Submitted by birdie on January 2, 2009 - 3:23pm
Along with the families of Atif Irfan, a tax attorney, and his brother Kashif Irfan, an anesthesiologist, employees at AirTran Airways at Reagan Airport outside Washington DC also removed a family friend, Abdul Aziz. Aziz is a Library of Congress attorney (according to LinkedIn, he is a "Legal Information Analyst at Library of Congress") who was coincidentally taking the same flight and had been seen talking with the family. Story from CNN.
Further analysis on this incident from Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News and World Report, whose article is entitled "Does Muslim Family Booted From Plane Strengthen Case for Religious Literacy?"
Submitted by birdie on December 26, 2008 - 10:19am
Americans are doing less well than global competitors on a key index of literacy, according to a literacy survey by Central Connecticut State University.
From All Headline News: This study attempts to capture one critical index of our nation's well-being -- the literacy of its major cities--by focusing on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources. The information is compared against population rates in each city to develop a per capita profile of the city's "long-term literacy"-a set of factors measuring the ways people use their literacy-and thus presents a large-scale portrait of our nation's cultural vitality," Dr. Jack Miller, CCSU President says.
Submitted by birdie on December 19, 2008 - 6:43pm
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Arne Duncan to be the next Secretary of Education.
Gary Stager, "teacher educator, education journalist, speaker, school reformer" is not happy with the choice of Duncan, whose appointment he considers to be just another 'social promotion'.
CEO of Hooked on Phonics, Judy L. Harris, is not happy with what Gary Stager had to say about the appointment; specifically, ""Gary Stager is entitled to his opinions regarding President-elect Obama's selection of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education and education policy generally. However, it is unfortunate he has tried to trivialize my views by likening my company and its product -- Hooked on Phonics, a product that has helped millions of children learn to read -- to a sponge (with all due respect to the folks at ShamWow). " Here's the rest of her statement.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on December 16, 2008 - 12:57am
A eulogy for the printed page, and civilization as we know it.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on December 13, 2008 - 6:43am
A movie star and a prominent scientist have teamed up to reassure the public that childhood vaccines are safe and do not cause autism.
Amanda Peet, who starred in films including The X-Files: I Want To Believe and Syriana, is working with Paul Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Their goal is to counter the assault on vaccines led by celebrities including Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey and Holly Robinson Peete.
Full story on Morning Edition on NPR
Submitted by birdie on December 8, 2008 - 10:57am
Another good one from The New York Times about Book Groups and how they can become a scene of in-fighting, snobbery and recriminations, like "what's wrong with Oprah"?
"It’s a nice, high-minded idea to join a book group, a way to make friends and read books that might otherwise sit untouched. But what happens when you wind up hating all the literary selections — or the other members? Breaking up isn’t so hard to do when it means freedom from inane critical commentary, political maneuvering, hurt feelings, bad chick lit and even worse chardonnay."
"Who knew a book group could be such a soap opera?” said Barb Burg, senior vice president at Bantam Dell, which publishes many titles adopted by book groups. “You’d think it would just be about the book. But wherever I go, people want to talk to me about the infighting and the politics.”"
Submitted by birdie on November 25, 2008 - 9:02am
Mint Canyon (Santa Clarita, CA) Elementary School Principal Betsy Letzo has come up with some pretty wild ideas. But none have been as hair-raising as her latest reading-enhancement scheme, according to The Signal.
These were the conditions: If students could read and pass comprehension tests on more books that their teachers, the teachers had to sport a Mohawk for a day. Participating faculty lost the heated competition and walked around campus Monday with their hair sprayed into long, stiff, colorful Mohawks. Check out the photo!!
Submitted by birdie on November 14, 2008 - 1:36pm
Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging families in Illinois to spend time together reading on the evening of Thursday, November 20th to celebrate the Secretary of State's annual Family Reading Night.
"This special event is a night when parents and children are encouraged to turn off the television, computers, video games and other forms of entertainment and spend time reading together," White said. "Studies have shown that reading together makes families stronger, creates a positive learning environment, and helps children develop a love for reading that can last a lifetime." QC Online.
