February 17, 2018

Seattle Aims to Become Second American City of Literature

Seattle, regularly a contender for the title of most literate city in the United States by Central Connecticut State University’s annual ranking, is doubling down on its reputation as a book-loving burg. This March, the city submitted its application for designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, a bid that would make Seattle the second city in the United States and the eighth city in the world to receive the title.

Bold on Literacy: Pulling together to create a literate nation |Editorial

Grappling with the literacy gap has long been at the heart of library work, and several conversations I had at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia got me thinking that we need to be more creative about how we address this persistent problem. Then, the Turn the Page initiative rolling out in New Orleans hit my email inbox, and it struck me as a fresh and much bolder strategy.

Star Wars Reads Day: A Growing Force for Literacy

Star Wars fans around the world—from the youngest padawan to the wisest Jedi—along with authors, artists, and costumed volunteers will be flocking to libraries and bookstores this Saturday, October 5, for the 2nd annual Star Wars Reads Day (SWRD), an event that harnesses the appeal of the popular franchise to celebrate literacy and reading. The day is being sponsored collaboratively by Star Wars creator Lucasfilm’s publishing partners: Abrams, Chronicle, Dark Horse Comics, Del Rey, DK, Random House Audio, Scholastic, and Workman.

Pop-Up Libraries Blossom in Philadelphia and Beyond

The books come by the hundreds almost daily. Boxes dropped off from yoga clubs, suburban book drives, and schools to be handed out at the Mighty Writers Street Libraries—pop-up libraries recently launched in Philadelphia to offer books to the city’s students and parents who watch as their access to titles diminish.

IMLS Says Libraries Key to Early Learning

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading today unveiled a new report on the role of museums and libraries in early learning, and issued a call to action for policymakers, schools, funders, and parents to include these institutions in comprehensive early learning strategies.

L3 Pilot Boosts Rural Library Literacy Efforts

Six small libraries in rural Minnesota were recently selected for a year of specialized training and mentoring. The pilot initiative was designed by Library Strategies, a consulting arm of the Friends of the Saint Paul (MN) Public Library, and funded by a $388,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. The program, entitled “L3: The Bremer […]

Bristol’s Literacy Academy Bridges Digital Divide

In Bristol, a city straddling the border of Tennessee and Virginia, the Bristol Public Library (BPL) is taking digital literacy training to the next level. The library employs a small staff of full-time teachers, who have made computer training a key component of BPL’s 25 year-old Patricia Freedman Literacy Academy (PFLA). The academy launched as a GED prep program in the late 1980s, and even then, it offered a small computer component for students who wanted to learn keyboarding, said BPL Executive Director Jud Barry. Computers have since become ubiquitous, and five years ago, BPL opened a new main library with a computer lab, where the teachers are available for one-on-one instruction five days per week.

Therapy Dogs’ Presence Steadily Grows in Libraries

When it comes to learning, libraries around the country are steadily discovering that a dog can teach patrons, young and old, a few tricks.

E-Texts for All (Even Lucy) | Ebooks and Accessibility

A colleague’s perspective helps guest columnist Char Booth see the difficulties librarians face in building their ebook collections. If digital literacy is exploding, the visually disabled are taking the shrapnel. I would wager that most librarians consider ourselves committed to accessibility and make individual and organizational efforts to comply with (and often exceed) the Americans […]

Google Book Search by the Numbers

Affidavit says 12 million books digitized, $2.5 million a year spent on metadata An affidavit (below) from Google Book Search Engineering Director Dan Clancy accompanying various motions from Google in support of the pending Google Book Search Settlement—due for a fairness hearing in federal court on February 18—includes several statistics of interest to the library […]