Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Programme For The International Assessment Of Adult Competencies PIAAC

Requests Comments about PIAAC
Federal Register: December 28, 2009 - V74, #247

Title: Programme For The International Assessment Of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2010 Field Test And 2011/2012 Main Study Data Collection.
Frequency: Annually.
Affected Public: Individuals or households.
Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden:

Responses: 1,500. Burden Hours: 3,000.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 26, 2010.

The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues:
(1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department;
(2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner;
(3) is the estimate of burden accurate;
(4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;
(5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

Abstract: NCES seeks OMB approval to survey adults (16-65 years old) for the field-test administration of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) in 2011. PIAAC is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor.

PIAAC is the OECD's new international household study of adults' literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments. It will also survey respondents about their education and employment experience and about the skills they use at work. PIAAC builds on previous international literacy assessments: The 2002 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS) and the 1994-98 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS).

PIAAC is expected to be on a 10-year cycle.
In 2011, 28 countries, including 23 OECD-member countries, plan to participate.

The U.S. PIAAC field test data collection will occur between August and November 2010. The main study will occur between September 2011 and March 2012.
NCES will seek approval for the full-scale instruments in the fall of 2010.

Requests for copies of the proposed information collection request may be accessed from Department of Education Information Collection System

~ select the “Browse Pending Collections'' link
~ click on link number 4194.
When you access the information collection,
~ click on “Download Attachments'' to view.

Written requests for information should be addressed:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., LBJ
Washington, DC 20202-4537

Requests may also be electronically mailed to:
or faxed to 202-401-0920.

Specify the complete title of the information collection when making your request.

Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity requirements should be electronically mailed to:

Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Written-Word Death

Study: Rumors of Written-Word Death Greatly Exaggerated
Wired: December 29, 2009 by Eliot Van Buskirk

Conventional wisdom holds that YouTube, videogames, cable TV and iPods have turned us away from the written word. Glowing streams of visual delights replaced paper and longhand letters shrank to bite-sized Facebook status updates, the theory held.

Conventional wisdom, in this case, is wrong.

A large-scale study by the University of San Diego and other research universities revealed what some of us have long suspected: We’re reading far more words than we used to as we adopt new technologies.

“Reading, which was in decline due to the growth of television, tripled from 1980 to 2008, because it is the overwhelmingly preferred way to receive words on the Internet,” found a University of San Diego study (.pdf) published this month by Roger E. Bohn and James E. Short of the University of San Diego.

Americans consumed 3.6 billion terabytes of information last year, averaging 11.8 hours of information consumption per day. Video and videogames constituted 55 percent of those bytes, but on average, Americans read 36 percent of the 100,500 words they consume each day, according to the San Diego study, which analyzed more than 20 data sources. The study doesn’t cover writing, but a simple glance at Facebook feeds reveals that we’re almost certainly writing more than we used to, as well.

Admittedly, posting “OMG best pizza ever C U l8r” to a mix of strangers, friends and acquaintances is not the same as carrying on a lengthy epistolary relationship.

“The Internet is about the death of the written word as a means of exchange and a store of value,” writes Sam Vaknin, Ph.D., in a typical criticism. “As a method of conveying information, written words are inefficient and ambiguous…. Sounds and images are far superior … thus, textual minimalism is replacing books and periodicals.”

Story continues below ↓

If you’re reading thousands of words a day on a variety of devices, paper included, you need as much help as you can get in deciding which words to read. Ironically, the same technologies derided by some for contributing to a lack of literacy — Facebook and Twitter — are full of recommendations of things to read.

Technology may have truncated and warped the written word in some cases, while increasing competition for our time. But as borne out by this new data, technology hasn’t found a substitute for the written word as a means of conveying certain types of information. And, in fact, it has made reading and writing even more essential parts of everyday life. READ MORE !

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Word of the Year

2009 Word of the Year
American Dialect Society

All nominations will be considered for the ADS 20th Annual Word-of-the-Year (WOTY) vote. Nominations from the public can still be sent to:

The best "word of the year" candidates will be:

—new or newly popular in 2009
—widely or prominently used in 2009
—indicative or reflective of the national discourse

WOTY will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday, January 8, 2010, and is open at no cost to members of the press and public. Detailed information on where and when the final vote will be held is here.
Check out the early nominations from society members who specialize in following language trends:

Nominations from Grant Barrett, chair of the American Dialect Society's New Words Committee editor of the "Among the New Words" column of the society's journal American Speech.
Nominations from Wayne Glowka, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia.
Nominations from Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus, and member of the Executive Council of the American Dialect Society.
Nominations from David Barnhart of Lexik House, editor of the Barnhart Dictionary Companion.
Nominations from Nancy Friedman, a name developer at Wordworking in Oakland, California. She keeps the blog Fritinancy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

America’s Most Literate Cities: 2009

America’s Most Literate Cities: 2009Central Connecticut State University: December 22, 2009

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. This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.

