Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Literacy & Library Movers & Shakers 2009

Library Movers & Shakers 2009
Library Journal
Librarians recognized for their work with literacy in libraries across the country.

Lisa Harris-Advocates
Alameda County Library, Fremont, CA

Fresh Starts Lisa Harris grew up in a rough neighborhood in East Oakland, CA, where many classmates dropped out around eighth grade and later wound up behind bars. Eighteen years ago, when Harris answered an ad for a “Jail Literacy Coordinator” with the Alameda County Library (ACL), she reconnected with some of those peers—and began teaching them literacy skills. That's one great aspect of her current job as jail literacy manager: “I can help people I grew up with,” she says.
Another winning Harris initiative, Start with a Story, educates kids as they wait to see incarcerated loved ones. “Incarceration and low literacy skills are intrinsically intergenerational,” says Harris. “There are myriad issues these children face. We can't solve them all, but we can 'Start with a Story.'”

Carey Gross-Activists
Butte County Library, Oroville, CA

Chuck Ashton, of Redwood City Public Library, CA, calls Gross “a force of nature cutting through any obstacles between learners and their goal of literacy.” To Butte County Library (BCL) director Derek Wolfgram, she's a positive bundle of “infectious energy” who, despite BCL's limited resources, built one of the strongest adult and family literacy programs in California.
Early Learning with Families (ELF)

Daniel Marcou-Innovators
Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN

Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility, he also coordinates and oversees innovative programs like Read to Me, which teaches offenders about family literacy while providing books to their children. “Too often families of the incarcerated are forgotten,” Marcou says. Read to Me, winner of a National Association of Counties Award and a Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award, “helps to maintain the family connection, promotes reading, and encourages library use.” Another program, Freedom Ticket, which Marcou is currently promoting to Minnesota state prisons, assists ex-offenders in using their public libraries to find jobs and develop technical skills.

Ken Pienkos-Marketers
Oxford Public Library, PA

Determined to engage with the Spanish-speaking community, Pienkos partnered with a local organization and revived an ESL program that now has 70 students. The irresistible lure: free quality childcare. He also convinced the Chester County Health Department to publish brochures in Spanish.

Map: People Shaping the Future of Libraries: 2002 - 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adult Learner Legacy

At 71, Leaving a Legacy in Literacy
Alferd Williams receives special reading award
St JoesNews.net: March 19, 2009 by Alonzo Weston

Alferd Williams told the crowd that no matter how old, everyone has some “kid” in them.

Being 71 and surrounded by third-graders can make anyone feel that way. For Mr. Williams, a sharecropper’s son, it’s about fulfilling a promise to his mother that one day he would learn to read.

“I don’t have a mother living and I don’t have a father living, so it’s up to me how long I go to school and how well I learn,” Mr. Williams told all 340 Edison Elementary School students gathered in the school gym Wednesday morning. “And that’s going to be the rest of my life.”

At age 68, Mr. Williams approached Edison first-grade teacher Alesia Hamilton and asked her to teach him to read. The two received much national attention, including being on the Oprah Winfrey show and in People magazine.

Members of the national, UPS and Marines Toys For Tots Literacy Program honored Mr. Williams with a special award Wednesday at the school. Clad in jeans festooned with Fat Albert characters and a white T-shirt, Mr. Williams, now an Edison third-grader, received the first-ever “Alferd Williams Literacy Award.”

“Forever and ever, it’s going to be an award named in his honor,” said Sharon Darling, president and founder of the national Center for Family Literacy. “What we have to realize as a nation is there are 34 million adults in this country at the level Alferd was when he came into this school, and we really must do more to help them. Alferd will be a great spokesperson.”

Mrs. Hamilton also received the award.

“I represent every teacher at Edison School. I represent every teacher everywhere. This is what we do,” Mrs. Hamilton told the packed gymnasium. “And thanks, Alferd, for just letting the world know how important teachers are.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Literacy for ALL: Virtual Summit

Literacy for ALL: Advocacy, Libraries, and Literacy: Virtual Summit: April 7, 2009
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

Sponsored by
in partnership with

~ Discuss the role of libraries in literacy
~ Explore innovative library partnerships
~ Discover library literacy tools and resources
~ Respond to the call to action
~ Brainstorm next steps

With: ALA President Jim Rettig, President-Elect Camila Alire, Daniel J. Miller, Acting Director, National Institute for Literacy & Public Library Directors - School Library Leaders - Academic Library Advocates

Register @. Find information, news and updates about the Virtual Literacy Summit on the Committee on Literacy-American Library Association Facebook page. Simply login to Facebook and search “Committee on Literacy-American Library Association” and become a fan.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NCL 2009 Literacy Leadership Awards

National Coalition for Literacy
Literacy Leadership Awards 2009

The NCL is currently seeking nominations for its annual Literacy Leadership Awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to improving literacy in the United States.

Recipients of the award have demonstrated their commitment by supporting literacy on the state and national level. Nomination letters must include a one-page summary of the nominee’s qualifications and contributions to the field, biographical information, and complete contact information.

