Thursday, June 30, 2016

National Literacy & Library Events :: July 2016

National Literacy & Library Events :: July 2016

Literacy & Library Events & Conferences
- Local, California and National -
the Southern California Library Literacy Network
for more information

July 02    National Literacy Day Proclamation 5507, 1986
July 09   Autism Sensory Friendly Film SECRET LIFE OF PETS 10a
July 12   Autism Sensory Friendly Film THE BFG 7p
July 13+ Autism Society National Conference, New Orleans LA
July 14   Summer Learning Day
July 14+ Literacies for All Summer Institute, St. Louis MO
July 21+ National Storytelling Conference, Kansas City MO
July 26    Autism Sensory Friendly Film GHOSTBUSTERS 7p
July 29+ Geeky Con, Orlando FL
July 31+ Correction Education Assn Conference, Long Beach CA

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Love My Librarian Award 2016 :: Nominations

I Love My Librarian Award

Nominations are open through September 19 for the 2016 I Love My Librarian Award.

Librarians touch the lives of the people they serve every day.  The I Love My Librarian Award encourages library users like you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians.  We want to hear how you think your librarian is improving the lives of the people in your school, campus or community.

Each year 10 librarians are selected. Each librarian receives a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony and reception in New York City, hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.  Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.

Monday, June 27, 2016

In ALA Opener, Michael Eric Dyson Delivers Stirring Case for Diversity via PW

 Michael Eric Dyson
In ALA Opener, Michael Eric Dyson Delivers Stirring Case for Diversity
Publishers Weekly: 6.25.2016 by Andrew Albanese

ALA 2016 got off to a rollicking start. At the opening general session on Friday, in Orlando, author and political commentator Michael Eric Dyson delivered a timely, impassioned keynote that brought a standing ovation. “When we think about where we are as a nation right now, we know that literacy is critical to sustaining an intelligent citizenry,” he said. “And libraries are critical to that function.”

Over the course of his 35-minute talk, Dyson, a frequent political commentator for MSNBC, mostly steered away from politics. “I've been warned against [talking politics]” he said, noting the ALA’s 501(c)(3) status. “And I will for the most part acknowledge that. I ain’t here to tell you who to vote for. You got sense,” he said to laughter and applause. Nevertheless, in referencing his latest book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) Dyson conceded that it was “a refreshing breath of air” to have someone “who knows how to conjugate verbs up in the White House.”

He then went on to call out a strain of anti-intellectualism he sees gripping the country, calling libraries "citadels of enlightenment" in a culture that is "peppered by a dyspeptic resistance to high intelligence in the service of deep truth,” and alluding to those who "appear proud to be unmolested by enlightenment.” And though he acknowledged the benefits of social media, he stressed the importance of books. "Twitteracy," he said, "is not literacy."

Throughout his talk, Dyson delighted the audience with humor, often preaching, rapping, and at one point even singing opera. He recited Tennyson with ease, and placed great American writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, David Henry Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning alongside “the great philosopher Christopher Wallace,” explaining that "literacy" is more than the mechanics of reading and writing, or whether or not one goes to school. “Literacy is the capacity to engage in intellectual reflection,” he stressed, a “rendezvous with wisdom,” through which we become “more humane.”   READ MORE @

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: York Co PA :: Everett WA :: Manitowoc WI :: Florence AL :: Madison Co MS

Prison program lets inmate moms send their voices "Beyond Our Walls"
York Daily Record/Sunday News: 5.25.2016 by Rick Lee

In York County Prison for six to 23 months on a probation violation for a retail theft conviction, Stephanie Schymansky misses her two young sons.

But on Wednesday, the 29-year-old from Hanover was laughing and smiling after her reading of the children's book, "The Three Little Wolves and the Big, Bad Pig," was recorded so it can be sent to her children.  Schymansky is one of 23 female prison inmates so far to take advantage of the "Beyond Our Walls" program that is geared toward promoting children's literacy, rehabilitating inmates and helping to maintain family unity by bridging the emotional gap created by a parent being in prison.

