Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bay Psalm Book

at Libraries
The ultimate philanthropist:David Rubenstein spends $14.2m on Bay Psalm Book
AbeBooks: 11.27.2013

As predicted by almost everyone, this small book of psalms from 1640, known as the Bay Psalm Book, has become the world’s most expensive printed book after being auctioned by Sotheby’s last night in New York for $14.2 million.

The Bay Psalm Book is the first known book to be printed in what became the United States. Sotheby’s reported the buyer was US financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein, who planned to loan it to libraries. That’s a special gesture from a very rich man but we have seen it before. In 2007, Rubenstein purchased a copy of the Magna Carta at auction for $21.3 million, and then loaned it to the National Archives in Washington DC.

A remarkable piece of Puritan and American history, the book is an English translation of the original Hebrew psalms, and was owned by a church in Boston. The book sold is one of 11 copies known to exist from about 1,700 copies originally printed.

Leonardo da Vinci’s handwritten notebook is the most expensive book ever sold at $30.8 million.

So who is David Rubenstein?
He is the co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity investment firm and, according to Forbes, he is apparently worth $3 billion although I’m never sure how those figures are calculated. He also has an amazing track record of donating to good causes – $4.5 million to the US National Zoo for its panda reproduction program (goodness, those pandas need a lot of financial encouragement to get it on), $7.5 million to repair the Washington Monument, $13.5 million to the National Archives, and $50 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Literacy Spanning the U.S. - Redding CA, Lansing MI, Stillwater OK, Bluffton SC

Literacy Spanning the U.S.

Redding Library offers literacy programs to help adults better navigate their world
Redding Record Searchlight: 11. 16.2013 by Carrie Schmeck

Imagine a world without words, a nightstand minus a novel, a day devoid of texting or a morning without news headlines. For most of us, words serve a need for knowledge and entertainment.  Curious? Look it up. Bored? Read.

Sadly, reading for pleasure is a luxury to which many don’t or can’t participate. For whatever reasons, 30 million American adults cannot read better than an average third grader. And this doesn’t just create barriers to entertainment. It creates barriers to life.

And it doesn’t just affect those who can’t read. It affects us all.

A Portland State University study estimated more than 40 percent of Shasta and Tehama residents struggle with literacy. This doesn’t mean they can’t read “cat” and “bat.” This means they are struggling to achieve job goals, make sound consumer decisions, escape from poverty and keep their children from repeating the cycle.  READ MORE !

Reading is a vital skill for life success
Lansing State Journal: 11.16.2013 by John Muenzer, Chair of the board of Capital Area Literacy Coalition

What do we in the tri-county area have in common with each other? Answer: The latest data indicate that, in multiple school districts in the tri-county area, the 2011 graduation rate hovered around 50 percent. Only one out of two students received a diploma. There were nearly 700 dropouts in 2010.

Many of these dropouts may remain illiterate for the rest of their lives. Worse, they may build families in which literacy is not valued; making illiteracy exponential. Please note that family income level is not the greatest predictor of a child’s literacy and success in school. The greatest predictor of a child’s literacy level is the parents’ literacy levels.

Literacy is not limited by economics, race, age, or background. It is true that many in poverty struggle with reading. However, it could well be the case that your neighbor, co-worker, or good friend could be illiterate. It is so hard to tell because literacy is so anonymous. Most adults have developed ways to hide their poor reading skills. “I don’t have time to fill this form out right now, I’ll bring it back tomorrow,” “I forgot my glasses,” or “Do your own work, I’m not going to do it for you” are some of the techniques to disguise their situation. READ MORE !

Stillwater Literacy Council helps clients improve language skills
Stillwater NewsPress: 11.16.2013 by Mark Rountree

Candelaria Ojeda, a native of Guanajuato, Mexico, moved to the United States 17 years ago.
Several moves around the U.S. led the 39-year-old Spanish speaking mother to Stillwater three months ago.

“It’s difficult to speak to people,” Ojeda said.
Ojeda, who is employed at a Stillwater restaurant, said improving her language skills will expand her employment opportunities.
Executive Director Arlene Devers said students get involved in the program for many reasons. Some want to improve their reading level to advance in their job. Others might want to be a better reader so that they can read to their grandchildren. She said many international students feel isolated in Stillwater because of the difficulty in communication, and the program helps to build their language skills. READ MORE !

