Posts Tagged ‘reading’
Americans like me who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s (in other words–old!) are likely to fondly remember bookmobiles. In some small or rural communities, they were the only way to borrow books. Today, there are less than 1,000 bookmobiles in use in the U.S. That could be because more than 306 million people in the U.S. lived within a public library service area in 2014. And anyone with a computer or smartphone can get free access to e-books and audiobooks, as well as the printed versions, from their local library.
But in other parts of the world, it’s not so easy. In many countries, there are very few public libraries, and in some, even schools don’t have books or libraries. And with only 35 percent of the world’s population connected to the internet, there are vast numbers of people–especially children–who have no way to gain access to books. In honor of National Library Week, this post explores six visionary mobile libraries that go to great lengths to promote the love of reading and literacy throughout their little part of the globe.
Argentina: Arma de Instruccion Masiva
In Argentina, the artist Raul Lemesoff converted a green 1979 Ford Falcon purchased from the Argentine armed forces into a tank-like vehicle with enough shelf space for 900 books, offering everything from novels to poetry. Lemesoff was inspired to build his Arma de Instruccion Masiva (Weapon of Mass Instruction) as a way of counteracting fear with education. On World Book Day in March 2015, he drove around the urban centers and rural communities of Argentina, offering free books to people on the street, as long as they promised to read them.
In 1990, a primary school teacher in Colombia named Luis Soriano Bohorquez was inspired to save rural children in Colombia’s Magdalena province from illiteracy. Every Saturday at dawn, Luis sets out to 15 select villages with his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto (their names combined translate to “alphabet”). Luis rides Alfa up to four hours each way, with Beto following behind carrying a sitting blanket and more books. Children get homework help, learn to read or listen to stories and geography lessons that he prepares. Soriano started his library with just 70 books from his own collection. Thanks to donations, he now has some 4,800 books piled up in his little house in the small town of La Gloria. In 2011, PBS made a documentary film about his work, Biblioburro: The Donkey Library.Italy: Bibliomotocarro
In 2003, retired teacher Antonio La Cava realized that children in the local villages of the Basilicata region in southern Italy didn’t have easy access to books. He bought a used Piaggio Ape motorbike van and modified it, creating the Bibliomotocarro (the Library Motor Car). The small, bright blue vehicle resembles a tiny house–including a Spanish-tiled roof, a chimney, and large glass windows that display the over 1,200 books inside. There are also built-in speakers to play the organ music he uses to announce his arrival. Each month, he travels over 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) to eight different villages, where children gather in the squares to wait for him.
Mongolia: Children’s Mobile Library
Dashdondog Jamba is a children’s book writer and publisher and has translated more than fifty children’s books by foreign writers into Mongolian. His Children’s Mobile Library transports books to children in the remote regions of the Gobi desert, and throughout every province of Mongolia. Since the early 1990’s, he has faced the challenges of mountainous terrain and severe weather conditions to travel over 50,000 miles by camel, on horseback, on carts pulled by horses or oxen, and more recently, with a van. Assisted by his wife and son, they often remain in one place for several days to allow as many children as possible to read the books.
Norway: Bokbaten Epos
In a coastal country that includes many islands and islets, with remote hamlets located along the fjords, the sea is often the easiest way to reach some communities. In 1959, a group of librarians in Hordaland pioneered the concept of a floating library. At first, a refurbished tobacco cutter was used, and it was an immediate success. In 1963, a larger 85-foot boat was specially built to serve as the seafaring mobile library. The new vessel also offers cultural programs such as films, plays, puppet shows and visits with authors. Bokbaten Epos (the Library Boat) carries about 6,000 books to the residents of 150 small communities in three counties along the West coast of Norway who don’t have their own libraries.
Pakistan: Bright Star Mobile Library
When Saeed Malik returned to his home country of Pakistan in 2004 after working for the United Nations World Food Program for 35 years, he learned that most government and private elementary schools in the rural areas of the Islamabad Capital Territory did not have library services or books of their own. He founded the Bright Star Mobile Library in 2011 to introduce young Pakistanis to the world of reading and books. Four refurbished U.N. jeeps make weekly visits to about 20 elementary schools in the outskirts of the capital city, carrying over 1,000 books and serving nearly 6,000 young students.
