Monday, December 29, 2008

America's Most Literate Cities: 2008

America’s Most Literate Cities: 2008

Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States.

Central Connecticut State University's study focuses on 6 key indicators:
~ newspaper circulation
~ number of bookstores
~ library resources
~ periodical publishing resources
~ educational attainment
~ internet resources

2008 Top 10 Complete List @:
1.5: Minneapolis and Seattle
3: St. Paul
4: San Francisco
5: Atlanta
6: Denver
7: Boston
8: St Louis
10:5 Cincinnati and Portland

Watch: " Libraries Offer Free Relief from Tough Times " @ NBC News
photo from Reedsburg Public Library Blog

Friday, December 26, 2008

Literacy and Media Project

Literacy and Media Project - LAMP

Literacy Shorts: 5 minute films about literacy on Community Channel (UK)

Dec 25 at 22:55
David had never read a book in his life before he joined a men-only reading group in his local community centre. Now he reads the books on his driving breaks and is helping his children with homework.

Dec 27 at 19:55 and 23:55
For Hannah getting involved in RaW activities also means getting fit. The group she has joined combines creative writing and reading with walking in their local park every weekend.

Maggie dreaded going to work in case anyone asked her to write or spell anything. But reading the RaW magazine on lunch breaks inspired her to buy a PC and now emails relatives around the globe.

Dec 28 at 11:25
Maggie dreaded going to work in case anyone asked her to write or spell anything. But reading the RaW magazine on lunch breaks inspired her to buy a PC and now emails relatives around the globe.

Community Channel makes you think again about the world around you, and inspires you to take action on the causes and issues that matter to you. Broadcasting original shows, the best of terrestrial TV and showcasing the work of new directors and community programme makers, Community Channel is the place for real-life stories. Only TV station totally dedicated to highlighting issues from both local and international communities as well as the voluntary and charitable sectors.

~ launched in September 2000 as a three hour a day TV channel, mainly showing charity advertisements and selling charity merchandise.

~ broadcast 24 hours a day, every day, on Sky 539, Virgin TV 233.

~ a free-to-air TV station available to 16.5 million digital households in the UK.

LAMP: depiction, discussion and promotion of literacy and reading
on television and radio, in film, in print and in cyberspace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Works Clearinghouse


What Works Clearinghouse - WWC

Established in 2002, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education. An initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences:

~ Produces user-friendly practice guides for educators that address instructional challenges with research-based recommendations for schools and classrooms

~ Assesses the rigor of research evidence on the effectiveness of interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies), giving educators the tools to make informed decisions

~ Develops and implements standards for reviewing and synthesizing education research

~ Provides a public and easily accessible registry of education evaluation researchers to assist schools, school districts, and program developers with designing and carrying out rigorous evaluations.

What’s New

Houghton Mifflin: Invitations to Literacy Intervention Report Released (Dec 16)
This new Beginning Reading report looks at "Houghton Mifflin: Invitations to Literacy", an integrated K–8 reading and language arts program that is structured around themes and aims to stimulate, teach, and extend communication and thinking skills.

Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS) Report Released (Dec 16)
The "Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS)", formerly called the "Auditory Discrimination in Depth [ADD]" program, has been updated to include reviews of 12 studies that have been released since 2005.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stimulus Package - Adult Literacy

Economic Stimulus Package Must Provide Funds for Adult Literacy and Basic Education !
ProLiteracy - Action Alert: Dec 2008

Adult learners, especially those at the lowest literacy level, often struggle to make ends meet when the economy is strong. They are especially hard hit during times of economic recession.

Adult learners must have the necessary reading, writing, math, computer, and English-language skills to get jobs and keep them. Any economic stimulus bill that Congress considers must include money for programs that help adults gain these skills.

Tell your representatives and your Senators that there must be economic stimulus money for adult literacy and basic education programs !

Send an E-mail - Write a Letter - Call Your Representative Today !
- sample letter from ProLiteracy - Check Out the 100 Day Plan @

I encourage you to target a minimum of $50 million to adult literacy and basic education programs as part of any economic stimulus package brought to Congress for action.