Literacy of Volunteers of the Lowcountry top volunteer shows value of those who help
Island Packet: 11.18.2013 by David Lauderdal

Thanks to volunteer Joe Distelheim for sharing the story of Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry's volunteer of the year, Vivian Burt. Beaufort County volunteers teach English and reading. They teach kids and adults and seniors. They help older folks get to their doctors and help people who can't afford doctors get medical care anyway. They help in thrift stores and food pantries, in clubs that keep children safe and old people secure. They give their time to the arts and to military families, through service clubs and churches and the United Way. Our little piece of the world is the most volunteer-intensive place most of us have ever experienced. Vivian Burt, a transplant from New Jersey, is a good example. Her story is typical: Some 10 years ago, she was exposed to a need and to an organized effort to meet that need, got involved gradually, then found ways to make a larger contribution. But, her accomplishments have been unusually praiseworthy -- she recently was named Volunteer of the Year by the Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry.
Literacy Volunteers provides some numbers that demonstrate how valuable volunteer time and effort can be.Literacy Volunteers has more than 200 volunteers, including tutors and support people such as Volunteer of the Year Vivian Burt. Together, they contribute more than 20,000 hours annually -- teaching time, preparation, training, travel.  READ MORE !

Friday, November 22, 2013

Libraries Change Lives

Libraries Change Lives
Huffington Post: 11.19.2013 by Vicki Cobb

Want to hang out with a bunch of really smart people? Spend a day at a convention of school librarians. That's what I did on Friday, November 15 in Hartford, Connecticut at the biannual convention of the American Association of School Librarians. What makes them so smart? They are exemplars of what the Opening Session speaker, Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, says the country needs if we are going to produce the many young innovators needed for our technology-driven new world order. According to Wagner, it is play, passion and purpose that drive young innovators. They succeed because some adult in their lives feeds their passions and honors their purpose. School librarians are always on the lookout for the child who wants to know more and feeds his/her interests with books and resources that resonate. This is the essence of their job description.

.       .       .       .       .

Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association is not taking this challenge lying down. She is spearheading a presidential initiative: Libraries Change Lives -- which promotes and recognizes the crucial role libraries play in literacy, innovation and community engagement for all ages. She told me: "The Declaration for the Right to Libraries affirms the values and impacts that school, public, academic, and special libraries provide for those they serve. In today's fast-paced and isolating society, libraries offer a safe and inviting space where every member of the community can read, access the Internet, learn, create, and engage in civil discourse -- in fact, change his life.

.       .       .       .       .

So, everyone, this is a no-brainer. Stand up for libraries. Support your local school librarians. Information may be at everyone's fingertips but knowledge and wisdom still need the human touch. Libraries and librarians are where it's at. READ MORE !

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

‘Selfie’ named Word of the Year 2013

‘Selfie’ named Word of the Year 2013
OUP: 11.19.2013

Oxford Dictionaries today announced ‘Selfie’ as its International Word of the Year 2013.

The Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date.

Selfie noun, informal (also selfy; plural selfies) is defined as: ‘a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.’

Selfie can be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum.  It gained momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013 as it evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph.

Candidates for the Word of the Year are drawn initially from the Oxford Dictionaries New Monitor Corpus, a research programme which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, using automated search criteria to scan new web content. Sophisticated software allows the dictionaries team to identify new and emerging words on a daily basis and examine the shifts that occur in geography, register, and frequency of use.

Dictionary editors also flag other notable words for consideration, and suggestions made via the OxfordWords blog and social media are also taken into account. The final Word of the Year selection team is made up of lexicographers and consultants to the dictionary team, and editorial, marketing, and publicity staff.

Other words shortlisted for this year’s award were bedroom tax, binge-watch, bitcoin, olinguito, schmeat, showrooming, and twerk.  READ MORE!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gettysburg Address: 150th Anniversary

Gettysburg Address: 150th Anniversary

The Gettysburg Address recited by David McCullough, Ken Burns, Sam Waterston, Matthew Broderick, Stephen Lang and Medal of Honor recipient Paul W. Bucha. Musical score provided by Oscar-winning composer John Williams. Video was created in opposition to a proposed casino 1/2 mile from the Gettysburg National Military Park. No Casino Gettysburg


To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns, along with numerous partners, has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. The collection of recordings housed on this site will continue to grow as more and more people are inspired by the power of history and take the challenge.

