Sunday, October 27, 2013

Literacy Around the U.S.

Literacy around the U.S.


Too many patients have poor health literacy

Inside Tucson Business: 10.11.2013 by Kay Miller Temple

PHOENIX — Paulette Compton’s husband had an MBA and was trained by the military to fly planes, helicopters and blimps. But faced with doctor’s recommendation to get a chest X-ray to determine the cause of a persistent cough, he refused.

She learned that only after Cecil Compton died at age 71 from lung cancer, five months after it was finally diagnosed.

Now Compton is left to wonder if her husband had understood that acting on the advice to get a chest X-ray could have led to earlier detection of cancer.

“There is no doubt my husband was a smart man, a very smart man,” Compton said, “but I don’t think he understood why a chest X-ray might have been important.”

According to experts, Cecil Compton fit the profile of most people who don’t understand health information. They are literate on many other topics but still find it difficult to understand and act in order to make the best choices.

Health literacy, or being able to read, understand and act on medical information, is a struggle for nine in 10 people, according to the U.S. Preventative Task Force, an independent group of health care experts.
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Evonda Copeland, library services supervisor for Scottsdale Healthcare, said that’s where a medical librarian can step in by taking the time to give personal assistance and one-on-one attention to make sure patients get answers to their health care questions.  READ MORE !

Literacy — A simple solution for 24 years
Lompoc Record: 10.25.2013 by Christina Chill, Library Literacy Coordinator

From my experience as literacy coordinator at Lompoc Public Library since 1981, I firmly believe “literacy” is essential to success in today’s information-driven society.

It is a basic need that helps people emerge out of poverty and into the mainstream of our society. Yet, despite our nation’s best efforts, a recent study shows that illiteracy rates have made little or no progress in 30 years and still remains to be a silent epidemic, one that is not talked about and often swept under the rug.

I am very passionate about this issue — one, because I have a son who nearly fell through the cracks of our educational system, and two, because I love reading and learning and could not for one minute imagine my own life without the ability to read, write and express myself.

After working in literacy for more than two decades, I have come to realize that this segment of our population needs a voice, someone to advocate for them and make our community aware of the importance and continued need for free and easy access to lifelong learning opportunities. To this day, I still find it astonishing and somewhat appalling, that 18 percent of English-speaking adults in our county — our neighbors — lack basic reading and writing skills. This is a community problem.
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We are also forming a Literacy Committee to help the Library formulate a plan for continuance of literacy service into the future.

Anyone interested in this issue is invited to attend the first meeting which will begin at 6 p.m. Monday in the Grossman Gallery at the Lompoc Public Library, 501 E. North Ave.  READ MORE !
Worcester Public Library and Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester celebrate Constitution Day
In City Times Worcester: 10.18.2013 by Laurie D’Amico

“I am an American!” Those are the words that inspire American citizenship seekers to study US history for countless hours and to practice using difficult words in English to pass the naturalization test.

On September 17 at the Worcester Public Library immigrants and refugees interested in finding out more about citizenship were able to meet with the field officers from the US Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Lou Chaves and Roy Davis of USCIS spent the afternoon and evening answering specific questions about how to successfully apply and attain US citizenship. Mr. Davis explained how important it is to be sure who you go to for help. Sometimes people pretend to be “immigration experts” to deceive you and take your money. Of course this is against the law, but it happens everyday.

The Literacy Volunteers of Greater office located in room 332 at the Worcester Public Library offers free ESL and Citizenship classes throughout the year. The goals are to explain qualifications for citizenship, offer lessons in US History, prepare for the Naturalization test and answer basic questions on how to complete necessary forms. The library offers the most recent available citizenship materials such as cds, dvds, books, flashcards and playaways that can be easily borrowed with the use of a library card.

Mr. Roy Davis explained that citizenship seekers can apply for a USCIS infopass which is a free Internet-based scheduling system available online that allows you to make appointments at your local USCIS office to meet with an immigration officer. Sometimes websites that look professional can also lead you to a scam. Citizenship teacher Cricket Paulsen, has the information to access the info pass and helps make the naturalization process safe, informative and successful.

Literacy indicator of healthy society
Daily Utah Chronicle: 10.23.2013 by Nafisa Masud
In this day and age, it is rare for a fellow passenger on public transportation to be reading a novel for pleasure, or for a child to shun a computer in favor of a well-worn book. And while my heart breaks as I write it, the advances of our modern world are making traditional book reading uncommon.
But fear not, fellow readers — books still have a place in our world, albeit in a different form. The ways we function, travel and communicate have changed and evolved over time, but literacy and the written word retain great value in today’s society.
Author Neil Gaiman recently gave a lecture at the annual Reading Agency on the future of books and their importance, emphasizing the empathy and inventiveness reading grants us. Gaiman argues that books provide us with an enriched perspective of the world around us and grant us the ingenuity to find solutions to the problems we encounter.
And though many would agree that literacy is still a valuable trait, few believe libraries retain their importance. Throughout history libraries have existed as sources of knowledge and information. During medieval times, books were often written in the form of illuminated manuscripts, carrying both physical and material heft, and as such were impossible for the masses to keep within their own homes. Instead they came to libraries, places of copious information when it was scarcely found elsewhere. READ MORE !

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Food Health Literacy

Food Day: October 24

Follow Food Day on Twitter

a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

Food Day aims to help people Eat Real. That means cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods, and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein. Food Day envisions shorter lines at fast-food drive-throughs—and bigger crowds at farmers markets.

