Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Public Library Association Adds New Awareness Toolkit To Suite Of Family Engagement Resources

Public Library Association adds new awareness toolkit to suite of family
engagement resources
ALA News: 7.23.2018

The Public Library Association (PLA) has released a free promotional toolkit designed to help libraries raise awareness of family engagement through libraries. This new resource can be used to supplement libraries’ marketing, fundraising, community relations and political advocacy work.

The Family Engagement Toolkit was developed in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), as part of ALA’s Libraries Transform public awareness campaign.

The Toolkit offers both strategy and tactics for family engagement advocates, including message points, customizable graphics, promotional ideas, and program examples from IDEABOOK: Libraries for Families, a family engagement publication released in 2017 by PLA and the Global Family Research Project.

The ALA Communications & Marketing Office (formerly the Public Awareness Office) also developed a toolkit on Health Literacy, in partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, last year.

Accessing the Toolkit
Registration on the Libraries Transform website is required to download the materials. To access the new Family Engagement Toolkit, please begin by clicking here. The link will bring you to a password-protected landing page where you must enter your existing credentials, or create a new registration, to proceed. Once the login/registration process is complete, reopen the URL http://ilovelibraries.org/librariestransform/family-engagement-toolkit to access the full toolkit.

Anyone who loves libraries and wants to spread the word about the value of libraries is welcome to join.
Libraries and library systems can join the campaign.
Individual librarians and library staff are encouraged to join.

Monday, August 13, 2018

CAPE Research - Report 3 (FINAL): Technology Use→ via ValueUSA

CAPE Research - Report 3 (FINAL): Technology Use
ValueUSA: 7.20.2018

This three-part series of reports is now complete and it paints a full picture on why adults decide to forego education.

By Margaret Becker Patterson,
VALUEUSA July 2018

As its title indicates, this report focuses on respondents’ experiences with technology in general (defined as getting online, pursuing online activities, and experiencing challenges that make online access more difficult) and their attitudes about using technology for learning (defined as employing learning software on standalone computers, participating in online learning, and using apps on a smartphone). The study found the following:

62% of respondents are currently online
24% have been online previously
14% have never been online

Among those currently online, 9 out of 10 connect using smartphones. Four out of five stated that they could locate a website easily, and three out of four stated that they could find the information they needed. As the report notes, “the high rate of access to technology is encouraging and shows promise for engaging” adults who are not currently enrolled in adult education.

According to the report, technology use did not differ significantly by gender, but differences by age group were apparent. “Nearly all Millennials and two-thirds of Generation Xers used smartphones for online access at least sometimes, but 20 percent of Generation Xers and 29 percent of Baby Boomers reported never going online on a smartphone,” the report states. In addition, “Although [respondents] generally perceived high technology efficacy, efficacy rates were higher for Millennials and decreased significantly as age increased. Ease in finding a website and finding information within a website also decreased with rising age, and 10 percent of Generation Xers and 40 percent of Baby Boomers found it difficult to find websites.” However, most Baby Boomers did indicate the belief that they could learn to use technology with support.

Overall, respondents showed a preference for learning on their own rather than in groups, whether by using technology, by reading print materials, or with a tutor’s support. This preference was particularly clear with respect to using technology for learning. “Very few [respondents] preferred learning with others via technology, and stronger preferences were apparent by age. With the exception of Generation X, most indicated a preference to learn on their own rather than with others. … Two in five would use technology to learn along with other people or to solve problems with other people,” according to the report.  READ MORE >>

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Boulder CO :: NM :: Winston-Salem NC :: Ionia Co MI

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.     

Weekly Classes At The Library Prepare Boulderites For Citizenship
Boulder Weekly: 7.19.2018 by Angela K. Evans

On any given Monday, about a dozen people gather around a conference table on the second floor of the Boulder Public Library. There are people from Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, Tibet, Eastern Europe, Nepal and Ethiopia. All have a different story to tell, but all are studying to become U.S. citizens.

For the last 14 years, Anita Stuehler has been teaching free citizenship classes at the library, not a requirement for naturalization, but a helpful tool for people at any stage in the process.

