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Posts tagged literacy

Library A to Z shows how to crowdfund library advocacy
November 21, 2014 | 2:25 pm

One of the more heartening initiatives by advocates of the UK's library system in the face of devastating - and ideologically dictated - "austerity" cuts, is the Library A to Z, which "has created a visual A to Z celebrating the wide range of services, resources and facilities that make libraries so fantastic." The site contains: "materials, including illustrations, book, posters, cards and other advocacy materials that you are free to share and re-use,"as well as "links and information about what you can do to support libraries." But its own story is almost as important and encouraging as the resources...

James Patterson wants Amazon to do more to promote reading
November 20, 2014 | 7:16 am

Salon Magazine has an interview with bestselling author and literary franchise James Patterson that is refreshingly free of the anti-Amazon rhetoric that has characterized both institutions of late. At least they’re not currently trashing Amazon for what it’s doing. They’re complaining about what Amazon ought to be doing but isn’t. And I can’t say that I necessarily disagree. Patterson is planning to launch a new public awareness campaign to encourage reading, following on the heels of his $1 million in grants to bookstores. The campaign will include a TV ad featuring a public book-burning (a bit of a cliché,...

Russell Brand to give Reading Agency lecture
October 14, 2014 | 10:25 am

The ever-more-serious UK comedian Russell Brand will deliver this year's Reading Agency lecture, "'a manifesto on reading" and the third lecture since the inception of the series in 2012, as well as the first one to be open to ticket-holding members of the public. "The Reading Agency lecture is a fundraising event, proceeds from which support the charities' core mission, to get and keep the nation reading," as The Reading Agency's materials declare. Previous speakers in the series were Jeanette Winterson and Neil Gaiman, who gave a highly praised talk also on the importance of reading. Brand couched the theme of...

Canada’s National Reading Campaign shows reading is good for your … body?
October 10, 2014 | 12:30 pm

infographic-reading-saves-lives Canada's National Reading Campaign has partnered with CBC to pull together an infographic to show the bodily benefits of reading, as if improving your mind wasn't reason enough. For most, I'm sure that point is obvious enough, but it's good to see - literally - graphic proof that a healthy mind means a healthy body - as well, apparently, as a healthier mindset and more socially responsible attitude....

How cell phone book clubs could help get young people reading and change their lives
September 10, 2014 | 2:25 pm

BertelKingNote: Although David Rothman posted the article, he says the author is really Bertel King, Jr., SF/fantasy novelist and a journalist. Read about Bertel at the end of his cogent essay. Go here to learn how to start your own cell phone book club. Also check out related essays here and here. In 2008, I graduated from Southampton High School, which did an admirable job of preparing me for college. I say “admirable” because at the time I had no idea just how disadvantaged my county was compared to the wealthy suburban schools of Northern Virginia and Richmond that populate most...

Karen Brodie joins UK Reading Agency
August 9, 2014 | 10:33 am

According to a press release, Karen Brodie, a former British Council senior official in the field of arts and literature, has just joined the UK literacy charity The Reading Agency as its new new head of publisher partnerships. The Reading Agency states that Brodie began her professional career in the rights departments of Harper Collins and Penguin before joining the civil service, where "for the last five years, she has lead strategic programmes and partnerships for the Iran team at the British Council and she has recently returned from a two-year posting in Istanbul as head of arts." At The Reading Agency,...

The roots of English stupidity
July 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

dunce.jpgThe roots of English anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance are long, deep, and twisted. The consequences you can see all over, in terms of literacy levels, reading habits, social order, and even prison numbers, and many other metrics that TeleRead tracks, but the causes are buried in the English past. Just every so often, however, it helps to lay them bare to explain just what the hell is going on in England, and what kind of hope, if any, there is for the country. The odd thing is that most Protestant countries outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere are renowned for their high standards...

Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community
July 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

textgirl2A friend of mine in his 40s is about to start teaching in Houston, Texas, and he recently shared a discovery. Many teenagers in Houston tote cell phones, but don’t know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. This would jibe with a 2012 poll showing similar ignorance among Americans at large. A bigger issue also comes up. Just how much do young people care about books in the first place? Americans 15-19 spend only about four minutes reading for fun on a typical weekend day. Too bad. Students who love books are more likely to excel in school....

UK rejoices as Gove goes
July 15, 2014 | 4:22 pm

mr-gove-cover Good news for UK teachers, pupils, readers - and incidentally, fans of American literature. Michael Gove, the much-despised UK Education Secretary dismissed by Professor Simon Schama at last year's Hay Festival for his "insulting, offensive" attitudes, and by author Patrick Ness as "appalling, ignorant and damaging" and "massive, arrogant egotist who can’t see anyone else’s opinion,"  has been moved to a new post as Chief Whip, in charge of internal discipline for the UK Conservative Party in the House of Commons, as part of a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron. According to David Cameron's official Twitter feed, "Michael Gove...

Books are as essential as bread. Ask the English poor.
June 27, 2014 | 2:28 pm

In these enlightened times that have brought us that wonder of 21st-century social engineering, the foodbank, it's gratifying to report that, without any conspicuous aid from the current British government, UK charities are ministering to poorer citizens' cultural and intellectual as well as culinary needs. British literacy charity Booktrust has teamed up with the Trussell Trust Foodbank network to distribute books through their network - in this case, children's picture title Super Duck by Jez Alborough. "Books and toys are low down on priorities for families," said Project Leader of West Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, Elizabeth Maytom. "Money will be spent on...

Your lads aren’t reading? Blame the girls
April 25, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Monstrous regimentUK politicians, policy-makers and writers: Got a problem with your male population's reading habits? Guys too lumpen and anti-intelligent to be good citizens? Workforce too ignorant to be competitive? Well, here's an easy get-out: blame the women in publishing. Because according to a Times article sensitively entitled "It’s no wonder boys aren’t reading — the children’s book market is run by women," children's author Jonathan Emmett has deduced "that the majority of publishers, editors, librarians, judges and reviewers of children’s books were women, and this was exacerbating the literacy gap between the sexes. He said that children’s books tended not to contain...

Childwise Report charges top dollar for UK child tablet reading insights
April 24, 2014 | 4:05 pm

Mom and daughter turning page in children's book on iPad 2I have to be grateful for The Bookseller sometimes. For its boycott of Author Solutions advertising. And now for its heroic readiness to fork out £1980 ($3326) for a copy of the CHILDWISE Monitor Report 2013-14 from CHILDWISE,  "leading research specialists on children, young people and their families" with a "panel of over 1000 schools throughout the UK." And this Monitor Report states, according to The Bookseller, that one in five of UK children (going by its sample) read on a tablet. The Monitor Report, "a comprehensive annual report focused on children and young people's media consumption, brand attitudes and key...