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From Boise, ID : The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) is working with Boise State University Literacy Professor Dr. Roger Stewart to research whether opening school libraries over the summer, along with using a “Book Fair” model of providing free books toward the end of the school year, can maintain or increase children’s literacy skills over the summer months.
The Commission will work with Horizon Elementary School in Jerome ID and its public library partners on a “full-court press” approach, providing $1,500 in funds for personnel to keep school libraries open as well as up to $9,000 in paperback books for all K-2 grade students. Three additional schools will try a “zone” approach, with the Commission providing $1,500 for personnel to keep those school libraries open during the summer, but without the additional books. All six schools serve populations where at least 60 percent of students come from low-income homes.
Central Connecticut State University has the line-up:
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Seattle, Wash.
3. Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Atlanta, Ga. (tie)
5. Pittsburgh, Pa. (tie)
6. Denver, Colo.
7. St. Paul, Minn.
8. Boston, Mass.
9. St. Louis, Mo.
10. San Francisco, Calif.
From Library Journal:
Library participation in World Book Night US is increasing, with libraries hosting launch events around the country for the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.
Some libraries and bookstores host a special reception when the books arrive to foster community spirit among the volunteers. Last year, World Book Night US had volunteers in 5,200 towns and cities in all 50 states and a record 1,055 libraries and bookstores participate, program director Carl Lennertz said.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will host a public talk April 22 with several authors whose books have been selected for 2014 World Book Night US distribution. This is the first time NYPL is holding official World Book Night launch events; prior World Book Night events were held at the Barnes and Noble store in Union Square.
The guest list at the main library event includes writers Victoria Bond, Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, Walter Dean Myers, Esmeralda Santiago, T.R. Simon, and Tobias Wolff. The talk will take place at 6 p.m. in the 250-seat Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and will also be live-streamed on the Internet.
I'm a "giver" for the third time and delighted to be handing out copies of Jamie Ford's "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I will be picking up my books at my local branch library in Brooklyn, how about you?
Story at NPR.org
From The Atlantic. Subtitle is "and why the downturn might be over".
The Pew Research Center reported last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.
Does reading actually change the brain?
"The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," says Gregory Berns. "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense. Now we're seeing that something may also be happening biologically."
A tough nut to crack to be sure, but Randall Munroe has taken a stab at it on his wonderfully quirky What If? site.
"The average person can read at 200-300 words per minute. If the average living writer, over their entire lifetime, falls somewhere between Isaac Asimov and Harper Lee, they might produce 0.05 words per minute over their entire lifetime. If you were to read for 16 hours a day at 300 words per minute, you could keep up with a world containing an average population of 100,000 living Harper Lees or 400 living Isaac Asimovs."
Quote attributed to George Carlin
"Don't just teach your children to read ... teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything."
Low literacy rates for adults can have wide-ranging effects on those around them. They may rely more heavily on government services; their children may not get that extra hand with schoolwork; their families may not get sufficient financial support.
But for the millions of adults with low literacy, the ability to read, write and speak English might offer them the most important opportunity of all: a chance to emerge from the shadows and participate as equals in society.