York County County Commissioner Doug Hoke, who also is president of the York County Prison Board, introduced the program to the public on Wednesday.

He said the program "is to help inmates stay connected with their families, reduce crime and promote literacy."

Children's books for the inmate mothers to read and record are provided by the library, Conway said. She said there also are children's books in Spanish and picture books for inmates with reading difficulties to create their own story for their child.

The program is a joint initiative between the prison and the York County Library System with support from the Rotary Club of York Literacy Committee and Glatfelter Insurance Group.  READ MORE @

Providing the power of literacy; volunteers sought for EvCC program
Herald Net: 5.25.2016 by Julie Muhlstein

Curt Smith, a volunteer with EvCC's Literacy Program, shares in a lighter moment while tutoring Sepideh Khazeei on Tuesday in Rainier Hall on the campus of Everett Community College.

Sepideh Khazeei was hard at work on a writing assignment. She had no problem with the essay topic, “Someone I would like to meet.” She chose an Iranian movie star. The trouble was, she couldn't write it in Farsi, her native language.

The young Everett woman came here from Iran three years ago. Now taking an English as a second language class at Everett Community College, Khazeei is on her way to becoming a fluent English speaker.

“For me, the writing is hard,” she said Tuesday. She was in the right place to get help in finishing that assignment by today's deadline.

Curt Smith, a volunteer tutor, was at her side at a table in EvCC's Rainier Hall. The 80-year-old Mukilteo man devotes several hours twice each week to helping students through the college's Volunteer Literacy Program.  READ MORE @

Manitowoc adult literacy participants honored
Herald Times Reporter: 5.25.2016 by Julia Poe

Participants in Manitowoc Public Library's One-to-One Adult Literacy Partners program were honored at a May 12 event.

The event looked back at last year’s accomplishments for adults who participated in the program, which focuses on goal-oriented literacy tutoring to aid locals in their reading, writing and speaking skills.

Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and their needs for the program are equally diverse. Some use the program to become American citizens or to improve their possibilities for future employment. Others hope to be able to help their children with their homework. Regardless, the program pairs each participant with a tutor who can help them reach their goals.

The library recognized three participants in the program for their accomplishments in 2015. Learner Awards of Merit and Senate of the State of Wisconsin Citations for Outstanding Service were awarded to Luz White, Lee Vang and Der Thao. State Sen. Devin LeMahieu presented the awards.  VIDEO

Local Reading Aides center joins with ECM offering stroke support group
Times Daily: 5.30.2016 by Lisa Singleton-Rickman

When Doug Smith had a stroke 10 years ago at the age of 45, he expected the road to recovery to be long. And he was right.

In active recovery the past eight years, Smith has worked hard to regain what was lost. The stroke in the base of his brain affected one eye, his arm, a leg and his speech.

A lifelong avid reader, the stroke also hampered his ability to read.

With years of rehabilitation ahead of him, Smith decided his first step was a good attitude.

"I worked really hard and just knew I'd get better," he said.

From a wheelchair he progressed to a walker, then a cane. Today, Smith walks on his own with about 70 percent usage of the affected leg.

His eye has improved, and although he has limited use of his arm, he has made vast gains with his speech and reading.

"Reading is just really important to me, and I had to start from the beginning, with the ABC's," Smith said.

Eight years ago he signed up for reading tutorial classes with the Northwest Alabama Reading Aides in Florence. "It was one of the best things I ever did for myself."  READ MORE @

Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty (MadCAAP).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Email your Representative to Eliminate Illegal Alien from the LOC subject headings via everylibrary

Email your Representative to Eliminate Illegal Alien from the LOC subject headings
everylibrary: June 2016

Some members of House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations are pretending to be librarians. That would be great if it meant better funding for libraries, stronger privacy protections for patrons, and a commitment to ending illiteracy in this country. Of course, that’s not what they’ve done. Instead, they are playing librarian and messing around with “Subject Headings” in the catalog.

