Literacy

Thousands of hyphens perish as English marches on

About 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the Internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Bumble-bee is now bumblebee, ice-cream is ice cream and pot-belly is pot belly.

And if you've got a problem, don't be such a crybaby (formerly cry-baby). "People are not confident about using hyphens anymore, they're not really sure what they are for," said Angus Stevenson, editor of the Shorter OED, the sixth edition of which was published this week.

How judging a book by its girlie cover is putting boys off reading

How judging a book by its 'girlie' cover is putting boys off reading: Attempts by parents and teachers to persuade boys to read more are being undermined by publishers whose insistence on using lurid "Barbie" pink covers on books is turning away young male readers in their droves.

The Nation's Report Card is Out, Please Sign & Return it to Washington DC

National Assessment of Educational Progress results, or what is known as "the Nation's Report Card" came out today, and the results were...mixed. Math scores were up, but reading scores were marginally better, and worse in some grade categories.

Of "No Child Left Behind" and the results of the NAEP finding, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who as chairman of the Senate education committee helped the Bush Administration pass the law in 2001, called the results "encouraging," but said they would have been better "if President Bush had invested in school reform instead of investing in a failed war in Iraq."

The American Federation of Teachers congratulated its members for the improvements in math and in fourth-grade reading, but noted that "many scores were rising faster before No Child Left Behind was enacted." Fair Test, a nationwide anti-testing group, made a similar argument. The New York Times reports.

Coming to a School Near You? Meet Billie Book

I might be tempted to run if this guy came to my school, but...

Meet the large and light green Billie Book, a.k.a. Bob Miller (wonder why he's not Bobby Book?)who recently visited Hayes Elementary School in Marion, Ohio. He's one of several characters offered by Millrow Educational Characters of Columbus; his job was to encourage kindergartners and first- through third-graders to visit the school library and develop a joy of reading.

Writing your First Scholarly Article: A Guide for Budding Authors in Librarianship

A Guide for Budding Authors in Librarianship, by Scott Nicholson, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies

This series of questions and answers is designed to help you take the first steps toward the successful production of a scholarly article in librarianship. You may find yourself in a library position that requires writing or you may have just decided that you are ready to share your findings, experiences, and knowledge with the current and future generations of librarians. While following the guidelines listed here will not guarantee that you will be successful, these steps will take you closer to discovering the thrill of seeing your name in print and making a difference in the field.

Why Women Read More Than Men

Story on NPR: A couple of years ago, British author Ian McEwan conducted an admittedly unscientific experiment. He and his son waded into the lunch-time crowds at a London park and began handing out free books. Within a few minutes, they had given away 30 novels.

Nearly all of the takers were women, who were "eager and grateful" for the freebies while the men "frowned in suspicion, or distaste." The inevitable conclusion, wrote McEwan in The Guardian newspaper: "When women stop reading, the novel will be dead." Article continued here.

Librarians Respond To AP Poll Findings That Americans Don't Read Enough Books

One out of every four adult Americans did not read a book last year, according to a poll conducted by the Associated Press and Ipsos.

Pennsylvania librarians respond: "I was disgusted by that" said Jeanne Williamson, library director at the Milton Public Library. The article really upset me."

Peggy Stockdale of New Columbia said "I think they're missing out on a great joy. You're never bored if you read. You can go places where you otherwise can't, and you learn."

Melanie Weber, head of adult services at the Public Library for Union County in Lewisburg, said not only is reading for enjoyment or in-depth informational purposes but it's also a great model for young people. Adults who read have kids who read. Story from Standard-Journal,.

$1 Million Given to Literacy Group

Random House, Inc., announced Monday that it was donating $1 million to First Book, a nonprofit organization that has given millions of books to needy children since its founding in 1992.

"As publishing professionals who spend our days surrounded by and immersed in books, it is difficult to imagine a world without them," Random House chairman Peter Olson said in a statement.

Are Books Becoming Obsolete?

Over at The Huffington Post Carol Hoenig says there are many reasons why people don't read as they once did. The major reason is that there is a feast for the eyes without the need for settling down and focusing on the written word.

Computers Are a Path to the New Literacy for Poor

A century ago it was saws and sewing machines, now it's computers, but teaching low-income people to improve their lot through technology is a constant at Erie Neighborhood House on Chicago's Near West Side.

With 60 computers online, and classes running nights and Saturdays, the long-established social service agency is on the front line fighting to close the digital divide that separates poor and minority families from the middle class.

GAMING is a big part of the process. Gaming teaches how to evaluate information," said Jenny Levine, Internet specialist for the American Library Association. "It teaches how to handle large sets of data, filter results, navigate information. You take in a lot of real-time information, process it and strategize. These are the same skills that businesses need."

Many games are commercial entertainment products, said Levine, but some are produced specifically to enhance information skills.

"At Arizona State University, librarians created a game where the campus is under quarantine with a virus, and you have 30 minutes to get the information you need to save your friend's life," said Levine.
While librarians are comfortable learning by reading text, said Levine, they recognize that most young people learn more through experiences than they do by reading. Chicago Trib has the story.

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