The original study was published online in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The 2005 rankings were published online at Central Connecticut State University.

Dr. John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, is the author of this study. Research for this edition of AMLC was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Public Policy and Social Research at CCSU.

Overall Ranking and Rankings by Category

Top 10Seattle, WA
Washington, DC
Minneapolis, MN
Pittsburgh, PA
Atlanta, GA
Portland, OR
St. Paul, MN
Boston, MA
Cincinnati, OH
Denver, CO

@ the bottom from 65 - 7565 Fresno, CA
66 Glendale, AZ
67 Santa Ana, CA
68 Mesa, AZ
69 Anaheim, CA
70 Arlington, TX
71 Aurora, CO
72 Stockton, CA
73 Bakersfield, CA
74 Corpus Christi, TX
75 El Paso, TX

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jobs for Main Street Act ACTION ALERT

ALA Action Alert
Out of Work Librarians Need Your Help !

Call NOW to Include Libraries in the Jobs for Main Street Act !

Right now, the House of Representatives is debating the Jobs for Main Street Act, and this bill would provide funding to a variety of programs aimed at creating jobs. No other organization is as dynamic or as well-equipped to build jobs as libraries, yet neither the House nor the Senate version of this legislation mentions libraries. By including specific bill language that includes librarians, we can continue to help people look for jobs, help people obtain their GED, build valuable job skills, and much more. To read the full proposal, please click here.

The House is expected to vote on this legislation TODAY. Please call your representatives TODAY and your senators tomorrow; tell them you would like to see librarians included in the Jobs for Main Street Act and explain to them that those funds are critical in putting librarians back to work so they can help people get back to work.

1. Libraries play a key role in getting America back to work again. Nationwide, the library is the only source of no-fee Internet access for 71 percent of Americans. With more and more job applications only being accepted online, the public library is becoming the center of most American's job searches.

2. State Library Agencies reported in November 2009 that 77 percent of states cut funds that support local public libraries, which has meant layoffs, staff furloughs, and forced retirements. This has caused a 75 percent cut in services to the public including canceled statewide databases used for job searching, homework help, and cuts in 24/7 reference, which are used by small businesses and students.

Not Sure Who To Contact = Click Here
Find elected officials, including the president, members of Congress, governors, state legislators, and more.

Tweens News Literacy

Tween Tribune
News For Kids & News By Kids

A daily news site for tweens. Each day links to the day's most compelling news from a tweens perspective are posted. Stories chosen for TweenTribune are selected by tweens working closely with professional journalists. Tweens can submit links to stories they'd like to share, submit their own stories and photos, and comment on the stories they read.

It encourages tweens to seek out news on a daily basis. Fosters a daily news-reading habit at an early age.

There are also pages for Teachers that can be customized for the classroom as well as Lesson plans.

2 Recent Posts:
Oops! Tween's cell bill = $21,917 A 13-year-old was probably in hot water with his father after running up a cell phone bill of nearly $22,000. Ted Estarija said he was expecting his bill to be higher this month after adding his son to his plan, but wasn't expecting a bill of $21,917 in data usage charges. The Hayward, Calif.
- Posted on December 16, 2009 Read more
login or register to post comments

OMG! Kids send 2,000 txts per month R u kidding me? Americans punched out more than 110 billion text messages last year, double the number in the previous year and growing, as the shorthand communication becomes a popular alternative to cell phone calls. "If teens are a leader for America, then we are moving to a text-based ...
- Posted on December 15, 2009
Related stories
Does your teacher let you txt in class?
Young people finally flock to Twitter
Maybe txting isn't so bad after all
How fast R U? Girl wins US texting title
Read more
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Alphabet Updated With 15 Exciting New Replacement Letters

NEW YORK—Dynamic, sleek, and even sexy is how a panel of typographic and marketing experts described the 15 new replacement letters they unveiled Monday in an effort to reinvigorate interest in the faltering English alphabet.

"Forget everything you thought you knew about reading and writing," announced David Greenberg, 34, lead designer of the exciting ABC makeover. "These new letters are hip, fresh, and sure to forever change the way English speakers everywhere form their words."

"Move over 'M' and 'P,'" Greenberg continued. "Because this ain't your grandfather's alphabet."

According to Greenberg, the exciting new set of consonants and vowels will be rolled out over the next few months, and should find its way into most newspapers, magazines, and popular works of fiction by early spring.

The result of nearly a year of focus-group testing, the new letters are reportedly more than just an aesthetic update. Studies found that more than 87 percent of Americans rarely ever use the letter "X" in their daily lives, a discovery that led to a complete reworking of the neglected consonant that has transformed it from unpopular alphabet pariah to something "people will be dying to write down."

