Ambient Librarian is honored by Oklahoma Magazine

Tulsa City-County Library Literacy Coordinator Jennifer Greb (a.k.a. Jenn2.0, webmistress of the Ambient Librarian wiki on Library2.0 topics) has been honored by Oklahoma Magazine as one of their "40 Under 40". This is a list of 40 young movers and shakers around the state. Nice to see libraries getting that kind of forward-looking reputation!

Thai Princess calls for more libraries

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn expressed her concern that Thai children in rural areas did not have access to books because there were not enough libraries.

The princess was speaking at the opening ceremony of Bangkok International Book Fair 2007 at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre.
"Only when these children have an opportunity to learn from books can Thai society truly become a learning society," she said.

UK Schools refuse gifts of 'boring' classics

Dozens of schools have rejected gifts of free classic books because today's pupils find them too 'difficult' to read, it has emerged.

Around 50 schools have refused to stock literary works by the likes of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens after admitting that youngsters also find them boring.

The worrying figures were released by the Millennium Library Trust, which donates sets of up to 300 books to schools across the country.

Books: Liver...or Ice Cream?

Two childrens book author/librarians, Gina Macaluso and Mary Margaret Mercado have a pretty basic approach to helping kids learn to read.

"The kids who love to read will be the most successful," Mercado said. In her eyes, books can be liver or ice cream: good for you, or really yummy.
She and Macaluso, at the Pima County (AZ) Public Library, want kids to get started reading books that are yummy like ice cream, "then they'll develop a palate for everything else and learn to eat more than just ice cream," Mercado said. More from Arizona Daily Star.

No Such Thing as Ownership: The Library

Here's a sweet essay (Guardian Unlimited) from a UK dad who, owing to the new baby in his life, has rediscovered the public library.

But maybe I can drag out her pre-consumer phase, postpone the day when owning the toy becomes more important than chewing the wrapper. So I take her to a magical place where there is no such thing as ownership, only learning and sharing. I take her to the library.

The Choicest of Syllables, A Buzz Saw of Buzzwords

From The New York Times, the catchiest catch phrases and most repeated buzzwords of this year. Times reporter Frank Bruni was "the Decider."


Literate Lives: A Human Right.

"Literacy is not an end in itself. It is a fundamental human right." (UNESCO, 1975). It is linked to other fundamental rights--rights that are universal, indivisible, interconnected and interdependent.
Becoming literate involves much more than language use and singular routes to language acquisition. It calls literate beings to recognize socio-political contexts of teaching and learning, image multiple possibilities for literate activity, and act as agents of change. As educators we have the responsibility to make visible the complexities of becoming literate in the new millennium. This year's National Council of Teachers of English summer institute will focus on literacy as a human right.
--See A Librarian at the Kitchen Table.

[Thanks, TK].


UK: Reading Scheme 'Saves Taxpayer'

GSO writes "The BBC reports:

The research said there were costly problems linked to poor literacy, like truancy and poor employment prospects.

The Every Child A Reader scheme puts specialist literacy teachers into schools to give intensive one-to-one support to those six-year-olds most in need."


Braille Letters from Santa Claus

Jane Karp writes "National Federation of the Blind Partners with Santa Claus

to Support Braille Literacy

Blind Children to Receive Letters in Braille

NORTH POLE (November 28, 2006): The National Federation of the Blind,
the nation's oldest and largest consumer organization of the blind, and
the leading promoter of Braille literacy in the United States,
announced today that as Christmas approaches the Federation will be
providing a special service for children who read Braille. Blind
children who wish to send Braille letters to Santa will be able to
submit their letters to the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan
Institute, which will then Braille Santa's response. For more information about the Braille
Letters from Santa Program, visit our Web site at website.


Increasingly, Libraries are the Place to Learn English

Journalistic snapshot of an ESL class in a Boston suburb from the Globe demonstrates the significance of libraries in teaching English to immigrants.