The inspiration for this project is the tiny Greenwood School in the small town of Putney, Vermont. The school's students, boys ages 11-17, all face a range of learning differences that have made their personal, academic and social progress extremely challenging. Yet each year they are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address.

The Greenwood School is the focus of Burns's next film, THE ADDRESS, which will air on PBS in the spring of 2014. #theaddressPBS

Gettysburg Address - the 150th anniversary
A Q&A on history's greatest speech
NJ Voices: 11.17.2013 by Jim Miller

What made the Gettysburg Address one of America’s greatest speeches?

It’s a speech we’re all taught, and its words are woven into the fabric of our nation’s history. “Four score and seven years ago

It was, in fact, 150 years ago this week — Nov. 19, 1863 — when President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pa., to help dedicate the cemetery at the battlefield where, 4½ months earlier, 165,000 soldiers in blue and gray fought, with 51,000 casualties. READ MORE !

Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan Abraham Lincoln's Greatest Speech
Civil War Trust by Chuck Teague (National Park Service)
The Great Task Video
The Gettysburg Address
Outline for the Gettysburg Address Power Point Parts 1 and 2
Outline for the Gettysburg Address Power Point Parts 3 and 4
Timeline to the Address
The Gettysburg Address Power Point Presentation Parts 1 and 2
The Gettysburg Address Power Point Presentation Parts 3 and 4
“Your Version” Worksheet

Monday, November 18, 2013

James Patterson: Champion of Literacy

Library of Congress Names James Patterson 'Champion' – of Literacy
PW: 11.05.2013 by Ingrid Roper

On November 4, 2013 the Library of Congress welcomed bestselling adult and children’s author James Patterson as the first Champion of the Young Readers Center. The five-year-old Center is the only reading room in the Library of Congress with an “Open to the Public” sign in front of its door. (Others require a reader’s card and require that researchers be 16 or older.)

In his keynote speech as part of the 2013 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, Patterson said, “I’m here today to help save some lives. The lives of children all across our country.” He encouraged the audience in the Coolidge Auditorium of the library’s Thomas Jefferson building to become reading missionaries. “Better readers become better thinkers. If kids are not good readers then their chances of getting through high school are slim to none.”  READ MORE!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Literacy - Spanning North America - Lake Co CA, Houston TX, Standoff AB

Literacy - Spanning North America

Celebrating the gift of literacy
LakeCoNews: 11.10.2013 by C. Richard Smith

The Lake County Literacy Task Force celebrated its third anniversary at the Lake County Office of Education this past Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The task force has a vision that everyone in the county – young, adults and elders – not only be able to read, but desire to read.

It supports four literacy programs in the county.

The Big Read, which took place in October, promotes adult literacy through focusing on an author and novel.

Lake County Reads is a program supported by service clubs that purchases books for elementary school libraries and has a service club member read the book at the school.  READ MORE !

Literacy Advance of Houston sees golden opportunity in 50th anniversary year
yourhoustonnews: 11.05.2013

At a recent private event for nearly 300 people at the Junior League of Houston, Literacy Advance of Houston’s Executive Director Melanie Fisk announced plans for the 50th anniversary year of the non-profit organization.

“We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the tremendous achievements of our past as we continue to expand our stellar programs to meet Houston’s future literacy needs head-on,” said Fisk.

Founded in 1964, Literacy Advance has provided adults in Houston with basic literacy classes led by trained volunteer tutors for 50 years. In addition to basic literacy, Literacy Advance provides English as a Second Language (ESL), family literacy services, transition services to help students become economically self-sufficient, and workforce development classes to help prepare Houston’s workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

“Through literacy, people can permanently change the trajectory of their lives. At Literacy Advance, we help parents talk with their child’s teacher. We help adults learn to read so they can get a GED or enroll in college. And we help workers learn new skills to increase their chances of career growth,” said Fisk.

