Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do We Need Libraries? : : Forbes

Do We Need Libraries?
Forbes: 4.28.2015 by Steve Denning

Libraries everywhere are under threat. After all, who needs a library today, when it is possible, without even getting out of bed, to find and read almost any book or article that has ever been published? One is tempted to recall the reaction by some to the recent news that Radio Shack had gone bankrupt: “Radio Shack bankrupt? I didn’t know Radio Shack still existed!”

I was asked to give the opening keynote at a combined meeting of the Library Leaders Summit and the Computers in Libraries conference this week in Washington, D.C. In discussing the future of libraries, the conference continues a long tradition of forward-looking libraries exploring emerging technologies, hearing from bleeding edge practitioners and sharing case studies of innovative libraries. My thoughts on the future of libraries are equally applicable to many other sectors that are facing the threat of extinction from massive disruption to their businesses.

The Scale of Disruption Today
The scale and pervasiveness of the disruption that sectors like libraries face is amazing.

The disruption begins with products. The smartphone, as Larry Downes and Paul Nunes explain in their book, Big Bang Disruption, is resulting in a huge array of products becoming obsolete:

Address books, video cameras, pagers, wristwatches, maps, books, travel games, flashlights, home telephones, dictation recorders, cash registers, Walkmen, Day-Timers, alarm clocks, answering machines, yellow pages, wallets, keys, phrase books, transistor radios, personal digital assistants, dashboard navigation systems, remote controls, airline ticket counters, newspapers and magazines, directory assistance, travel and insurance agents, restaurant guides and pocket calculators.

But the disruption isn’t limited to products. Whole sectors of commerce are under threat.

Against this background, what is the future of libraries? There is no reason to think that libraries are necessarily immune from the Grim Reaper of disruption. Do libraries have a future at all?

Five “Right” Approaches For Libraries
The future of libraries is a story that has yet to be written. I don’t pretend to have “the answer” to that story. The only thing we know for sure is that the story will be different from the story of libraries in the past. But here are five questions that could lead to the right answer. In fact, the key to unlocking the mystery requires asking the right questions.

Using the right metrics to track customer delight will be important here. A informal poll at this week’s conference suggested that relatively few libraries are using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology. Instead, the metrics in use seem to focus outputs, like numbers of users or circulation figures. Although we all love librarians because they are instinctively helpful, getting feedback from users about the overall utility of the library as a whole, using the NPS methodology, would give libraries a handle on whether their efforts to delight users are paying off—or not.  READ MORE !

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Santa Clara CA :: Asheville, NC :: Provo UT


Members of the group welcomed her and together they read aloud a descriptive passage to identify adjectives and adverbs and their value in descriptive writing. Escobar took a deep breath and began reading an excerpt with words like specificity, mediocre, and generic.  READ MORE !

Friday, April 24, 2015

On World Book Day, UN hails reading and writing as pillars of sustainable societies

On World Book Day, UN hails reading and writing as pillars of sustainable societies
UN News Centre: 4.23.2015

As global symbols of social progress, books have always been targets for those who reject freedom and tolerance, the United Nations agency mandated with promoting education said today on World Book and Copyright Day, calling the occasion an opportunity to recognize the power of books to change lives for the better.

“In recent months, we have seen attacks on children at school and the public burning of books,” Irina Bokova, Director-General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said today.

“In this context, our duty is clear – we must redouble efforts to promote the book, the pen, the computer, along with all forms of reading and writing, in order to fight illiteracy and poverty, to build sustainable societies, to strengthen the foundations of peace,” she added.

Literacy is the door to knowledge, essential to individual self-esteem and empowerment. Books, in all forms, play an essential role here.

World Book and Copyright Day – marked around the world on 23 April – was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1995 and is observed by millions of people in over 100 countries by schools, public organizations and private businesses.

With 175 million adolescents in the world – mostly girls and young women – unable to read a single sentence, UNESCO said it is committed to leading the fight against illiteracy, and for it to be included as a crucial ingredient of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“Literacy is the door to knowledge, essential to individual self-esteem and empowerment. Books, in all forms, play an essential role here,” Ms. Bokova stated.

The Day – 23 April – is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Vladimir Nabokov and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.  READ MORE !

How Much Should Children Read? World Book Day

How Much Should Children Read?
World Book Day Infographic
Publishing Perspectives: 4.23.2015 by Hannah Johnson

In honor of World Book Day — April 23, 2015 — the International Publishers Association has created an infographic on how reading positively affects children.

Started by UNESCO in 1995, World Book Day is “a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.”  READ MORE !

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

America’s Top 10 Most Literate Cities 2014

America’s Top 10 Most Literate Cities Announced

The latest top 10 Most LiterateCities study by Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) has just been released in today’s issue of USA Today. The 12th annual survey looks back at larger trends emerging over the past decade of surveying Americans’ literary habits and resources in larger cities.

The study is conducted by Jack Miller Ph.D., CCSU president. It reports on a key measure of America’s social health by ranking the reading habits and resources of the nation’s 75 largest cities.

