Literacy

Literacy

Operation Teen Book Drop: getting 10,000 books into the hands of Native American teens

Operation Teen Book Drop: getting 10,000 books into the hands of native American teens. Nationwide, librarians, over 100 YA authors, YA lit lovers, and teens will drop YA books in their own communities on April 15th, 2010, to raise awareness for Operation TBD 2010 and Support Teen Literature Day. They will participate further by purchasing books from the TBD Powell's Wish Lists during National Library Week.

Trouble for RIF

Changes in the way the federal government plans to allocate money to increase and improve literacy pose a severe threat to one of the country’s best-known nonprofit groups, Reading Is Fundamental.

Known commonly as RIF, the organization, which provides free books to needy children and has been promoted in memorable public service announcements by celebrities like Carol Burnett and Shaquille O’Neal, stands to lose all of its federal financing, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of its annual revenues.

“We are looking at having to completely reinvent ourselves,” said Carol Rasco, chief executive of RIF, which has received an annual grant from the Department of Education for 34 years.

Story from the New York Times.

The iPad and the Toddler

In the video embedded above (via MediaBistro), a two-and-a-half year old girl gets her first experience with an iPad. The video gives us a glimpse of how the next generation of readers will read--reminding publishers that this generation will take interactivity for granted. Here's more from Telstar Logistics' YouTube account: "A fascinating UI experiment. My daughter likes playing with my iPhone, but this was her very first encounter with an iPad. As you'll see, she took right to it... although she too wonders why it doesn't have a camera!" What do you think? Anybody else sharing their iPads with kids? (Via Kim Werker)

Turning Green With Literacy

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/opinion/17cahill.html?ref=opinion">NY Times OP-Ed by Thomas Cahill</a> on something else to celebrate every March 17th; "Why should we celebrate the Irish? No doubt, several reasons could be proffered. But for me one answer stands out. Long, long ago the Irish pulled off a remarkable feat: They saved the books of the Western world and left them as gifts for all humanity."

Web Illiteracy: How Much Is Your Fault?

Web Illiteracy: How Much Is Your Fault?
These are ways of writing which bring about undesired consequences, and yet bloggers and other members of the technological elite use them all the time. Is this part of the new illiteracy? The funny thing about the patterns in these misunderstandings is that they predate the Web. Newspapers receive misdirected mail for celebrities. Scientists receive email from people who want help registering a patent. ...The Internet simply makes this kind of confusion more obvious to the rest of us.

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic



"It's been a long, hard road," says Michael Jernigan, USMC (Ret.) Severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Jernigan is rebuilding his life by attending Georgetown University with the help of audio textbooks from RFB&D. This video has been awarded a 2008 Platinum Award by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals. Jernigan was also recently featured in the acclaimed HBO documentary "Alive Day," hosted by James Gandolfini.
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Boys prefer to read simpler books, survey suggests

Boys prefer to read simpler books, survey suggests
Boys choose to read less challenging books than girls and this gets more pronounced as they get older, according to a UK-wide survey of reading habits.

The study of 100,000 five to 16-year-olds found for most age groups the difficulty of books chosen by girls was "far ahead" of those chosen by boys.

Separated by Distance, But Reading Together with Readeo

Shelf Awareness children's editor Jennifer M. Brown is working with Readeo's CEO and founder Coby Neuenschwander to launch the new service, which promotes shared reading over the Internet.

Readeo (try it for free) allows two people who are separated geographically (such as a grandparent and grandchild or a military parent and his or her child) to share books together in real time while connected in a BookChat (in which they can see each other via a video connection). On the screen, they see the same digitized picture book and turn the pages together.

Readeo is launching with well-known titles from four publishing partners: Blue Apple Books, Candlewick Press, Chronicle Books, and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. In her role as editor on the site, Brown works with Readeo's publishing partners to select the titles she believes best enhance the read-aloud experience.

Behind the Wheel of a Bookmobile

From Book Patrol: It started innocently enough. Over dinner a friend mentioned that he saw a used bookmobile for sale on Craigslist and wished he could by it. That was all the impetus Tom Corwin needed.

He was soon off to suburban Chicago to buy the decommissioned bookmobile. He paid $7500 for it.

Corwin has already garnered the support of the National Book Foundation, the Association of American Publishers and the American Library Association for the project and has signed a deal with Whitewater Films in Los Angeles for the documentary which will be titled "Behind the Wheel of the Bookmobile." The film will also include information on the history of bookmobiles.

Authors that have already signed up in support include Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Junot Diaz, Tom Robbins and Scott Turow, with many of them to take a turn at the wheel...here they are.

Follow the tour on the website and on Twitter.

