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Referring to a previous article in the Daily News Tribune, Mary Ellen McKenna, herself a parent volunteer, salutes parents who volunteered to man the school library in Ashland Massachusetts when the librarian position was eliminated. But she adds:
"The article sited budget cuts and the inability to hire professional librarians. The parents in town did not want their children spending another academic year with [sic] library services. They formed a unique volunteer team to support the lending of library resources to the children. While I am very impressed with the commitment of the volunteers, I am concerned the article serves to perpetuate the lack of appreciation for our professional school librarians.
As a volunteer library parent, I routinely check out books for the children. However, the librarian's job goes much beyond checking out books. Who will teach these children the origins and ways of the Dewey decimal system? Who will teach them a true appreciation for the various genres of writing? who will teach them the research skills that become lifelong tools? Our school librarian is constantly thinking outside the box to meet the needs of the children."
The New York Times profiles the city's intrepid reading commuters~
Reading on the subway is a New York ritual, for the masters of the intricately folded newspaper like Robin Kornhaber, 54, who lives in Park Slope Brooklyn and works on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as well as for teenage girls thumbing through magazines, aspiring actors memorizing lines, office workers devouring self-help inspiration, immigrants newly minted — or not — taking comfort in paragraphs in a familiar tongue. These days, among the tattered covers may be the occasional Kindle, but since most trains are still devoid of Internet access and cellphone reception, the subway ride remains a rare low-tech interlude in a city of inveterate multitasking workaholics. And so, we read.
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and [the fill-in-the-name-of- your-county-library-here] wants to make sure that all children have the smartest card of all - a library card and/or that everyone in the county is among the two-thirds of Americans who carry a library card.
Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.
For the second time in 2009, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System (Central Library) hosted a Living Library program on September 2.
The Living Library is an international movement designed to bring library patrons face-to-face with living objects of prejudice and discrimination. Library patrons can "check-out" living "books" for 30 minutes of private conversation. Our "books" have included an African-American Albino, a HIV+ Gay Man, a Homeless Person, a Lesbian, a Muslim, a (new) Black Panther, a Local Politician, a Police Chief, and a Witch (Wiccan religion).
In our first Living Library event last May, it was evident to all that both library patrons and "books" delighted in each other's company.
Here's another story, about another Living Library event based in Copenhagen Denmark.
Story from Game Pro : According to a Flickr photo, the man set up an Xbox 360<, monitor, and wireless router and began to play a shooter, possibly Halo 3. He was apparently shouting commands into his headset while he played, so it didn't take long for him to get kicked out.
This guy brought a monitor, Xbox, wi-fi router, external HD, earphones with mouthpiece and a controller (disguised under a NY Post, no less).
He proceeded to play Quake/Halo/Call of Duty...some nerd fighter game while yelling out instructions to his "teammates".
Took him 20 minutes to set it all up. Took him 2 minutes to get kicked out.
As librarians are well aware, even in the book world no good deed goes unpunished. Getting the right book into the right hands seems innocent enough--until it isn't. Headline hungry scribes sometimes seek to link books and crime. (The permanent stain on "The Catcher in the Rye" after being found in the possession of both Mark David Chapman and John Hinkley post-crime is the most notorious example.) And censors still have a field day with the "evil" items made available in the Children's Room. (Top targets on that hit parade: the "Harry Potter" series and Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy) But what of the notion that books can actually help fight crime? Two recent stories point out how the humble book may be a useful tool for the Thin Blue Line.
The chianti begins flowing promptly at 7:30 p.m., accompanied by a spread of submarine sandwiches and chocolate-chip cookies.
So, too, does a lively dissection of David Grann's The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. The nonfiction narrative details the New Yorker scribe's quest to trace the path of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who in 1925 disappeared while surveying the Brazilian jungle.
A 90-minute conversation, peppered with laughs and jabs at the self-admitted urbanite author ("too much of a professional" and "utterly contrived"), stretches well past sunset in the Dublin backyard of Rich King, chief operating officer of a Downtown law firm.
Just as prevalent as the banter -- and a few drink refills -- are plenty of deep thoughts: Why do we explore? What makes us obsess? Does a real pioneer use a GPS?
The group -- which includes professors, doctors, lawyers and businessmen -- is hardly a casual klatch (although some participants arrive sporting dress shirts with cuff links, others opt for T-shirts and flip-flops). They've read 121 more titles, each graded collectively on an academic scale -- from the excellent (Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible earned an "A") to the so-so (Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, a "B"). It's an all-male book club -- the only one in Columbus, OH, members think -- into its 11th year.
A 91-year-old woman from Stranraer in south-west Scotland is believed to be Britain's most prolific library book reader after staff at her local library realised she is on the brink of borrowing her 25,000th book.
Steve Hartman (CBS News) reports on the book club that's inspiring people in other states and countries. It all began with an unlikely friendship between two men, one a lawyer and the other homeless. Read the story and watch the video at "A Tale With a Storybook Ending".
And now he owns one of the few bookstores, independent or otherwise, in an inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood.
Hakim Hopkins, who grew up in West Philadelphia and Atlantic City, was 15 and in juvenile detention when his mother gave him a copy of Native Son. "That book just took me out," Hopkins, 37, remembers. "I didn't know that a book could be that good. I became a book lover, and a thinker." Today, Hopkins runs the Black & Nobel bookstore at Broad and Erie that in the year since it expanded to that spot has become a neighborhood hub. Hopkins says that although business is drying up for other independent bookstores, Black & Nobel's mix of services is adding to its bustle.
Story at Philly.com.