An estimated 30 million adults in the U.S. can barely read and write. There is a higher rate of unemployment in this group than in the general population. Many work in low-skill and low-paying jobs. Of the one million jobs lost this year, many were these low-skill jobs. For many of the unemployed, training for higher-skill jobs will require learning the fundamentals of reading, of writing, and of speaking English.

Local adult literacy and basic education programs are committed to preparing these adults for work. Many community-based programs offer workplace literacy services and partner with community groups to get people working. But thousands of adults are already on waiting lists for tutors and teachers, and demand is likely to grow as jobs become scarcer.

$50 million in funding for these programs is just a modest increase. It would support just 62,500 new learners at an estimated $800 per student for a year of literacy instruction. Failure to provide even this minimum level of extra funding will cost local, state, and federal governments more in unemployment and public assistance benefits, health care costs, and increased crime rates.

I applaud any action that helps individuals get back to work, but action that does not include funding to help adults gain the skills they need to access new jobs is woefully incomplete.

Sincerely,

Find Your Representatives @ American Library Association
~ members of Congress, governors, state legislators, and more ~

photo: Southern California Library Literacy Network - SCLLN

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Book Buying Patterns: 2007

Looking At Who Buys What Where: Examining book consumers with Bowker's PubTrack
Publishers Weekly: Dec 1, 2008 by Jim Milliot

Teenagers largely bought their books at the national bookstore chains in 2007, while their grandparents shopped for books from a variety of outlets. That was one of the findings drawn from PubTrack Consumer, the R.R. Bowker service that uses a national online survey to track various aspects of consumer book-buying behavior and patterns.

Readers between 18 and 28 (Generation Y) showed the most different characteristics among the five groups measured. Generation Y was the only group where the Internet was the top source of book purchases, and they were the most comfortable buying nonprint products—digital downloads of audiobooks, e-books and other nonprint items accounted for 4% of purchases.

For the most part, consumers purchase a book because it falls into an area they're interested in. The leading reason cited for buying a book is the catch-all area of “adding to a collection.” Other reasons are closely related, such as buying a book because of the author, topic or main character. Price was a factor primarily for seniors and Gen Y groups. Such factors as cover art, author readings, and book reviews were well down the list.

Less than 1% of book buyers said they toss a book after they're done reading it. While most readers said they keep their books, the older readers are, the more likely they are to give away a book. The Gen Y age group is the most aggressive in selling their books. Graph for Gen Y @

Total number, book buyers, books purchases and dollars spent by age groups:
Teens: 13-17; Generation Y: 18-28; Generation X: 29-40; Boomers: 41-59; Matures: 60+


Figures for:
~ Favorite Categories
~ Formats
~ Top Reasons to Purchase
~ Where Book was Acquired
~ Disposition after Reading

Monday, December 1, 2008

State of Literacy Initiative

Make Your State a State of Literacy
First Book Blog: Nov 26, 2008 by Katie B.

First Book’s State of Literacy Initiative is an exciting, results-driven campaign uniting private-sector, education and community leaders with a common purpose: to raise literacy levels statewide.

Launching in four pilot states, California, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia, First Book’s goal is to raise $500,000 per state to bring 200,000 books to community programs, providing these programs with permanent access to educational resources from the First Book.

Get involved! First Book is looking for grassroots funders, partners, volunteers and book recipients. Visit the State of Literacy Web page to learn more about our work in your state and how you can participate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Levels of Literacy

Levels of literacy: Adult literacy declines in new age
Columbia Missourian: November 14, 2008 by Kelsi Stoltenow


COLUMBIA — Even if you can read this, you might still be illiterate.

Although Americans can read at roughly the same level they could in the early 1990s, the demands of work, family and civic life require higher levels of literacy than they did before.

In a 2007 academic report, "America's Perfect Storm," Andrew Sum, a professor in labor economics at Northeastern University in Boston, found by 2030, the average literacy levels of adults will have decreased by 5 percent.