Please submit nominations to Sherrie Claiborne by April 30, 2009.
~ NCL members are not eligible.

The 2009 Literacy Leadership Awards will be presented on Wednesday, Sep. 16, at the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress.

The 2008 recipients: The Honorable RubĂ©n Hinojosa (Texas), Dr. John Comings, Better World Books, and the National Council of La Raza. The President’s Award was presented to Infinity Business Group, Inc.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Literacy Tribune: March 2009

Literacy Tribune: March 2009 issue

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: 5 Steps to Your Resume
~ The number of Americans who are unemployed continues to grow.
Today, finding a job can be difficult.

Member Spotlight: Jesus Trevizo
~ of South El Monte, California, realized he had a reading problem in first grade.

A Learner's Poem
A Special Place By Rodolfo Diaz

A History Lesson: Abraham Lincoln

Technology Watch:
~ Installing and Uninstalling Software on Mac OS X

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

Thursday, March 5, 2009

LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009

America's Star Libraries:
The LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009

The LJ Index of Public Library Service is a new public library national rating system instituted by Library Journal and sponsored by Baker & Taylor's Bibliostat Connect web-based statistical analysis software for public libraries.

This 2009 edition of the LJ Index is based upon 2006 public library statistical data published by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The LJ Index rates U.S. public libraries with total expenditures of $10,000 or more that serve populations of at least 1000. Ratings are based on four per-capita service indicators:
~ library visits
~ circulation
~ program attendance
~ public Internet computer uses

Find your library by searching this document @
~ click on the table
~ press Control-F
~ and make sure that "Search all sheets" is checked

. . . a June 2008 LJ article explaining the idea, design and detail of measures of the LJ Index of Public Library Service.

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want A Second Opinion.
He said okay, you're ugly too.” Rodney Dangerfield / Henny Youngman

Too Much Too Late
AL Inside Scoop Blog

March 3, 2009 by Leonard Kniffel

. . . . . I talked with Tom Hennen this morning about the new rankings (which take up eight pages in the February 15 issue of LJ ). “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” he laughed, but he also said he was “perplexed” by many of the claims that Lance and Lyons make for the superiority of their system. “They make a big point of saying my weighting of the factors is arbitrary,” Hennen said, “ but not weighting them is just as arbirtrary because they end up saying that visits, circulation, electronic resource use, and program attendance are all of equal weight, which is in itself a value judgement.”

Hennen also noted that Lance once said that the right way to rank is “to figure out what it takes to make a good library and use those elements and not just take readily available elements and turned them into an index.” But readily available elements are precisely what he and Lyons have used. There are many differences between the HAPLR rankings and the LJ Index, Hennen told me, “but the fundamental difference is that HAPLR includes input measures while the LJ Index does not. The LJ Index looks at only one side of the library service equation, while HAPLR looks at both sides.” The new index winds up saying that input measures such as staffing, materials budget, and funding levels are not essential to the measurement of the all-important output: public service.

I’ll leave further comparisons and criticisms of the methodology to the statisticians, but I will say that after 10 years of criticism, Hennen’s major detractors have come up with a ranking system that adds little to our understanding of what makes a public library successful . . . . READ MORE

Monday, March 2, 2009

Read Across America Day: March 2

Read Across America Day - March 2

Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday !
sponsored by the National Education Association

Oh, the Places You'll Go . . .

Start at Twitter and follow today's RAAD tweets, here's a few:

~ bibliovixen: Read Across America Day AND Dr. Seuss' birthday today!

~ CERodriguez: Happy Read Across America Day!

~ JBrandon: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Happy Read Across America Day!

~ tongamom: Today is: Dr. Seuss Day, which also entails Read Across America Day. In fact, I will be down at my boys' school reading to the kiddos later!

~ RickToone: Retweeting @MobiMom: Today is Read across America Day. Free digital Book read to your child.http://is.gd/lqvM (expand).

~ dailygrommet: Happy Read Across America Day! What are you reading today?

Also might want to check out this blogging event next week:

Share a Story - Shape a Future: March 9 - 13

blogging librarians, teachers, parents, illustrators, authors, and people passionate
about literacy created Share a Story - Shape a Future to share ideas and celebrate everything reading has to offer.
The event begins March 9, 2009 and lasts one week. Each day we will have group of bloggers sharing ideas around a specific theme. There are book giveaways and free downloads that will be announced by the various hosts as we get closer to the kickoff.

Day 1: Raising Readers: Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, the Reading Tub blog

Day 2: Selecting Reading Material: Sarah Mulhern at
The Reading Zone

Day 3: Reading Aloud - It's Fun, It's Easy: Susan Stephenson at the
Book Chook blog

Day 4: A Visit to the Library: Eva Mitnick at
Eva's Book Addiction blog

Day 5: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds: Elizabeth O. Dulemba at

So Light a Candle, Woodja !

Check Out a Dr. Seuss Book @ Your Local Library

The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss: a visual biography - Charles D. Cohen – Random, 2004