Submitted by Lee Hadden on November 3, 2008 - 7:45pm
The New York Times has an interesting essay by Jon Meacham on Oct. 31, 2008, on what presidents read, and what books influenced their lives.
Andrew Jackson was, to put it kindly, no scholar. When Harvard voted to give him an honorary degree in 1833, a Massachusetts newspaper wrote that he deserved an “A.S.S.” along with his “L.L.D.” From afar, the man Jackson had defeated for the White House, John Quincy Adams, was horrified his alma mater was recognizing a barbarian who could barely spell his own name.
As usual, though, the press and Jackson’s enemies did not have the man exactly right. I just finished five years of work on Jackson and his White House years, and I found that the reconstruction of his literary interests, from youth to old age, illuminated much about the arrangement of his intellectual furniture. His heroic sense of possibility? He loved Jane Porter’s novel “The Scottish Chiefs.” His thunderous rhetorical habit of posing a question and then answering it? He grew up memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism of the Presbyterian Church. His provincial obsession with manners, bearing and etiquette? He was a fan of Lord Chesterfield’s letters. His reflexive characterization of enemies like Henry Clay as “Judases” and his dependence on imagery from the Old Testament? He cherished the Bible and his late wife’s copy of Isaac Watts’s translation of the Psalms. His shrewd political sense? He was an unlikely admirer of the French philosopher Fénelon’s “Telemachus,” a kind of Machiavellian guide to ruling wisely. ..
Submitted by Lee Hadden on November 3, 2008 - 11:19am
"Calling All Pets", a radio program on National Public Radio, had an interesting program today on "assistance dogs" who help children read. These are "Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ)", which permits children to read to dogs rather than to other kindergarten children or teachers. "11/01/2008 on Calling All Pets: There's a new kind of "assistance dog" in town, and it's here to help your child learn to read.
Submitted by birdie on October 7, 2008 - 5:03pm
Things aren't improving fast enough or far enough, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia, and particularly among women.
U.S. First Lady Laura Bush was at U.N. headquarters in New York Tuesday to spotlight the need for improved literacy. The statistics are daunting, 774 million people worldwide cannot read and write. Two-thirds of them are women. Seventy-five million children do not attend school. And in Africa, only 61 percent of adults can read and write, compared with the world average of about 82 percent.
More from the Voice of America.
Submitted by birdie on October 6, 2008 - 12:15pm
It's not just going on in libraries and bookstores. The Church is now into the reading marathon thing. The text of course is what many call "the Good Book", and the first reader, the Pope (is he Catholic? yes).
AP reports: ROME, Italy (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI's "In the beginning" started off a weeklong Bible-reading marathon on Italian television Sunday.
RAI state TV began its program called "The Bible Day and Night," with Benedict reciting the first chapter of the book of Genesis -- the holy text's opening verses about the creation of the world.
The marathon will feature more than 1,200 people reading the Old and New Testament in over seven days and six nights. While the pope recited his segment from the Vatican, most of the reading will be done live in Rome's Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, a basilica built in the fourth century.
On a somewhat similar subject, October is Church Libraries Month. Here are two Church Library Organizations National Church Libraries Association and Evangelical Church Libraries Association.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on October 6, 2008 - 12:05pm
Today in the New York Times:
Publishers, authors and even libraries are embracing video games to promote books to young readers.
When PJ Haarsma wrote his first book, a science fiction novel for preteenagers, he didn’t think just about how to describe Orbis, the planetary system where the story takes place. He also thought about how it should look and feel in a video game.
The online game that Mr. Haarsma designed not only extends the fictional world of the novel, it also allows readers to play in it. At the same time, Mr. Haarsma very calculatedly gave gamers who might not otherwise pick up a book a clear incentive to read: one way that players advance is by answering questions with information from the novel.
“You can’t just make a book anymore,” said Mr. Haarsma, a former advertising consultant. Pairing a video game with a novel for young readers, he added, “brings the book into their world, as opposed to going the other way around.”