If Sum's prediction is correct, it will be the first time in U.S. history that a generation is replaced with one less educated. Already this is evident in the workplace, at home and in the chronic illiteracy that persists in American society.

~ As the U.S. trades its old manufacturing jobs for high-tech computer jobs, fewer and fewer Americans have the literacy and other skills employers need their employees to have.

~ A child’s literacy level increases with the number of books at home, but the number of books any adult is likely to read and keep in the home grows smaller each year.

~ About $238 billion worth of medical-related mistakes are made each year in the U.S. because of citizens’ low health literacy.

~ In a seemingly borderless global civilization, there were still 7 million illiterate adults in the U.S. in 2003 (out of about 254 million adults).

A 2007 study [To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence] completed by the National Endowment of the Arts found employers identify lack of skills in written communication as the most common employee deficiency. Employers also cite reading comprehension as a common deficiency among employees.
READ MORE

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: November 2008



The Literacy Tribune has information for readers on topics such as health, finance, education and technology. It also has stories and poems by adult learners. It is published by United Literacy, as a resource and support for adult learners.

Highlights from the November 2008 issue:

Getting to the Heart of It
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Almost 700,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. each year . . . . .

A Learner's Poem: A Star Came Down
by Rodolfo Diaz, Adult Learner
A star came down from the sky bringing with it . . . . .


Technology Watch: Updating Windows XP with Service Pack 3
We have talked about the importance of anti-virus software to protect your computer. But, that is not the only way to keep your computer and your personal information safe . . . . .


A History Lesson: James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. Born in Port Conway, Virginia on March 16, 1751, he is one of 7 presidents from Virginia . . . .

Call for Writers !

Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.

You can write about:
Literacy resources you like

Your literacy organization
Your road to literacy
You can write book reviews, poetry, short stories
You can write articles about health, finance, or technology
You can write just about anything

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Global Monitoring Report 2006 - Literacy for Life

Global Monitoring Report 2006 - Literacy for Life

As in previous years, the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report examines progress towards 6 EFA goals.

The year 2005 was particularly significant:

~ the goal to achieve gender parity in primary and secondary education by 2005 has not been met, despite very rapid progress, especially in a number of low-income countries.

~ the vast majority of the world’s 771 million adult illiterates live in three regions: South and West Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and sub-Saharan Africa.

~ women continue to constitute a majority of the world’s illiterates:
64% - unchanged from 1990. At the global level, only 88 adult women are considered literate for every 100 adult men.

~ progress towards mass literacy is especially marked in the 15-24 age group, where expanded access to formal schooling helped raise the global literacy rate from 75% to 88% between 1970 and 2000–2004; the corresponding rates for developing countries were 66% and 85%.

Conventional literacy data show that the global literacy rate increased from:
56% in 1950
70% in 1980
75% in 1990
82% in 2000–2004
It is expected to reach about 86% by 2015

Worldwide, the adult literacy rate increased at a faster pace in the 1970s than in subsequent decades. In sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia, and the Arab States, literacy rates increased by more than 10% between 1990 and 2000.

Today, more than 80% of the global population over age 15 is reported to possess at least minimal reading and writing skills. This reflects an unprecedented social transformation since the mid-19th century, when only about 10% of the world’s adults could read or write.

The dramatic increase in adult literacy rates happened despite the quintupling of the world population, from about 1.2 billion in 1850 to over 6.4 billion today.

Friday, November 7, 2008

ALA Stimulus Package

ALA seeks $100 million in stimulus funding as U.S. libraries face critical cutbacks, closures
ALA Press Release: October 29, 2008

The American Library Association (ALA) is asking Congress for $100 million in stimulus funding to aid the nation’s working families during the current economic crisis. Aid is sought to stem the bleeding of critical library services that help Americans with job searches, small business development, financial literacy and other essential assistance in hard economic times.

Public libraries are facing the most severe cutbacks in decades as budget shortfalls hit cities, towns and rural areas across the country, according to the association. From Los Angeles to Boston, libraries are cutting hours and services; some are even facing the threat of closure at a time when their support is needed most.