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.

Follow Farm To School on Twitter

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food!

Students: Share a picture of your school lunch!

By admin on 10/23/2013 in blog by
Unhealthy meals carry big risks. Over time, unbalanced nutrition can contribute to obesity, diabetes, poor performance in school and more. But no matter how healthy your school lunch is, if it doesn’t look good or taste good, it might end up in the trash, where it doesn’t do anyone any good.

.      .       . Tweet Spots
Chef Jay & Chef Dennis from Ten22 were cooking up a storm today to promote food literacy.
Thanks, guys! You can...

#Cooking classes started last week @ #RoosterSpringsElem!
#PFCD attendee suggests teaching kids to cook to help fight #obesity.
RT @FarmtoSchool: Good news: Farm to school is taking root across the country! #USDAF2S Census results are out!
Training teachers & staff in Newark to take control of their health & pass the info to students.#FoodEd #foodliteracy
Three Tips to Teach #FoodLiteracy to Kids, and Carrot & Raisin Citrus Salad 
via @eatingrules
Let's start with promoting #FoodLiteracy.
@Food_Tank: On @FoodDay2013, let's commit to healthier children.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rural One-Room Library

Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library
Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries
NPR: 10.21.2013 by Jennifer Davidson

There's one state highway running through Myrtle, Mo. It's a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. There's no bank or restaurant here, but enormous oak and persimmon trees loom over a small stone building right next to the road. Half of it is a post office; the other half, a one-room public library.

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services estimates that nearly half of America's public libraries are rural, and many of those are staffed by only one or two people.

"Often, the library is the only place in a small community that people can go to access technology, to fill out job applications, to continue their learning," says Tena Hanson of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

She says libraries in remote places are lifelines for rural communities, because the Internet doesn't always reach towns with rugged terrain.  READ MORE !

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tweet Spots: PIAAC + Health Literacy Month +

Tweet Spots: PIAAC + Health Literacy Month +

PIAAC  [see also: Literacy Reports & Statistics Page]
In literacy, Americans aged 16-24 rank 20th of 22 in recent OECD report; in problem-solving, 19th of 19: Crook
Health Literacy
Keys to Patient Literacy: Patient Educators Update Ep 38 #nurses #patienteducation #healthlit #healthliteracy
Adult Learners
8 adults' lives changed forever. A literacy program gave them knowledge & support - getting them into college. #THV11 

Early Literacy
Stopping Bedtime Stories too Early can Damage Children’s Literacy 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Declaration for the Right to Libraries

Declaration for the Right to Libraries

The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is the cornerstone document of ALA President Barbara Stripling’s presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, which is designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school and public.

In the next year, libraries of all types will hold signing ceremonies, during which community members can visibly declare their right to have vibrant libraries in their community.  The signing ceremony is intended to serve as the launching point for continued and vibrant community engagement to:

•Increase public and media awareness about the critical role of libraries in communities around the country

•Inspire ongoing conversations about the role of the library in the community

•Cultivate a network of community allies and advocates for the library

•Position the library as a trusted convener to help in the response to community issues

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government shutdown closes Library of Congress

Government shutdown closes Library of Congress -- online too
Jacket Copy: Books, authors and all things bookish
LA Times: 10.01.2013 by Carolyn Kellogg

 "Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government, the Library of Congress is closed to the public and researchers beginning Oct. 1, 2013 until further notice," reads the Library of Congress website.
Not only are the front doors locked; the website has been shut down too. Only two components of it are accessible: and, both of which track legislation moving through Congress -- or not moving, as the case may be.  READ MORE !

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

National Literacy / Library Calendar: October 2013

National Literacy & Library Calendar: October 2013

Literacy & Library Events & Conferences
- Local, California and National -
Southern California Library Literacy Network
for more information
National Book Month (National Book Found. no longer sponsors event)

Oct 3 LitCrawl Portland
Oct 3 Read For TheRecord: OTIS by Loren Long
Oct 4+ Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, Simmons College
Oct 4 Health Literacy Conference, San Antonio TX
Oct 4+ National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough TN
Oct 5 Star Wars ReadsDay
Oct 5 Sensory Friendly Films - CLOUDY...MEATBALLS 2 @10a
Oct 9+ Closing the Gap Conference, Minneapolis MN
Oct 10+ Comic Con, New York
Oct 10+ Plain Language Conference, Vancouver BC
Oct 10 Benefit for Literacy Gala - Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, Huntington NY
Oct 11+ Power of Picture Books: Links to Literacy and Learning, Honesdale PA
Oct 11 Joy of Children's Literature and Literacy Conference, William & Mary VA
Oct 13 Plain LanguageDay
Oct 13+ Teen Read Week Libraries
Oct 16 Dictionary Day
Oct 16+ Alliance for Children and Families Conference, Minneapolis MN
Oct 16+ Natl Coun for Workforce Education Conf, Milwaukee WI
Oct 18+ Library 2.013 Virtual Conference, CyberSpace
Oct 20 National Dayof Writing
Oct 20+ National Friends of Libraries Week
Oct 24+ Conference on Learning Disabilities, Austin TX
Oct 24 Lit Crawl Seattle
Oct 24+ National Black Book Festival, Houston TX
Oct 26 Lit Crawl Austin
Oct 26 Make A Difference Day
Oct 28+ Internet Librarian, Monterey CA
Oct 28+ Health Literacy Research Conference, Washington DC
Oct 31+ US Conference on AdultLiteracy USCAL, Washington DC