Easy Reading Plaza's in Dutch Libraries

TransLibrarian writes "An Easy Reading Plaza is the number one hit in Dutch public libraries.An Easy Reading Plaza is a special area in the library for children with reading difficulties. Recently there is far more awareness of the problems that children with reading difficulties experience in later life when their reading abilities are not up to the levels required by modern society. Many local authorities therefore see an Easy Reading Plaza in their local library as a valuable contribution to tackling this problem. More on this subject on"


Early Repairs in Foundation for Reading

Children with severe reading problems usually struggle for years before getting the help they need. But a growing number of neurologists and educators say that with the latest diagnostic tests, children at high risk for these problems can be identified in preschool and treated before they ever begin to read. More from the New York Times.


Yo, Read Y'all!

Adri writes "Oklahoma's literacy campaign Read Y'all has gotten AP headlines for its latest poster girl Carrie Underwood. Mind you plenty of folks are complaining about the use of Y'all in the campaign..." Well it beats the "Don't Read" campaign. But why do all these contrived efforts to be folksy remind me of that Appalachian State University video?


Florida students read aloud together for record books

Florida students read aloud together for record books: Gov. Jeb Bush joined hundreds of thousands of Florida middle-school students Thursday to try to set a new world record for people reading aloud at the same time.

Big assist: Pistons help renovate Lewton Elementary library

The Detroit Pistons are turning a tired Lansing school library into an attention-grabbing learning arena.

Lewton Elementary School will become the first school outside Metro Detroit to receive a specially designed "Live, Learn and Play Center" from the NBA franchise during a grand opening Tuesday.

But the room's transformation - with team colors, new technology and a basketball court corner - already has enticed little fans to reconsider reading.

Latinos discuss how libraries inspired them, changed lives

In all, nine prominent Latinos shared their memories of public libraries Saturday at the San Antonio (Texas) Central Library during a program called " Testimonios: How the Library Changed My Life."
For architect Jose Garcia de Lara, the public library was an institution of higher learning. He said college was not part of his family, but he knew he wanted to be an architect. So he read every book he could find on architecture. - For Delta Librarian, The End

kctipton writes "Longtime librarian and library director Ronnie Wise is taking early retirement from his 30-year post in the Mississippi Delta and the LATimes is there to report on it (but free registration may be required to read the story, which is apparently a long Page 1 Feature).

How many have learned to read because of Wise? He lost count long ago. Hundreds, maybe thousands. He doesn't care. As director of libraries for Bolivar County, one of America's least literate places, where 41% of 40,000 residents can't read, Wise keeps his mind on what needs doing, not what's been done, which might be why he looks so cranky.

He glances out his office and spots someone headed toward Fiction, meaning another reader will soon discover the picklock words of Flannery O'Connor or Joseph Conrad, another person will soon escape the Delta, using one of Wise's libraries as the point of departure. Such is the hope, anyway, that's given shape to Wise's last 30 years.

It's a long time for anybody at one job, 30 years. For Wise it feels like 130, because he's spent most of it fighting arsonists, bureaucrats, censors, racists, tornadoes, apathy, poverty, thieves — and mold, that insidious green carpetbagger. He used to enjoy a good, clean fight, but less so lately. Lately, the hours have felt like days, the days like compressed eternities.

But eternity ends today. Come 5 o'clock, Wise is taking early retirement.

It's not a pretty story overall, how he busted his ass for 30 years begging for money and space for expanding the system, and how he used it extraordinarily wisely and effectively."


No Need for Reading?

Anonymous Patron writes "Interesting piece in USA Today about the future of reading "long" pieces of text.

Full story on


"Revenge of the Book Eaters" - a Tour to Promote Children's Literacy

Starting on a six-city tour, the Revenge of the Book Eaters may (or may not) be coming to a theater near you (shows now through October in NYC, Chicago, LA, SF, Seattle and Ann Arbor). Stars of comedy (Jon Stewart), rock (David Byrne) and the literary world (Dave Eggers) will appear to help raise money for non-profit writing centers for children. The unique title of the show comes from a story written at a Brooklyn-based writing center by ten-year-old Rafaello Adler-Abramo.

Literacy Resources from the UN for International Literacy Day

Friday, September 8 is International Literacy Day (not to mention, 2003 - 2012 is the Literacy Decade). Today nearly 800 million people aged over 15 are illiterate and two-thirds of them are women.

The UN lists a variety of websites with statistics and resources here and from UNESCO, information on the history of International Literacy Day and activities around the world here.



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