ALA’s recommendation comes as Congress holds hearings this week on economic growth and job creation, including a Joint Economic Committee Hearing tomorrow.

Public libraries depend heavily on local property taxes to maintain operations. Across the country increased foreclosure rates, lower home values and fewer sales have sharply reduced available funds, forcing libraries to cut services and hours.

“America’s free public libraries provide a lifeline for citizens in need across the country,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “Ensuring Internet access, career workshops, business seminars and other economic support services are vital links in the nation’s financial recovery. This is no time to cut much-needed support, reduce hours or close library doors.”


Investments in libraries often yield high dividends for communities. Studies show economic returns from salaries and wages paid to staff, construction costs, employment services and library purchases. A recent Pennsylvania study points out that for every dollar invested in the public library, the community receives a return of $5.50. A similar report from Florida shows a $6.54 return on investment.

“Economic studies demonstrate the positive impact of spending in local communities,” said Joe Matthews, an internationally recognized expert on library management with an MBA degree from the University of California, Irvine.

“Known as the multiplier effect, every dollar spent in the community will ripple through the economy with an impact ranging from 7 to 11 times the initial spending,” he added. “The proposed stimulus spending for America’s public libraries will have an enormous impact on local economies, helping communities across the country get back on track financially.” Matthews is an acclaimed author and professor at San Joe [sic] University. READ MORE

Take Action !
Find elected officials:
President, Congress, Governors, State Legislators, and more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Library Ballot Measures: November 2008


November 2008 Election
Some Library Measures & Propositions

Winners (or winning)

California
Berkeley Measure FF passed with 67.7 percent of the vote
Fresno County library tax increase gets approved
Gilroy’s library bond a point off the magic number
Mill Valley School District voters passed Measure A
Palo Alto library bonds win with slight margin
Santa Paula Measure L approved with 67%
Colorado
Berthoud library initiative passes
Georgia

Fulton County library bond passes
New Mexico
Measure for tribal library books passes
New York
Johnson City: increase Union's library tax was approved
Ohio
Fairfield Library's .5-mil renewal makes grade with ease

Oregon
Clackamas County Library Measure passes
Utah
Springville says yes to library building bond


Losers

CO: Douglas County library funding loses
IL: Voters also said no to a for Abingdon's John Mosser Public
IL: Barrington Public Library lost
MA: Walpole, Brockton (Ma) funding increases defeated
NE: Dodge County, Voters reject library measure
WI: Hudson Library referendum turned down
WY: Jackson Hole voters reject new library proposal

Friday, October 31, 2008

Family Literacy Day: November 1

Family Literacy Day

T.V.
If kids are entertained by 2 letters,
imagine the fun they'll have with 26.
Open your child's imagination.
Open a book.
Anon
Family Literacy Benefits Everyone

Here are 5 easy tips for reading aloud to young children
~ Read to your child every day . . . for at least 30 minutes in total
~
Read for a few minutes at a time . . . children may only sit for a short time
~
Make the story come alive . . . create voices or sing about the pictures
~ Ask questions about the story . . . let your child ask questions too


~ For infants . . . choose simple, colorful cloth and vinyl books
~ For preschoolers . . . choose books with repetition and rhyme


Every year, 35% of American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read. In fact, studies of individual families show that supporting literacy in the home is more important to a child’s success in school than family income or education level.

During November, parents are encouraged to read aloud to their children, participate in literacy events and consider books when choosing gifts for children during the holidays and other special occasions.
. . . a few family literacy programs around the U S

DC: The Kennedy Center invites all children, parents, and educators to the 13th anniversary year of the annual free Multicultural Children's Book Festival.

Celebrate Family Literacy Day on Saturday, November 1: 12 pm - 6 pm on the Roof Level, in the Atrium, Galleries, Theater Lab, and Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center.

Books come to life in this afternoon-long series of readings by authors, illustrators, and guest celebrities; book signings; and other interactive performances and events.