By contrast, the vowel "E" was found to be by far the most used letter in the alphabet, giving designers the idea to cash in on its popularity by adding a third horizontal line to the less desirable "F."

A series of PSAs for alphabet users of all ages is also scheduled to air this month, with such titles as "Coming Soon To A Paperback Near You" and "The New Alphabet: It Puts The In Fn!"

So far, reaction to the new replacement has been positive.

"I've never reay pai much aenin wrd an ff like ha, ell y he rh," 10h-graer Parick Reyno ai. "B hi i fn. I barey even feel like I'm wriing."

READ MORE ! @ The Onion: 12/10/09

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy: 2009

California Library Association
Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy: 2009

Derek Wolfgram was recognized as this year’s winner of the Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy at CLA's 2009 Conference.

The following comments are excerpts from his nomination:

Derek Wolfgram goes WAY above and beyond to support literacy! While not familiar with Literacy Services in the Library before becoming our Director (Butte County), he got up to speed quickly and became one of our best-ever advocates! From voting on t-shirt graphics, to starring in a zany radio spot, to respectfully presenting our Champion of Literacy award to our adult learner honoree, no doubt about it, in so many ways he was ‘there’ for us.

While always an enthusiastic spirit in support of Literacy, Derek’s support isn’t just all fun and games – rather it is also forward- thinking, inclusive and strategic. He was sure to include the Literacy Services team when doing his system needs assessment and when he instituted the Leadership Team of managers, the Literacy Specialist was solidly at the table. Extremely supportive of our efforts to secure grants, he’s proven to be a key team member, offering his valuable visionary and editing skills.

Perhaps most illustrative overall is recalling last January when Derek accompanied two adult learners and a volunteer tutor to visit one of our legislators. Derek stepped back and encouraged the focus be directed on the learners. Surely the necessary messages about concerns for the library were heard that day, but with Derek’s compassionate and elegant presence, what the legislator will remember when thinking of the Library are the voices from two adults who have so benefited from Literacy Services.

Butte County: 2006 - May 2009
Santa Clara County Library
Deputy County Librarian,
Community Libraries and Human Resources

Monday, December 7, 2009

Claremont 'library' Serves a Captive Audience

Claremont 'library' Serves a Captive Audience

The Prison Library Project responds to hundreds of requests a week from inmates around the country, and beyond, seeking a little relief from the boredom through reading. Penned inside a stark world of concrete and steel, the messages are often congenial, the words soft.

"Greetings from the other side. I hope this letter finds you in good health, achieveing all your heart's desire."

"Looking at things from a positive outlook helps you see the beauty in life."

"You all will always be in my prayers knowing that thy are truly servants of our God."

The project has been fulfilling that request since 1987, when Claremont resident Rick Moore took over a program begun by spiritual gurus Bo Lozoff and Ram Dass in Durham, N.C. Starting with used books stored in the closet of a friend's yoga studio, Moore eventually established the Thoreau Bookshop, where he could house the project as well as operate a store to fund it. From that evolved the nonprofit Claremont Forum, of which the Prison Library Project is the nexus.

More than 250,000 books have been mailed out over the last two decades. For inventory, the store relies on community members dropping off used books or publishers clearing shelves for a new print edition.

The one book the Prison Library Project can't seem to keep in stock is a dictionary.

READ MORE ! @ LA Times: 12/04/09 by Cornia Knoll

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Britain's Smallest Library: Red Phone Box

U.K. Phone Booth World's Smallest Library. The Star: December 3, 2009

A village in southwestern England is winning awards and attention for creating one of the world's smallest libraries.

Housed in an unused red telephone booth on the village square in Westbury-sub-Mendip, the 24-hour library is "very well used," parish councillor Bob Dolby told the Star on Thursday.

About 150 donated books sit on shelves in the phone booth, along with DVDs and CDs. A red box on the floor "at children's height" holds books for kids. Villagers can take whatever they want and leave their own books in exchange.

Story continues below ↓

British Telecom recently awarded the village 35 kilometres from Bristol a {pound}500 prize in its competition for the best conversion of a red phone booth, long a symbol of Britain but now slowly being phased out by mobile phones. BT was decommissioning "thousands around the country," Dolby said.

It was the competition that inspired a village tea party during the August bank holiday where villager Janet Fisher "came up with the brilliant idea of a book exchange," Dolby said. He hammered in the shelves and the books started to arrive. READ MORE !

. . . photo from Flickr Group:
Requiem for A Red Box - John Timpson
photographers Neil McAllister, Val Corbett
London: Pyramid - 1989

Check It Out @ Libraries on WorldCat

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Library Book

The Library Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools November 28, 2009

It's often said a child's lifelong love of reading begins at home.

But declining literacy rates among the nation's public elementary school students suggests this maxim needs revision.

For reading to become an everyday habit, it needs to be nurtured in a home of its own.

