Literacy

Rural Bookmobile Program Provides Lifelong Learning

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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

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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.

Ready to Read grant awarded to Hood River County Library District

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Hood River County Library District has received a $4,425 grant to improve public library services to children. The Ready to Read grant funds will be used to create several “mini-libraries” in underserved areas around the county, especially in Odell. These libraries will be located in areas where children often have downtime with their parents: laundromats, food bank distribution centers, etc. The libraries will include books for small children to help instill in them a love of reading. The Library District particularly thanks Representative Mark Johnson and Senator Chuck Thomsen for their support of the Ready to Read grant program.

265 'Anne Frank' books vandalized in Tokyo libraries

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Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" and scores of books about the young Holocaust victim have been vandalized in Tokyo public libraries since earlier this year.

The damage was mostly in the form of dozens of ripped pages in the books. Librarians have counted at least 265 damaged books at 31 municipal libraries since the end of January.

Japan and Nazi Germany were allies in World War II, and though Holocaust denial has occurred in Japan at times, the motive for damaging the Frank books is unclear. Police are investigating.

Toy Libraries: A Place to Play

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Lois Eannel gets teary-eyed when she remembers that afternoon. She saw a mom bring her son into the early childhood section of the Palm Harbor (Fla.) Library and lay him down on the brightly colored rug. He must have been about 8 years  old, she thought, but a physical disability left him unable to sit up.

Eannel, then director of the children’s library, tapped the mom on the shoulder and told her she had something for her son. A short while later she brought out a Side-Lyer toy—a device made for children with special needs, with beads and lights that make sounds and vibrate when lightly touched.

Thousands of books, manuscripts torched in fire at historic Lebanese library

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Two-thirds of a historic collection of 80,000 books have gone up in smoke after a library was torched in the Lebanese city of Tripoli amid sectarian tensions. The blaze was started after a pamphlet insulting Islam was reportedly found inside a book.

Firefighters struggled to subdue the flames as the decades-old Al-Saeh library went up in smoke on Friday in the Serail neighborhood of Tripoli. Despite firefighters’ best efforts, little of the trove of historic books and manuscripts was recovered from the wreckage.

Libraries strained by budget cuts

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When librarian Devan Green first read the policy on proper behavior at the Pontiac Public Library, she couldn’t believe some rules didn’t go without saying.

The rules prohibited everything from offensive body odor to panhandling – extreme policies written in response to day-to-day problems at the library.

The rules stem from poverty — the Pontiac Public Library is within walking distance from several homeless shelters and halfway houses, and has become a hangout of last resort for the poor and the unemployed.

The Lumberjack's Boxcar Library

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The problem of getting books into the hands of readers has been solved in many ways over the centuries.  Of course, one of my favorites is the bookmobile.  A classic, and staple of rural life in the 20th Century.  But in 1919, there was something else in the works to get books into the hands of the lumbermen in the employ of the Anaconda Copper Mining Co.  The Anaconda company is one of those "too big to fail" sorts in the history of Montana-- it's name was apt.  But that's not to say this wasn't a great idea.

Digitizing Camelot

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The anger, frustration, and worry that the situation could turn out very badly were evident in the president’s voice.

It was September 1962 and pro-segregation forces were readying for a violent clash with US troops over a court order entitling James Meredith, an African-American student, to enroll at the all-white University of Mississippi. Days before riots erupted that left two dead and hundreds wounded, President John F. Kennedy spoke on a recorded phone call with Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett, at times almost pleading with him to maintain law and order.

Book Zombie

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I stayed up past two a.m. last night happily churning through a book. Reading seems timeless to me, a book-related fugue state that got me in trouble in elementary school.  Many days the class moved on from reading time to math while I remained completely absorbed in a book. I’d look up to find I’d been called on to answer an equation. My brain would scramble to move fromThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase’s 18th century manor house to third grade long division, the plight of children dealing with villains more real than dreary numbers chalked on the board.

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