Tuesday, September 30, 2008


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



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:





Email addresses for Senate & Assembly