As part of a normal revision, the librarians at the Library of Congress have proposed using “Noncitizens” and “Unauthorized Immigration” instead of the term “Illegal Aliens” when describing people. Several members of the House are aghast that the Library could possibly use updated terminology to reduce confusion and increase scholarly accuracy.  Certain members of the Appropriations Committee are demanding that the term “Illegal Aliens” be used by the Library. They even put language into the FY2017 Legislative budget that would direct the Library of Congress to retain the two pejorative subject headings “Aliens” and “Illegal Aliens.” It would tie the Library of Congress subject headings to the US criminal code, in fact.
That’s why we are asking you to stand with us and the librarians at the Association of Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) who sent a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations that thoughtfully and thoroughly took them through the process that goes into setting Subject Headings. This is why they have Masters in Library Science. We need to let the rest of the House know how important it is to leave the library to the librarians. Please send them an email today.

Subject: I stand with the Library Of Congress!

I respectfully urge the House Appropriations Committee to strike language in legislation just adopted by its Legislative Branch Subcommittee that would bar the Library of Congress (Library) from implementing an appropriate and thoroughly researched change in its subject heading classifications.

Specifically, the Library proposes to replace the terms “Aliens” with “Noncitizens,” and “Illegal aliens” with two headings: “Noncitizens” and/or “Unauthorized immigration.” While some see politics in this decision we see only attention to historical detail, intellectual honesty, procedural transparency, and faithfulness to long standing precepts and practices of librarianship. These have been the hallmarks of cataloging for all of ALCTS nearly 60 years and of almost 130 years of library science.

I implore you and all Members of the Committee to strike all language from any piece of appropriations legislation that would countermand or modify the Library’s recent determinations pertaining to the terms “Aliens” and/or “Illegal aliens,” and to oppose any other legislation that would have similar effect. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

National Coalition for Literacy :: Literacy Leadership Awards

2016 NCL Literacy Leadership Awards
June 17, 2016

The National Coalition for Literacy is seeking award nominations from members for its annual Literacy Leadership Award Celebration. The event will be held in Washington D.C. on September 28, 2016.

A nominee must have made a significant contribution to the field of adult education and literacy.

Nominations are due by August 1 to Kristin Lahurd at Literacy Leadership Award winners will be notified by mid-August.

For more details and a nomination form, please download here: 2016 NCL Literacy Leadership Award Nominee Form Final.

In 250 words or fewer, please summarize the nominee’s accomplishments and how the individual, program, or organization has met the following criteria:
•       National impact on the field of adult education
•       Exhibited leadership as a change agent in adult education
•       Extraordinary support of adult education

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Florence AL :: Fort Bend Co TX :: Suffolk VA :: Crossville TN :: Palm Beach Co FL

Northwest Alabama Reading Aides make a difference in the Shoals
WAAY: 5.18.2016 by Breken Terry

Northwest Alabama Reading Aides is a local non-profit that teaches anyone over the age of 16 how to read.

Northwest Alabama Reading Aides offer literacy programs for adults who have limited reading skills, teach English as a second language and work with stroke victims to help them regain their reading ability, all for free.

Jim Green, the director of Northwest Alabama Reading Aides, says reading is an important skill and in the Shoals there is a 15 percent illiteracy rate.

"We're here to help people so they don't have to be so closed off from society," said Green. "Whether it's reading flyers or how-to books, or even programming a GPS. We want more people to know who we are and what we do."

Green says anyone who needs their assistance can come in and get an assessment of their reading level. Then they are paired with a trained tutor.

"We train the tutors, then we hook them up with a student and that's all one-on-one. They can meet whenever and wherever they want," said Green.  READ MORE @

The Gift of Literacy
Katy News: 5.18.2016

Ellen came from Hong Kong 16 years ago; she lived in New York for several years and then moved to sunny Texas. When Ellen started at Literacy Council in 2011 she tested at an intermediate ESL student. Since, arriving she has worked her way through the ESL program and is now taking our GED courses. Her goal after completing her GED test is to start back in the workforce to help contribute to her family and community here in Fort Bend County.

2016 so far has been a success, with 80% of the students who have been re-assessed showing progress in the English proficiency and are even closer to reaching their goals of entering the workforce, continuing their education, and better their communities.