Maine Family Literacy Initiative

State of Washington Department of Early Learning

The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning

California
. . . what's happening in your city or state ?

Parent's Guide to Literacy for the 21st Century: Pre-K–Grade 5
Janie Hydrick - NCTE, 1996
As schools adapt to meet today's changing definition of literacy, parents often are left with lingering questions: What's going on in my child's classroom, and why? What do terms like "authentic assessment," "emergent literacy," and "process writing" mean?

Becoming Teammates:
Teachers and Families as Literacy Partners
Charlene Klassen Endrizzi - NCTE, 2008
offers a new look at how teachers and families can work together to build family-school relationships that value and respect each other’s perspectives on literacy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adult Learning in Focus

Adult Learning in Focus: 2008

This report by the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning compares how states perform on educating adults. Shows that significant numbers of Americans have been left behind. In 35 states, more than 60% of the adult population has not completed an associate degree or higher.

Despite the fact that adults comprise a growing share of the total enrollment in postsecondary institutions, 32 states cannot catch up to the best performing countries internationally by relying solely on traditional 18-to-24-year-old-students.

Recommends a new emphasis on those aged 25 or older to improve enrollment and graduation rate. It also finds that the barriers to higher education remain high for many adults.

Higher levels of education are associated with:
~ decreased reliance on government financial assistance
~ growth in personal income yields greater returns to states in the form of tax revenues

Jobs that are expected to support our economy in the coming years will depend on a skilled workforce that is able to learn and adapt quickly to new challenges. Yet, the U.S. has lost its position as education leader of the world.

Demographic patterns demonstrate that relying on the traditional K–16 pipeline to meet the educational and workforce needs of our states and the nation will not be enough.

Has: Individual State Profiles and Downloadable Data


Friday, October 17, 2008

2008 Acts of Caring Award Winners: Libraries

National Association of Counties
2008 Acts of Caring Award Winners: Libraries

The Acts of Caring Awards are part of Counties Serve America, a long-term project that the National Association of Counties carries out in partnership with Freddie Mac. It is designed to raise public understanding and awareness about county government.

The Acts of Caring honor community-based, government volunteer programs that provide a legacy for the future.

What is an Act of Caring?
An "act of caring" is a community service provided by a county-sponsored volunteer program that enhances or preserves the quality of life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hoberman Picked as Poet Laureate

Hoberman Picked as Poet Laureate
Publishers Weekly: October 9, 2008 by John A. Sellers

As part of its fifth annual Pegasus Awards, the Poetry Foundation has selected Mary Ann Hoberman as Children’s Poet Laureate. Hoberman inherits the two-year position, which comes with a $25,000 prize, from Jack Prelutsky. The purpose of the award is to raise awareness of poetry among children.

Hoberman received the honor at an awards ceremony earlier this week in Chicago. “Generations of readers who first discovered poetry in the books of Mary Ann Hoberman remember it not as a dry textbook encounter but as a moment of joyous play,” said John Barr, president of the Poetry Foundation, in announcing Hoberman’s appointment. “Her poems tease young minds even as they please young ears with rhythm and rhyme.”

In August 2009, Little, Brown will release Hoberman’s next book of poetry, All Kinds of Families ! READ MORE

Read On @ Your Local Library: CalCat or WorldCat

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You
Little, Brown, 2005
~ very short Mother Goose tales to read together

The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems
Harcourt Brace, 1998
~ covering everything from centipedes to whales, from swinging on swings to ice-skating in winter, from eating applesauce to celebrating birthdays, the delightful poems in this collection convey the experiences of childhood

The Cozy Book
Browndeer Press, 1995
~ a delightful look at all the warm, delicious things that make up a cozy day

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hennen's American Public Library Ratings 2008

Hennen's American Public Library Ratings 2008

HAPLR 2008 is featured in the October 2008 issue of American Libraries, a publication of the American Library Association. The ratings have been published there since 1999.

