Literacy

When the Prison Doors Slam Shut On a Teen: Hope in Literacy

Promoting literacy for incarcerated teens is a challenge. Encouraging reluctant readers to read is only one of many obstacles. Ask Karlan Sick, the current chair of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens  (LIT), a nonprofit library services organization that supports school libraries at the New York City school programs for incarcerated youth.

American Dream Starts @ your library grant allows CA library to expand ESL classes

A California library system is providing opportunities for patrons who wish to expand their horizons by learning English. Through an American Dream Starts @ your library grant awarded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to the American Library Association, the Riverside County (Calif.) Library System has been able to expand ESL classes for adult learners.

‘Agri-Terrorism’? Town’s Seed Library Shut Down

A public library in small Pennsylvania town offered a new public resource for its patrons: a seed library. That is, until the state Department of Agriculture pulled the rug out from under the plan.

Launched on April 26, the seed library at Mechanicsburg’s Joseph T. Simpson Public Library would have held. Its first seed trove, with help from the Cumberland County Commission for Women, came from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving heirloom seeds.

Around the World: 14 Beautiful Libraries [Photos]

Some book collectors do not care very much about where they store their books. The English King Henry VIII, had a fine collection of books, but when visitors came to view them they were horrified by the conditions they were stored in, commenting on how they were stacked randomly on the floor and in untidy heaps covering every available surface. Thankfully, since Roman times, if not before, others have cherished books and wished to show them off to their best advantage.

Incredibly, until now, there has been no single volume tracing the history of library buildings through the ages. For the last three years, I have been traveling the world together with Will Pryce the architectural photographer, visiting and photographing 85 of the world’s greatest libraries in 21 countries. The result is The Library: A World History (Chicago University Press), the most complete account of library buildings to date.

Lemony Snicket Helps ‘Little Free Library’ Advocate Spencer Collins

A Kansas boy battling through a series of unfortunate events over his front-yard library is getting some support from author Daniel Handler.

Last month, 9-year-old Spencer Collins erected a “take a book, leave a book” structure as a Mother’s Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kan., community. But then the Leawood City Council ordered him to remove the small library from his front yard and even threatened the young librarian with fines.

Bound in human skin

Houghton Library contains countless curiosities. Perhaps the most disturbing example is Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de l’ame (FC8.H8177.879dc), bound in human skin.

In the mid-1880s, Houssaye (1815-1896) presented his recent book, a meditation on the soul and life after death, to his friend Dr. Ludovic Bouland (1839-1932), a noted medical doctor and prominent bibliophile. Bouland bound the book with skin from the unclaimed body of a female mental patient who had died of a stroke.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ finally going digital

Harper Lee has signed on for Scout, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch to enter the electronic age.

Filling one of the biggest gaps in the e-library, “To Kill a Mockingbird” will become available as an e-book and digital audiobook on July 8, HarperCollins Publishers announced Monday. Lee, in a rare public statement, cited a “new generation” of fans in agreeing to the downloadable editions of her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.

Rural Bookmobile Program Provides Lifelong Learning

The Rural Bookmobile Program provides life-long learning opportunities by offering library services to citizens living in rural areas without access to public libraries.

Over 30% of bookmobile patrons are children!  Education in rural New Mexico is directly supported by bookmobile services.   Our student bookmobile patrons are champs!  A home schooled 6th grader participated in the Letters about Literature program offered through the Library of Congress.  Her essay won the 2013 Level 1 championship for New Mexico.  Many other bookmobile students received honorable mention.   Many K-12 and college students ask and receive study materials through the bookmobile services.

Reading scores begin to soar as ‘Book Showdown’ Competition gains popularity

Inmates at the Gowanda Correctional Facility (Erie County) are heavily engaged in a competition that is resulting in drastic improvement to their reading skills. The competition, known as the “Book Showdowns,” is the brainchild of Senior Librarian Corinne Leone and combine reading comprehension, teamwork and rivalry. The goal is to increase reading comprehension, and at the same time, help inmates score higher on their high school equivalency exams.

Staff coaches have devised various creative methods for improving their team’s skills. Some hold mock showdowns for practice and to generate enthusiasm, while others show movies that feature related subject matter to help reinforce the content of the book. Some teams have also invented character trivia games to increase reading comprehension and memory retention. Leone and the other staff coaches have also noticed that some of the more advanced readers readily help some of their less-skilled team members however they can.

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