“[The classes] are to help people go in for their interview more confident and more sure of what’s going on,” Stuehler says. “You can have someone come in here with a PhD from Canada and speaks perfect English, or you can have someone who has escaped from Tibet and can’t even write their own name. And it’s usually somewhere in between.”

Since 2012, there has been a 35-percent increase in the number of citizenship applications, according to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), but the number of individuals naturalized has remained roughly the same, with 700,000-750,000 people becoming citizens each year. Last year, more than 6,300 people were naturalized in Colorado and Wyoming. The year before it was almost 9,000, and in 2015, more than 9,500 people in the two states became citizens.  READ MORE >>

New Mexico Coalition For Literacy Advances Adult Learning
KSFR: 7.20.2018 by Ellen Lockyer

It's a fact: an estimated 46% of adult New Mexicans are functionally illiterate.  That's sad news, but the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy is doing its best to provide programs in every county for those adults who need help with reading skills. KSFR speaks with Coalition executive director Heather Heunermund and outreach coordinator Ellen Gallegos about why so many New Mexicans need literacy help.  LISTEN

YMCA RISE program helps immigrant moms in Winston-Salem
FOX 8: 7.20.2018 by Natalie Wilson   
Right now, dozens of women are gaining a new sense of independence.

Many of them are stay-at-home moms who are adjusting to life in America.

The Robinhood Road Family YMCA is teaching them English and how to turn interests into income.

“Most of the funding for adult literacy programs throughout the whole country is based on jobs and helping people get jobs, but because a lot of our women don't have transportation access and they need to take care of their children, we were looking for part-time opportunities so that they could start their own businesses and make money at home,” said Julie Tomberlin, program director of the adult literacy program at the Robinhood Road YMCA.

That’s how RISE - Refugee and Immigrant Society of Entrepreneurs – started. It’s a sub-program of the adult literacy initiative.

It started in 2017 with about 30 women currently participating.  WATCH

Ionia County Literacy Council Promotes Digital Literacy
Daily News: 7.18.2018 by Elisabeth Waldon

An Ionia County woman lost her job as a receptionist and began searching for new work.

However, she soon realized most relevant job postings required the use of Microsoft Word and Excel. Not only was this woman not familiar with these programs, she didn’t even have an email account to use to send in her resume.

Janet Balice recounted this story to the Ionia County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday as an example of one of the many people the Ionia County Literacy Council is trying to help.

The Literacy Council is in the process of connecting the former receptionist to someone who can help her not only create an email account but also learn more about the necessary digital skills needed to find a job.

The Literacy Council has identified digital literacy as a local need in the Ionia County community, along with the ever-present need for basic literacy and math skills. Michigan Works helps with these efforts by making its bank of computers available, and local libraries have also proved invaluable in helping adult students.  READ MORE >>

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Five Ways to Sharpen Your Storytelling via PRObono Australia

Five Ways to Sharpen Your Storytelling
PROBonoAustralia: 7.12.2018 by Nicole Richards

Storytelling is more critical than ever for not for profits. In a world of information overload, the stories that capture and showcase your organisation’s impact in a compelling way are key to strengthening connections with your supporters, writes Nicole Richards.

Storytelling is the glue that binds us as a species. For millennia, stories have helped us learn from others, make sense of the world and express our shared humanity. Stories have the capacity to influence beliefs and behaviour.

As a not-for-profit or for-purpose organisation, stories are the threads that connect your supporters to your cause and your organisation in a meaningful way. Your stories are your frontline communication because they help existing and would-be donors see that they’re making a difference by supporting the work your organisation is doing.

It’s been said that we now live in the age of the attention economy. The increasingly difficult task of attracting and holding people’s attention means there’s more pressure on your stories to hit their target faster and more effectively.

Here are five ways to sharpen your storytelling.

1. Start with why
Before you get started, step away from the keyboard or the video camera and ask yourself why are you telling this story? What is it that you need this story to do?

2. Know your audience
Presuming that your audience is deeply committed to your cause area or that they understand as much about the cause as you do is a common pitfall of not-for-profit storytelling.