Hennen's American Public Library Ratings –HAPLR, identify the public libraries in America with the highest input and output measures. The HAPLR Index uses 6 input and 9 output measures. The author added the scores for each library within a population category to develop a weighted score. The population categories
change at 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000, 100,000, 250,000, and 500,000 residents.

The HAPLR Index is similar to an ACT or SAT score with a theoretical minimum of 1 and a maximum of 1,000, although most libraries score between 260 and 730.

The revised data can be found on this website in the Ratings section and at the American Libraries web site. This edition, published October 2, 2008, was delayed a year by the late release of the 2005 federal data. The next edition using 2006 data should be available in early 2009.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Adult Learners - Live Homework Help

Does your Library have Tutor.com ?
Do you have a Library Card ?


You have FREE access to 1000's of professional tutors from your Library’s website !

Now - Adult Learners can get help with:
~ Grammar
~ Resume writing
~ Adult Ed courses
~ GED
~
plus math and science

Tutor.com has also expanded to grades K- 3.


If your Library has Tutor.com and if you have a Library Card, click on Live Homework Help and a trained, professional tutor will work with you online. Now students from 5 to 85 can connect to a tutor for one-to-one help.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Health Literacy Month

October: Health Literacy Month

Health literacy is defined in Healthy People 2010 as: "The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions".

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services included " improved consumer health literacy " as Objective 11-2 of Healthy People 2010. Identifying health literacy as an important component of health communication, medical product safety, and oral health.

More info about Healthy People 2010 is available @ the National Network of Libraries of Medicine:
~ Definition & Skills Needed

~ Economic Impact of Low Health Literacy
~ Role of the Consumer Health Librarian
~ Health Literacy Organizations and Programs
~ Web Resources & Bibliographies
~ Listservs


Health Literacy Out Loud 3-CD Set includes:
~ Readability & Understanding
~ An Adult Learner's Perspective
~ Creating & Using Excellent Written Materials


Ask Me 3
Good Questions for Your Good Health
~ a quick, effective tool designed to improve health communication between patients and providers.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reading

Reading shouldn't be a numbers game
Applying numerical ratings to books does nothing to help kids read better. L A Times: 9.30.08 by Regina Powers

School has started. I can tell because frazzled parents drag their embarrassed children up to the reference desk at my library to ask, "Where are the fifth-grade books? We need a 5.6 level that's worth at least 7 points."

I avoid frustrating both parties with an explanation of how the Dewey decimal system works, and ask the child, "What do you like to read?" The response from both adult and child is all too often a blank expression.

Although I am elated that many families are visiting my public library more frequently because schools send them, I am disturbed at how infrequently parents and teachers are allowing young readers to choose what to read.


In 2001, California started assigning reading levels to every public school student, grades 2 to 11. The state matches results from the annual Stanford 9 test to the Lexile Reading Framework and assigns each child a California Reading List number. Some schools also purchase optional programs such as Accelerated Reader and Reading Counts. The idea is to assist parents and students in selecting books tailored to match the level of each student.


Reading is supposed to be a pleasurable habit. California's reading scores have remained flat since 1971. Research verifies that comprehension and reading test scores improve when students simply read more. So let's encourage reading by allowing kids to choose what to read, unimpeded by the pressure of points, levels and quizzes. READ MORE
Regina Powers is a teacher and children's librarian in Orange County

Raising a Reader: a mother's tale of desperation and delight
Jennie Nash - St Martin’s, 2003

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WebQuest

WebQuest

To help adult literacy learners in three different areas: health literacy, family literacy, and workplace literacy. Although these WebQuests can be used by the learner independently, working together with a tutor will produce the best results. WebQuests also provides audio as well as visual support, the learners will be able to successfully learn how to gather the information they need.

~ You will learn to use the internet
~ You will learn to use video and sound on the internet
~ You will learn about the healthcare world
~ You will practice your writing skills
~ You will learn how to find information on the internet

Follow the steps in WebQuest. The steps need to be done in the order you see them listed.

