Friday, February 28, 2014

Libraries, Literature and Language: 1000 Words or Less

Libraries, Literature and Language

Come, lovers of libraries!  Wordsmiths!  Readers and writers of the world!  Submit your literary goodness to our commemorative spring issue of Word Fountain!  In honor of our 125th anniversary as a library, our theme is open to libraries, literature and language.

A 1,000 word or less submission can be loosely based on these themes.  Interested in writing a poem about how great the library is?  Or perhaps you have a flash fiction mystery piece with the library as a setting?  Want to woo others with your love for Whitman?  Care to compose a Chaucerian piece?  Discuss your discourse on syntax, grammar…etc.

Deadline for submissions:  March 31st 2014
Ages 13+ (must have legal guardian’s permission if under 18.  A signed document giving you permission is acceptable.)
Any genre.
1,000 words or less.

Ways you can submit:
Mail or deliver to:
Osterhout Free Library
ATTN:  Word Fountain Staff
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Fax:  Attn:  Word Fountain Staff to 570 823 2475

The friendly neighborhood Word Fountain Editors!

 By submitting you understand that SUBMISSION DOES NOT GUARANTEE PUBLICATION; however, your submission will be carefully reviewed by an excellent literary team.
 By submitting, you acknowledge that, if accepted, your work may be published in print, online or in-house at our library.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Don't Gut the 42nd Street Library!


The Central Library Plan (CLP), at enormous cost to New York City and its taxpayers, would irreparably damage the 42nd Street Research Library – one of the world’s great reference libraries and a historic landmark. The CLP also calls for the sale of the Mid-Manhattan Library at 40th and Fifth Avenue, the most heavily used library in the entire country.

The NYPL plans to demolish the 42nd Street Library’s historic seven-story book stacks, install a circulating library in their stead, and displace 1.5 million books to central New Jersey. The new circulating library would replace the Mid-Manhattan Library and the Science, Industry and Business Library (at 34th and Madison), despite being less than one-third the size of the two existing libraries.

This plan was created through a closed process with no public input, and has been condemned by leading architecture critics.  READ MORE!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Literacy integral to economic development
Lompoc Record: 2.16.2014

Lompoc has deemed economic development as a top priority. Illiteracy is a root cause of economic and personal decline.

Here are a few statistics on the impact of illiteracy on economic costs. Three out of four individuals on welfare are illiterate. More than 60 percent of those arrested are illiterate. According to Pennsylvania’s Washington County LiteracyCouncil 2003 research “adult illiteracy costs society an estimated $240 million each year in lost productivity, unrealized tax revenue, welfare, crime, and poverty.”

And to see our literacy program’s impact locally, witness Lompoc resident Jacova Palacios’ success story.

After completing the Library Literacy Program, Jacova has been able to read and comprehend financial and legal documents allowing her to purchase a home. Her new skills also led to her researching businesses plans, applying for the necessary licenses, and starting a child care business she now runs from her home in Lompoc. A relatively small investment in literacy pays huge returns.

While the City Council agreed to fund the Lompoc Literacy Program until June 2014, no one proposed a viable solution for the continuance of this vital program. The suggestions offered by the council members were all valid and should be explored: 1) research additional partnerships with other local literacy organizations and programs, 2) find new donors from those already supporting these other programs, and 3) request the library board of trustees to review the literacy program’s placement as an adjunct program rather than an integral program of the Lompoc Library’s general funding.

While no long-term solutions were presented, it is still important that the city consider designating some of our tax dollars specifically for the literacy program as this reflects a strong community support for the program making it more appealing to grants and donors.  READ MORE!

Wooster program tackling local illiteracy
Daily Record: 2.02.2014 by Linda Hall

A retired Wayne County Schools Career Center teacher has a new mission -- working toward conquering a sobering local illiteracy rate in her new role as the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) coordinator.

An educator for 31 years, Chris Boyan began tackling her new job as ABLE coordinator in August; she has already made a comprehensive presentation to a local service organization outlining the problem and what she believes is the solution to illiteracy.

"It's an invisible problem," she said, fearing the solution also is not as highly visible as it should be. It's the reason she wants to spread the word about ABLE, which has been helping people move beyond their academic limitations.

Boyan said the government has defined functional illiteracy as the inability to manage daily life and work activities because of insufficient reading and writing skills.

