Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beyond Books: A New Film Shows The Vital Role Public Libraries Play In New York Communities

Beyond Books: A New Film Shows The Vital Role Public Libraries Play In New York Communities
Fast Co Create: 5.27.2014 by Christine Champagne

Libraries Now: A Day in the Life (video) reveals New York City libraries are in-demand centers for community and education. Filmmakers Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks talk to Co.Create about the people they met and the surprising things they learned while filming in libraries all across the city for six months.

When filmmakers Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks saw hundreds of people waiting for the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to open at 1 p.m. on a Sunday, they wondered why the library wasn't open earlier and were inspired to do some research.

They soon learned that of the city’s 211 libraries, only eight are open at all on Sundays, which surprised them, especially given that a 2013 report from the Center for an Urban Future titled Branches of Opportunity reveals New York City libraries have seen a surge in use over the past decade, with a 46% increase in book circulation and an 88% spike in the number of people attending programs.

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The filmmakers also tell the stories of teenagers who see the library as a safe haven, immigrants to whom the library is a lifeline and jobseekers who rely on the resources the library provides.

Some of the people who benefit most from the library can’t actually go to the library as we learn through a mostly homebound woman named Bonnie Sue. “Since she very rarely leaves her apartment building, she lives a life that, by many measures, is extremely isolated. But she doesn’t see it that way. She has an outlet: the Queens Village Library and the Mail-A-Book program,” says Hicks, who was inspired by the profound effect the Mail-A-Book program has had on the lives of New Yorkers like Bonnie Sue.  READ MORE !

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Michael Rosen: 'Children are no longer encouraged to read for pleasure

Michael Rosen: 'Children are no longer encouraged to read for pleasure'
Former Children's Laureate criticises the Government's fixation with teaching the mechanics of reading rather than the enjoyment of it
Telegraph: 5.23.2014 by Anita Singh

The "brain-expanding" practice of reading for pleasure is being lost in the Government's fixation on phonics, spelling and grammar, according to the former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen.

Schoolchildren are taught to decode text, retrieve information and write grammatically correct sentences but they are no longer encouraged to lose themselves in a good story, Rosen said.

As a result, they read books without asking questions or relating the stories to their own feelings.

"We constantly live with governments who concentrate on all these narrow aspects of reading, and not of interpretation and understanding," Rosen told the Hay Festival.

"We know the arguments about why choosing books, looking at them, reading some and maybe not others, is so important. And yet there is this strange inertia about encouraging reading for pleasure."  READ MORE !

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Escondido CA :: Binghamton NY :: York PA

Literacy: Spanning the US

Poway woman overcomes lifetime of reading difficulties for son
After a lifetime of struggling to read, it was Dr. Seuss that was the breakthrough for Denise O’Neal.
Pomerado News: 5.2014 by Emily Sorensen

O’Neal had a secret she’d kept for her entire life — that she struggled to read. Growing up in San Diego, attending school in the 1970s and 80s, her reading difficulties were overlooked by teachers, who passed her from grade to grade without doing anything to help her with her growing illiteracy.

“[Schools] didn’t have the help then that they do now,” said O’Neal, who attended a private elementary school before her family moved to San Diego. “I don’t know if it was a learning disability, I was never tested. Teachers gave up on me and passed me, saying I would be the next teacher’s problem.” Though she attended extra tutoring for reading at her private elementary school, there were no such programs at the public schools she attended later.

O’Neal was supposed to graduate in 1988, and though she walked the line with her classmates, she didn’t receive her actual diploma because she failed state assessment test required for a student to graduate. It took nine years for her to finally pass the reading comprehension section of the test. “I don’t know if I passed due to sheer dumb luck or what,” said O’Neal.

Still, she managed to continue her life despite her lack of reading skills, working jobs that didn’t require a lot of reading, said O’Neal.

When her son, now 11, was a toddler, she finally realized the extent of her reading problems. “I was trying to read him a Dr. Seuss book, and I kept stumbling over words,” said O’Neal. “My husband suggested I get help with my reading.”

O’Neal found a program at the Escondido library that would help her, and after taking a reading assessment test, discovered she tested well below the high school level.  READ MORE !

