Would it surprise you to know that 36 million American adults need literacy help, but only three million of them will be lucky enough to get it?
Would it surprise you that one in five American adults cannot access or use the internet?
How about the fact that illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year?
I still haven’t surprised you? How about this: Three out of five people in American prisons can’t read, and approximately 50 percent of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as reading prescription drug labels.
Reading and writing are skills that many of us take for granted. English proficiency and effective job-seeking skills are a real-life necessity in our community.
Public libraries are one of the few establishments left where literacy services, computer access, job seeking and training workshops, and a whole host of other services are offered free to any community member.
Teaching an adult to read can change their life and that of their family. The good news is you can help change a life!
The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub started in 2010 when Credo Reference donated 500 free research accounts to Wikipedia's most active editors... Now, the Wikipedia Library is developing into a portal to connect editors with libraries, open access resources, paywalled databases, digital reference tools, and research experts. Two of the project's leaders discuss the potential for collaboration between libraries and Wikipedia, as well as the new Visiting Scholars pilot program.
Oamaru Public Library assistant Julia de Ruiter launched a ''Selfies in the Library'' competition on Facebook this week, in a bid to see younger Oamaru readers engage with the Waitaki District Libraries.
I stand corrected; the headline immediately had me picturing only teens entering. Nice to see older patrons getting involved and enjoying the library. Despite the fact that patronage hasn't increased; I like the fact that people still need to ask a librarian when Google inevitably fails them. Teehee.
GigaOM In win for libraries, court rules database of Google-scanned books is "fair use" GigaOM Summary: The Authors Guild has lost yet another legal battle in a long-running dispute over who can access digital copies of library books created under...
Sarah Field's insight:
Hmmm, not sure how to feel about this. On one hand, it's great that digitising books means more access for visually impaired readers; but on the other, it seems to infringe on the rights of the authors re royalties etc. I did find it a little hard to understand this article though...
Showing skin: Harvard library book covered with human flesh WFSB Harvard conservators and scientists performed tests on the cover of one of their rare books and have found, with 99-percent certainty, that it is made of flesh, according to the...
Sarah Field's insight:
Yeesh! Not sure i'd want to handle this book without gloves. Kinda creepy. Gloves should probably be worn anyway to stop degradation of the covering...
This morning, at the National Library of Australia, Alison Lester launched two fabulous new books - A Yakanarra Day and The Yakanarra Dogs - written and illustrated by the students of Yakanarra Community School, in the ...
It's so sad that reading for pleasure is almost non existant among children. Has it been that long since Harry Potter or The Hunger Games were released?! I love that "The fault in our stars" has been released as a movie and I hope it will inspire teenage girls to read the book. Novels are vegetables for the mind and it seems if more people, especially children, read, then we wouldn't be seeing such an abundance of incorrect grammar, spelling and lack of punctuation across social media, from newspapers and newsreaders and school work. Reading relieves stress, fires the imagination and engages in a way that 'screen time' simply can't.
Its “Sacred Stories” exhibition, till January 30, is also showcasing a leaf illustrating the famous Hindu legend of “churning of the ocean of milk” (1598), an 1813 illuminated manuscript of the Mahabharata, Birth of Krishna miniature (1650-1700), Krishna and Holi miniature (1600-1625) and illustration of scholars translating the Mahabharata (1598).
For those of us of a certain age and/or demographic, our elementary school, junior high, and even high school years contained research papers where the research was in the form of physical books (or maybe microfiche, but that is a different story). We would go to our school or local library–research topic in hand–and dive into the encyclopedias first, and then into primary and secondary sources next. We used dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, almanacs, desk references, the Guinness Book of World Records, thesauruses, manuals, travel guides, and informative books that covered just one topic. Some of these resources became quickly outdated, necessitating costly periodic replacement, but most of them were and still are valuable sources of information. Even some of the ones that become outdated (almanacs, atlases, and even encyclopedia sets) still represent what we knew at a moment in time, of how things were, or how we thought things were.
These days we have the internet. It’s the easiest and fastest place to find information. But it’s not always the best or most interesting place to find it. I posit an argument saying that every home should also have a good selection of physical reference books.
Perhaps homes don’t need this many references books, but it would certainly be nice. Image: Public Domain Why? Many reasons.
The internet gives you plenty of information. But it offers it in the form of information overload. Once you get your search results, you then have to sort through them and determine what’s reliable, which can be very time consuming. Also, the internet doesn’t organize the information for you. It doesn’t present it in a systematic way, but rather as a list, which may or may not be organized in the manner you require. The internet is distracting. You search for the answer to your one question, and happen to notice something that you need for work later, so you go send some emails, and then an alert sends you over to your Facebook notifications, where you catch up on the news, zoom over to your webcomic feeds, and forget what it was you were doing in the first place. Reference books are specialized and are better at keeping you on task. Reference books give you the joy of perusal, discovery, and immersion. Published books, at least the ones that go through a thorough editing process, generally have high quality content that looks neat and tidy. Well-researched reference books, while not completely infallible, can generally be trusted. The internet, not so much. You have to determine the quality of the source yourself. Reference books allow for more focused rabbit holes. Rabbit holes are a common phenomenon on the internet as well, but reference books keep you more focused on the subject you looked up in the first place, with more specialized content and a limited amount of information (when compared with the internet). Sometimes you’re interested in a specific topic and just want to learn more about it, taking in everything you can. You can pick up your favorite reference book, and just immerse yourself, distraction free. No notifications. No ads. No superfluous information. Just directed, concentrated study. I recommend this activity to children, especially, since it helps them learn more about the world, themselves, and their passions. Books work without electricity, wi-fi, batteries, or an access fee. Libraries are filled with them, if you don’t have enough of your own. Technology has opened doors for us, but it will never close the door on books. Here are some of my favorite reference books that we turn to, time and again, and that have a prominent place on our regular and homeschool bookshelves.
