Literacy

The Civil Rights Movement: Sites for Students and Researchers

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The Supreme Court's Brown versus Board of Education decision turned 50 in 2004. Over the next several years, many of the perennially popular research topics of the Civil Rights Movement will celebrate equally momentous anniversaries. Media attention and scholarly interest increase with each significant anniversary.

Fortunately for librarians and researchers, the events, people, and places of the Civil Rights Movement are well represented online. Web sites include an excellent array of primary source materials, including papers, laws, photographs, oral histories, and speeches. These digitized collections will interest researchers of any age group or scholastic level. The digital files offer a great opportunity to listen to Martin Luther King's most galvanizing speeches in his own voice, to read Malcolm X's letters to his mother, and to look at photographs of the freedom riders. In addition to primary source documents, many federal sites provide in-depth data, history and government documents from the Civil Rights Movement. The museums dedicated to civil rights provide outstanding study guides, biographical information, and photographs online.

ALA President Loriene Roy releases statement on PEW survey on library use

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Loriene Roy, president of the American Library Association (ALA) released the following statement regarding the release of the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the University of Illinois’ "Information Searches That Solve Problems: How People Use the Internet, Government Agencies, and Libraries When They Need Help" survey. The survey was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding for U.S. museums and libraries.

"The Pew survey supports our assertion that libraries are flourishing in the age of the Internet. According to the ALA’s 2007 State of America’s Libraries, library use is up nationwide among all types of library users, continuing a decade-long trend. Almost 1.8 billion visitors checked out more than 2 billion items last year.

Teens' Top Ten

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Teens' Top Ten is a "Teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen books groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted in April during Nation Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year during Teen Read Week. Readers ages twelve to eighteen can vote right here, online, anytime that week.

Benefits of Early Literacy: Waukegan, Illinois, Libraries Make a Difference

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Four-year-old Katalyna Padilla forms the words slowly, straining to pronounce each syllable clearly. She and twin sister Katrina attend one of six EPIC preschools sponsored by Waukegan Public School District 60. EPIC stands for Early Childhood Partners In Collaboration, an organization that provides no-cost preschool to Waukegan kids ages 3-5. Last year, Katalyna, who speaks English as a second language, was diagnosed with a speech disability during her preschool screening. She immediately began speech therapy with specialists at EPIC

First Lady Laura Bush

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American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel visited the White House March 19 for an exclusive interview with First Lady Laura Bush. Mrs. Bush, a teacher and librarian and the first librarian to serve as First Lady, covers a host of topics, including the role she will play in the George W. Bush Presidential Library to be built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, how her work as a librarian influenced has influenced her own initiatives, and why young people should consider librarianship as a career. From American Libraries Focus.

Dark Horse Comics, Inc., Donates Complete Collection to Portland State University Library

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Portland State University alumni Mike Richardson, founder and president of Dark Horse Comics, Inc., and Neil Hankerson, executive vice president, have donated copies of all publications generated by Dark Horse over the years to Portland State, and will continue to provide copies of all future items produced by the company. This generous gift will result in a complete collection of the Dark Horse corpus to be preserved in the Portland State University Library Special Collections.

In Celebration of National Library Week

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One might hear this week how we celebrate libraries because they house national treasures—e.g., knowledge, history, creativity, and equal accessibility.

But I celebrate libraries for very personal reasons. I grew up in northwestern New Jersey, surrounded by the patchwork earth of farmland that grew sweet corn and isolation. Boredom was my county’s most plentiful crop. During the internet-less, video-game-less, and seemingly endless summers of my childhood, I could ride my bike to the Washington Borough Public Library and within one minute be transported to the world of Dr. Doolittle; The Hardy Boys; and Babe Ruth, All-American Hero. Each book was a planet with a spine. The librarian was an organizing star, keeping all those spheres in their places for future explorers to discover. The library itself was a universe—a macrocosm between paint-chipped walls, below a roof paid for by bake sales, sandwiched between a tattoo parlor and halfway house. It was the most fecund place I knew—a greenhouse for my imagination, where fluorescence had to do with my mind’s branches spreading. O the joyful fire in the astronaut’s skull when divagation led to apprehension

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