Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Literacy & the Workforce

Mounting Pressures Facing the U.S. Workforce and the Increasing Need for Adult Education and Literacy
National Commission on Adult Literacy – 2007

The U.S. still has the best-educated workforce in the world, an advantage due to the superior education attainment levels of the a generation that is swiftly approaching the age of retirement.

Those now entering the U.S. workforce have not attained the same level of education as their counterparts in other countries. The U.S. has been stuck at the essentially the same level for 30 years.

The education pipeline is leaking seriously at every point:

~ too few complete high school
~ too few high school graduates are going to college
~ too few college entrants are getting degrees

The U.S. will unlikely be able to regain its place of primacy by 2025. A return to a position of being the best-educated nation in the world will take an extraordinary effort at this juncture.

The Challenge: how does America successfully reengage adults who have too little education to hold living wage jobs. Failure puts the nation at risk. Rising to this challenge will require developing new strategies and new tools.

The old ones have proven to be insufficient to the task !
-based on “Authors’ Introduction & Executive Summary”

Can California Import Enough College Graduates to Meet Workforce Needs ?
Public Policy Institute of California – May 2007

Economic projections for California indicate a continuation of the trend toward a more highly skilled economy. But projections of educational attainment for the future population tend to predict a wide gap between the levels of skills the population is likely to possess and the level of skills the economy is likely to need.

For another similar report about Workforce and Literacy: America’s Perfect Storm

Monday, May 21, 2007

Health Literacy

A Screening Tool
The Newest Vital Sign (NVS) is a bilingual (English and Spanish) screening tool that identifies patients at risk for low health literacy. The NVS is Pfizer’s most recent contribution to the health literacy movement, and was researched by Barry D. Weiss, MD, The University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Screening Tool and Scoring Sheets in English and Spanish.

What are the top 3 things hospitals need to know about Health Literacy ?
Hospital Impact: May 2007 Interview with Interview with Mark Achler, CEO of Emmi Solutions by Tony Chen.

1. It’s a bigger problem than most of us may realize. Over 90 million Americans have difficulty understanding and acting on health information. Even well-educated people have trouble understanding instructions on pill bottles, discharge sheets, informed consent documents, and the brochures and handouts that are supposedly there to help.

2. The health literacy problem is a patient satisfaction problem. It’s a quality and safety problem. It’s a risk problem.

3. Health literacy has huge economic consequences for hospitals. The IOM found that the US healthcare system spends an average of $993 every year per patient with low health literacy in excess hospitalization expenses. So, improving the health literacy level of patients should be on the top of hospital leaders to do lists and action items. It’s fundamental.

3 Little Questions Can Help Address Health Care Literacy
Columbia Missourian 2007
Ever leave your doctor’s office more confused about your health issues than when you walked in? You might be suffering from more than physical ailments.
Low “health literacy,” an individual’s ability to obtain, process and understand health information and the services needed to make appropriate decisions and follow instructions for treatment, can put you at risk for unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency treatment and medication errors.
Ask Me 3, The Partnership for Clear Health Communication’s community-based educational initiative, visits senior centers, elderly housing, community centers and churches to teach seniors three simple queries:
~ What is my main problem ?
~ What do I need to do ?
~ Why is it important for me to do this ?

Prescription Picture Cards by PictureRx
on the horizon and looks useful; what is the cost ? who pays ?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Recent Cightings: Music

Huntington Beach P L - Music in the library

Westport CT – oldest entries first to most recent

Memphis music @ your library

The Music Blog - Cuyahoga Library's 'Allergy Playlist'

Friday, May 11, 2007

Literacy in Prisons

The rate of incarceration in U.S. federal and state prisons (does not include jails) increased from 332 pr 100,000 in 1992 to 487 per 100,000 in 2003. On average, prison sentences were longer in 2003 than in 1992. Violent crime was the most common reason for imprisonment.

The prison population was larger, older, and somewhat better educated in 2003 than in 1992.

In general, either prison inmates had lower average literacy skills than adults living in households with the same level of education; or, there was no significant statistical difference between the two groups.

The exception: among adults without any high school education, prison inmates had higher average literacy skills than adults living in households.
Make a Site Visit:

Prison Book Program - Where Books Open Doors
~ a grassroots organization that sends free books to prisoners; since 1972.

Correctional Education Facts – National Institute for Literacy
Circle of Literacy ~ with list of programs by state

Friday, May 4, 2007

Helvetica - 50th Anniversary

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Helvetica
~ lettering that is both familiar and invisible

Light a candle, woodja or make a site visit or check out some books:

An exhibition at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York

Documentary film by Gary Hustwit – Helvetica
~ screenings, info, etc.

Haiku contest – March 23 was the deadline; winners posted soon
~ take a look at some of the submissions posted

Oh Helvetica !
Your umlaut looks like a ring
Of precious diamonds

Love/Hate Helvetica Contest
an ode, a rant, whatever – up to 200 words long

Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man
Marshall Marshall McLuhan
~ the medium IS the message

~ the invention of printing press technology and the sharp rise in literacy it occasioned
brought about a major seismic shift in Western thought
University of Toronto Press, 1962
ISBN: 0802060412

Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 1450-1800
Lucien Febvre, Henri-Jean Martin (With)
~ a taken-for-granted aspect of the words that people read.

Analytical Psychology Club, SF, 1997
ISBN: 1859841082

Letter Jesters
Cathryn Falwell
~ 2 little jesters, Alfonzo and Betty, and their dog, Typo;
introduce children to typography.
Houghton Mifflin, 1994
ISBN: 0395668980

@ Your Local Library: CalCalt - WorldCat

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Get Caught Reading Month

Curl up with a good book this month and Get Caught Reading.
A nationwide campaign to remind everyone how much fun it is to read.

Started in 1999, "Get Caught Reading" is the brainchild of former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Association of American Publishers.

This year’s featured celebrity is Yoda; who is also celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars. Yoda’s poster and other posters of celebrities caught reading are available from

May 1 – Mother Goose Day
Get Caught reading Mother Goose – use nursery rhymes to teach the ABC’s, counting and vocabulary in entertaining ways. Search
to find Mother Goose books @ your local library.

4 Mother Goose Sites of Interest . . . .

Mother Goose Rhymes
ideas, silly rhymes and illustrated rhymes from the Germantown Academy in PA
rhymes, recipes, finger plays and more
teaching units, coloring pages, quizzes and more
Sunday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 18
El Cajon CA