Story continues below ↓

The nonprofit L!brary Initiative, created by the Robin Hood Foundation, has been working since 2001 to enhance student literacy and overall academic achievement by collaborating with school districts to design, build, equip, and staff new elementary school libraries.

The L!brary Book takes readers behind the scenes of fifty groundbreaking library projects to show how widely varied fields and communities - corporate underwriters, children's book publishers, architects, graphic designers, product manufacturers, library associations, teachers, and students - can join forces to make a difference in the lives of children. READ MORE !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

America's Star Libraries

LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009, Round 2: America's Star Libraries - best libraries - top-rated libraries
Library Journal: November 15, 2009 by Keith Curry & Ray Lyons

Library Journal's national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009, Round 2, identifies 258 "star" libraries. Created by Keith Curry Lance and Ray Lyons and based on 2007 data from the IMLS, it rates 7,268 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three stars. All included libraries, stars or not, can use their scores to learn from their peers, expand service to their communities, and improve library awareness and funding. (see Round 1)

The LJ Index divides libraries into categories by operating expenditure to compare like to like. It is about what libraries deliver to their users with the money they have, based on:

Circulation Per Capita
Visits Per Capita

and on 2 statistics that more clearly define libraries’ increasingly crucial role in their communities, especially in these tough economic times:

Program Attendance Per Capita
Public Internet Computer Use Per Capita

Stars by State
There are no libraries on this chart from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, or Tennessee.

Find a Library
Tally of Libraries Not Included - 1949
293: Do Not Meet Federal-State Cooperative System [FSCS] definition
234: Total Expenditures Less Than $10,000
670: Population Less Than 1,000
752: 1 or more data Not Reported in 2007

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Alabama Illiteracy has an Economic Fallout

Alabama Illiteracy has an Economic Fallout

A Birmingham News analysis of the 2008-09 Alabama High School Graduation Exam, reported Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, shows that 130 public high schools either failed reading or were classified as "borderline" failing, based on 11th-graders' performance on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. The analysis involved 367 high schools, all of the state's public high schools that are not spe­cialized in some way.

Three groups are especially hurt when schools fail to teach students to read well: The students, who are unprepared for meaningful work; the companies that can't find the employees they need; and the overall community, which loses a chance to increase prosperity.One example was Newnan, Ga., where employer Yamaha went to educators in the late 1990s and said it would have to build a planned automated facility elsewhere, because Cowetta County didn't have the work force the company needed.

"They said, 'We're not so interested in tax breaks; we're interested in a skilled work force,' " said Mark Whitlock, CEO of the Central Educational Center in Newnan.

But the county school system and businesses fought back by creating the CEC, a charter school that allows students to take free two-year college courses in addition to their high school classes. CEC has become a model for its ability to graduate students who have the skills needed for a 21st century work force."

Our young people are facing a new economy that is very difficult and very complex," said Whitlock, formerly with Bank of America. "It's only going to get more complex and difficult. We have to add skills at a more rapid rate."

READ MORE ! @ Birmingham News: 11/23/09 by Jeff Hansen

Monday, November 23, 2009

Empire of the Word - The Origin of Reading

Empire of the Word
Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00 pm

Eight years in the making, Empire of the Word is a compelling look inside the act of reading and traces its impact on more than five thousand years of human history. Introduced and narrated by one of the world's great readers, Canadian writer Alberto Manguel, the series traces reading's origins; examines how we learn to read; exposes censors' attempts to prevent our reading; and finally, proposes what the future might hold for this most human of creative acts.

Empire of the Word Online is also an interactive Alternate Reality Game. It is fantasy, but the story it tells derives from histories of real, courageous people who have risked all to preserve and defend the freedom to think, write, and read freely.

Play Online: Lekha’s Journey – explore the past, present and future of the written word in this 8-part interactive mystery.

Follow Empire on Facebook

Episode 1: The Magic of Reading - Wed. Nov. 25 @ 10:00PM
How did the alphabet we know today come to be? What was the world's first novel? How did the concept of being free to interpret one's own meaning from a text evolve? The opener uncovers the genesis of the written word, including primitive animal paintings on cave walls, the advent of portable writing materials like papyrus scrolls and Alexander the Great's dream of the first universal library.

Episode 2: Learning to Read - Wed. Dec. 2 @ 10:00PM
In a prosperous western nation such as Canada, we take the ability to read for granted, yet one in six Canadian adults can't read a newspaper headline. How does the human mind learn to read? And how can the ability to read allow us to transcend difficult life circumstances?

Episode 3: Forbidden Reading - Wed. Dec. 9 @ 10:00PM
Readers and writers the world over have been punished and persecuted for expressing their ideas or by simply carrying the wrong book. Nazi book burnings, publisher Barney Rosset's legendary legal battles in the 1950s and 60s over the right to publish the uncensored works of Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence in the U.S., authors in hiding ... we witness how the determination of writers and their readers is not without revolutionary consequences.