Boyan provided statistics showing about 20.7 percent of 18-24-year-olds in Wayne County have no high school diploma or certificate; nor do 15.3 percent of adults 25 years of age and older. Illiteracy and dropping out of high school are often intertwined problems.

But Boyan countered, of the overall 11.9 percent of all Wayne County residents who don't have a high school diploma or credential, this past year "we only worked with 358 people."

In her opinion, "we're not getting through to the crowd we need (to reach with) the solution," Boyan said.

It's not just a local problem, but a nationwide one, she pointed out, presenting data illustrating the staggering consequences of illiteracy.  READ MORE !

Nonprofit fights low literacy rates in Montgomery County
Your Houston News: 2.17.2014 by Stephanie Buckner

The issue of low literacy rates has been a long-standing problem in the United States for many years.

According to the United States Census Bureau, as the population of an area becomes more diverse, the literacy rate becomes considerably higher

It is the main goal of the Literacy Volunteers of America to decrease the growing amount of illiteracy within the American population.

In Montgomery County, the nonprofit organization has several volunteers who support the needs of those wishing to increase their rate of literacy for any reason that they may have.

“We really cater to each individual’s personal needs,” said Shelley McCoy, who is one of the volunteers for the organization in Montgomery County. “Some people want to expand their knowledge to advance in their careers and some people just want to be able to speak to their family. Everyone learns at a different rate and everyone learns differently.”

McCoy is a retired educator, and while many of the literacy volunteers do have education in their background, it is not a requirement as a volunteer.

“Educators and non-educators both make excellent tutors,” said McCoy. “Teaching was always a real high for me. When you see someone - as an adult learner or a child learner — when you see them really get it, that’s when you know that you’ve done your job.”

The mission of the Literacy Volunteers of America program is to “engage, educate and empower” the community in an effort to fight poverty and improve the overall quality of life for those who seek their assistance. The adult literacy program teaches people to read, write and speak English, all free of charge.  READ MORE !

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963

Changing America:
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
and the March on Washington, 1963
February 2014 - December 2017

One hundred years separate the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington, yet these two events are profoundly linked together in a larger story of liberty and the American experience. Both events were the results of people demanding justice. Both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. In both we take inspiration from those who marched toward freedom.

Fifty libraries, museums, and other public sites across America will host a traveling exhibition, Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, to explore the story of liberty and the American experience. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the National Museum of American History (NMAH), and made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Jan. 22 – March 7, 2014
Copy 1:  Richmond-Miles Museum, Yanceyville, NC
Copy 2:  Peoria Public Library, Peoria, IL

March 19 – May 2, 2014
Copy 1: University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, MS
Copy 2: Moline Public Library, Moline, IL

May 14– June 27, 2014
Copy 1: Promise Land Community Club, Charlotte, TN
Copy 2: Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Detroit, MI

July 9 – Aug. 22, 2014
Copy 1: Springfield-Greene County Library District, Springfield, MO
Copy 2: Louisville Public Library, Louisville, OH

Sept 3 – Oct. 17, 2014
Copy 1: Arkansas State University, State University, AR
Copy 2: Miami University, Middletown, OH

Oct. 29 – Dec. 19, 2014
Copy 1: Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA
Copy 2: Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT

Jan. 7 – Feb. 20, 2015
Copy 1: Tarrant County College District, Fort Worth, TX
Copy 2: Dover Public Library, Dover, DE

March 4  – April 17, 2015
Copy 1: History Colorado, Pueblo, CO
Copy 2: Pease Public Library, Pease, NH

April 29– June 12, 2015
Copy 1: State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck, ND
Copy 2: Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Providence, RI

June 24 – Aug. 7, 2015
Copy 1: African American Museum of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA
Copy 2: Keene Public Library, Keene, NH

Aug. 19 – Oct. 2, 2015
Copy 1: Independence Public Library, Independence, KS
Copy 2: Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY

Oct. 14 – Nov. 27, 2015
Copy 1: West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX
Copy 2: Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, NJ

Dec. 9, 2015  – Jan. 29, 2016
Copy 1: Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Copy 2: Poughkeepsie Public Library, Poughkeepsie, NY

Feb. 10  – March 25, 2016
Copy 1: Linfield College, McMinnville, OR
Copy 2: Harford Community College, Bel Air, MD

April 6  – May 20, 2016
Copy 1: Whitworth University, Spokane, WA
Copy 2: Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY

