Better grades? Thank a librarian

The first Canadian study linking school libraries to student achievement indicates that better libraries improve student test scores and add to kids' reading enjoyment.The Ontario School Library Association says the research, released yesterday, is the evidence it needs to make a case for more trained school librarians and better-stocked shelves.

"There's such a clear link between libraries and student achievement I don't know how the minister (of education) can ignore it," said association president Michael Rosettis.

Brazil-A Nation of Non-Readers

C. Miller writes "

MANY Brazilians cannot read. In 2000, a quarter of those aged 15 and older were functionally illiterate. Many simply do not want to. Only one literate adult in three reads books. The average Brazilian reads 1.8 non-academic books a year;less than half the figure in Europe and the United States. In a recent survey of reading habits, Brazilians came 27th out of 30 countries, spending 5.2 hours a week with a book. Argentines, their neighbours, ranked 18th. More here: More at"

Check it out Guys...Jon Scieszka's Cool Site

is called "Guys Read". The author introduces the site as follows: GUYS READ is a web-based literacy program I've made it to help boys find stuff they like to read. Get started by checking out recommendations from other GUYS READ visitors. Or go ask GUY what he thinks you might like to read."

So guys...check it out!

Searching for Dummies

Anonymous Patron writes " New York Times: Beginning in the early 1990's, schools, libraries and governments embraced the Internet as the long promised portal to information access for all. And at the heart of their hopes for a cultural and educational breakthrough were superbly efficient search engines like Google and those of its rivals Yahoo and MSN. The new search engines not only find more, they are more likely to present usable information on the first screen.

Higher education is fighting back. Librarians are teaching "information literacy" and establishing alternative Web indexes. Graduate students, in the front lines as teaching assistants, are starting to discuss joining Wikipedia rather than fighting it, as many instructors still, quixotically, do."

High schoolers and the never-opened book

Interesting column from the Detroit Free Press, in which a community college instructor offers her observations regarding the epidemic of non-reading in her state and nationwide.

Over and over, my students -- all adults -- tell me that too many school districts neglect to include provocative selections within their curriculum. The collection of choices made and the way reading materials are handled fail to inspire. Why educators would undertake such a questionable course is murky, but the results are not. Michigan community college students struggle to speak in complete sentences and are challenged when asked to write coherently. Will they perform any better during job interviews? Is this next generation of workers prepared to create cutting-edge products and services?

She also comments:

It's easy to buy picture books featuring the gentle antics of big red dogs, but it's much more difficult to pick out thought-provoking selections for a 16-year-old when a parent hasn't read a book since high school -- if ever.

Thanks to Reading Today Daily for the link.

Spending on books dwarfed by Computers

The BBC Reports Schools spend more than five times as much on computer-based resources as on books, an analysis suggests. The figures, reported by the Times Educational Supplement, also suggest schools spend two and a half times more money on exam fees than on books.

Ministers said numeracy and literacy hours had led to a rise in standards.

Woman helps fill new jail's library shelves

Amanda Allen is quite the super patron. She is the founder of Motor City Kids Book Drive, a nonprofit group that brings books to inner-city kids.

Allen, a Port Huron native, wants to expand the organization into St. Clair County. She decided to start by bringing books to the jail after hearing inmates didn't have many reading choices.
"It will help us because we have plenty of time on our hands while we're here," he said. "I'm not just sitting around, I'm trying to better myself. It would help if we got a couple of books to better ourselves."

Exam measures students' 'information literacy'

Darla writes "The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers
a test
to determine a person's 'information

Students "really do know how to use the
technology," said Dolores Gwaltney, library media specialist at
Thurston High School in Redford, Michigan, one of a handful of high
school trial sites for the test over the next few weeks. "But they
aren't always careful in evaluating. They go to a source and accept it."


Reading is for the Dogs

The Reader's Shop writes " reports Whitehall Library in Pittsburgh, PA is participating in a program sponsored by a local dog obedience club. The program is aimed at children who need help with reading skills and is based on "the idea is that children will read to an unbiased listener who can't correct them or make fun of them." Participating as part of the "Reading Education Assistance Dogs" or READ program, Whitehall Library joins 750 programs in 45 states. More Here Or @ The National Geographic"

Pew Report on College Graduate Literacy Skills

According to a recent study conducted by the American Institutes for Research (funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts), "twenty percent of U.S. college students completing 4-year degrees - and 30 percent of students earning 2-year degrees - have only basic quantitative literacy skills." More on this study can be found in the press release, including links to the fact sheet and final report.

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