Literacy

How's Your Samizdat?

Great word for Banned Books Week...samizdat.

from Anu Garg's A.Word.A.Day PRONUNCIATION: (SAH-miz-daht)

MEANING:
noun: An underground publishing system used to print and circulate banned literature clandestinely. Also, such literature.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Russian samizdat, from samo- (self) + izdatelstvo (publishing house), from izdat (to publish). Coined facetiously on the model of Gosizdat (State Publishing House).

One Man's Opinion: How to Raise Boys Who Read

WSJ.com - Opinion: How to Raise Boys Who Read. The authors hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes.

Fight for Libraries As You Do for Freedom

A very powerful op-ed piece by novelist Karin Slaughter in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"My father and his eight siblings grew up in the kind of poverty that America doesn’t like to talk about unless something like Katrina happens, and then the conversation only lasts as long as the news cycle. His family squatted in shacks. The children scavenged the forest for food. They put cardboard over empty windowpanes so the cold wouldn’t kill them.

Books did not exist here. When your kids are starving, you can’t point with pride to a book you’ve just spent six hours reading. Picking cotton, sewing flour bags into clothes — those were the skills my father grew up appreciating.

And yet, when he noticed that I, his youngest daughter, showed an interest in reading, he took me to our local Jonesboro library and told me that I could read any book in the building so long as I promised to talk to him about it if I read something I didn’t understand. I think this is the greatest gift my father ever gave me. Though he was not a reader himself, he understood that reading is not just an escape. It is access to a better way of life."

Read more: AJC.

Sony Has Dave Farrow Reading Aloud to Promote Its Readers & Help Canadian Libraries

Dave Farrow, who overcame dyslexia and ADHD to become a world-famous speed reader and Guinness World Record holder, is living and reading in a front window display at the Sony Centre in Toronto. For every book he reads, Sony will donate 2 Reader™ digital books to public libraries across Canada. Watch live on Facebook.

Beginning this past Tuesday, consumers were and are invited to view Farrow's progress and additional world record attempts online (also via Facebook). If you're in the Toronto area, you can also visit the newly renovated Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in person at One Front Street East in Toronto at the south-east corner of Yonge and Front Streets, where Farrow will be reading and living from September 7 through 24th. Consumers who visit the Sony Centre can receive an in-person demonstration of the new Reader Pocket and Touch Editions, "relief-read" for Dave Farrow, enter to win great prizes, and enjoy free frozen yogurt bars from 10:30-1pm daily.

Read more: SONY BRINGS DIGITAL READING EXPERIENCE TO LIFE WITH THE GLOBAL LAUNCH OF ITS STYLISH NEW LINE OF READERS - FierceMobileContent http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/press-releases/sony-brings-digital-reading-experience-lif...

September 8 is International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education.

Celebrate International Literacy Day by joining IRA on either September 7 or September 8 for webinars on Building Support for Effective Reading Instruction featuring IRA President Patricia Edwards, Richard Carson (Rotary Representative to the OAS) and Instructor Judy Backlund (IRA member and Rotary Club President). The webinar will be held twice, so choose the time that works best for you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST
This is a virtual event. Go to this URL to join the Tuesday webinar...or

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. EST
This is a virtual event. Go to this URL to join the Wednesday webinar.

Other live events, fact sheets, celebration ideas and award certificates can be found at the IRA Website.

Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age

Many students simply do not grasp that using words they did not write is a serious academic misdeed.

Excerpt:

“This generation has always existed in a world where media and intellectual property don’t have the same gravity,” said Ms. Brookover, who at 31 is older than most undergraduates. “When you’re sitting at your computer, it’s the same machine you’ve downloaded music with, possibly illegally, the same machine you streamed videos for free that showed on HBO last night.”

Ms. Brookover, who works at the campus library, has pondered the differences between researching in the stacks and online. “Because you’re not walking into a library, you’re not physically holding the article, which takes you closer to ‘this doesn’t belong to me,’ ” she said. Online, “everything can belong to you really easily.”

Full story in the NYT

So-Called 'Digital Natives' Not Media Savvy, New Study Shows

During the study, one of the researchers asked a study participant, "What is this website?" The student answered, "Oh, I don't know. The first thing that came up."

That exchange sums up the overall results from this study: many students trusted in rankings above all else. In fact, a quarter of the students, when assigned information-seeking tasks, said they chose a website because - and only because - it was the first search result.

Full article at ReadWriteWeb

Readers Are Abandoning Print, Yet Don’t Trust the Web

A new report finds that even as people abandon print publications, they distrust the information they read online.

Full piece at the NYT Bits Blog

Novel Approach: Reading Courses as an Alternative to Prison

And now...the other side of the coin. How enforced reading can help rehabilitate former and would-be offenders as reported by the Guardian UK. The program, Changing Lives Through Literature, is described here.

When Mitchell Rouse was convicted of two drug offences in Houston, the former x-ray technician who faced a 60-year prison sentence – reduced to 30 years if he pleaded guilty – was instead put on probation and sentenced to read.

"I was doing it because it was a condition of my probation and it would reduce my community hours," Rouse recalls. The 42-year-old had turned to meth as a way of coping with the stress of his job at a hospital where he frequently worked an 80-hour week. Fearing for his life, Mitchell's wife turned him into the authorities. "If she hadn't, I would be dead or destitute by now," he says. -- Read More

The Medium Is the Medium

Opinion piece by David Brooks

Recently, book publishers got some good news. Researchers gave 852 disadvantaged students 12 books (of their own choosing) to take home at the end of the school year. They did this for three successive years.

Then the researchers, led by Richard Allington of the University of Tennessee, looked at those students’ test scores. They found that the students who brought the books home had significantly higher reading scores than other students. These students were less affected by the “summer slide” — the decline that especially afflicts lower-income students during the vacation months. In fact, just having those 12 books seemed to have as much positive effect as attending summer school.

Full piece

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