Episode 4: The Future of Reading - Wed. Dec. 16 @ 10:00PM
How will the technological revolution change the way we read? Will electronic texts like cellphone fiction replace the traditional book? What ethical issues are at play when it comes to who owns the digital archives of the world's printed heritage? We get perspectives from Canadian interactive novelist Kate Pullinger (Inanimate Alice) and Google engineering director Dan Landry, among others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2009: Admonish

The list is based on actual user lookups to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Online Thesaurus. This year's traffic was generated by topics and events ranging from Michael Jackson to H1N1 to the recession and, of course, politics. The word of the year that received the highest intensity of searches over the shortest period of time is "admonish."

2. emaciated
3. empathy
4. furlough
5. inaugurate
6. nugatory
7. pandemic
8. philanderer
9. repose
10. rogue

READ MORE ! @ Merriam-Webster

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Exercise Balls Get Education Rolling

Donna Yehl's fourth-grade students bob behind their desks, heads nodding up and down as if the children were on the deck of a ship.

But they aren't fidgeting.

The two dozen children in Yehl's Elgin, Ill., classroom read and write -- in fact, do all of their classwork -- perched on exercise balls.

The inflatable balls are commonly used in Pilates, yoga and exercise classes. Some teachers say they belong in school classrooms too because they sharpen students' attention and improve their posture.

This year, Yehl checked the Internet for ways to help her restless pupils sit still. She stumbled on a story about exercise balls improving concentration. So she replaced her classroom's chairs with bouncy 21-inch-high balls in colors students chose. She sees a difference.

"They're more focused," Yehl says. "They're sitting upright."

"You'd be surprised how many kids really need to move while learning . . ."

READ MORE ! @ LA Times: November 16, 2009 by Georgia Garvey

Driven To Distraction : Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood – Hallowell & Ratey

also previous post: Facelift For America's Classrooms

Friday, November 13, 2009

Literacy: Return on Investment

Investing in Literacy Pays Off
St Joe News: November 13, 2009

For more than 20 years, Pass the Power Adult Literacy has filled a vital need. For various reasons — unstable home life, undiagnosed learning disabilities, frequent moving — people reach adulthood and cannot read.

Pass the Power is a unique outreach program of the Western Institute at Missouri Western State University. The program is funded entirely through local donations and grants. All students receive free one-on-one or small group instruction for reading, math skills and English for speakers of other languages.

Story continues below ↓

One dollar invested in literacy returns $33 to the overall economy by boosting productivity for workers and businesses. An even greater return can be seen in the lives of people who for the first time can open a checking account, read the instructions on a bottle of medicine or fill out a job application. READ MORE !

Friday, November 6, 2009

Literacy Education Basic Human Right

Literacy Program Caters to Basic Human Right Cape Breton Post: November 5, 2009 by Doreen Lynk Letters To The Editor

Did you know that basic education was recognized as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 ?

Story continues below ↓

Adult literacy is more than reading, writing and mathematics. Literacy helps people participate in society. Literacy deserves serious attention. Right now there are people like me who cannot improve their education.

Nov. 2 to 6 is Literacy Action Week. The theme is Literacy and Empowerment. I, and people like me, want to benefit from our basic human right and improve our education and skills.

Please show that you value adult literacy by supporting programs and government policies that help adult learners play an active and productive role in our communities. READ MORE !

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Get Rich @ Your Library

Get Rich @ Your Library

Libraries are everywhere, rooted in nearly every school, campus and community, but they’re are about to take front and center in a new place: the breakfast table.

The American Library Association (ALA) and Safeway Inc. will roll out the first 2 of 5 Safeway-brand cereal boxes in October with back-panel content about libraries and librarians. The cereal will be available at Safeway’s stores across the U.S.

The first boxes to feature the library-related content are Toasted Oats and Honey Nut Toasted Oats. There will be a staggered launch for the rest of the panels.

Get Rich @ Your Library

Your public library is a goldmine of books, magazines, movies, music and other great stuff. There are many ways you can Get Rich @ Your Library !

The panels focus on 5 content areas:

Get rich @ your library lists free resources available at libraries and encourages readers to add up how much they save by using the library’s resources.
Learn for a lifetime @ your library features the ways that school and public libraries encourage lifelong learning.
Great mysteries answered @ your library contains fun facts about libraries, including the number of questions answered weekly by reference librarians at our nation’s academic and public libraries.
Discover the world @ your library positions a library card as a passport to the world.
Discover your family tree @ your library encourages readers to go to the library to research their family tree.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Literacy Tribune: November 2009

Literacy Tribune: November 2009

United Literacy, a non-profit organization, provides resources and support to adult literacy learners in the United States. Its aim is to make literacy education accessible and worthwhile for adult learners.