Literacy Volunteers Help Illiterate Adults
Binghamton Homepage: 5.07.2014

There's an organization in town that's been helping people become better readers for 47 years.

Literacy Volunteers of Broome Tioga Counties works with adults who can't read or write, as well as those with low literacy issues or English as a second language.

Literacy Volunteers has an office inside the Broome County Public Library on Court Street in Binghamton.

The organization also provides basic math and computer courses.

1 in 5 Americans have literacy issues. People who have trouble reading often feel a great deal of shame.

Executive Director Jane Clair recently spoke with the Binghamton Noon Rotary Club about the agency's services and its need for volunteer tutors.

"Maybe hiding it from your family and loved ones even. Certainly from your employer, if you're lucky enough to have employment. And, as we all know, for people who are unemployed with low levels of literacy, applications they must fill out on-line. I mean there are just so many impediments in everyday life for people with literacy issues," said Clair.  READ MORE !

The York County Literacy Council needs tutors to change lives
York Dispatch: 5.07.2014 by Eyana Adah McMillan

The York County Literacy Council needs people who are willing to learn how to change another person's life.

The council has a waiting list of 41 people who want to improve their reading, writing and speaking skills, said Rita Hewitt, the agency's community relations manager.

Tutors are needed to teach them, she said.

The volunteer tutors would meet with a student once a week for up to two hours in a public setting arranged by the literacy council.

The literacy council has 200 tutors. Last year, they served close to 1,000 students ages 18 and up, Hewitt said.

There are about 40,000 functionally illiterate adults in the county, she said.  READ MORE !

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries

Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries
Washington Post: 5.16.2014 by Andrea Peterson  
   
The Internet's eyes turned to the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, as the panel approved a plan to consider allowing Internet service providers to charge Web sites like Netflix for higher-quality delivery of their content to consumers. In the lead-up to the vote, tech companies, venture capitalists and even celebrities all expressed opposition to the proposal, arguing that it would effectively end the open Internet.

But another group who cares deeply about this issue is the library community. The Switch spoke to Lynne Bradley, the director of government relations at the American Library Association's Washington office, about how net neutrality affects libraries, the people who rely on them and public institutions at large. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. 

Where do libraries stand on net neutrality?
~ Net neutrality is really important for libraries because we are, first of all, in the information business. Our business now is not just increasingly, but dramatically, online, using digital information and providing services in this digital environment. That means that we need to have solid and ubiquitous Internet services.
~ We’re interested in network neutrality for consumers at the home end, but also because it's key to serving our public. And that means the public libraries, the academic libraries from two-year community colleges to advanced research institutions, as well as school librarians in the K-12 community.
~ Network neutrality issues must be resolved, and we hope to preserve as much of an open Internet policy as we possibly can. The public cannot risk losing access to important services provided by our libraries, our schools and other public institutions.  READ MORE !

Game on (redux) for network neutrality
District Dispatch: 5.15.2014 by Larra Clark

Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to open a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on ensuring the Open Internet. This marks (another) beginning in our work to advocate for enforceable rules that protect equitable access to online information. The American Library Association will actively engage—with our members, with our library allies, with the FCC and with Congress, if needed—in this vital proceeding.

In fact, the ALA was one of the first to file when the FCC opened the docket in February. The ALA, Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE followed up on Monday with key FCC staff. Our group shared the perspective of education, research and learning organizations and examples of what’s at stake for our community and our users.  Beyond the most basic challenges to equitable access to information and intellectual freedom, higher education and libraries are generators and subscribers of critical educational and cultural content that could suffer under a two-tier or “fast-lane” approach to network neutrality.

Among the specific examples we shared are how:
- Public libraries are increasing their Internet speeds (often through the E-rate program, another issue before the FCC) to provide better access to millions of Americans, which could be threatened if commercial and entertainment content is pushed to the forefront while educational resources lag;
- All types of libraries are digitizing and sharing unique collections, including the 9/11 Oral History Project;
- Entrepreneurs and other creators are using public libraries as co-working and innovation spaces to upload their own digital content and products;
- Libraries could be forced to pay more for streaming services if these content providers are paying for enhanced transmission;
-Projects like the nanoHUB uses cyberinfrastructure to provide access to scientific tools for research, demonstration.  READ MORE !