June 1 – July 15, 2016
Copy 1: Coeur d’Alene Public Library – City of Coeur d’Alene, Coeur d’Alene, ID
Copy 2: National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, Peterboro, NY

July 27 – Sept. 9, 2016
Copy 1: Riverside African American Historical Society, Riverside, CA
Copy 2: DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA

Sept. 21 – Nov. 4, 2016
Copy 1: Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN
Copy 2: University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Nov. 16, 2016 – Jan. 13, 2017
Copy 1: The Civil War Museum, Kenosha, WI
Copy 2:  African American Research Library and Cultural Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Jan. 25 – March 10, 2017
Copy 1: DuPage County Historical Museum, Wheaton, IL
Copy 2: West Baton Rouge Museum, Port Allen, LA

March 22 – May 5, 2017
Copy 1: Franklin College, Franklin, IN
Copy 2: Xavier University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

May 17  – June 30, 2017
Copy 1: Racine Public Library, Racine, WI
Copy 2: Marengo County History and Archive Museum, Demopolis, AL

July 12  – Aug. 25, 2017
Copy 1: Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA
Copy 2: SKIP

Sept. 6  – Oct. 20, 2017
Copy 1: University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Copy 2: Florida Historic Capitol Foundation, Tallahassee, FL

Nov. 1 – Dec. 15, 2017
Copy 1: Waynesboro Public Library, Waynesboro, VA
Copy 2: Cape Fear Museum, Wilmington, NC

January 10, 2018 – February 23, 2018
Copy 2: Nancy Carson Library, North Augusta, SC

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Libraries Serve As Health Insurance Info Hubs

Libraries Serve As Health Insurance Info Hubs
WebMD News from Kaiser Health News: 2.13.2014 by Elana Gordon, WHYY

What can’t librarians do? Many are now becoming health insurance guides.

The buzz at the American Library Association's winter meeting recently wasn't just about the annual awards (a.k.a. the book award "super bowl"); the Affordable Care Act was also on the agenda. Libraries across the country have been trying to meet a growing demand for health insurance information.

At the Free Library of Philadelphia’s central branch, library coordinator Nani Manion has started running twice-weekly enrollment clinics in the technology lab. Manion is one of 33 librarians in the Philly system who have undergone a five-hour training session to become certified application counselors.

  continued . . .
At least through March, 12 library locations in Philadelphia are taking individual sign-up appointments or hosting these walk-in sessions. The library cites data estimating that 210,000 Philadelphia residents lack health insurance.

   Libraries As Key Sources For Health Information

Libraries have always been more than book lenders, providing services that include early childhood education, employment assistance and computer literacy skills. The economic downturn heightened the need for those services, and health information has long been in demand.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) estimates 28 million people sought health information from libraries in one year.

“So we know people are going to the library and we want to make sure librarians know about community resources and web sites that they need to give them accurate
information,” says Mamie Bittner, director of government affairs for IMLS, who was in Philadelphia for the conference.

As the Newbery and Caldecott awards excitement was going on, Bittner and a handful of other librarians from Texas to Idaho to Northeast Pennsylvania were brainstorming about ways to help their patrons navigate the process of signing up for health coverage.

Last summer, IMLS issued a $286,104 grant to craft webinars geared toward librarians. More than 1,000 have participated since that launched, Bittner said.  READ MORE !

Covered California hosts enrollment workshops at LA libraries
KPCC: 2.15.2014 by Alice Walton [Slideshow]
With a looming deadline to get signed up for health insurance, officials around Los Angeles County hosted a number of enrollment events to encourage more participation in the Covered California health exchange. Dozens lined up outside the Panorama City branch of the Los Angeles Public Library on Saturday to get help enrolling. It was one of many libraries throughout the county that has partnered with Covered California to host enrollment workshops. READ MORE !

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Turn the Page for Literacy
Urban Libraries: 1.29.2014

Last week, New Orleans Public Library, LA, under the leadership of Executive Director Charles Brown and in partnership  with 10 regional parish libraries, launched the "Turn the Page" literacy campaign with the goal of making New Orleans the most literate city in the U.S. by the city's 300th birthday in 2018.

ULC Executive Board member Irvin Mayfield, who also serves on the Board of the New Orleans Public Library Foundation, led the celebratory kick-off jamming to the brassy sounds of the Crescent City.

Watch the video and follow this exciting campaign on Facebook and TwitterREAD MORE !

