Women, Literacy, Economics, and Society

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us reflect upon the role of women in building societal literacy levels. As we know, women in the Middle Ages were essentially illiterate; only 1% of women could read. Nuns were essentially the only women allowed to read and pursue scholarly interests. After Gutenberg invented the printing press, … Continued

Love of Language

During this month-long celebration of love, let us talk about the love of reading and writing. I ask my graduate students each semester to reflect upon their love of language as fostered during childhood.  Many speak to parents, but, in many instances this duty was relegated to librarians, teachers, or even siblings.  Instilling the specific love … Continued

Gifts for the Season

At this time of the year, we are fortunate enough to have many “best books” lists launching, precious gifts for those who work in literacy professions.  NCBLA’s gift to you this season is a compilation of such listings, along with access routes! 2018 Best Books – Publishers’ Weekly – listings divided into picture books, middle grade, … Continued

Disconnect Between Need and Delivery

In the recent “What’s Hot” report from the International Literacy Association, in which 2,097 respondents from 91 countries and territories were surveyed, an apparent disconnect was seen between what is needed for effective literacy instruction versus the reality of present instructional delivery.  Professionals believed early literacy and strategies for differentiation were both “hot” and important, indicating equally … Continued

Let’s Snooze, Instead of Lose

In this autumn season, many re-read Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, not only for a fun and spine-tingling virtual venture, but also to honor Irving’s legacy: the promotion of fine literature and the protection of the writer/reader relationship which, according to Irving, inures benefits “not of empty names and sounding actions, but whole treasures of … Continued

Honoring Senator John McCain’s Legacy of Reading

America’s heroes are readers!  From our Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to the 20th and 21st century American war hero and statesman, Senator John McCain, our most brilliant leaders were (and are) voracious readers!  In fact, Thomas Jefferson gave us the famous quote:  “I cannot live without books.”  As literacy experts, we are … Continued

Controversy Over Change in Name of Award

At the recent annual meeting of the American Library Association, the name of the heretofore named “Laura Ingalls Wilder” Award, which honored authors and illustrators whose books have created a lasting contribution to children’s literature, was changed to:  Children’s Literature Legacy Award.  The organization wished to reconcile the award with today’s sustainable values:  inclusiveness, integrity, … Continued

In Memoriam: Richard Peck

The world of children’s literature received sad news this summer.  Newbery award-winning author Richard Peck died after a bout with bladder cancer. Peck, who wrote primarily for readers in grade 4 through 7, read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in fourth grade himself, at the request of his teacher, who said:  “try this…”  From that time … Continued

“What’s Hot” Literacy Report from the International Literacy Association

The 2018 International Literacy Association’s “What’s Hot in Literacy” report, compiled following a survey of literacy specialists across the globe, lists the following topics as extremely important (percentages of respondents agreeing therewith provided below): Early Literacy – 87% Equity in Literacy Education – 86% Teacher Education – 85% Strategies for Differentiating Instruction – 85% Access … Continued