The top 10 cities this year are:
Minneapolis, MN
Washington, DC
Seattle, WA
St. Paul, MN
Atlanta, GA
Pittsburgh, PA
Denver, CO
San Francisco, CA
Boston, MA
St. Louis, MO

Minneapolis returns to the #1 ranking, replacing Washington, D.C. after the District’s four-year run at #1. Minneapolis was at the top in 2007 and 2008, and it has remained in the top 3 since the first Most Literate Cities study was reported in 2003.

Bottom 15:
Los Angeles, CA
Memphis, TN
Phoenix, AZ
Riverside, CA
Long Beach, CA
Mesa, AZ
Aurora, CO
San Antonio, TX
Fresno, CA
Anaheim, CA
Stockton, CA
Chula Vista, CA
El Paso, TX
Corpus Christi, TX
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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Literacy: Spanning the U.S. Solano Co CA : : Branch Co MI : : Morristown NJ

Besides the one-on-one training, Literacy Volunteers provide instruction in pronunciation, U.S. history and civics, American Customs and Manners, math, basic essay writing, resume writing and GED preparation.  READ MORE !

Saturday, April 18, 2015

ALA : : State of America's Libraries : : Most Challenged Books

New State of America’s Libraries Report finds shift in role of U.S. libraries
American Library Association's 2014 list of most challenged books.

According to The State of America’s Libraries Report released today by the American Library Association (ALA), academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces.

Public libraries and librarians are viewed as change agents by addressing unique needs and identifying trends that impact the community. The majority of public libraries offer neutral space for patrons, residents and students to discuss and resolve critical issues. For example the fatal shooting of Michael Brown brought chaos to Ferguson, Missouri. Protests divided residents and caused schools and city services to shut down—but the Ferguson Municipal Public Library stayed open, providing a much-needed safe haven for the community and served as an ad hoc school.

Learning is a 24/7 enterprise for students today, and school libraries continue to become invaluable anchors for education environments. Certified school librarians play an essential part in nurturing 21st-century information literacy skills.  From collaborating with classroom teachers to design inquiry-based learning, school librarians are teaching students critical thinking, technology and information literacy skills.

Our nation’s academic librarians are working largely with students and academic researchers to help analyze big data. Academic librarians traditionally assess the research needs of academics; however, big data poses new challenges. The sheer quantity and rate of accumulation of data require evolving skills and resources to enable researchers to share, analyze and reuse it.

The lack of diverse books for young readers continues to fuel concern. Over the past 12 months the library community has fostered conversations and fueled a groundswell toward activism to address the lack of diversity reflected in children’s literature—both in content and among writers and illustrators.

A current analysis of book challenges recorded by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) from 2001 – 2013, shows that attempts to remove books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.

In 2014, the OIF received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. Eighty percent of the 2014 Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books reflect diverse authors and cultural content.

The 2014 Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books include:
1) "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," by Sherman Alexie
 Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
2) "Persepolis," by Marjane Satrapi
 Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
3) "And Tango Makes Three," Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
 Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
4) "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison
 Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
5) "It’s Perfectly Normal," by Robie Harris
 Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
6) "Saga," by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
 Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
7) "The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini
 Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
8) "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky
 Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation
9) "A Stolen Life," Jaycee Dugard
 Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
10) "Drama," by Raina Telgemeier
 Reasons: sexually explicit

Other key trends detailed in the 2015 State of America’s Libraries Report:
•Digital literacy continues to grow as an important library service. Research shows that families are increasing their access to digital media, but they lack the knowledge to use it effectively in a way that enables learning.
•Makerspaces are trending and provide evidence that libraries are continuing to evolve beyond the traditional focus on collections.
•Many federal government policy and regulatory issues are of importance to libraries and the people who use them. Policies related to personal privacy, library funding, workforce development, and copyright law are a few of the issues of interest to the library community.

Friday, April 17, 2015

State of Literacy in America : : Maine Literacy Connections Conference

The State of Literacy in America - Craig Alexander, TD Bank 
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy: 4.06.2015
Maine 7th Annual Literacy Connections Conference

The State of Literacy In America: How Literacy and Illiteracy Impact Our Economy - One of the biggest challenges in today’s society is the awareness of illiteracy as a global challenge. Illiteracy is not limited to any one community or demographic and impacts everyday life.

The National Adult literacy Survey states that American businesses lose more than $60 billion in productivity each year to employees’ lack of basic skills. Craig Alexander from TD Bank shares his research on how the American economy loses when the basic level of literacy is not achieved.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

National Library Week : : April 12 - 18

Celebrate National Library Week 2015
April 12-18, 2015
"Unlimited possibilities @ your library®."

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.

Best-selling author David Baldacci will serve as Honorary Chair of National Library Week. Baldacci’s novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and have been adapted for film and television. Over 110 million copies of his books are in print worldwide.  In addition, Baldacci is involved with several philanthropic organizations, including his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®, which fosters and promotes the development and expansion of literacy and educational programs.

Celebrations during National Library Week include:
·   National Bookmobile Day April 15

The State of America’s Libraries 2015

A new digital supplement from American Libraries

April 13, 2015

According to The State of America’s Libraries Report 2015 released April 13 by the American Library Association (ALA), academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as community anchors, centers for academic life and research, and cherished spaces