I would also like to share a few of our student successes with you:  READ MORE @

Shortage of tutors worsens Suffolk's literacy problem
Virginian-Pilot 5.19.2016 by James Thomas Jr.

Illiteracy in Suffolk is probably more widespread than many people think.

Consider one in six Suffolk residents cannot read this sentence. The statistics from the Suffolk Literacy Council continue: about 20 percent of the population lacks a high school diploma or equivalency and might not fully understand all of the words written here.

An uncertain number of people work on jobs that require basic writing skills but often cannot complete daily tasks. Then there are those who could use help but won’t ask for it and the overall situation could get worse before it gets better.

“It’s because we have a critical shortage of literacy tutors,” said Jessica Reitz, tutor coordinator at the Literacy Council. “I have a waiting list for students to serve. So it’s a reasonable expectation this problem is going to continue.”

The council’s tutor shortfall can be traced to a greater demand for skilled tutors in recent years, Reitz said. Over the past three years, the council has on average tutored about 100 students a year, but in the last year it’s been averaging that many in six months.

At present, 50 volunteer tutors offer time to the council but the agency is still overwhelmed.  READ MORE @

Adult Literacy Program ready for new students
Crossville Chronicle: 5.23.2016 by Rebekah K Bohannon Beeler

The Cumberland Adult Reading Council (CARC) desires to break the language barriers and tear down the walls of incomprehension with the Adult Literacy Program to help more students live fuller, more productive lives. Quality of live hinges on learning and learning starts with literacy. Being able to read, write and communicate well enables residents to function better in their daily lives and become more independent. At the meeting on May 10, CARC board members and Adult Literacy Program tutors discussed the program's most pertinent needs, addressed the latest funding issues and grants, the tutor recognition program, and the implementation of the new student and tutor development committee.

"Our biggest challenge right now is getting the money to pay staff and training tutors," said Jeff Keagle, CARC board chairman. Keagle mentioned CARC was actively pursuing grants and that several civic service clubs had generously supported CARC. However, with books at $430 per student in the Adult Literacy Program, it takes a lot of funding and support to keep the program going.

"We have plans to get out and do more presentations and we are going to raise the money," reassured Keagle. "This program isn't going anywhere."

The new student and tutor development committee will be comprised of board members, tutors and volunteers to suggest and oversee improvements to the Adult Literacy Program, represent tutors at CARC board meetings, enhance communications between tutors and volunteers to better assist each other, determine best practices and educational sources for the program, and integrate a tutor training program for new tutor volunteers.  READ MORE @

Essays from 80 Adult Education students picked for essay book 'Going Places' 5.24.2016 by The School District of Palm Beach County

The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) selected essays from more than 80 adult ESOL and GED® students from Palm Beach County District Schools for inclusion in the 2016 Florida Adult Learner Essay Book, “Going Places.” This number has doubled from last year's 37 students who were selected.

This annual contest offers an opportunity for adult ESOL and GED® students to express themselves and hone their writing skills in a variety of topics. Students are able to present to an authentic audience of their peers, both locally and statewide.

The student authors were invited for the unveiling of the book at the FLC Annual Conference held on May 6, 2016 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. Adult education students from throughout the state of Florida attended the meeting. Palm Beach County adult students from Adult Education Center, Atlantic CHS, Jupiter CHS, PB Gardens CHS, Youth Empowerment Center, Family Impact Pahokee, Family Impact Greenacres and many other schools participated in this essay contest.

“My students were thrilled to be able to participate in this essay contest, and those who were chosen to be published were beyond excited!”  READ MORE @

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: Orlando FL :: Santa Fe NM :: Washington Co FL :: Seneca Co OH :: Manitowoc Co WI

Central Florida adults learning how to read
Fox 35 Orlando: 5.05.2016

The story of Jeremy White is one that chronicles a young man who never learned how to read when he was young, and his illiteracy has plagued him ever since throughout adulthood.