Main Story: Road Safety
~ In 2006, motor vehicle traffic crashes were the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 3-34.
Member Spotlight: Henry Barnes III
~ 10 months ago, Henry Barnes III walked into the Second Start Adult Literacy Program at the Oakland Library in California and asked for help. He wanted to learn to read better.
A Learner's Poem
~ Good Feeling by Rodolfo Diaz
Organization Spotlight: Start Adult Literacy Program
~ The Second Start Adult Literacy Program has been teaching adult learners in Oakland, California to read for 25 years.
A History Lesson: William McKinley
~ the 25th president of the United States, was born in Niles, Ohio on January 29, 1843.
Technology Watch: Picasa
~ Digital cameras make taking photos easy. But keeping all those photos organized on your computer and editing them can be daunting.

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.

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

You can write about:

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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

Glasgow's world first for the English language

After 45 years painstaking scholarship by the English Language department of the University of Glasgow, the world’s first historical thesaurus is to be published this week.

The brainchild of Professor Michael Samuels in 1964, the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary . . . map almost every word in the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary on to a vast classification structure where words with similar meaning are grouped together and listed in chronological order from the oldest (c700 A.D.) to the most recent.

It contains nearly 800,000 meanings, 236,000 categories and subcategories in 2 volumes. READ MORE ! @ Univ of Glasgow News: 10/22/09

Structure, History, Sample Page, Brochure and Podcast @ OUP Online

Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary
With Additional Material from A Thesaurus of Old English
Christian Kay, Jane Roberts, Michael Samuels, Irene Wotherspoon
OUP, Oct 2009
ISBN13: 9780199208999

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adult Learners - Writing

2009 Writer-to-Writer Awards
- at CLA Conference – Literacy Interest Group
October 31 @ Bar Celona Restaurant

This year 188 adult learners entered the Challenge from 43 library literacy programs all over California. Their letters, based on their writing skill levels, were divided into four categories: Emerging, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. [see earlier Post for more information !]

The letters of the winners will appear as a Four-part Series by the Literacy Interest Group E-newsletter.

2009 Writer to Writer Challenge Winners

Emerging Level Winner:
Anonymous, Alhambra Civic Center Library
wrote to Anne Frank - Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

Beginning Level Winner:
Evonne Macias, Hemet Public Library
wrote to Dave Pelzer - A Child Called It.

Intermediate Level Winner:
Larry Evans, Palmdale City Library
wrote to Sidney Poitier - The Measure of a Man.

Advanced Level Winner:
Sima Tawakoli, Berkeley Public Library
wrote to Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist.

. . . more @ SCLLN Blog

Book about adults learning to read 'stirs the emotions'
Daily Gleaner: October 24, 2009 by Rose Burke

Breaking the Word Barrier:
Stories of Adults Learning to Read
Edited by Marilyn Lerch, Angela Ranson

Goose Lane Editions

Do not pass on this book because you think it will be academic; it isn't. It is personal and stirs the emotions.

Adults who have achieved success in literacy were paired with writers to tell their stories and the result is 17 compelling accounts that capture the struggles and joy of each journey. The reader sees the obstacles that prevented them from mastering reading skills in their youth, feels the frustration of the impact it has had on their lives, cheers at their motivation to take their first steps and rejoices for the well-earned pride that comes with success. READ MORE !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How e-Books Could Smarten Up Kids and Stretch Library Dollars: A National Plan

How e-Books Could Smarten Up Kids and Stretch Library Dollars: A National Plan

I remember the poverty beat from my newspaper days eons ago in Lorain, Ohio -- a steel town near Cleveland -- where Toni Morrison once lived.

Believe me, I didn't see many welfare mothers with shelf after self of Dickens and the rest, or even romance novels. Today millions of children are still growing up in bookless homes. But suppose a well-stocked national digital library system existed for Americans of different ages, along with the means to encourage schoolchildren and others to use it.

Among those benefiting:• Students at small colleges without big budgets for either paper or electronic books.

• Workers who want to upgrade job skills.

• The elderly. In the future many baby boomers may face challenges of their own -- the inability to drive to the public library or read books of normal type size.

• People in cash-strapped library and school districts. With cost-savings in mind, a city council member in Los Angeles is already advocating e-books. "I just believe that with technology moving forward, we could save a great deal of money in not having to buy thousands of books each year when they could be made available online," a news account quotes Councilman Bernard Parks. He's off on some details, but yes, if nothing else, libraries shell out big bucks to store and manage paper collections. "E" could automate plenty.

• Writers and publishers who are suffering from slumping book sales and could well stand a little economic stimulus, in the spirit of the old Federal Writers Project.

READ MORE ! @ Huffington Post: 10/22/09 by David Rothman - Teleread

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Cambridge Study Says 5-year-olds Too Young To Start School

LONDON: A study of primary education by Cambridge University recommends that formal schooling of children should begin at the age of six, a year later than the present norm in the UK.

