Reading Dangerously

At the recent 2019 American Library Association annual conference, held in Washington, D.C., the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) celebrated its 50th year in action!  What a fifty years of full-steam advocacy and action it has been, the organization working tirelessly to defend and support the First Amendment. What does the First Amendment and FTRF … Continued

The Good, the Bad, the Human Being, and the Importance of Children’s Books

Last night, I viewed the movie about Astrid Lindgren’s early life, entitled Becoming Astrid.   I learned that Ms. Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking and namesake for the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature, experienced quite an earth-shattering adolescence.  Despite the religious and societal norms of the times, she exhibited a hero-like sense … Continued

Of Academia and…Football?

Recently, I visited my alma mater’s University Bookstore.  Shockingly, I found the books had been moved into a corner, and the football paraphernalia stood where a plethora of books once welcomed learners and visitors in search of a well-stocked bookstore (in a town in which all the bookstores had closed).  I became incensed and asked to … Continued

Professional Time

In Olson and Land’s research on the teaching of English (University of California and California State, 2007), conducted over an eight-year period with 55 secondary English teachers, cognitive strategies (reading and writing for meaning and task completion) rose like cream to the top of the jar of milk!  These strategies were “most successful when teachers … Continued

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