Always bear in mind that you are not your audience.

3. Think about structure
Because you’ve already contemplated your story’s purpose and its intended audience, you’re already in a stronger position when thinking about the most effective structure for the story. Stories are more than a recitation of facts. 

Stories take us on a journey.

4. Find the human connection
When you’re telling stories in the social sector, this is the big one. This is where you’re really looking for the hooks and angles that will have the most impact with your audience.

The golden rule: “show, don’t tell” is your key to success.

5. Review. Refine. Repeat.
The only way to get better at telling stories is to tell more of them. Keep learning from each storytelling experience and stay open-minded.

Don’t be afraid of feedback, invite it. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Literacy for Incarcerated Teens via PW

Literacy Spotlight: Literacy for Incarcerated Teens
Publishers Weekly: 7.10.2018 by Matia Burnett

“Who among us readers can imagine surviving incarceration without a library?” It’s a question that Jessica Fenster-Sparber, an educator and librarian in New York City, often considers. Yet, as recent proposed restrictions on prison provisions have shown, reading is not always a right to be taken for granted. The New York-based nonprofit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT) is solely devoted to supplying reading material and promoting literacy for incarcerated youth in New York state. LIT provides books to organizations like Passages Academy (where Fenster-Sparber works as a librarian), a New York City Department of Education school network that serves youth ages 16 and younger in secure and non-secure detention. Passages has eight locations, including Crossroads in Brooklyn and Horizon in the Bronx.

LIT was founded in 2002 by Passages Academy educator Rebecca Howlett, who recognized the need for physical libraries in facilities that serve teens in detention. The organization originally operated in conjunction with the Prisoners’ Reading Encouragement Project from 2003 until 2009, when LIT became its own nonprofit organization. LIT has gone on to facilitate the donation of thousands of new books to incarcerated teen readers across the state of New York, largely through the work of volunteers.  READ MORE >>

Thursday, August 9, 2018

5 Values A Local Library Brings To Communities via ABC10

5 values a local library brings to communities
The modern library has become far more than a center for books and reading.
ABC10: 7.23.2018 by Eric Escalante

The modern library has become far more than a center for books and reading. Although these elements may remain the archetype of the library for years to come, the modern library has nonetheless taken strides to adapt to the 21st century needs of their communities.

Sacramento’s libraries provide a wide array of resources and technology to the community, and even smaller libraries such as those in Stanislaus County are adapting to the needs of their community as they attempt to re-envision their local libraries with more meeting spaces and seating.

The modern library can be critical to an educated workforce and to a fulfilled community.

1. The library offers a place for communities to gather
The traditional view of the library is one where the walls and aisles are covered with books, literature, and people reading or studying in silence. However, while this can still remain true today, the modern library is making efficient use of space. Libraries have the ability to provide a sense of place and to provide space itself for community members.

Areas like the Sacramento Public Library provides space for community meetings like book clubs, story time for toddlers, movie nights, writer’s club for teens, and other community gatherings.

The public library in Rancho Cordova even has a Veterans Resource Station where volunteers can connect vets to their benefits.

2. Libraries provide technology to the local community.
Electronic resources at libraries continue to expand as many modern libraries offer the use of computers, self-service kiosks, and free Wi-Fi.

3. Libraries help provide an educated workforce

4. Millennials and other generations still see value in the library
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are more likely to have visited a public library in the past year than other adult generations.
53 percent of Millennials said they had been to a library or bookmobile in the past 12 months, according to the 2017 analysis.

