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 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.