When it comes to fundraising, there seems to be a frenzied dash to solicit Generation Y (also known as Millennials), comprising donors aged 18 to 32 years. After all, the ALS ice bucket challenge raised millions; Barack Obama’s fundraising success of 2008 and 2012 targeting youth got him elected twice; and with the help of …
If you are committed to the pleasures of reading you may be pleased to discover that there is evidence to suggest that reading fiction is good for you. In a paper published in Trends in Cognitive Science, the psychologist and novelist Keith Oatley lays out his stall, arguing that fiction, and especially literary fiction, is a beneficial force in our lives. It has long been held – from the high-minded humanism that Dr Samuel Johnson espoused in the 18th century to the likes of the fiercely serious literary critic FR Leavis in the 20th century – that literature is good for you. But while once the only evidence considered necessary was that of the critic’s judgement and sensitivity, Oatley and other psychologists today are to be thanked for demanding rather more concrete evidence. It’s difficult to test the claim that literature makes us better people. It won’t do just to see whether people who read a lot of fiction are, on average, more thoughtful, more helpful, better liked and perhaps more successful than people who don’t. There are so many other explanations, including the rather obvious idea that people who read a lot of fiction, especially the “quality” stuff, are [...]
When I was twelve, my father read me Ursula K. LeGuin’s story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” In this fable, LeGuin imagines a utopian society with a dark secret. Every inhabitant of the beautiful city of Omelas is happy, but their happiness is dependent on the existence of one utterly miserable child, who…
Over the last few years the library world has been buzzing about programming in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and coding, the new digital literacy. For many librarians like mysel…
Via Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby
When Parade asked me to compile a list of the best 75 books to celebrate the magazine’s 75th anniversary, my first answer was, “Not a chance!” I could picture the mountains of furious letters complaining about all the great works of literature I’d left off. But when I asked the staff at Parnassus Books, the [...]
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