WebQuest will also teach you how to use the internet and improve your writing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Presidential Debates: 2008

2008 Presidential Debates and Libraries
from letter by James Rettig, ALA President

On Tuesday, October 7, one of the three 2008 Presidential debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

This debate will be a town hall format moderated by Tom Brokaw. The moderator will call on members of the audience as well as select questions submitted online.

During this election year, we are looking for librarians and library supporters from across the country to call attention to the value of today’s libraries in our communities, as well as the issues the library community is facing.

We encourage all ALA members to submit questions.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has partnered with MySpace to create a new Web
site, MyDebates. This site will become available in the days leading up to the first Presidential debate on September 26.

The more questions submitted, the more likely a library question will be asked. This is an opportunity for the library voice to become an important part of the 2008 Presidential election.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Literacy Tribune: September 2008


The Literacy Tribune has information for readers on topics such as health, finance, education and technology. It also has stories and poems by adult learners.

It is published by United Literacy, as a resource and support for adult learners.

Highlights from the September 2008 issue:

Register to Vote
By Alison Werner, Senior Writer


Do you know that November 4th is Election Day? On that day, the citizens of the United States will vote for a new president and vice president. But that is not all they will vote for. They will vote for members of the U.S. House of Reprsentatives and Senate. They also may vote for the governor of their state, members of their state legislature, and other state and local officials. In addition, they will vote on issues and laws that affect their state . . .

A Letter to Our Readers
By Daniel Pedroza, President - Founder of United Literacy & Learner


Dear Reader,

Eleven years ago, at the age of 29, I started learning to read. I still remember walking into my local literacy organization and asking for help. I was very nervous, but I knew I needed to do it. I wanted a better life. I wanted to learn to read . . .

Celebrate International Literacy Day
By Alison Werner, Senior Writer


Every day, around the world, adults like you are learning to read. And every day, around the world, adults are struggling with illiteracy as you once did . . .

Good Feeling – A Learner’s Poem
By Rodolfo Diaz, Adult Learner


Sitting high up on a tree looking at the sunrise,
I can see, the birth of a new day . . .

Friday, September 5, 2008

California Library Literacy - Eliminate Funding


Save Literacy !

Senate Republicans have proposed the SUSPENSION of California Library Literacy Services funding in the current budget stalemate !

. . . . . Breaking News . . . . .
Elimination of CLLS not Suspension !!!

These are the funds local libraries receive each year from the State Library in support of FREE library literacy programs ! CLLS 2007 Report to Legislature.

We need to respond in a big way to best make sure the concerns of the Literacy and Library community are heard loud and strong and that misconceptions on behalf of some legislators are addressed.

Please begin writing letters, faxing and making phone calls. Timing is certainly a key factor ! Your attention and active participation is crucial. This is a very serious threat.

Tomorrow the California Library Association Legislative Committee will meet. The suspension of Literacy Funding will surely be a focal point of the meeting. CLLS funding is truly a state and local partnership.

Why California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Services Are Important to Save: Education Code 4.6 California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Services Program 18880-18884


This FREE critical service helps English-speaking adults improve their reading and writing skills so they can reach their potential as workers, parents, community members and life-long learners. California Library Literacy Services is designed as a volunteer based one-to-one tutoring service to meet the specific needs of each adult learner in a safe, comfortable and confidential library setting.
It is not an ESL program !

State funds are successfully leveraged locally generating over $15 million additional dollars to assist in providing these services. This $15 million would not be available without the state funding.

Adult learners in these library literacy programs were able to meet goals that improved their employment prospects, allowed them to pay their bills, vote, and read to their children for the first time.

Annually over 10,000 volunteers serve as tutors of adult learners and provide over 750,000 hours of volunteer time. Using EDD's average California hourly wage figure for 2007 of $21.78, that's a total of over $16 million contributed in volunteer time.