The 608-page Cambridge Primary Review . . . said there was no evidence suggesting formal teaching environments benefited young children, and that introducing children at the age of five into the structure and discipline of a classroom could even be harmful.

Dame Gillian Pugh, chairwoman of the review, said: "Four and five-year-olds tended to be at a stage where they were just 'tuning in' to learning and that they could be 'turned off' if they were made to follow too formal a curriculum, too early on."

In Finland, as in Germany and Sweden, children begin school in the year they turn seven. In France, children begin formal education at six. Finland is regarded as having Europe's best education system, with the country's students regularly achieving top marks for reading literacy and science in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

READ MORE ! @ lifesitenews: 10/21/09 by Thaddeus M. Bakllinski

At 26, celebrity chef Curtis Aikens finally learned to read

At 26, celebrity chef Curtis Aikens finally learned to read

Even if you’ve never met Curtis Aikens, all it takes to get a sense of his personality is the command on the front of his chef’s jacket: “Give me a hug!!”

When he graduated from high school, though, he would have had trouble reading those four words.

And yes, Aikens graduated from high school. Without learning to read.

“I could not spell Kmart,” he says. “I could spell my name. That was about it.”

He could recognize letters. But as he set off to college, he could not form letters into words and words into sentences.

Finally, at 26, after seeing a TV commercial for literacy tutoring, he signed up. Within a year he had become a reader.

These days, at 49, Aikens — a cookbook author and former Food Network personality who has met three presidents and even Oprah — is an advocate for adult literacy. He was in Kansas City last week to tell his story, do a little cooking and raise money for Literacy Kansas City, an organization that teaches adults and teenagers how to read.

READ MORE ! @ 10/20/09 by Tim Engle-Kansas City Star

1,000,000 for Literacy: Shatter the Silence

. . . forwarded from Margaret Doughty @ Literacy Powerline

Literacy Advocates can create a larger voice to let the President know that literacy must be a priority - Plan to meet with the President in Summer 2010.

Join 1,000,000 for Literacy Facebook group.
Connect with other literacy advocates.
Forward to all your friends - not just your literacy colleagues !

1 Join Facebook
2 CLICK on "Invite People to Join"
3 SELECT all of the friends that you want to join
4 CLICK on "Send invitation"

Shatter the Silence Video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

National Coalition for Literacy Blog

NCL Advocacy Clearinghouse and Toolkit Blog

The National Coalition for Literacy brings you this experimental online Blog Forum, for program year 2009-2010, to engage NCL members in cultivating and supporting public policy advocates, assisting advocates with questions asked by the press and the public, and expanding the number of active advocates in support of adult and family literacy.

The NCL posts frequent public policy updates, as well as key information and resources pertinent to the current federal public policy landscape. Additionally, we will host 2-4 blog discussions with NCL members who are federal advocacy experts during critical times for advocacy.

How to Participate:
Just post your comment or question in the “Comments” field.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vooks ?

Does the Brain Like E-Books?
NYT: October 14, 2009

Room for Debate - by The Editors

Writing and reading — from newspapers to novels, academic reports to gossip magazines — are migrating ever faster to digital screens, like laptops, Kindles and cellphones. Traditional book publishers are putting out “vooks,” which place videos in electronic text that can be read online or on an iPhone. Others are republishing old books in electronic form. And libraries, responding to demand, are offering more e-books for download.

Is there a difference in the way the brain takes in or absorbs information when it is presented electronically versus on paper? Does the reading experience change, from retention to comprehension, depending on the medium ?

Alan Liu, English professor
Sandra Aamodt, author, “Welcome to Your Brain”
Maryanne Wolf, professor of child development
David Gelernter, computer scientist
Gloria Mark, professor of informatics

Read what 5 experts have to say @ Room for Debate - NYT

Read On @ Your Local Library: WorldCat

Print Is Dead: Books In Our Digital Age
Jeff Gomez – Palgrave Macmillan, 2009
~ authors, producers, distributors, and readers must not only acknowledge these changes, but drive digital book creation, standards, storage, and delivery as the first truly transformational thing to happen in the world of words since the printing press.

Friday, October 16, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Nine Reading Experts Explain the Sad State of Reading

The Reading Wars continue to rage.
Flawed methods continue to cause illiteracy and dyslexia. It’s a huge tragedy.
But why has it happened? And how do you keep your child from being damaged?
1) Don Potter
2) Mona McNee
3) Wanda Sanseri
4) Samuel Blumenfeld
5) Kim Lattadren
6) Siegfried Engelmann
7) Malkin Dare
8) Geraldine Rodgers
9) Elizabeth Brown

My personal conclusion is that the flawed methods used in many public schools are not only a national tragedy but child abuse. I want to remind everyone of Rudolph Flesch´s "Why Johnny STILL Can´t Read" (1981). Chapter 7 is titled "We Do Teach Phonics," which is the official lie that many teachers are still told to use. Caveat emptor.