5. The cost to taxpayers for some libraries can be as low as $1.38 per month Libraries are not entirely free. Local communities pay for these services through their tax dollars.  READ MORE >>

From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018, OCLC
Library & Literacy Funding Chart: FY 2017 -by President, House, and Senate, ALA (excel file)
Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, ALA
From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America, OCLC
Worth Their Weight: Assessment . . . Library Valuation, Americans for Libraries Council
Return On Investment - ROI
Economic Impact of Public Libraries (various ROIs), WI Dept Public Instruction
Libraries Matter: Impact Research: Bibliography, ALA
Public Libraries – A Wise Investment - Library Research Service

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Literacy – Spanning North America :: Philadelphia PA :: Portage Co WI :: Canada

Literacy: Spanning North America      

For these immigrants, flipping pancakes and learning English go hand-in-hand
Philly News: 7.12.2018 by Anya van Wagtendonk

Seventeen students stood around gleaming silver tables in the Culinary Literacy Center, a bright, spacious kitchen and classroom on the fourth floor of the Parkway Central Library, listening as Lindsay Southworth told them what was on the menu for the day.

“Who here has had pancakes before?” she asked.

Only a few hands went up.

The assembled students, immigrants from 12 countries, are participants in Edible Alphabet, a program that teaches English through cooking classes. Over the course of six lessons, each three hours long, these students will make their way through a full recipe book, improving their ability to communicate about food and gaining confidence to navigate a new city and culture.

“The curriculum uses the meal that we make together as the vehicle for learning English,” said Liz Fitzgerald, the Culinary Literacy Center’s director.

The program began three years ago as a one-off cooking class for a nonprofit that serves refugees. This fiscal year, the library will offer five iterations of the program at the Free Library’s Parkway Central Library, and four at neighborhood branches.  READ MORE >>

Literacy Can’t Wait: Tutors Needed For Adults In Portage County
GOSP News: 7.14.2018

The Portage County Literacy Council (PCLC) is looking for additional volunteers to tutor adults in our community. PCLC and other Wisconsin Literacy members are working together for Literacy Can’t Wait, a volunteer tutor recruitment drive that encourages local residents to change lives through literacy.

Approximately 1.5 million residents statewide are in need of literacy support. Literacy Can’t Wait , supported by Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Family Dreams Foundation, Vernon Library Supplies, and WEA Trust, will recruit, train, and match new volunteer tutors with adults seeking much-needed literacy service. The PCLC helps adults achieve more at work, with family, and in their everyday lives.

With the help of trained volunteer tutors, adults improve their reading, writing, and math skills. Immigrants and refugees learn English and civics information. Without being able to read, write, or speak English at a high level, it’s difficult for adults to access family-supporting jobs, read to their children or support them in school, understand health information, and so much more. Literacy empowers adults to achieve these goals, and volunteer tutors are a part of the solution.  READ MORE >>

Canada's Premiers Announce 2018 Literacy Award Recipients
News Wire: 7.18.2018 Canada's Premiers

Canada's Premiers today announced the recipients of the 14th annual Council of the Federation Literacy Award. Presented in each province and territory, the Award celebrates outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy.

The recipients of the 2018 Council of the Federation Literacy Award are:

Sara Grant – British Columbia
Julie Black – Manitoba
Suna Dau Yath – Newfoundland and Labrador
Chantal Pelletier – New Brunswick
Tyler Kerr – New Brunswick
Diane Brule – Northwest Territories
Samia Eldik – Nova Scotia
Elizabeth Tunnuq – Nunavut
TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education – Ontario
Alex Watts – Prince Edward Island
Édith Loualou – Québec
Judy Craig – Saskatchewan
Isabelle Salesse – Yukon

"Literacy is a fundamental skill that helps unleash one's potential and is crucial to the future prosperity of the Canadian economy," said Brian Gallant, Premier of New Brunswick and incoming Chair of the Council of the Federation. "On behalf of my colleagues, Canada's Premiers, we are pleased to congratulate the 2018 recipients of the Council of the Federation Literacy Award. Through tireless efforts and commitments to literacy, these individuals and organizations play an important role in strengthening our social fabric and our economy here in Canada."

Premiers recognize literacy is an important part of every Canadian's ability to participate as a full and active citizen in all areas of society. Created in 2004, the Award celebrates adult learners who undertake literacy training, as well as the valuable contributions made by Canadians in the field of literacy, including family, Aboriginal, health, workplace, and community literacy. The Award is presented to learners, educators, volunteers, community organizations, and businesses in each province and territory.  READ MORE >>