Webster’s Dictionary At some point when I was in high school, my mom gave me a hefty version of Webster’s Dictionary. It was an encyclopedic version, containing all the normal dictionary parts, plus a mixture of references in the back covering the presidents, world flags, synonyms and antonyms, an English handbook, a spelling dictionary, mathematics charts and references, space exploration, a science encyclopedia, a medical dictionary and adviser, a dictionary of quotations, and more. It is the kind of book that you could hurt someone with, if you could even wield it. But I have spent hours perusing the pages of all the parts of this book. Encyclopedia varieties of dictionary seem to have gone out of style, what with the internet and all. But the base dictionaries are still vital to our knowledge base. They are especially useful for children, who look up more words than adults, and often end up down linguistic rabbit holes. There are many great dictionaries around, and I encourage you to have at least one (or several, of different sizes).
Dictionary of Word Origins Long before the internet, we turned to this book, time and again. I wonder where that word comes from, we’d say. Let’s look it up! This dictionary has thousands of words. Each entry includes a description of where it came from, in great detail, along with other words that have the same or similar origins. It shows the age of the word, and is very readable. This kind of dictionary gives much more detail on word origins than a standard dictionary.
A World Atlas We have several atlases in our house, because, well, maps. Maps are one of the things that bring me joy. Atlases give you a view into other parts of the world, and your own, through geography, topography, industry, meteorology, history, and more. They are useful to have around for homework assignments, or just having out on the table for perusal while you brush your teeth.
The Timetables of History It’s a fascinating thing to see what happened at the same time in history, throughout the world. Not just focusing on one part of the world or one timeline, this book shows what happened all around the world, organized by topic (such as the arts, science, politics, and daily life), all at the same time. For instance, did you know that in 1855, Charlotte Brontë died, Walt Whitman wrote Leaves of Grass, the Taiping Rebellion ended, Franz Köller developed tungsten steel, Livingstone discovered Victoria Falls, and there was a World Fair in Paris?
Foreign Language Dictionaries Whether you’re studying other languages formally or not, it’s fun to have around foreign language dictionaries. While not the best resource for learning the grammar of a language, they can’t be beat for vocabulary. Grab one and figure out how to say “beer” in German, “bread” in French, and “mountain” in Italian. Or learn some American Sign Language to help you communicate with your spouse or children across a crowded room.
Desk References These books come in many varieties, including medical, science, history, and more. We have the Science and American History Desk References from the New York Public Library, and they are perfect for answering straightforward questions such as “How does antifreeze work?” or “What is manifest destiny?” or even finding out how long animals live. These reference books include answers to your FAQs, without needing to click on anything. They are becoming more rare, but are still useful for specialized study.
National Audubon Society Field Guides Field guides will get you out of your house and off searching for birds, wild mushrooms, or star clusters. These specialized reference books are directed at a narrow topic, and include photos, data, and many facts. Perfect for your next hike or other adventure, this analog reference book type is hard to duplicate in digital form, out in the middle of nowhere.
The internet is definitely the best place to find certain things, including anything timely, or when you need to use the Internet Movie Database. But I encourage everyone to supplement their Internet Service Provider with a healthy dose of an extensive Reference Library.
What are your favorite reference books?
About Jenny Bristol Jenny Bristol is a core contributor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.
"There are many excellent research databases that school libraries subscribe to each year. Proquest, CQ Researcher, and ABC/CLIO are three that my district uses. Yet when given a research assignment, the first place students turn to is Google or another public search engine. For better or worse, it’s a fact of life in the modern classroom... So, let’s make sure they have the tools to search the open Web effectively."
This article highlights the impact digital technology is having on school libraries. I think it's important that libraries and librarians maintain their place in the community as the important gateways to information that they are.
Wallpaper Places A Digital Library Full Of Books On Your Bedroom Walls [Video] PSFK They came up with a bookshelf called the Digital Library Wallpaper, which is an actual adhesive wallpaper that looks like a bookshelf filled with books specially...
Sarah Field's insight:
I LOVE this! I want, no DEMAND that this technolgy be available in Australia. A space saving, environmentally friendly library that doubles as wall art? Appeals to tech savvy, time poor people? What's not to love?
While most people go to libraries to check out books, one Toronto library is offering visitors an opportunity to print out their own.
Sarah Field's insight:
So cool! I hope such an intiative is implemented all over the world; it will encourage more writing, more publishing and keep the written word alive. We may also gain access to quality memoirs and stories that would otherwise go unread. I just hope someone proof reads them first-poor punctuation, spelling and grammar is rife among professional authors and publishers as it is!
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) are pleased to endorse and promote this statement of standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians.
Teach students about fiction genres in the school library by utilizing book talks, reader's theater, games, and a fun "genre" museum. This article provides lots of ideas to make learning fun and interactive!
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.