Libraries Transform. Whether a library is on land, sea, or even donkey, those who bring books and resources to their local community are truly agents of transformation.
How are you celebrating National Library Week? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest.
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Libraries transform readers to writers. Libraries nurture curiosity. Libraries give everyone a chance. Getting a library card is like a rite of passage. Without libraries, we wouldn’t learn about the work of so many diverse authors. We wouldn’t be as informed. We wouldn’t get access to everything print and beyond that libraries have to offer.
April 9th-15th is National Library Week. This year’s theme is “Libraries Transform” and to celebrate, we’ve compiled 4 outstanding library, author, and book-related records that were set according to Guinness World Records.
Highest Library from Ground Level
On November 7, 2003, the library located on the 60th floor of the JW Marriott Hotel in Shanghai, China took this title with a height of 757 feet 6 inches.
World’s Largest Library Book Fine Paid
On April 19, 1955, Emily Canellos-Simms checked out the poetry book Days and Deeds from Kewanee Public Library in Illinois. Forty-seven years later, Emily found the book at her mother’s house and returned it to the library with a check for $345.14 in overdue fines.
First Author to Sell More Than 1 Million E-Books
On July 6, 2010, Hachette Book Group reported author James Patterson was the first author to have sold over 1 million e-books. He sold 1.14 million. Self-published author John Locke surpassed this record in June 2011, selling over 2 million e-books.
Oldest Artist to Illustrate a Comic Book Cover
At age 95, Ken Bald is the oldest artist to illustrate a comic book cover as verified on November 4, 2015. He illustrated Contest of Champions (2015) #2 (Bald Classic Variant). Ken is also the oldest comic book artist.
How are you celebrating National Library Week? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest.
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According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at the end of 2014, there were more than 1,500,000 adult prisoners in state and federal correctional facilities in the United States. America has had libraries for prisoners since 1790 when the Philadelphia Prison Society began furnishing books to the inmates in the Walnut Street Jail. The first state prison library was established in 1802 at the Kentucky State Reformatory. It contained primarily religious books and was supervised by the prison chaplain. Prison libraries offer inmates a place to improve reading skills, write a letter home, watch an instructional video or just escape for a while by reading for pleasure. The American Library Association also works to provide library services to prisoners and their families. While many correctional institutions have book lending services or small libraries, some of the best facilities and programs in U.S. prisons are featured below:
1. Angola State Prison, Louisiana. The nation’s largest maximum security prison’s Main Library was dedicated in 1968, but there are actually four other branches that serve Angola inmates as well, called Outcamp libraries. The prison is part of the Inter-Library Loan Program with the State Library of Louisiana.
2. Bucks County Correctional Facility, Pennsylvania. Prisoners here work with the local Lions Club to produce reading material for the blind. The program was the first in the country of its type and uses county inmates to transcribe textbooks, worksheets, and tests into Braille for blind students.
3. Folsom State Prison, California. A March 2003 profile of the library noted that its collection included 16,522 fiction and 4,176 non-fiction books, as well as 1,449 law texts. The law library is the most popular and offers a Paralegal Studies Program to train inmates in research skills to help them find forms and legal resources. The library also offers educational programs, as well as a vocational-intern program to prepare certain inmates for the working world outside of jail.
4. Illinois State Prisons. The Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners project accepts request letters from Illinois inmates, finds books that meet their needs and provides them at no cost to the inmates. The community and individual libraries provide donated books, and volunteers staff lending libraries in local jails, interacting directly with the inmates. At last count, they have provided over 120,000 books to more than 18,000 prisoners. They also publish prisoners’ writings and artworks.
5. Norfolk Prison Library, Massachusetts. When a young Malcolm X was incarcerated here in 1948, he taught himself to read and write by copying an entire dictionary page-by-page. He later took advantage of the large library, reading every book available in philosophy, history, literature, and science. Today the library still provides education programs to inmates in the culinary arts, computer technology, HVAC, college transition, ESL, reading enrichment, and getting a GED.