Thousands upon thousands of adults have benefited over the last 50 years. Last year, more than 3,000 people were served through Literacy Advance’s programs. However, Houston’s literacy needs continue to grow at a pace that service providers cannot match. Today, 1-in-5 adults living in the greater Houston area are functionally illiterate. READ MORE !

The Real 21st-Century Problem in Public Education is Poverty 11.06.2013 by Elaine Weiss

So much has been said about new “21st century” skills, standards and learning requirements, that they have become virtually synonymous with “college and career readiness” (a similarly poorly defined goal). The purportedly new demand for higher-level and different skills has further increased the pressure for more tests and higher stakes attached to them.

A new study showing explosive growth in student poverty suggests, though, that we have misidentified the problem. What if we have actually been teaching the right skills in US schools all along – math and reading, science and civics, along with creativity, perseverance and team-building? What if these were as important a hundred years ago for nurturing innovative farmers and developers of new automobiles as they are now for creating the next generation of tech innovators? What if these are the very characteristics of US schools that have made us such a strong public education nation, and the current shift toward a narrower agenda just dilutes that strength? What if, rather than raising standards, and testing students more, the biggest change we need to address is that of our student body?

The October 2013 Southern Education Foundation study indicates clearly that poverty, which has long been the biggest obstacle to educational achievement, is more important than ever. It is our true 21st century problem. Fifty years ago, we educated mostly working-class kids and up, and we did not expect those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder to graduate. Now we educate all students, including the very poorest and otherwise disadvantaged. And we expect them all to graduate. Compounding this shift, a large and growing proportion of US students students live in poverty and even concentrated poverty, have a disability, and/or are learning English as a second language. THAT is the paradigm shift, and we need a totally new set of policies to address that 21st century reality.  READ MORE !

Checking out Alberta's 1st public library on a reserve
Kainai Public Library opened in February in Standoff, Alta.
CBC News: 11.04. 2013

Hundreds of people have picked up library cards in a southern Alberta community that is home to the first public library on a First Nation in the province.

There are hundreds of books lining the shelves at the Kainai Public Library in Standoff on the Blood Tribe’s reserve. Card holders have access to thousands more through the Chinook Arch Regional Library System.

"Literacy and poverty go hand in hand so as soon as you get a society — a community —  that has high literacy levels, poverty goes down."  READ MORE !

Friday, November 15, 2013

EveryLibrary: Building Voter Support for Libraries

Building Voter Support for Libraries

Libraries need to talk to voters directly about the bonds, levys, milliages, and referendum that build, renovate, or expand library services for the next generation. Any library initiative anywhere matters to every library everywhere. Make your pledge today.

Henry Rollins Supports Libraries and EveryLibrary

EveryLibrary grew out of the need for a politically active organization dedicated exclusively to supporting local library initiatives at the ballot box.  Many library associations – both at the national and state level – are organized as 501(c)3 educational associations.  Current law and regulations prohibit these associations from engaging in direct voter advocacy or funding political campaigns. As a 501(c)4 organization, EveryLibrary can act where these associations cannot.  The opportunity to fundraise and directly support library ballot initiatives will be unique in the library world.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Empowerment Through Libraries - Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins: Empowerment Through Libraries
LA Weekly: 10.14.2013 by Henry Rollins

.     .     .     .     .     .     .
It's getting late. I have been up since 0447 hrs. It was a day that I had been anticipating for a long time. Late last year, I had been asked to keynote the California Library Association Convention, happening Nov. 3-5 this year at the Long Beach Convention Center. I said yes to the invite immediately, honored and puzzled that I of all people was on their radar.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .

Libraries and books are a big part of my life. Like a lot of inwardly drawn young people, I spent a lot of time in libraries. At my high school, I often spent my lunch breaks there. The books were an escape and the Ritalin that was pumping through my system killed my appetite. I also spent a lot of time in the library near my apartment. It was big and often quite empty. There were no parents there, no one I knew, and the solitude was a great relief.

I preferred books over people. They didn't beat me up or take my bike. There was something very empowering about walking into the building, past all the adults, and realizing that I could pull down any book I wanted to and just start reading. I don't know why but it was a huge deal to me. READ MORE !