Graduates sing praises of literacy program
Volunteers sought to teach English
Daily Record: 2.03.2024 by William Westhoven

Viviane Davis, a French-speaking immigrant from Burkina Faso in West Africa, wanted to learn the native language of her adopted nation when she moved to Morristown.

John Budzinski, a retired electrical worker and Air Force veteran, had spoken English his entire life, but the Lake Hiawatha resident could not read or write well enough to pass the entrance exam at the County College of Morris.

Five years later, Davis is an registered nurse on scholarship to study for her BSN through CCM’s new bachelor’s degree partnership with Rutgers University. And Budzinki is on the Dean’s List at CCM.

Both credit the Literacy Volunteers of Morris County for giving them the language skills they need to succeed.

“I’m getting an associate’s degree in the humanities and hopefully one day, I will be smart enough to be one of the tutors here,” Budzinski said at the nonprofit program’s offices on Pine Street in Morristown. “I’m also qualified to be a substitute teacher and I think I’m going to pursue that.”

Debbie Leon, executive director of the program, said Davis and Budzinski were shining examples of their core mission “To provide literacy services to adults in our community who either can’t speak English or need help reading and writing English.”  READ MORE !

Libraries have crucial role in boosting adult literacy
Providence Business News: 2.03.2014 by Patricia Daddona

Karisa Tashjian, originally from Chester Springs, Pa., gravitated to work in literacy. After studying at Clark University, she moved to Maryland and volunteered to tutor a Korean woman in English.

She is now director of the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative and of adult-literacy services for the Providence Public Library.

RIFLI is a 15-year-old adult-literacy program that has Providence Public Library as its fiscal agent. About 200 adults use it to learn to read, use technology, manage finances and apply for jobs.

Programs range from English as a Second Language, to college-transition classes and citizen-preparation classes. Immigrants, in particular, come to public libraries first for help with literacy, Tashjian says.  READ MORE !

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Giving Day: February 14

Book Giving Day: February 14

A day dedicated to getting new, used and borrowed books in the hands of as many children as possible.

Three simple ways to celebrate International Book Giving Day!

1. Give a Book to a Friend or Relative.
Celebrate International Book Giving Day by giving a child a new, used or borrowed book.

2. Leave a Book in a Waiting Room or Lobby.
Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

3. Donate a Book.
Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second hand store, library, children’s hospital, or shelter. Alternatively, donate your books to an organization working internationally to get books in the hands of kids, such as Books for Africa.

How will you celebrate International Book Giving Day?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

litworldsays: Reading is like _______ .

World Read Aloud Day
March 5th.
Fill in the Blank
@litworldsays Feb 11
Reading is like ___________.
#wrad #readeveryday #tlchat #edchat
and Tweet !

According to Pam Allyn, "Reading is like breathing in and writing is like breathing out, and storytelling is what links both: it is the soul of literacy. The most powerful tool that we have to strengthen literacy is often the most underused and overlooked, and that is a child's own stories"

Pam Allyn is a children's rights activist and Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a global non-profit organization advocating for children’s rights as readers, writers, and learners.

Literacy is the foundation for emotional and physical well-being, intellectual growth, and economic security. The right to read and write is a fundamental human right and belongs to all people.

Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate. Two-thirds of them are women. All over the world, children are hungry for learning and for the power it brings. Research shows that children learn to read and write best by writing and telling the stories of their own experiences. Yet it is rare to find safe spaces where children feel fully comfortable to do so.

. . . says
Reading is like going on an adventure w a dear friend RT @litworldsays: Fill in the blank: Reading is like ____. #wrad #readeveryday #edchat

. . . says
Breathing. Magic. Home. RT @litworldsays: Fill in the blank: Reading is like ___________. #wrad #readeveryday #tlchat #edchat

. . . says
@litworldsays (For first time adult readers) reading is like discovering your voice.

. . . says
Reading is like talking to an old friend. Always warm, inviting, and easy to pick up where you left off. @litworldsays #readeveryday

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Library of Congress Literacy Awards: 2014

By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to inspire organizations, foundations, and other private sector groups to become involved in combating illiteracy.

- increase awareness of the importance of literacy

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Kenneth Baker received GED help at the library—and beat a January 1 deadline.
Sacramento LibraryPatron of the Month 1/31/2014

Kenneth Baker, 49, passed the writing portion of the General Education Development (GED) Test—the last section he needed—in December after getting tutoring at the Sacramento Public Library. On January 1, the GED changed over to a new computerized format, and any sections people had already passed no longer counted. We recently sat down with Kenneth and his tutor, Peggy Watral.

