The Celebration is Over; Now, Let’s Reflect

In April, we celebrated School Library Month. The American Association of School Librarians disseminated public relations announcements, flyers, bookmarks, and videos on multiple platforms. One press release highlighted Tom Angleberger’s impression of school libraries:  “A school library is like a Bat Cave: it’s a safe fortress in a chaotic world, a source of knowledge and … Continued

Literacy: Qualitative Measures

Last month, we spoke to the detrimental financial consequences associated with high rates of illiteracy. This month, let’s speak to qualitative measures. As Gary Paulsen states in Shelf Life: Stories by the Book, books saved his life.  Before he became a proficient reader (and writer), he was so was afraid of others, he “could not make his … Continued

Literacy: Quantitative Measures

A recent report from Barbara Alvarez published by The Every Library Institute states that 130 MILLION adults in the United States hold less than a sixth grade reading literacy level! Such a measure equals dire consequences for both individuals and society as a whole!  Of course, we know individuals with such reading levels suffer, all … Continued

“Reading for Fun” MUST be Taken Seriously!

In early October, test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP – or the “Nation’s Report Card”) were released and analyzed. According to The Washington Post, when Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, viewed the scores, in shock, she instructed her employees to go back and make sure they … Continued

The American Rescue Act and Libraries!

Did you think the most recently passed “Stimulus Act,” (official title – American Rescue Act) would include funding for libraries?  Probably not, but it does!! $200 million, yes, that’s right, $200 million is to be allocated to the Institute of Museum and Library Services!  Such allocation is the largest in the agency’s 25-year history!  $178 … Continued

LIBRARIES, PURVEYORS OF CIVIC-MINDEDNESS AND DEMOCRACY!

As we enter a week tainted by the impeachment trial of former President Trump, we need to consider how democracy is most aptly perpetuated. One abstract answer is: with due diligence, for, as Franklin noted, we have a Republic only “if we can keep it.” One MAJOR concrete way we collectively “keep” our democracy, however, … Continued

OUR WHITE HOUSE: LOOKING IN, LOOKING OUT

Bruce Cole, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, noted:  “Only by understanding our rich and complex history – with its proud and not so proud moments, with its great leaders and simple everyday heroes – can we strengthen what holds us … Continued

Patience as a Virtue!

During this year’s Coronavirus pandemic, our nation’s adult population is NOT practicing many of the “character” traits taught in elementary school, if truth be told.  Sure, we are working hard to find a cure or a treatment.  We are caring for the sick and manufacturing PPE.  We are re-evaluating commerce and trade.  Yet, how are … Continued

Let Literacy Be Thy Focus!

Parents and educators, NCBLA understands that during a public health crisis AND a time of societal upheaval it is very hard to focus on matters of literacy.  However, due to the importance of literacy, and the manner in which high literacy levels help us “back out of” societal ills, let us think of ways we … Continued

Where is Education and Literacy in our Public Conversations?

Have you heard a great deal about our Nation’s reading levels, education status, or literacy of any kind – civic, media, or communicative – during this campaign season?  Probably not.  As The Atlantic (Adam Harris) said last fall, “substantive conversation about the fundamental reform of education in America (is taking) a back seat to health … Continued