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

National Young Readers Week: Nov 11-15

National Young Readers Week
November 11 - 15

Celebrate National Young Readers Week by watching a free story every day from One More Story, an online library of the best classic and contemporary children's picture books.

The 2013 lineup:

11/11 Ladybugs Can't Be Tall

11/12 The House in the Night

11/13 The Emperor's Egg

11/14 The Little Red Hen and the Ear of Wheat

11/15 Epossumondas

National Young Readers Week is an annual event that was co-founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It always takes place the second week of November.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Literacy Spanning the U.S. - Delaware Co PA, Cayuga Co NY, Norman OK

Literacy Spanning the U.S.

Literacy champions to be honored Nov. 14
Delcotimes: 11.07.2013 by Phil Heron

Chester Mayor John Linder realized the challenges of being an adult student when he returned to college at the age of 23.

Phil Heron, editor of the Delaware County Daily Times, started thinking more deeply about adult literacy when he participated in the Literacy Council’s open house last year.

“I was there and able to speak to people from all walks of life who were working towards their GED or improving their English,” said Heron.

Dr. Timothy Witmer, Senior Pastor of Crossroads Community Church, saw his congregation and the surrounding Upper Darby community become so diverse that he spearheaded several programs to reach out to local immigrants.

All three have taken positive steps to promote adult literacy in Delaware County, and all three will be honored at Delaware County Literacy Council’s “Champions of Adult Literacy” Awards Reception and Fundraiser 6:30-8 p.m.Thursday, Nov. 14at Harrah’s Casino in Chester.

The event will include adult students sharing their success stories, an awards ceremony to honor the champions, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a ticket auction with several locally donated prizes. Available for ticket “bids” will be gift baskets, Flyers tickets, Phillies tickets, iTunes gift cards, Franklin Fountain gift certificates, an overnight stay at Purcell Darrell House, and more. Attendees also will have opportunities to become personal “Champions of Adult Literacy.” 

Changing lives with literacy: Cayuga County volunteer group celebrates 50 years 10.30.2013 by Kelsey Durham

The members of Literacy Volunteers of Cayuga County don't just teach reading and writing.

They teach survival skills.

Since 1963, thousands of residents across the county have benefited from the services offered by the group dedicated to teaching adults how to read. On Nov. 13, the organization will graduate yet another class of students and celebrate its 50th anniversary of service to the area.

One of the oldest literacy groups in the country, Literacy Volunteers of Cayuga County was founded five decades ago by Pauline and Cyril Foster. The chapter stems from Literacy Volunteers of America, the national organization founded in Syracuse a few years before. Today, a group that started with just these two individuals now has more than 100 volunteers who serve hundreds of students each year.

"Our goal is to improve lives through literacy," said Elisa Carabajal Hunt, executive director of the Cayuga County organization. "The students we deal with are adults who just haven't been successful in traditional school and are now realizing their lack of reading skills are hindering them."  READ MORE !

Fighting illiteracy: For woman, reward is in seeing others get help learning to read
Leslie Gelders' reward is in seeing others get the assistance they need to be able to read.
News OK: 11.03.2013 by Bryan Painter

Leslie Gelders' mother made a suggestion back in 1985.
Gelders listened.

“I was looking for a volunteer opportunity,” Gelders said. “My mother was a librarian, and she suggested I become a tutor and help an adult learn to read. I went through the training course and began volunteering with the Norman Literacy Council.

“I found working one-on-one with a student to be rewarding, and I became very interested in the problem of illiteracy and its impact on society.”

Today, Gelders is the director of the Literacy Resources Office at the state Department of Libraries. In that department, she has been involved with the fight against illiteracy in a professional and volunteer capacity since 1987.

“Leslie's creative, and she's not afraid to try new ideas,” said Bill Young, public information manager for the state Department of Libraries. “She has a proven track record, and her enthusiasm is infectious. I think that's why local literacy councils have been willing to embrace many of the new efforts and initiatives that the Oklahoma Department of Libraries has started.”

Gelders grew up a reader in a reading family. She was surrounded by books.

So she was really unaware of the issue of illiteracy until she began her volunteer work.  READ MORE !