Library Signals Hope for Tamil Minority in Sri Lanka

Decades of civil strife have left their mark on Jaffna, the heartland of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. Bombed-out buildings are a reminder of the fierce battles waged over the historic city.

The most potent symbol of the struggle, and the uneasy peace since fighting ended last May, is Jaffna’s public library, which was torched in 1981 by an anti-Tamil mob. Nearly 100,000 books and manuscripts, including irreplaceable palm-leaf Tamil texts, went up in smoke. It was an act of cultural vandalism that fed the Tamil resistance movement.

Eventually the library was rebuilt by Sri Lanka’s government and reopened in 2003. It has plenty of new books in Tamil and English on its wooden shelves. But restoring the spirit of the library presents a far greater challenge, says the chief librarian, S. Thanabaalasinham.

C.S. Monitor has the full story.

Stitching for Literacy

I've spent a good part of the last day at the first annual Bookmark Collector's Virtual Convention BMCVC, where one of the presenters was Jen Funk Weber, who has created a program called Needle and ThREAD, Stitching for Literacy.
shown here
-a two-sided bookmark based on the old chicken/frog joke-

From her website: "In an effort to promote both literacy and needlework, Funk & Weber Designs is designing bookmarks. A minimum of 10% of profits from sales of Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy bookmark patterns will be donated to libraries, schools, and/or literacy programs." Sounds like a wonderful program to be shared in libraries.

Check out her Bookmark Challenge Kit.

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

Bigger kids striving to get their younger peers to read

Bigger kids striving to get their younger peers to read
The K is for Kids Foundation was started by Karen Clawson as a county-wide spin-off to Laurel Oak Elementary School’s Bring a Book, Bring a Friend Fun’raisers. Parents and supporters of the school would bring books to an event to help stock the school’s media center.

“We started by telling our friends and telling our families and it grew from there,” said Clawson. “What we did for one school, we were able to do for eight school libraries last year.”

Frontline: digital nation

Frontline has a program called digital_nation life on the virtual frontier - You can see the full program by following the link Interview highlights Defender of the Books Do Books Have a Future

Sunday Night Ponderance

What would a transliteracy READ poster look like? Would it be someone holding a laptop? A smartphone or other mobile device? Or seated at a computer? Or a wifi router? Or e-reader? And, more importantly, why haven’t we seen one yet? I want to take a picture of me with my laptop with the banner page of my favorite blogs. That’s my READ poster.
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Private Readers, Public Readers

Motoko Rich's essay in the NYTimes "The Book Club With Just One Member", discusses the personal side of reading and how 'sharing' books, via GoodReads, Shelfari, Twitter, Facebook and book groups socializes the previously solitary occupation of reading.

You are invited to read others opinions and post your own about book groups, etc. here on the Arts Beat Blog.

It's Not 'Doomsday for Books' But A Bright Note for the English Language

From the embattled frontline of the Anglo-American books world there seems to be nothing but bad news. Borders has fallen. Waterstone's, once a mighty citadel, is beseiged. Well-known literary agents are scurrying round town in search of life-saving mergers. Advances have hit rock bottom. The celebrity memoir is going the way of the dodo. The ebook is the future. Libraries, comprehensively digitised by Google, have become mausoleums of an ossifying tradition.

But in his column in Guardian UK, columnist Robert McCrum finds the upside of publishing in 2010. He tells us that all is not lost; that the magic of the English language has gone beyond all those locations where the sun never sets and has completely encircled and embraced the globe. The emergence of English as a global communications phenomenon with a supra-national momentum that gives it an independence from its Anglo-American roots is at once thrilling and decisive.

These Libraries Are Going To The Dogs

Library cats have garnered nationwide media coverage recently. Not wishing to offend canine loving readers, today's post gives library dogs equal time. Libraries across the country from Swampscott, MA. to San Jose, CA. are making exceptions to that arcane "No Dogs Allowed " rule for a program proven to help struggling young readers.

New Envoy’s Old Advice for Children: Read More

Profile of 'Bridge to Terabithia' author Katherine Paterson, who is to be appointed the national ambassador for young people's literature today. Story in the New York Times.

She discusses her lonely childhood growing up as the daughter of missionaries in China, and her subsequent travels in Japan. "Books", she said, were "where the friends were."

Bookstore Night in Buenos Aires Encourages Reading

In Argentina over the weekend, Buenos Aires held its annual Noche de las Librerias — Bookstore Night. The city closes a main avenue, and places sofas and chairs where cars and trucks normally idle. People with books from the many bookstores lining the avenue, lounge in the seating and a festival atmospherel replaces traffic.

Story on Morning Edition

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