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor - State of California
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814

The Honorable Don Perata
Senate President pro Tempore
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4009 - Fax: (916) 327-1997

The Honorable Dave Cogdill
Senate Republican Leader
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4010 - Fax: (916) 327-3523

The Honorable Karen Bass
Speaker of the California Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2047 - Fax: (916) 319-2147

The Honorable Mike Villines
Assembly Republican Leader
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2029 - Fax: (916) 319-2129

Note: When you send your letters, will you please CC: the following two individuals who have been strong supporters for these library programs:

Assemblyman John Laird
Chair Assembly Budget Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2027 - Fax: (916) 319-2127

Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny
Chair Senate Budget Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4040 - Fax: (916) 327-3522


Email addressess:

Assemblymember.Bass@assembly.ca.gov

Senator.Cogdill@senate.ca.gov

Senator.Ducheny@senate.ca.gov

Senator.Perata@senate.ca.gov

Email addresses for Senate & Assembly

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

News For You - Online


News For You - Online

News for You provides adult ESL students and struggling readers with news that is easy to read and understand. These engaging, timely stories will help students build language, reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and more !

With the online version, students can:
~ Read and listen to the front-page stories
~ Listen sentence-by-sentence or listen to the full story
~ Listen sentence-by-sentence as many times as they need
~ Go back to a story archive for review and more practice
~ Archive begins: June 2008

Published by New Readers Press, a publishing division of ProLiteracy

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Plain English

Simple English Wikipedia

Just about everyone has heard about Wikipedia.
Did you know there is a ' Simple English Wikipedia ? '
It has over 34,000 articles written in plain, basic English.

Here is a sample from the article on the violin:

The violin is a string instrument that is played with a bow. The violin has four strings which are tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E. The violin is held between the left collar bone (near the shoulder) and the chin. Different notes are made by fingering with the left hand while bowing with the right. It has no frets or other markers, so players have to learn the exact place to put the fingers of the left hand by memory alone.

The violin is the smallest and highest pitched instrument in the string family. The other instruments in the family are: viola, cello and double bass. A person who plays the violin is called a violinist. A person who makes or repairs a violin is called a luthier.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Weak Economy Boosts Library Use

Economy gets people out of the house, into libraries: Study shows more checkouts in hard times Houston Chronicle: 8.02.08 by Terry Oblander

Books and other items are flowing out of public libraries in record numbers as the price of gas goes up and the economy sours.

Librarians throughout Northeast Ohio report seeing more people coming through their doors and leaving with more books, movies and CDs than ever.

But that's what librarians have noticed based on anecdotal evidence dating to the Great Depression. Could it be true
?

The American Library Association commissioned a study that covered usage from January 1997 to December 2001. That period included a recession and the terrorist attacks in New York City.

"This data confirms what librarians have seen from experience — that in times of economic difficulties people turn to their libraries and librarians," said ALA President John Berry in a release.


And, Lynda Murray, director of government relations for the Ohio Library Council, said there was no doubt that some patrons are beating a path to the library in hopes of finding jobs, using library computers or scouring newspapers for leads. READ MORE

Voters and Public Library Funding: An OCLC Market Research Report
Infotoday.com: 7.21.08: by Barbara Quint


Public libraries are in trouble. Costs and demands for their services continue to rise, while revenue and support for maintaining, much less increasing, financial support continue to sink.

The problem should pose real concerns for information industry vendors selling into the public library marketplace. Now one of the leading library vendors, one not only serving that market but—in a sense—owned and operated by that market, has begun a move toward helping public libraries find the funding they need. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and hard work by Leo Burnett USA, OCLC has produced a report titled "From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America."

As the introduction to the study reports, library visits went up 19% from 2000 to 2005, circulation of library materials rose 20%, and access to public computers rose 86%.

Nonetheless, "[l]ibrary levies, referenda, and bond measures have been failing at an increasing rate over the past decade. And the number of library levies placed on a ballot for voter consideration is also in decline."

The study provides detailed voter segmentation and analysis of groups on the basis of their likelihood to support library funding. It also covers, to a much lesser degree, the thinking of a small group of elected officials bearing some responsibility for library funding decisions. The report could assist librarians in targeting their messages to the right segments. One interesting factor revealed in the study is that library funding support is only marginally related to library visitation and use.
READ MORE