6. Racine Correctional Institution, Wisconsin. In 2006, the Racine Correctional Institution Library hosted a poetry slam and competition. Another program is the Shakespeare Prison Project, a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Fifteen to twenty inmates study and rehearse Shakespeare plays for nine months, working with theater artists and preparing to perform for the other prisoners and for the community.
J.K. Rowling wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2001 while simultaneously writing the main Harry Potter series of novels. Devoted Potter fans will note that “Fantastic Beasts” actually makes an appearance in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as the name of one of Harry’s required textbooks. Following the success of the Harry Potter movie franchise, Rowling makes her screenwriting debut in the prequel by the same name.
Set in the 1920s, this adventure follows wizard Newt Scamander as he arrives in New York for a brief stay and No-Maj (American Muggle) Jacob Kowalski who accidentally lets some of Newt’s beasts escape from a briefcase. The ensuing endangerment takes place decades before Harry Potter steps foot into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Go experience your favorite characters come to life on the big screen starting Friday (November 18), or stop by your library or bookstore and pick up a copy of the book.
We have compiled five ways that Muggles, Witches and Wizards alike can prepare for viewing what is bound to be pure magic!
1. Attend a Library Event
Check your local library or bookstore’s website and see if they are hosting any Potter-themed events. Here are some events we found:
2. Create Your Own Butterbeer Recipe
After experimenting with a few different ingredients, this is the recipe we came up with:
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1 bottle cream soda (chilled)
Allow ice cream to soften. Blend softened butter, sugar, and spices in a bowl. Add to ice cream and freeze. Fill each glass with a scoop of ice cream mixture and pour cream soda over it. Enjoy!
3. Create Wizard Crafts
Create your very own magic with these crafts:
4. Design Your Own Fantastic Beast
Design your own Fantastic Beast by using SIRS Discoverer Animal Facts to research fascinating animals. Combine the physical description, behavior, and habitat of different animals to create your own creature. Create a drawing of your Fantastic Beast.
5. Museum Discoveries
Explore interactive events, programs, or see the movie in IMAX:
We’ll see you at the movie!
When you were growing up, did you love to read? I did. Reading is a passion of mine that began at an early age. Many of my all-time favorite books are the ones that I was assigned to read in school. Books such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Outsiders, and Wuthering Heights enhanced my love for reading. January is National Book Blitz Month. It is a great time for librarians, media specialists, and teachers to promote reading and introduce students to new authors. In honor of National Book Blitz Month, here are 10 web sites from ProQuest SIRS WebSelect and Research Topics from ProQuest eLibrary about notable authors suitable for elementary, middle, and high school students.
1. Emily Bronte was an English author and poet. She is best known for writing Wuthering Heights, her only novel. The enduring tragic love story of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is regarded as a classic of English literature. Her sisters, Charlotte and Anne Bronte were also famous writers. (Emily Bronte Research Topic)
2. Beverly Cleary is an American author, whose contributions to children’s literature have made a lasting impact. She has written over 30 books for children and young adults since 1950. Her beloved characters, including Ramona and Beezus Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ribsy, and Ralph S. Mouse have delighted readers for generations. (Beverly Cleary Research Topic)
3. Charles Dickens was a well-loved 19th century English author whose works were widely read during his lifetime. The famous Victorian novelist created unforgettable characters, including David Copperfield, Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and Oliver Twist. His classic novels–A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities remain popular to this day. (Charles Dickens Research Topic)
4. Anne Frank was a Jewish victim of the Holocaust. Anne and her family went into hiding for two years during World War II to escape Nazi persecution. While in hiding, the teenage girl kept a diary in which she chronicled her experiences. Sadly, Anne never saw her dream of becoming a famous writer realized as she died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15. Her wartime memoir Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was published posthumously and has been read by millions. (Anne Frank Research Topic)
5. Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss was a beloved American author and illustrator of children’s books. The best-selling author combined fantastic creatures with wild rhymes to create stories that both educate and entertain children. Some of his most popular books include The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Lorax. (Theodor Seuss Geisel Research Topic)
6. Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, literary critic, and editor. He is best known for penning mystery and macabre tales. He is remembered for his popular poems and short stories, including “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” and is regarded as the inventor of the modern detective story. (Edgar Allan Poe Research Topic)
7. J.K. Rowling is a British author whose best-selling series of fantasy novels about Harry Potter, a young wizard in training, captivated children and adults around the world. Her seven books chronicling Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry achieved critical acclaim and unprecedented commercial success. (J.K. Rowling Research Topic)
8. William Shakespeare is regarded as the world’s greatest dramatist. He was an English playwright, poet, and actor. His plays, written in the late 16th and early 17th centuries can be divided into three genres: comedies, histories, and tragedies. Some of his most recognizable plays include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet. (William Shakespeare Research Topic)
9. Shel Silverstein was an American poet, musician, illustrator, and author of children’s books. He wrote several successful children’s books, including The Giving Tree, The Missing Piece, and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. His masterful poetry collections, including Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic still resonate with children today. (Shel Silverstein Research Topic)
10. John Steinbeck was an American author, best remembered for writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Considered Steinbeck’s masterpiece, the iconic novel portrayed the struggles of migrant laborers during the Great Depression. His other major works include Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, and Cannery Row. (John Steinbeck Research Topic)
As an editor for SIRS Discoverer who has children in elementary school, I like to pay attention to my children’s assignments at school to inform my editorial selections. I believe this adds a layer of personal relevancy to my work. Many projects in elementary school have a research component and that’s where SIRS Discoverer is very valuable as an age-appropriate resource.