Full article here.
Submitted by birdie on October 2, 2008 - 9:54am
From Shelf-Awareness today: Among the many volunteer readers, Matt Phillips, a librarian at the Twin Hickory Public Library, Glen Allen, VA and his daughter Sydney read Where's Waldo by Martin Handford (No. 88 on the ALA's top 100 banned and challenged books 1990-2000) in the library's Banned Books Weeks window. Adrienne Minock, teen librarian at Twin Hickory, wrote that the window has "gotten a lot of attention. We hear a lot of 'Mom, what are those people doing in there?' The best part has been hearing parents explain to their kids what the display is all about, which is exactly what we wanted to happen!"
Submitted by birdie on September 25, 2008 - 7:33am
After leaving the White House Laura Bush plans to continue promoting literacy through the United Nations and the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas.
The AP reports that the first lady, who will host the National Book Festival on Saturday, also said she hopes her signature Washington event becomes a lasting tradition -- and she'll whisper something about that to the next first lady. This is the eighth year for the book festival, which will be covered on BookTVon CSpan-2 all day Saturday.
Will we miss having a librarian in the White House?
Submitted by birdie on August 28, 2008 - 3:59pm
There are lots of reasons to have a valid and up to date library card, but here's one you might not have thought of...
In keeping with National Library Card Sign Up Month, the local independent bookstore La Vieille Maison des Livres announces a free book giveaway. Bring your new (dated September 2008) library card and receive a free children's book. This offer is open to all new library sign ups by children of Union County (PA) in grades 1-6.
Hopefully Mom & Dad will also shop around and find something to their liking at the bookshop and keep their dollars in the community.
Submitted by birdie on August 25, 2008 - 10:25am
It completely makes sense, but does it happen at school systems around the country? And do parents follow through?
On September first, the Arlington (TX) Public Library is launching a campaign to get library cards into the hands of the estimated 50,000 children who attend pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
Students who attend schools in the city limits will receive an application to take home to their parents. Once the application is signed, children can receive their card at the library or through the mail, Libraries Director Cary Siegfried said. More from the Star-Telegram.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on August 3, 2008 - 12:33pm
When Jamie Comer graduated from high school at age 21, gone were the in-depth assignments and hours of homework that had long challenged him.
As Comer, who has Down syndrome, began to gradually lose critical thinking skills without the aid of vigorous schoolwork, his mother struggled to find opportunities to keep him mentally sharp.
"People have always assumed that people like Jamie don't really have opinions on anything remotely complex," said his mother, Nancy Comer, 64, of Port Washington. "They're just expected to work and be happy."
But Nancy Comer wanted more for her son, now 29, and other adults with developmental disabilities. Five years ago, with the help of like-minded advocates and the Port Washington Public Library, she formed Books for Dessert, a book club - thought to be the only one of its kind on Long Island - for adults with intellectual disabilities.
Full story here.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 27, 2008 - 12:35am
Books are not Nadia Konyk’s thing. Her mother, hoping to entice her, brings them home from the library, but Nadia rarely shows an interest.
Instead, like so many other teenagers, Nadia, 15, is addicted to the Internet. She regularly spends at least six hours a day in front of the computer here in this suburb southwest of Cleveland.
A slender, chatty blonde who wears black-framed plastic glasses, Nadia checks her e-mail and peruses myyearbook.com, a social networking site, reading messages or posting updates on her mood. She searches for music videos on YouTube and logs onto Gaia Online, a role-playing site where members fashion alternate identities as cutesy cartoon characters. But she spends most of her time on quizilla.com or fanfiction.net, reading and commenting on stories written by other users and based on books, television shows or movies.
Full story in the New York Times
Submitted by birdie on July 24, 2008 - 6:27pm
David Mazor started his "Reader to Reader" program by trying to determine which town in which state was the poorest; then he called up the school librarian there and offered free books. This was eight years ago, and according to the Christian Science Monitor, the program based on the campus of Amherst College is still going strong and benefiting thousands of students across the U.S.