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Del Norte CA; Atlanta GA; Henrico VA

Literacy: Spanning the US

Knowledge is power
Nonprofit assists libraries, helps encourage reading
Henrico Citizen: 5.06.2013 by Eileen Mellon

In 2007, when brothers Barrett and Cameron Roberts found themselves out of work, they turned to selling books that they purchased from local library book sales. The process quickly transformed into Shared Knowledge, a nonprofit, growing partnership with Henrico County libraries that works to provide funding for literacy and education programs in the area through the sales of books online.

Cameron Roberts said that the start in Henrico began when the brothers were approached by Beverly Ziegler at the Dumbarton Library during the spring book sale. She expressed her ideas for raising additional funds to support the programs run by the Friends of the Library, a volunteer-based group that strives to enhance, promote and provide supplemental funding for Henrico Libraries.

“We had thought about partnerships in the community before, and when Beverly approached us we saw a major opportunity for us and the libraries,” said Roberts. “We are book nerds, and we were both avid readers and it just made sense to give Shared Knowledge a shot. We believed in what we were doing and thought that if we stood behind our goal, we had a good chance to succeed.”

In the summer of 2007 the Robertses started a trial with Dumbarton, Twin Hickory, Tuckahoe and Gayton libraries scanning books and selling them online through Amazon. The libraries soon realized that partnering with Shared Knowledge could be an important way to raise income for the libraries, and the relationship with Shared Knowledge hasn’t stopped since.  READ MORE !

Making A Difference: Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta
Atlantain Town Paper: 5.05.2014 by Clare S. Richie

When Linda Goode began taking classes at Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta (LVA), she read at the first grade level. Even though she dropped out of school as a girl to care for her younger siblings, Goode always valued education. She volunteered at her daughter’s school and proudly put her daughter through college. Two years ago she decided, “It’s my time now to get my education. I want to read, get my GED, and go to college.” Thanks to LVA, Goode now reads at the 3rd grade level, has learned basic computer skills, and started teaching other adult students.

Jeffery Linzy came to LVA to strengthen skills critical to completing his GED. While growing up, he was ignored or put down when he asked for help in school or at home, so he stopped asking. As an adult, he was “tired of feeling less than.” With LVA’s support and encouragement, “I was ready to prove I could make something of myself,” Linzy said. Now he is a positive influence to other adult learners.

LVA uses a student-centered approach to enable adult learners, like Goode and Linzy, to reach their personal literacy goals. Put simply, LVA meets students where they are. The nonprofit matches adult students who read below the 5th/6th grade level into free classes or with one-on-one tutors staffed by trained volunteers. Thirty-three classes per week at LVA’s Decatur office or the Decatur Recreation Center cover reading, spelling, writing, math, and entry-level computer skills. LVA also offers English and citizenship classes.

With more than 800,000 adults in metro Atlanta who read below the 5th grade level, it’s no surprise that LVA always has more students than volunteer tutors and teachers. To address that gap, LVA started a student mentor program in January led by advanced students. Goode and Linzy agreed to serve as the first mentors. READ MORE !

Camille’s Story
World Education-I Am A Mother in School: 5.2014
By Camille Myers, ABE/GED Student

My name is Camille Myers and I am a 52-year-old mother of one son and grandmother of three. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but I was raised by a widowed mother in Nampa, Idaho with an old-fashioned Midwestern upbringing. My schooling was varied; I was diagnosed with seizures and was given a wide variety of drugs starting at 6. Because of the drugs, I was labeled mentally challenged and spent my first four years in a state school for people with severe mental retardation. In the fifth grade I went to a special school for mentally challenged students until I was 16.

At 16 I became a mom and quit school. At the time I quit school, my reading ability was at the 4th grade level. It was a struggle to be a single mom. It was very hard to get employment as I could not fill out the applications. I missed many opportunities for work even though I was a good worker. Because of the misdiagnosis on my educational abilities, I feel that I missed out on the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse. Yet somehow, even though it was a struggle, I managed to raise my son and provide for us.

