The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development and Services announced the Statewide Summer Reading Kick-Off on Saturday, May 30 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This event marked the official opening of the 2009 Summer Reading Club themed, “Be Creative @ Your Library,” and has been celebrated in all Maryland public libraries. By registering for free at their local public library, children and teens from birth through high school participated in this program.
Educator and library student Jessica Fenster-Sparber was one of the ten honorees at the 2008 Maybelline New York Beauty of Education dinner, held at the historic New York Public Library in Manhattan. Ms. Fenster-Sparber is a library coordinator who works with the city’s incarcerated youth as well as the executive director of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, the only nonprofit organization that raises money to fun the building of libraries and literacy programs in New York City’s juvenile detention centers.
Queens Library’s Mail-A-Book Service allows homebound customers to borrow library materials, including books and audiobooks, regular and large-print books, movies on DVD and music on CDs without leaving their homes, nursing homes, adult care centers, or assisted living facilities. Though Mail-A-Book serves all ages, its primary customer base consists of older adults.
They're twin sisters and for the past six months they have come faithfully twice a week to the literacy center at Salinas’s John Steinbeck Library. There they meet with their tutor, a retired school teacher. They bring their small children along—one baby is asleep in the car seat at her mother's feet, another plays with books and lounges in a bean bag chair, while several of their older kids play in the children's area. Between them they have nine children, ages 0 to ten. Both sisters dropped out of school when they were thirteen and neither learned to read. After failing classes and falling too far behind, they did what many of us would do in their circumstances: they quit and gave up hope.
In 2007, the Rockbridge Regional Library began an association with Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Our goal was to create programs that encouraged children to read, while also getting them outdoors to enjoy nature. Bonnie Bernstein and Hannah Klein from Boxerwood helped us to create the Survival Book Club for fifth through eighth graders. The book club featured novels about kids surviving in the wilderness, and gave the kids the opportunity to spend time outdoors learning survival skills. The culmination of the experience was a campout in May, using a shelter we built for ourselves in the woods.
You may think a book club consists of a group of intelligent, intellectually curious adults discussing characterization, plot, motivation, and context. Project Read, San Francisco Public Library’s adult-literacy program, thinks so, too. Participating in a book club is exactly what the Wednesday Night Readers (WNR) do eleven times a year, even though some members of the group read at an elementary-school level. Our discussions produce a rich amalgam of poignancy, reflection, comradeship, and just plain fun.
If you happen to be in the Washington, D.C. area on Saturday, September 26, 2009 and love libraries, please be sure to stop by the American Library Association’s (ALA) booth at the 9th annual National Book Festival organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress.