Jail/Library Partnerships Keeps Inmate Moms in Touch

This Washington Post story tells about "Read Me a Story," a project between the Arlington library and the county jail which helps inmate moms keep in better touch with their children by recording stories for them. Several community organizations and a grant help keep the program going.

Often, recording is stopped midway when the mother becomes emotional. "I cried on my second tape," Thomas said. She said her younger son started potty training when she began her jail sentence. The second book she taped for him was about potty training.

As I Live And Read

Fang-Face writes "There's an interesting piece entitled
As I Live And Read, by Michael Dirda, of the Washington Post, in which he looks at the state of reading and literature. In the U.S., but I imagine that it holds for every technologized culture. A longish plaint about the abysmal quality of what passes for "literature" in this day and age. Well worth the read, although it has the standard complaints about the impact of the internet."


America's most literate cities: The Reports Continue

The "America's Most Literate Cities," continue to work their way through the local press around the country. Cities like Memphis, Cincinati, Columbus and Rochester, all did well, The Mad City and Minneapolis are happy.

and at least Tucson is better than Phoenix, but El Paso Ranked Last. El Pasoans explain their rank in the reading study with some good reasons. The language, economic and social barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Many cities with large populations of immigrants and non-native English speakers ranked in the bottom quarter of America's Most Literate Cities study. Eighteen of the bottom 20 cities were in California, Arizona, Florida and Texas."If you look at the top 20 cities, there's no real pattern," Miller said, but he said that the bottom 20 cities are clearly more minority -- and that education levels, native languages and economic conditions in those cities probably play bigger roles.The Study also ranked Public Libraries, putting Akron at #1, followed by Kansas City, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and my old home, Columbus.


El Paso (TX) Least Literate City

For the second year in a row, El Paso (TX) ended up near the bottom of a list ranking literarcy in 79 of the largest cities in the US. Twenty-two variables including education, newspaper circulation rates; library resources; magazine and journal publishers; and other public documents. While Mayor Joe Wardy questioned the accuracy of the study, given El Paso's border status, he acknowleged that the city need to work on literarcy.

Carol Brey-Casiano, director of the El Paso Public Library and President of the American Library Association also commented:

"As a community, we have to make the commitment that we're going to continue to support libraries," Brey-Casiano said. "We're probably one of the number one tools you have in your tool kit to address these literacy issues."

More from the El Paso Times.


America's Most Literate Cities study

It's that time of year again, time to Rank America's Most Literate Cities. Minnesota's largest city and the Tex-Mex border town are at opposite ends of the spectrum in the study, which examines the extent to which residents of the nation's 79 largest cities behave in literate ways -- such as buying newspapers and books or borrowing library materials.

Indianapolis falls in the top half, ranking 27th overall; Fort Wayne placed 45th.

The country's largest cities appear well into the bottom half of the rankings: New York is 49, Chicago, 58, and Los Angeles, 68. Coverage all over the place.

Most literate cities
1. Minneapolis
2. Seattle
3. Pittsburgh
4. Madison, Wis.
5. Cincinnati
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Denver
8. Boston
9. Portland, Ore.
10. San Francisco


Literary 'crisis' a matter of quality, not quantity

The real literacy crisis has less to do with the number of people reading than with the narrowing range of books that Americans actually read. According to the report, all of ``one in six people reads 12 or more books in a year.'' Half the population never looks at any fiction, poetry or plays. This is, obviously, just pathetic. And what the NEA report fails to say is that most of those people have chosen the very same 12 books, starting with ``The Da Vinci Code,'' followed by a) the latest movie tie-in, and b) whatever Oprah Winfrey has recommended lately.

Read this interesting opinion at The Register-Guard.

100 Most Often Mispelled Words In English

JB writes " you happen to catch the misspelling of MISSPELLED in the title? It is one of the words on the list.LIBRARY makes the cut, too. (Do you cringe as I do when people say LIBERRY?)"Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for all your spelling ills. Here are the 100 words most often misspelled ('misspell' is one of them). Each word has a mnemonic pill with it and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word. Master the orthography of the words on this page and reduce the time you spend searching dictionaries by 50%.""


Detroit parents are paid to teach their kids to read

The Detroit Free Press reports on an experimental program designed to improve reading readiness in disadvantaged inner-city preschoolers. Parents are paid in cash for their involvement, to the tune of $10 per hour.


One City, One Book and voting.

Omaha, Nebraska is starting a One City, One Book program called, Omaha Reads. The library nominating committee narrowed public nominations down to six finalists. The people of Omaha are being asked to vote for the final selection via a ballot that was in the newspaper or on the website. Has anyone heard of another city that actually had people vote for the final book in one of these programs?


Dolly Parton's Book Program Goes Statewide in TN

Entertainer Dolly Parton has succeeded where many legislators and politicos have not. Tennessee has finally granted sufficient funding for a state-wide program entitled the "Imagination Library", which will guarantee that every child in the state will receive one book a month from birth to age five, which has proven to be the most critical time for children to develop an interest in books.

Here's the story from the Tennessean.



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