The USA is said to have 50,000,000 functional illiterates and 1,000,000 dyslexics.
They are victims of educational malpractice. This article is dedicated to them.
READ MORE ! @ American Chronicle: 10/14/09 by Bruce Deitrick Price

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Transliteracy – Reading in the Digital Age
The Higher Education Academy English Subject Centre Newsletter Issue 9 - November 2005
Professor of New Media, De Montfort University
‘Transliteracies’ Conference
University of California at Santa Barbara
June 7– 8, 2005

. . . this new literacy is not about reading fixed type, but about reading on fluid and varied platforms – blogs, email, hypertext and, soon, digital paper and all kinds of mobile media in buildings, vehicles, and supermarket aisles. Although text still dominates at the moment, it is possible that it might come to be superseded by image, audio, or even ideogram as the medium of choice.

Hence ‘transliteracy’ – literacy across media.

The first hurdle of ‘traditional reading’ by making it very clear that reading in any medium has never been simple or transparent.

In the medieval period ‘good reading’ was collective and public, and silent reading often provoked suspicion, but as reading became more professionalized certain practices which once were common came to be frowned upon – pointing at the page as one reads, reading aloud, annotating margins, or permitting one’s lips to move during reading. Nevertheless, as Leah Price noted, reading has always disrupted the linear via ‘mining’ practices of tables of contents, indexes, and concordances.

Awareness of transliteracy reminds us that fixed-type print is a very new and possibly short-lived phenomenon within the long and diverse history of communication platforms.

According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the word 'illiterate' dates back only to 1556, around 100 years after Gutenberg invented the printing press. Prior to this period more people could read than could write, but many more could do neither. Since the 16th century an increasing number have become fully literate, but today transliteracy is becoming more desirable than print-based literacy.

The term "transliteracy" was coined by Alan Liu, a professor in the English department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose research on the subject is being carried out across University of California campuses.

Trend Transliteracy: A Trend of Amplified Organization
KnowledgeWorks Foundation: 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning

Effective communication depends on the ability to read, write, and interact across multiple media and social platforms:
Digital video
Virtual Worlds
Social Networking

-provided by

Sue Thomas and Kate Pullinger have now established The Transliteracy Research Group which launched October 13, 2009.

Since transliteracy research began at DMU in 2005 under the umbrella of PART (Production & Research in Transliteracy), group members have produced a significant range of projects, events, presentations and publications, stimulating an informal research network around the theory and practice of transliteracy.

Transliteracy and Libraries video . . . saw it on a Jeff Scott (Deputy Director of the Tulare County Library) tweet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 Politically inCorrect Words: 2009

Top Politically (in)Correct Words of 2009
Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas October 2, 2009 – Swine Flu, Flush Toilet, Green Revolution, Minority, and Saint have been named the top politically (in)Correct words and phrases of the past year according to The Global Language Monitor in its sixth annual survey of the English Language.

“Once again, we are seeing that the attempt to remove all bias from language is itself creating biases of their own,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “At this point it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage in any form of public dialogue without offending someone’s sensitivities, whether right, left or center.”

The Top Politically Correct Words and Phrases for 2009 include:
1. Swine Flu
Though hundreds of millions know of the current pandemic as Swine Flu, various governments and agencies for political motives ranging from protecting pork producers to religious sensitivity have chosen to address the virus by its formal name, influenza A(H1N1).
2. Flush Toilet
Flush toilets, toilet paper and toilet use in general are now coming under the watchful eyes of the green movement.
3. Green Revolution
In the 1960s the scientific consensus was the world was on the brink of a ‘Malthusian’ collapse. The Green Revolution changed all that, but now there are those who believe that the world has paid a “stiff price in environmental degradation”.
4. Minority
Talking about minorities is considered insensitive to minorities since this can make them feel, well, like minorities.
5. Saint
In addition to the word ‘saint,’ Oxford University Press has removed words such as ‘bishop,’ ‘chapel,’ and ‘Pentecost’ from the Junior Dictionary.
6. Politically Correct
The term politically correct has, itself, is now politically correct, Be careful how you use it.
7. Oriental
In the US considered offensive to Asians because the term is based on the geographic relationship of Asia from a Western perspective. In Europe (and in most Asian nations), however, Oriental is acceptable.
8. Founding Fathers
Though all the Signers of the American Declaration of Independence were men, this is considered sexists in some quarters. Founders, please.
9. Black Sheep
Though originally referring to the rare birth of a lamb with black fur, now considered ethnically insensitive; the same is true for Black Day, Conversely, terms like White Collar and Whiter than White all can be used to encourage a hierarchical value of skin tone.
10. Senior Citizen
In the name of ‘inclusiveness,’ the UK’s Loughborough University’s suggests replacing senior citizen with ‘older person’.