Libraries/Learning in Yemen Not Respected

Here's an op-ed piece from someone who decries the state of higher ed libraries and learning in Yemen. In particular he talks about how higher ed libraries are filled with young women who are more interested in socializing than learning. He also acknowledges that the women gather at the library because they are not allowed to gather elsewhere in public.

It is interesting to think, then, about this amusing irony: that only when women in this society feel comfortable in other public places, and when libraries can be treated with the respect they deserve, will we be on the path to true cultural greatness.

More from the Yemen Observer.


Libraries' network to be set up across country: Atta

Anonymous Patron writes "Hi Pakistan reports on The Higher Education Commission (HEC) intends to launch a major programme, aimed at creating and enhancing reading habits among the people especially the youth. "


Watching TV--Great Training for a Spelling Bee

Some kids prepare for a spelling bee by studying the dictionary. Others have their parents quiz them from lists of long and tricky words. Thirteen-year-old Jason Liao, whose native language is Cantonese, has a unique strategy: He watches television — especially “The Simpsons,� with the captions on.

Jason's technique of TV as teacher helped him learn English as a toddler (Sesame Street), and now he hopes it will help him to make it through the semi-finals to compete in the 78th National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, DC in May. Here's the Portland Tribune story.


Losing punctuation

slashgirl writes "An editorial lamenting the lack of punctuation these days (I wonder if she's read "Eats, shoots, and leaves"?). 'Animals with brains invariably have ways of conveying meaning and messages. Horses flick their ears and lower their heads to say they want to be friends. Peacocks fan out their tail feathers to signal their availability and ambitions to hens. People wink and pose in a multitude of body language ways that speak volumes.

And on paper, in English, there are a host of shapes and marks that communicate meaning. Letters of the alphabet more or less symbolize sounds. Capitalized letters signify some sort of special value. Punctuation marks indicate when to stop or pause, question or exclaim when speaking what is written; they provide a sort of frame around the ideas on the page, to help keep things organized.'

The rest here."


Swaziland Govt Blows the Dust Off the Covers in Libraries

Anonymous Patron writes " Has This Report on the Swazi government's efforts to increase literacy. They just announced new measures to revive school and public libraries, with improved training for teachers and librarians. The education ministry estimates that 70 percent of Swazis are literate, but the degree of literacy is under debate. The high number of secondary school students who failed English in recent exams was attributed to poor reading skills: three-quarters of students failing Standard 5 exams could not pass the English test."


Dolly's book-a-month program for kids expands in Tennessee - Thursday, 02/10/05

Anonymous Patron writes "Imagination Library, a national literacy program that provides free books to kids, was started nearly a decade ago by country music star Dolly Parton as a way to provide 60 children's books —at the pace of one a month — for every newborn in her native Sevier County.
The Tennessean has this article,
Dolly's book-a-month program for kids expands in Tennessee - Thursday, 02/10/05, as well as Program Details, and A Startup checklist Are they leaving libraries out in the cold?"


New York State Library's Statewide Summer Reading Program License Plates

Anonymous Patron writes "New York State Library's Statewide Summer Reading Program has 2 new license plates to benefit the Summer Reading Program. They decided to pass on the @ Your Library them and went with "Love Your Library" and "Read-Learn-Explore"
Sadly, LISNews logos were also overlooked."


Booktrust to expand 'Books for Babies' scheme

The Guardian Reports on Booktrust, the charity responsible for a raft of national reading programmes and literary prizes, including the National Children's Book Week, the Children's Laureate, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, today outlined its intention to expand its Bookstart 'Books for Babies' scheme over the coming year.


The Classics and the Working Class

Rob Lopresti writes "Everyone knows that uneducated bluecollar workers have no use for Shakespeare, the Iliad, or poetry. But is everyone right? Jonathan Rose argues, with plenty of evidence, that miners, mill workers, and servants have always had a fondness for such stuff. The most fascinating part of the article is the patronizing words of Marxists and the like who decided that the classics were bad for the workers. Full Story"


Impact of Computer Use on Reading Achievement of 15-year-olds? Depends!

The Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development recently issued a report called Impact of Computer Use on Reading Achievement of 15-year-olds. The study seemed to find that using computers at home helped reading, but using computers in libraries might hurt:

"Multivariate analysis indicated that over and above family and individual characteristics,
only a few ICT variables obtained significant correlations with PISA reading scores. Home computer access was positively related with reading skills, but on the other hand, using computers often in libraries was negatively related. However, since 88% of 15-year olds had computers at home, the number of students relying exclusively on access in libraries is likely to be small."



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