At age 21 Jeremy had no job, no prospects, and the reading level of a 2nd grader. Jeremy is not alone. 1 out of 6 people in central Florida are not functionally literate.  VIDEO

Overcoming The Stigma Of Illiteracy
KUNM: 5.09.2016 by Anna Lande

Imagine when you walk out of your house the road signs are blank. Billboards, too. You try to order breakfast at that new brunch place, but you have to listen to other customers to figure out what’s on the menu. This is the reality for thousands of New Mexico adults who are struggling to read. 

Peter Aragón is a radio DJ. He did not know how to read well, and he says that created everyday puzzles.

“We do get lost. It’s like where are the bathrooms? How do you get to point A to point B?" said Aragón .  "And you gotta read the prescription, what medicine are you going to be taking? Are you going to overdose on aspirin or Xanax?”

People who study literacy rates estimated that 16 percent of adult New Mexicans needed literacy services. That was in 2003. Another analysis in the late 1990’s found that only a fraction of those people seek help.

“I was ashamed when I first started literacy," said Aragón. "I was like ‘nah, I can’t do this.'”

But Aragón found out he actually could do it. He went with a friend to get tutoring at Santa Fe Literacy Volunteers in the 1990's. He was reading at a third grade level and has been improving ever since. The first book he finished was Bless Me, Ultima.  READ MORE @

A difference to read about: Volunteers work to improve literacy
Holmes County Times Advertiser‎: 5.10.2016 by Diane M Robinson

Teaching older adults to read was the idea the Literacy Volunteers program had in mind when it started in 1986. The program itself was initiated through the Panhandle Literacy Act, funded by a grant from the Older Americans Act and the Department of Education.

Locally, it was founded and spearheaded in part by the late Dorothy Clarke, from the time of its inception to Clark's passing in 2016.

"Dorothy was the driving force behind the program's success," said Literacy Volunteer President Mary Ann Pelletier. "All the volunteers are thankful to Clarke for seeing the need in the community and doing something to help alleviate it."

Today, the organization is part of the international ProLiteracy program and has morphed into more than just teaching seniors to read. The program now offers assistance to children who struggle to read, so that illiteracy can begin to be knocked out for the futureREAD MORE @

Project READ adult literacy effort seeks more tutors
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune: 5.11.2016 by Nicole Walby

Since 1986, Project READ has provided free tutoring to adults to improve their literacy skills. That work has continued over the years, and the effort in Seneca County is in need of tutors and students to assist.

Heidi Clark, marketing coordinator for Project READ, said the No. 1 goal is to raise awareness about the program and help adults in need of literacy skills.

Project READ serves area residents of Sandusky, Seneca and Ottawa counties who are age 18 or older. Students complete a reading assessment, if eligible, then are paired with trained, volunteer tutors.

Clark said all materials are provided to the tutor and students for free. Funding is provided through the United Way of Sandusky County, a component of the Vanguard-Sentinel Adult Career and Technology Center's Adult Basic and Literacy Education program, local Library Literacy Coalitions and Tiffin Charitable Foundation.

"We just want to really get the word out," she said.

According to Clark, National Center for Education Statistics in 2003 indicated Seneca County was at a 10-percent illiteracy level.  READ MORE @

Manitowoc Library helping realize American Dream
Herald Times Reporter: 5.11.2016 by Marcus Nesemann

The goal of any library is to expand the horizons of all who enter.

Manitowoc Public Library is taking that goal to heart with its One-to-One Adult Literacy Program.

While the name may suggest a program that helps learners gain only literacy skills, the program reaches far beyond learning to read and write. For many, it's a path to becoming a United States citizen.

The program's humble beginnings started in 2012, "and in those few years, we had a handful, maybe up to as many as seven learners, get their citizenship," said Cherilyn Stewart, library director.

The 2015 program was a great success, with one learner completing a high school equivalency diploma while two others achieved their goal of becoming citizens. One even became a citizen in time to vote for the first time.

"That was just a wonderful experience," Stewart said. "That learner was so proud to cast a vote."

The program is open to everyone who wishes to improve their literacy skills. Helping learners become citizens is just icing on the cake. The outcome for each learner varies, depending on individual learner goals.  READ MORE @