Monday, August 31, 2015

Michael Villaire named 2015 winner of prestigious Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award

Michael Villaire named 2015 winner of prestigious Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award

Michael Villaire, the CEO of a nationally renowned nonprofit dedicated to advancing health literacy and providing community health services, will be awarded the 2015 Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award, Health Literacy Missouri (HLM) announced today.

Villaire, who holds a master's degree in organizational leadership and management from the University of La Verne in California, heads up the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) in La Habra, California.

IHA is a not-for-profit public benefit charity that works to empower people to better health through innovative health literacy solutions. Its easy-to-read self-help health books have been used by state governments, community groups and hospitals across the U.S. IHA produces the longest-running annual continuing education conference for healthcare professionals, focusing on programs and solutions to improve health literacy.

Villaire, who joined IHA in 2000, directs the organization's mission and vision, and coordinates all health literacy activities. He plans and produces IHA's annual continuing education health literacy conference.  READ MORE !

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Literacy – Spanning North America: Midland TX :: Alberni BC :: Solano Co CA :: Morris Co NJ


According to the Literacy Volunteers of Morris County’s website, one out of five adults in New Jersey has difficulty reading, writing or communicating in English. For more than 25 years, they have been providing free tutoring to adults in Morris County who need to improve their literacy skills so that they can make the most out of their lives.  READ MORE !

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Librarians on Bikes Are Delivering Books and WiFi to Kids in “Book Deserts”

Soar with Reading
Librarians on Bikes Are Delivering Books and WiFi to Kids in “Book Deserts”
Good: 8.19.2015 by Susan Johnston

“Food deserts" refer to low-income areas where convenience stores are often the only viable food source and fresh produce is a rarity. But nutritious foods aren't the only thing kids need to thrive and grow.

Many of these undernourished kids also live in so-called "book deserts"—areas without easy access to libraries and reading material to nurture their imaginations and development (just think of the 12-year-old boy in Utah who asked his mailman for junk mail to read because he couldn't get to a library).
To combat these problems, creative-thinking librarians and literacy supporters are using inventive solutions to expand access to books and promote a love of reading.

In the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Soar with Reading (a project of JetBlue Airlines) installed book vending machines to dispense 100,000 brand-new free books in three locations for kids ages 0-14. Soar with Reading is now accepting votes for its next city, with Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale in the running.

Outside the U.S., Book Bus delivers accessible and relevant books to children in Africa, Asia, and South America. So far, the charity has reached over 10,000 kids in Zambia, Malawi and Ecaudor [sic], with the goal of reaching 10,000 more kids by 2016.  READ MORE !

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Travesty of Book Deserts

The travesty of book deserts
Why are there places in America where it’s almost impossible to buy or borrow a book?
Mother Nature Network: 8.04.2015 by Starre Vartan

It’s a fact that will strike fear into the heart of any avid reader: There are places in the United States — one of the wealthiest nations on the planet — that have no real access to books, even for students. They're called book deserts.
Concentrated in inner cities but sometimes afflicting rural areas as well, these are communities with no bookstores, few or not-often-open public libraries, and a dearth of school libraries.

It's a sad truth that many public schools no longer have libraries. According to one teacher in Los Angeles, 83 percent of L.A. middle schools don’t have a librarian and aren’t allowed to keep the library open with volunteers. (The schools only have 98 librarians for 1,309 schools!) Most charter schools don’t have libraries due to funding.

Obviously, that's not the only part of the country that has issues connecting people to places with books. The Unite for Literacy's Book Desert maps project uses data about book availability to illustrate where the need for books or electronic access to books is greatest. READ MORE !

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: Monmouth Co NJ :: San Angelo TX :: Tulare Co CA : : Birmingham AL

Literacy groups help students turn page toward better life
Sentinel: 7.23.2015 by Jessica D’Amico

Navigating through everyday life involves innumerable small tasks that many take for granted.

Signing forms, filling out bank deposit slips, reading information about one’s health care or sharing a bedtime story with a child are just a few examples of the kinds of activities to which most people don’t give a second thought.

For 30 million adults throughout the country, however, those tasks are insurmountable. According to the nonprofit Literacy New Jersey, that’s how many individuals lack basic prose literacy skills. In New Jersey alone, 17 percent of the adult population lacks such skills, the organization states.

“There are 13,000 people in Monmouth County alone who do not read and write above an eighth-grade level,” said Rebecca Lucas, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Monmouth County (LVMC), another nonprofit organization.

And it’s not a matter of a lack of schooling, according to experts.

“There are adults who may have graduated high school but still read at a very low level,” said Melissa Bernstein, program director for Literacy New Jersey in Middlesex County.

According to Lucas, some students slip through the cracks of a school system, somehow skating by until graduation.

“It happens a lot — especially in the lower economic regions of our county,” she said.

For some, survival — whether working to help with household expenses or the need to care for a child or other family member — forces them to drop out.

“It’s so sad,” Lucas said. “In today’s economy, you actually can’t make a living for a family unless you have a two-year college degree or a trade certificate.”

Fortunately, organizations like Literacy New Jersey and LVMC are there to help.  READ MORE !