So you never finished high school?
Kenneth Baker: I dropped out in the 10th grade to help my mom. She was a single parent for me and my brother. Coming from the streets of Miami, school was the last thing on my mind. I’m a construction worker.

So you’d already passed everything but the writing section?
KB: I would have thought the writing would be easier than the math and science, but they failed me. I just knew that this time I had to do it or I had to go back and do the whole test over. Everybody was trying to get into a test in time. I got lucky and I got a spot.

Peggy got me through. When I first came in, there was no way I could write an essay. Before, it was people saying it was easy but not showing me how to do it.

She broke it down for me. Through all the years, all I learned was there are five parts, your beginning, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. I just didn’t know how to get started. Once I got the format broken down, now I see it’s easy as they say it is. All through the Thanksgiving holidays, I just took the time and wrote different essays, over and over.

It’s just something I wanted to do. I’ve never been to a prom. I didn’t get to graduate. I wanted my mom to see me graduate, but she passed away about three years ago. It’s tough stuffing 12 years (of school) into a couple years.

Peggy Watral: I was waiting in line to go to a movie when I got the call from Kenneth (that he’d passed). I was weeping, I was just so excited. It had to be the best present I got this year. (To Kenneth) What do you plan to do now?

KB: Get my doctorate (laughs)! I’m just glad I got it out of the way. I’m proud of myself. I’m happy. (To Peggy) You’re just a blessing from God. READ MORE !

Waukegan library breaks down barriers with Spanish GED
News Sun: 1.18.2014 by Judy Masterson

Gloria Velez kept hearing from co-workers at the Waukegan assembly plant where she works that she had to get her GED.

“What’s a GED?” the recent immigrant from Colombia wondered.

In one visit last year to the Waukegan Public Library, Velez, 47, the mother of a teenage son, learned that the high school equivalency diploma meant better prospects. She quickly enrolled in the library’s Spanish GED preparation course and within six weeks, she had passed all five GED subject exams in addition to a test on the U.S. government.

How did she do it?

“The instructors, my commitment and a desire to keep learning,” said Velez through a translator.

In her pre-GED life, Velez would have been satisfied with a job as a personal assistant. But now she intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is also volunteering as a Waukegan library “promotoras ambassador” or outreach worker.

“The work the library is doing to put people on the path to literacy is my passion,” said Velez, who recruited her sister, who has lived in the U.S. for many years, and six co-workers for Spanish GED.

Thirty-two Spanish speakers earned a GED after studying at the library last year. Another 37, of the 98 enrolled in 2013, passed at least three of the required exams. Nearly 100 people were placed on a waiting list.  READ MORE !

Adult program teaching English and life skills enters Kansas City
Kansas City Star: 1.11.2014 by Brian Burnes

A teacher points to three rudimentary sentences, and 14 students recite.

“Hello,” they say in unison, “My name is Sam.”
They read the next sentence, “What’s your name?”

The conversation continues. The classroom, identified by a sign outside its door as Level 1 English, is in a former Catholic elementary school.

The 14 students, however, are adults enrolled in the English as a second language classes now offered by the Independence School District — in northeast Kansas City.

Since July, the district has been offering adult education and literacy instruction inside the former Assumption Catholic Church parish school, now part of the St. Anthony Church complex at 309 Benton Blvd.

This marks the first time the program has ventured into Kansas City, following 20 years of adult instruction across Independence and at one site in Lee’s Summit.  READ MORE !

Friday, February 7, 2014

America’s Most Literate Cities: 2013

America’s Most Literate Cities: 2013

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.

Top 10 Cities
1  Washington, DC
2  Seattle, WA
3  Minneapolis, MN
4.5 Atlanta, GA
4.5 Pittsburgh, PA
6  Denver, CO
7  St. Paul, MN
8  Boston, MA
9  St. Louis, MO
10 San Francisco, CA

Bottom 15
63  Arlington, TX
64  Los Angeles, CA
65  Memphis, TN
66  Glendale, AZ
67  Long Beach, CA
68  Mesa, AZ
69  Aurora, CO
70  Chula Vista, CA
71  Fresno, CA
72  Anaheim, CA
73  San Antonio, TX
74  El Paso, TX
75  Stockton, CA
76  Corpus Christi, TX
77  Bakersfield, CA

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.

The original study was published online in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.