When I was 50, I realized that I wanted to work on the education that was denied me. I started going to an adult literacy program, Del Norte Reads in Crescent City, California. Much to my amazement, I was able to learn. I embraced learning and am working to get my GED. I love learning, and it has opened up so many opportunities and doors for me. What an exciting and fulfilling time of life because I took that first step. I am unemployed right now, but I have chosen to stay unemployed as I work to raise my educational level to enable me to get a better job. I struggle to make ends meet but I know it will be worth it in the end when I am able to get my dream job.  READ MORE !

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Children's Book Week: Bernard Waber Literary Landmark

Street Made Famous by Bernard Waber’s Lyle the Crocodile Series to be Designated Literary Landmark in Honor of Children’s Book Week

Yorkville Community School – May 14 – 9:30 am

The children of the Yorkville Community School (421 E 88th St, New York, NY 10128) will gather to celebrate Children’s Book Week (May 12-18th, 2014) by helping declare their school and the street where it stands a Literary Landmark.

The street was made famous by children’s author/illustrator Bernard Waber in his book The House on East 88th Street.  The 1962 book, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, introduced the character Lyle, the Crocodile to the world of children’s literature. The story is about a family named the Primms who move into an old Victorian brownstone, only to find a performing crocodile named Lyle living in the bathtub.

The Literary Landmark program is administered by United for Libraries. More than 130 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began in 1986.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Literacy - Spanning the US: Baltimore, Florida, Atlanta

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.

Baltimore Reads To Cease Operations
26 Year Old Adult Literacy Non-Profit To Close June 30, 2014
Digital Journal: 5.01.2014

Today, Baltimore Reads, Inc. (BRI) announced the organization will cease operations on June, 30, 2014.  After 26 years providing adult literacy education, the Board of Directors reached the difficult decision to wind down operations in light of ongoing challenges with funding.

"This was not a decision made lightly, or without regard to its impact on the community which BRI has served for over 26 years," said Clare Miller, President of Baltimore Reads, Inc.

BRI was initiated as a quasi-governmental organization in 1988 and has helped many thousands of adults learn to read, get their GEDs and increase their ability to use English as a second language.  As times have changed, and funding has become scarce, BRI has continually looked for other sources of financial support and has met with many successes and failures.  In recent years, the board also has been actively looking for a partner to help the organization strengthen and grow, to no avail.  The Board of Directors recently concluded that it is time for Baltimore Reads to close its doors. The Book Bank created by Baltimore Reads has been transferred to a new non-profit; The Maryland Book Bank.  They are expected to grow and continue to be a valuable resource to the Baltimore Community.

"We sincerely thank all of our partners and generous supporters of BRI over the years," said Miller.  "We plan to work closely with our fellow community based organizations network to help place our students for their future success.  We will also support our staff in any way we can for their future success, and thank you in advance for your suggestions or thoughts on how we may best achieve these goals."

About Baltimore Reads
Founded in 1988, by then Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Baltimore Reads teaches adults the literacy skills necessary to function in society, achieve goals and develop individual knowledge and potential. In addition to literacy classes BRI offers English as a second or other language classes and GED preparation courses. BRI is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit.  To learn more about the organization and to make donations, visit www.BaltimoreReads.org.

Learning to read raises DeLand woman's hopes
News Journal: 5.04.2014 by Annie Martin

Shannon Voelbel read aloud to her tutor, Kim Morris.

“Angry shouts coming from the restaurant kitchen was/were disturbing the diners.”

Voelbel's task? To decide whether to use “was” or “were.”

“Were?” she said.

“Uh-huh,” Morris nodded.

Voelbel returned to school recently, taking literacy classes with Morris and job skills courses. The 39-year-old, whose lazy eye makes it difficult for her to read letters on a page, has spent nearly two decades doing what she calls “grunt work” in fast food restaurants. But she's ready for more now.

