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.


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.