Literacy

Spreading the joy of reading across Dawn Lit Mountains

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VT-AWIC Youth Library Network, Lohit is a unique youth movement in Arunachal Pradesh in North-eastern Himalayan India, reaching out to readers across a span of 300 kms in the remote Lohit and Anjaw districts, since May 2007. The Network set up jointly by the Association of Writers & Illustrators for Children (AWIC), New Delhi, the Vivekananda Trust, (HQ: Mysore) and the Lohit District Admn, is run by volunteers, contributing their time and energy for the Movement. It has set a new trend in public-library services in the state, with innovative Reading Promotion activities for the all round educational development of the rural Arunachali tribal youth, winning the hearty appreciation of the elite and the common people.  

National Bookmobile Day

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What drives through your neighborhood bringing treats that are enjoyed by kids of all ages?  It’s not the ice cream truck.  It’s the bookmobile.  National Bookmobile Day will be celebrated Wednesday April 13, 2011.  This ALA coordinated event celebrates bookmobiles and all types of mobile library services. Bookmobiles are still going strong, and they have enjoyed a long history.

Free town libraries were created in the early years in the 19th century in the United States to provide learning and recreational reading to everyone. Bookmobiles were an early addition to the offerings of these free libraries. No better method has ever been devised for reaching people with library services. Bookmobiles go to the people who can’t easily come to the library.

Under The Boardwalk Empire: The Public Library

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Gangsters, gambling, graft, guns, booze, broads, burlesque, bootlegging, cops, corruption, crime, casinos... and a librarian?!? That's right. If you're enjoying HBO's new mobster epic set in the Roaring 20's, Boardwalk Empire then raise a glass of bathtub gin to Heather Halpin Perez and the Atlantic City Free Public Library. Without them, the show might not exist.

Perez is the archivist for the Alfred M. Heston Collection of local history materials at the New Jersey library, which has extensive collections of papers, scrapbooks, photographs, postcards, music, memorabilia, maps, and books about Atlantic City. Using these rare materials, she helped legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese (who directed the premiere episode, and is also an executive producer for the series) and his crew of production designers, set designers, property masters, and costume designers, accurately recreate New Jersey's original Sin City, circa 1920. Perez's help with the series even earned her billing as a "historical consultant" in the credits

Storytelling and Libraries

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Kate McDowell has been an Assistant Professor for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for the past four years.  The focus of her class is on services to youth in libraries.

How did you get into teaching about storytelling?

I myself took a storytelling class as part of my own Library Science Master's program at UIUC. This led to my discovery that I wanted to teach others about storytelling and so I pursued a Ph.D in library science. Then an opening came about at UIUC when another library school professor  Betsy Hearne, who taught Folklore retired, and so I was able to step in and teach my own storytelling classes.

Kate's # 1 rule in classes:  If you think you have a criticism of someone's storytelling performance, come up with it in the form of a question.   She also encourages the storytellers to ask the audience what kind of feedback they are seeking.

I Learned A Lot From Librarians

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I was invited to present a session on romance collections and romance readers at the Connecticut Library Association conference in Stamford this week, and I learned two key things:

1. I was SO wrong
2. Librarians are even more awesome than I thought

I figured that at a state-wide conference of librarians from all different types of libraries, which are STAID and QUIET and INSTITUTIONS of QUIET STAID BOOKISHNESS, I had to be formal. I NEEDED PIE CHARTS. And graphs! And sexy numbers with decimal points when talking about romance.

Outcomes of Teen Tech Week

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Taking a look across the country at what happened during Teen Tech Week March 6-12, 2011, our first stop takes us to a suburb outside of Chicago in Elgin, Illinois.

Teen Tech week was extra special this year at the Gail Borden Public Library, with the opening of their new Teen Space just two months prior. Named Studio 270 for the library's address, the new Teen Space was developed and designed with feedback from the young adult patrons themselves.

A Country Without Libraries

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All across the United States, large and small cities are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of operations. Detroit, I read a few days ago, may close all of its branches and Denver half of its own: decisions that will undoubtedly put hundreds of its employees out of work. When you count the families all over this country who don’t have computers or can’t afford Internet connections and rely on the ones in libraries to look for jobs, the consequences will be even more dire. People everywhere are unhappy about these closings, and so are mayors making the hard decisions. But with roads and streets left in disrepair, teachers, policemen and firemen being laid off, and politicians in both parties pledging never to raise taxes, no matter what happens to our quality of life, the outlook is bleak. “The greatest nation on earth,” as we still call ourselves, no longer has the political will to arrest its visible and precipitous decline (http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/mar/10/new-american-pessimism) and save the institutions on which the workings of our democracy depend.

Food bank, libraries help kids "lunch and learn"

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Alameda County Community Food Bank is partnering with several Oakland libraries for something you could call a "lunch and learn" program for kids.

Low-incoming students are fed lunch at school, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But in the summer when school closes, many families fend for themselves.

"A lot of that has to do with that fact that we don't have enough places where kids can go to get food," food bank spokesperson Ecaterina Burton said.

Michael Roth is a former school superintendent. He saw a way to expand the federal food program. He had read about the opening of a new library and had heard Oakland's mayor talk about government agencies collaborating in these times of budget cuts.

Author of canine books talks about libraries in Scituate

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For libraries, it is the best of times, and the worst of times. And for author Jon Katz, it is the best time to be talking about them.

The popular author of over a dozen books on dogs, and the mastermind behind The Bedlam Farm Journal, came to Scituate Town Library last week to discuss his travels to the 12 different libraries he had visited in the past few months, and the struggles associated with each. 

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