She's practicing skills that most children hone during their early elementary years, like selecting the correct verb tense for a subject, but the upbeat DeLand woman isn't discouraged. She rises at 5:30 a.m. each day so she can board a Votran bus and arrive at Daytona State College's main campus in time for the start of her 8:30 a.m. classes.

“When I first started school, I was nervous,” Voelbel said.

Resuming school is daunting for many adults, especially for those with deficient reading skills. Voelbel read below a sixth-grade reading level when she started meeting with Morris in March, but she's progressed to about a ninth-grade level now.  READ MORE !

Making A Difference: Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta
Atlanta InTown: 5.04.2014 by Clare S. Richie

When Linda Goode began taking classes at Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta (LVA), she read at the first grade level. Even though she dropped out of school as a girl to care for her younger siblings, Goode always valued education. She volunteered at her daughter’s school and proudly put her daughter through college. Two years ago she decided, “It’s my time now to get my education. I want to read, get my GED, and go to college.” Thanks to LVA, Goode now reads at the 3rd grade level, has learned basic computer skills, and started teaching other adult students.

Jeffery Linzy came to LVA to strengthen skills critical to completing his GED. While growing up, he was ignored or put down when he asked for help in school or at home, so he stopped asking. As an adult, he was “tired of feeling less than.” With LVA’s support and encouragement, “I was ready to prove I could make something of myself,” Linzy said. Now he is a positive influence to other adult learners.  READ MORE !

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Illiterate millionaire writes life story with speech software

Illiterate millionaire writes life story with speech software
Vital Thebeau struggled for 6 years to publish autobiography, 'A Message For You'

"'There's no such thing as 'can't' as far as I'm concerned, and that's the way I work." - Vital Thebeau


Monday, May 5, 2014

National Library Legislative Day: May 5-6

Libraries matter: use videos to advocate for libraries District Dispatch: 4.24.2014 by Jazzy Write

Today, the American Library Association’s Washington Office launched “Libraries Matter,” a series of videos showcasing the ways libraries use federal funding to support early literacy, high-speed internet access, small business owners and new citizens. Library supporters can use the videos to demonstrate the value of federal funding programs, such as the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), to legislators, decision makers and community leaders.

This May, National Library Legislative Day participants can use the “Libraries Matter” videos to educate policymakers about the countless ways that libraries impact their communities. Library champions are encouraged to send the videos to policymakers before or after their scheduled meetings advocacy meetings (i.e., in a “thank you” note). Access the full video playlist.

Share the videos on social media using the #LibrariesMatter hashtag.

National Library Legislative Day, a two-day event where advocates will discuss key library issues with their members of Congress (from May 5–6, 2014).

National Library Legislative Day [ #nlld14 ] advocates will discuss the need to fund the Library Services and Technology Act, support legislation that gives people who use libraries access to federally-funded scholarly journal articles and continue funding that provides school libraries with needed funds for materials. Additionally, advocates will ask legislators to restore reasonable expectations of privacy by supporting the USA FREEDOM Act.

Senator Angus King (I-ME) will jumpstart the event by addressing library advocates at the opening briefing, which takes place from 9:00 a.m.–4:15 p.m. on Monday, May 5, 2014, at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel in Washington, D.C.

Other confirmed speakers include:
Shawn Daugherty, assistant director of SPARC
Peter Jaszi, professor of law, American University Washington College of Law
Gabriel Rottman, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union
John Windhausen, Telepoly Consulting

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Literacy - Spanning the U.S: Ruidoso NM, Asheville NC, Huntington WV

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Local, state groups create new literacy program
Service targets adults
New Mexico News: 4.30.2014


The Ruidoso Public Library, the Altrusa Club of Ruidoso and the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy have formed a collaborative team to create a new program that will provide free one-to-one tutoring for adults who want to improve their reading, writing and math skills.

"There is an urgent need for basic literacy services in Lincoln County," said Doris Wallace, Altrusa's president and program board member. "This is one critical way we can help to improve the quality of life in our community."

To administer the program, Ruidoso Public Library Director Corey Bard has hired Deborah Abingdon as the literacy coordinator for adult tutoring services. The part-time position is funded by the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy through a grant awarded to Altrusa. Abingdon will be responsible for recruiting and training volunteer tutors and for reaching out to the community to offer free help to adults who want to read better.  READ MORE!

