Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Books That Shaped America

Books That Shaped America
Library of Congress
June 25 – September 29

The Library of Congress began its multiyear "Celebration of the Book" with an exhibition, "Books That Shaped America." The exhibition is part of a larger series of programs, symposia and other events that explore the important and varied ways that books influence our lives.

On view in the exhibition are many rare editions from the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division, as well as other related items chosen from various parts of the Library.

The list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "We hope people will view the list and then nominate other titles. Finally, we hope people will choose to read and discuss some of the books on this list, reflecting our nation’s unique and extraordinary literary heritage, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world." READ MORE !

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oakland Public Library - Occupied

Victor Martinez People’s Library Open
by * Occupy California: 8.13.2012

OAKLAND, California – On Monday morning, the former 23rd Avenue Branch of the Oakland Public Library was occupied and renamed the Victor Martinez People’s Library. The building was shut down as a public library in 1976 and was briefly an alternative school and later a social services facility(1). The building has been vacant since 2010, located on 1449 Miller Avenue in East Oakland.

Here’s an initial statement from the people’s library:

The building unveiled today as the Victor Martinez Community Library was part of a Carnegie Foundation endowment of four libraries given to the city of Oakland between 1916 and 1918. Oakland’s librarian at the time, Charles S. Greene, believed that the city’s people would benefit most from libraries placed within their communities.

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11:40pm: Police raid the library, boarding it up and closing the fence off. Organizers call for a meeting outside the library for 10am (Tuesday).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

9 Reasons to Save Public Libraries

Nine Reasons to Save Public Libraries 8.08.2012 by Emmily Bristol (Education, Headline, Issues)

While the War on Women and Chick-fil-A might be getting all the juicy headlines lately, there’s another issue quietly smoldering in the background noise of this election season. It’s buried under all the campaign rhetoric and doom-and-gloom forecasts about the economy.

Our public libraries are not just threatened this election season. They’re fighting for their lives — and with them, the livelihoods and well-being of hard-hit communities all over the country. Library districts in California, Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and more have measures or proposals to slash budgets in 2012. California alone is looking at 50% budget cuts. Where I live, the library district is facing a 30% budget cut, which will close at least two branches. According to the American Library Association, 23 states are looking to cut library budgets in the most recent fiscal year.

But I have yet to see a demonstration to save the libraries. Or read national news coverage about the potential collapse of one society’s most valuable resources. Indeed, it wasn’t by accident that our nation’s founding fathers established the first American lending library.

But the truth is that the state of our public libraries is a kind of litmus test of not only our economic health but that of our democracy, too. After all, libraries are the free, democratization of education, unbiased research, and uncensored enlightenment.

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Here are some reasons why our libraries are still the place where we as a nation will achieve our destiny:
1. The house of the 99% . . .
2. Libraries build equity . . .
3. Community hope chest . . .
4. Renewable resource . . .
5. Literacy . . .
6. Leveling the playing field . . .
7. Safe space . . .
8. Cultural touchstone . . .
9. Drop in or drop out: Libraries can also be a place that means the difference between a child’s success or failure in school. Many libraries offer tutoring programs, free classes, as well as access to volumes of information and technology that a kid might not have anywhere else.

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Doesn’t that seem like a space too valuable to lose?  READ IT !

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Love My Librarian Award: 2012

I Love My Librarian Award: 2012

Nominate your favorite librarian in your favorite library !
Deadline: September 12.

The award is administered by the American Library Association with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and The New York Times.

10 librarians each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.

Recognize the accomplishments of your exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarian.

Nominate your school librarian
Nominate your public librarian
Nominate your college, community college or university librarian

Read about the Award and the winners from 2011 - 2008.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Literacy & Library Funding: Federal Budget FY2013

Congress is Working on the New Federal 2013 Budget

ACT NOW – Write your Representatives and ask them to support funding for Literacy and Libraries in the FY2013 budget.

The Senate appropriated $28.6 million for literacy. A minimum of half, or $14.3 million must go to low income school libraries while the rest of the money will go toward national not-for-profits that work for childhood literacy. The U.S. Department of Education has named this program Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Grant applications are available now. The House eliminated funding for the IAL program.

The budget also appropriates money for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which includes $185 million for LSTA funding. Under LSTA; Grants to States was appropriated at $156.6 million, Native American Library Services was funded at $3.8 million, National Leadership for Libraries was funded at $11.9 million, and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian was received $12.5 million in FY ‘12.

The 2012 federal fiscal year will end on September 30, 2012.
Library & Literacy Funding Chart: FY 2013 (ALA)

Innovative Approaches to Literacy IAL
From 2002 to 2010, the Improving Literacy through School Libraries program had been the primary source for federal funding of school libraries. However, in recent years the President and U.S. Congress have consolidated or zero-funded this program. It is intended to support innovative programs that promote early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
The only federal program exclusively for libraries. State libraries use the funds to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through sub-grants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate about three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Restart the Economy by Stopping Illiteracy

Restart the Economy by Stopping Illiteracy
Huffington Post: 7.27.2012 by Rep. Hansen Clarke

The silver bullet for rebuilding our business climate, reducing crime, and restoring employment is as simple as ABC. It's time for bipartisan action to end the crisis of illiteracy.

If the absence of basic adult reading skills sounds like a problem of the past, consider the statistics: 47 percent of adults in Detroit are, according to a 2011 study by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, "functionally illiterate." This means that nearly half of adults lack the reading and writing skills to understand or complete a newspaper article, job advertisement, or bank statement.

This is not only debilitating for individuals and families. It's devastating for our entire region. Without attaining high levels of literacy, we cannot attract and keep high-quality employers that pay good wages. Without ensuring that people have the basic skills they need to succeed in the workplace, we cannot overcome our problems with crime. It should come as no surprise that 56 percent of United States adults in prison or jail in 2008 were deemed to have "very low literacy skills" according to the National Commission on Adult Literacy.

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This month, I teamed up with Republican Congressman Tim Scott, a fellow African-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to introduce a bipartisan resolution for action on illiteracy. While we represent different regions, different parties, and different political philosophies, we agree that illiteracy is an urgent crisis, which disproportionately affects the lives of African-American and Hispanic men. We call on the federal government, private businesses, and citizens' groups to work together to reach the goal of reducing illiteracy by 50 percent among minority groups and 25 percent nationally over the next decade. READ MORE !