My daughter’s 4th grade class was assigned a “Book Float” project this year. I had never heard of these projects before, but after a little research, I found that they are a common 4th grade project.
The idea is to make a shoebox into a miniature parade float based on the theme of a recently read book. The students have to make a 3-D scene from the book, write a summary, rate the book, and present it to the class.
My daughter chose the book “Matilda” by Roald Dahl. She really enjoyed reading the book and the book float was really fun to make. Here are some photos of the finished product. The printed pictures are some scenes from the book, the hearts represent Matilda’s kindness, and the miniature books represent Matilda’s love for reading.
Teachers, a great place to learn about children’s books is in SIRS Discoverer! Here are some subject searches in ProQuest SIRS Discoverer to get you started:
Libraries have opened their doors to therapy dogs in an effort to motivate children to read. In 2006, several trained therapy dogs and their handlers in Minnesota participated in a pilot program called “PAWSitive Readers” where children read books to the dogs. After reading to the dogs once a week for seven weeks, 10 of the 14 children improved their reading scores by one grade level. Since then, similar programs have spread to libraries across the country.
Results have shown that participants in these programs not only improve their literacy skills, but also develop a love of reading. According to Therapy Dogs International, these programs are successful because the therapy dogs are non-judgmental and won’t laugh at the young readers if they stumble over their words or make a mistake. Instead, the dogs lie next to the reader and simply enjoy the attention. This allows the child’s reading ability and confidence to improve.
The positive influence dogs have on human’s physical and emotional health has been well documented, and programs such as these are showing tangible results. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine in 2002 found that the presence of dogs lowered people’s blood pressure while reading aloud to a dog. The study’s findings went on to state that pets can also reduce the perception of stress. A 2011 study published by the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found second-grade students maintained their reading skills over the summer if they read aloud to dogs. This increased their self confidence and improved their literacy skills when they returned to school after summer vacation.
For more information on these programs or to start one in your area, check out the following resources:
When is the last time you caught your students reading for fun?
I ask the question for a good reason…it’s Get Caught Reading Month!
There’s nothing like curling up with a good book. But what about nestling in with a computer?
Well, there’s lots of ways to Get Caught Reading with SIRS Discoverer. You might want to share some of the below ideas with your students–they are great ways to catch them reading. They can acquire great information and research skills, too.
If they love animals, they should visit our Animal Facts. Each Animal Fact presents lots of information on a specific amphibian, arachnid, bird, fish, insect, invertebrate, mammal, or reptile. Students will learn how these animals behave, what they look like, what they eat, where they live, if they are endangered, and more. There are more than 120 animals from which to choose, and new Animal Facts are added each week. They’re easy to use, easy to read, and easy to use as research material. Maybe you could ask your class to answer a question about three different animals to get them started: How big is the largest tarantula? (Answer: 11 inches.) How long can beavers stay under water? (Answer: 15 minutes.) How do komodo dragons kill their prey? (Answer: deadly bacteria in their mouths.)
