct the past to better conform to our wishes.

Once Again...The Most Literate Cities

LiveScience furnishes the list of the most well-read urbanites in the U.S. this year, and two cities continue to lead the pack, Minneapolis and Seattle.

The survey focused on 69 U.S. cities with populations of 250,000 or above. Jack Miller, President of Central Connecticut State University chose six key indicators to rank literacy. These included newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources.

To live with books, perchance to read them

An apology may be in order. How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read, the slim French bestseller which has become a sleeper hit in English translation this fall, may have a fantastic but faulty title. That's because unlike, say, the news summary magazine The Week, or the chic advice guide In the Know: The Classic Guide to Being Cultured and Cool, How to Talk... is not intended to help you cheat at life by appearing more sophisticated or educated than you really are. Indeed, the author Pierre Bayard has a sheepish admission to make. theglobeandmail.com Has The Review/Interview.

Lack of Reading Leads to Lee Open-mindedness

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on reading habits. See their discussion of an article taken from the New Yorker magazine. Wall Street Journal, "Informed Reader", December 19, 2007; Page B11. 'Age of Innocence' Eclipsed By Age of Streaming Media: THE NEW YORKER -- DEC. 24 & 31
"The reading of literature has declined so sharply that some sociologists believe it will one day become an arcane hobby. But the really bad news, says writer Caleb Crain, is that as literary reading erodes, so does open-mindedness."
"Replacing time spent with the printed word are television and other forms of streaming media, which engage people on a much more direct and emotional level than reading. While emotional responses can be useful -- say, for evaluating a political candidate's personality -- they also can foster intolerance for opposing viewpoints. Consider the difference, says Mr. Crain, between reading an anger-inducing article and watching a television program that serves up different viewpoints. The former can be amusing, but the latter can feel nearly unbearable -- and it is all too easy to change the channel to something more comfortable..."
Read more about it at: www.wsj.com

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