Adult Literacy Council of Concho Valley Advocates for Education
San Angelo Live: 7.24.2015 by Benjamin Hettick

One in three residents of Tom Green County cannot write a simple sentence, said Marilynn Golightly, an employee of the Adult Literacy Council of the Concho Valley. Texas, she said, has the lowest literacy rate in the United States and Tom Green County also has an alarmingly high dropout rate. Golightly, and her team of volunteers, are working to change these statistics.

“There’s lots to be done and we have wonderful volunteers that come from all walks of life that have talents and abilities to help teach others,” Golightly said.

Although literacy is the council’s main focus, volunteers teach those in need of assistance many skills that can help in professional or daily life. According to Golightly, the council’s volunteers can teach students many useful skills, from how do dress for an interview to how to make cookies.

“If someone has an educational need and I can find a volunteer to meet that need, we can do it,” Golightly said.

Golightly estimates that about the council serves about 300 members of the community a year.  READ MORE !

Marshall said when Oliver began, his existing skills had him reading around a second-grade level. She began working with him on basic phonics, helping him to recognize words that he had a hard time pronouncing.  READ MORE !

Saturday, August 22, 2015

David Byrne: come borrow a book from my Meltdown library

David Byrne
David Byrne: come borrow a book from my Meltdown library
The Talking Heads frontman and 2015 Meltdown curator has shipped 250 of his own music books from New York - margin notes and all - for festival-goers to read
The Guardian: 7.17.2015 by David Byrne

The Southbank Centre, where I will be curating the Meltdown festival next month, is more than the three main concert venues. There are lounges, event rooms, restaurants, a ballroom area and a library. And not just any library. The Poetry Library, opened by TS Eliot in 1953, is the largest public collection of modern poetry in the world. Now, to be honest, though I’ve read some Eliot, poetry is not a big part of my own reading. I am one of those who feels that poetry and song lyrics are very different beasts, and I find a lot (not all) of poetry hard to understand. Although poetry may have begun as an oral form it now lives mostly on the page, which is very different from song lyrics, which, to my ears, live and die by how they sound as much as by what they say. The melodic shape that accompanies a phrase imparts meaning, as does the tone of the voice. The exact same clump of words can be joyous, ironic or angry depending on the sonic context. I’m all about context imparting and determining meaning.

But I love a library. The idea of reading books for free didn’t kill the publishing business, on the contrary, it created nations of literate and passionate readers. Shared interests and the impulse to create. One might try to find an analogue in the music business, but this isn’t the place for that ...

I grew up in suburban Baltimore and the suburbs were not a particularly cosmopolitan place. We were desperate to know what was going on in the cool places, and, given some suggestions and direction, the library was one place where that wider exciting world became available. In my little town, the library also had vinyl that one could check out and I discovered avant-garde composers such as Xenakis and Messiaen, folk music from various parts of the world and even some pop records that weren’t getting much radio play in Baltimore. It was truly a formative place.  READ MORE !

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Time to vote for libraries at SXSW : : District Dispatch : : Panel Picker by Sep 4

Time to vote for libraries at SXSW
District Dispatch: 8.17.2015 by Charlie Wapner

South by Southwest (SXSW) is once again around the corner – and, as in years past, ALA needs your help to make sure libraries are well represented.
Last year, with your help, OITP’s Larra Clark with D.C. Public Library’s Nick Kerelchuk and start-up MapStory’s Jonathan Marino. Their SXSW Interactive panel described how hundreds of U.S. libraries meet the needs of this country’s growing cohort of self-employed, temp and freelance workers by providing workspaces and programming that foster entrepreneurship and creativity.

This year, ALA once again hopes to make an impression at SXSW. The Office for Information Technology Policy proposed two programs, one for Interactive and one for EDU:

As technology innovation speeds forward, the gap between early and late adopters is growing to the detriment of individuals and communities.

Improving 3D Printing Workflow to Boost Learning
3D printing is taking off in libraries, schools and universities, expanding opportunities for creative learning and expression.

Plus, Re:Create, a new copyright coalition of which ALA is a founding member, proposed this program:  Copyright & Creators: 2026
What does the future hold for copyright? Who are the gatekeepers and how does this power structure need to change to meet not only the needs of today’s digital age, but also the needs of future creativity and innovation?

And…Benetech, a non-profit social enterprise organization, proposed the following program for Edu: No More Yoda Heads: 3D printing 4 diverse learners
Research suggests that 3D objects are important for learning and reinforcing complex spatial concepts that are difficult to convey or explore in any other way (e.g., cells and DNA).

SXSW received more than 4,000 submissions this year—an all-time record—so we need your help to make the cut. Public voting counts for 30 percent of SXSW’s decision to pick a panel, so please support these great programs. It’s easy: Become a “registered voter” in the Panel Picker process by signing up for a free account here, and get your votes in before Friday, Sept. 4. Supportive comments are even more helpful in making one proposal stand out from another.

ALA also is a member of the SXSW library “team” that connects through the lib*interactive Facebook group and #liblove. Join the group and learn more about library proposals around the country.

Please share far and wide! Selected panels for SXSW Interactive will be announced starting Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Those for SXSW Edu will be announced starting Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Thanks!  READ MORE !

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Literacy – Spanning the US: New Orleans LA :: Crawford Co PA :: Delaware Co PA

The Delaware County Literacy Council celebrated 40 years of helping young and old learn to read, write, and understand English so they are able to communicate and reach their goals. DCLC tries to help students learn what they need to succeed in today’s world.  READ MORE !