Literacy efforts ‘impact one life at a time’
Citizen Times: 4.27.2014

Most of us take reading for granted. We pick up the morning newspaper, or a book, and go through it without thinking about the reading process. The same is true when we peruse the menu in our local restaurant.

For millions of people, however, those simple tasks are either difficult or impossible. More than 10 percent of Buncombe County’s adults are classified as illiterate. Most are among the 12 percent of Buncombe adults without a high school diploma.

In Buncombe, some of these people have the good fortune to be tutored by volunteers with the Literacy Council. Tutors meet with their charges at least two hours a week and instruct them with materials provided by the council.

“I knew all along I could do better, and now I can feel the difference in my comprehension, and my confidence in myself is getting better,” said student Elaine Young. “So many people say, ‘You can’t do this, Elaine, get somebody to do it for you,’ but over the years I’ve learned I can do anything. And I’m determined.”

Young is not one of the dropouts. “They’d tell you you were mentally retarded, and they didn’t take the time to teach me,” Young said. “I just kept making Ds all through school, and they kept on passing me.”

The same is true of Sam Williams. In his case, it was his athletic ability that got him through school. “I was pretty good at football, and they just kept passing me,” Williams said.

Why do people wind up as adult illiterates? Some may have had to drop out of school to work in order to support their families. Others may have had parents who did not value education. Still others may have had undiagnosed learning disabilities. Williams, for example, is dyslexic. He sees letters differently than do most of us.  READ MORE !

Tri-State Literacy Council works to improve adult literacy
Parthenon: 4.21.2014 by Josephine E Mendez


Imagine an adult who cannot read his or her child a bedtime story, obtain a high school diploma or even apply for a job, all because he or she is unable to read.

According to the West Virginia Department of Education, West Virginia is ranked 33rd on the lowest percentage of adults at Level 1 literacy. People at Level 1 have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as locating an intersection on a street, reading and comprehending a short newspaper article or calculating total costs on an order form.

The WVDE also reported that 19 percent of the adult living in Cabell County read at a Level 1. More than 30 years ago this problem was recognized by concerned residents who went on to form the Tri-State Literacy Council.

The TSLC is a volunteer organization whose mission is to raise the literacy levels of adults. It does so with tutors who work one-on-one with adult learners to meet each learner’s goal.

Emily Warder, director of TSLC, said some of the goals set up by the adult learners include finding employment, passing the High School Equivalency Exam and being able to read to their children or help with homework.

“A lot of the poverty and a lot of isolation in the community is due to low literacy,” Warder said. “It is a fundamental need but it can make a huge impact in someone’s life, in the family’s life and in the community. If you increase literacy you will also increase community engagement.  READ MORE !

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Henry Rollins Loves EveryLibrary

Henry Rollins Loves EveryLibrary
Huffington Post: 4.30.2014 by Christian Zabriskie

Now that we have come off of the polemics and nostalgia (both of which are awesome, mind you) it is a good time to remember that Henry Rollins loves libraries.

Henry Rollins really, REALLY loves libraries. This should really come as no surprise. He has always been the punk intellectual, and the old-school cool of the library fits perfectly with his persona of "don't box me in."

What is surprising (and fantastic, seriously, just fantastic) is how smart he is about it. When you look at the interview, it is like he is a long-term foot soldier for the social change inherent in libraries. This is a guy who gets it. He understands the leverage inherent with libraries, the fact that we are in everyone's backyard and accessible to all. Rollins does not put libraries in a box, does not make them objects of nostalgia and romance; no, he sees them as a genuine force in people's lives.

He is smart enough to endorse EveryLibrary, the national library Super PAC and to his credit that is some seriously next gen support of libraries. EveryLibrary is an amazing, nimble, creative organization. It has wide-ranging and diverse impacts. Headed by John Chrastka, an old veteran of the library wars, and powered by librarians and citizen-advocates across the country, it is a knife-in-the-teeth advocacy machine fighting hard for a libraries in a way that gets huge props from people across the library and social action worlds.  READ MORE !