Are you talking about controversial topics in your classroom? Your students may be interested in reading about issues that affect kids, like bullying, homework, or school uniforms. Or they can delve into issues that affect our world, like endangered species, global warming, or pollution. Click on Leading Issues for a list of more than 40 important topics. Each Leading Issue includes an overview, terms to know, an essential question, and viewpoints. Students can find out when the term “junk food” was created, what “curfew laws” are, facts about the cursive-writing debate, and more. Perhaps their research and reading about controversial topics will even spawn some classroom debates!
Sometimes reading can lead to…art projects? Yes! And quizzes, jokes, science projects, and a little magic, too. Activities or Science Fair Explorer will capture students’ attention and motivate them to put what they read into action. Jokes and riddles abound…and promise to make for a hilarious cafeteria lunchtime. Students can take quizzes on flamingos or inventions, learn how to make baseball gloves out of milk jugs, discover magic tricks using math, find science experiments to do in bathroom, and much more. Cool!
I bet your students wouldn’t think to go to SIRS Discoverer for fiction…but they can! The database feature Fiction offers hundreds of stories organized by topic, including tales about animals, holidays, school, and sports; diary entries; historical fiction; mysteries; poetry; plays; and science fiction. More than 150 myths and legends, including folktales and fairy tales from all around the world. Students may be inspired to write their own fiction after reading stories written by kids.
Do your students have research projects? Well, there is an online library of nonfiction books available on SIRS Discoverer to help them. Nonfiction Books offers online books on topics such as history, sports, technology, and more. Titles include Crime Scene Investigator, Confronting History, Anne Frank, Hurricanes, and What Is It Made Of?. The books are presented in their complete form, including covers and photos.
It’s always fantastic to catch your students reading…whether they be with a book, magazine, desktop, laptop, or handheld device, they are feeding themselves with knowledge and fun. SIRS Discoverer celebrates Get Caught Reading Month with this month’s Spotlight of the Month. We highlight content from our informative Database Features. Send your students there this month…and check it out yourself and get caught reading!
Every April, the American Library Association hosts National Library Week and the Thursday is dedicated to Celebrate Teen Literature Day. Young adult literature has long been a popular way to get kids and teens engaged with reading. Ideally this age group will identify with the themes and situations that YA literature presents.
Today the selection of YA literature is bigger than ever. Young adult books are popular with teens as well as adults, highlighting the quality of current YA literature. Some of the most popular, recent YA series include the Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games and Divergent. John Green created a blockbuster sensation with his book The Fault in Our Stars. Other popular YA novelists include Rainbow Rowell and Rick Yancey while Walter Dean Myers, S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume offer classic YA books that remain relevant to today’s teens.
For Celebrate Teen Literature Day, libraries and bookstores are encouraged to participate in events either on site or online. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) features Teens’ Top Ten. Here teens can nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. SIRS Discoverer provides context and background on some popular YA literature. Happy reading!
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise,
we don’t believe in it at all.”—Noam Chomsky
The idea of books being banned seems like it would be a violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech protections. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in the 1982 case of Board of Education v. Pico that “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books.” Yet more than 30 years later, hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year.
The first Banned Books Week was celebrated later that same year, and it is now an annual national celebration of the freedom to read. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, it seeks to draw national attention to the harms of censorship. This year it will be celebrated from September 21−27, with an emphasis on comic books and graphic novels.
According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts. Ironically, a science fiction novel in which firemen burn books and the state suppresses learning, is among those that have been challenged and banned in the U.S. (Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury in 1953).
In 2012, the American Library Association (ALA) created an interactive timeline celebrating 30 years of liberating literature. The ALA has also produced a map displaying banned and challenged books throughout the United States from 2007-2010. You can learn where books were challenged or banned, the rationales, and the outcomes.
Educators can find resources to engage students and explore the topics of book censorship, intellectual freedom and the rights protected by the First Amendment with SIRS Issues Researcher’s Leading Issue Banned Books. All Leading Issues include a topic overview, essential questions and answers, a timeline, resources for critical thinking and analysis, as well as articles that cover pro/con viewpoints, global impact and statistics. Invite your students to enlist in the battle against censorship today!