Below is a table I have put together to show just how important reading every day is for young children. The rows show how many minutes each student will have read by 3rd, 6th, and 9th grade if they read for either 1, 5, 15, or 30 minutes each day. Early reading has been shown to be an indicator of future success. Which student do you think will be most successful in life? As you can see a student who reads only 5 minutes a day, by 10th grade, will still have read less than a third grade student who reads 15 minutes a day. So, please, encourage your students to read!
The Importance of Early Reading
|Student A Reads
1 minute per day
|Student B Reads
5 Minutes Per Day
|Student C Reads
15 Minutes Per Day
|Student D Reads
30 Minutes Per Day
I have to admit I am a bookfair connoisseur, and those Scholastic newlwetters my kids bring home each month? I get crazy excited. So last week while volunteering at my children’s bookfair I had to make some purchases…and $103.00 later I came home very happy. We decided to read Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage first and even though we are only around 100 pages in I have to say I love this book already! Written for ages ten and up, this book won the Newbery Honor in 2013 and from what I have read so far, rightfully so. It is about an eleven year-old girl who washes up on the shore of a North Carolina town as an infant and has been searching for her birth mother. Added to this is a town murder which is sure to keep children and even adults interested. The style of writting is so completely southern and authentic that I truthfully want to savor every page. Hopefully the story ends as well as it has begun!
I love statistics and if there is anything I love even more it is getting kids to read! I am a firm believer that early literacy is the key to success in life and while there are many statistics that prove this, oftentimes children have a hard time grasping what the numbers really mean. I put together a handy little packet with graphs that should assist in emphasizing the importance of reading every day. Check out Why Read and see the benefits of reading early and reading often.
Florida has an amazing and free resource available called the Florida Electronic Website. Unfortunately, this site is only available to residents of Florida (they check IP addresses) but for those living in the state it is a must add to your bookmarks. Everything on the site is free including journal articles, information of Florida’s history, and current issues of magazines and newspapers. The site is located at www.flelibrary.org. I am attaching a simple handout I made about the site. Feel free to look it over to get a feel for what FEL has to offer.
But that doesn’t mean we should forget the strength librarians across the country show ever day when they fight for our right to access information. After visiting my local library this week, that had a great table set up with books that have been banned or challenged over the years, I got a little ambitious and brought a couple home (okay five). I also logged on to ALA’s website and was shocked (not really) to see that one of my all-time favorite YA novels was on the list. If you haven’t read The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie you must. I read it aloud to my family as one of our bed time books a few months ago and everyone loved it. I even allowed my five year-old to listen in, because I refuse to censure what he reads either. Being slightly Native American (12.5% with a margin of error of +/- 12.5%) I liked reading a realistic account of life growing up on a reservation. This book was brought up a few times in my Multicultural Librarianship course as a must read for those pursuing the field, with an interest in youth librarianship. There are very few books on the market that authentically reach out to the Native American population, which makes me even more excited about this book. As a side note…I am now reading A Wrinkle in Time, another often banned book, and I am finding I don’t hate the Science Fiction genre quite as much as I thought. I may have to pick another one up just to make sure. Anyways…if you get a moment do like I did and go grab a few banned books, a blanket, and a bowl of popcorn (family not required) and you will probably have a weekend I am completely envious of.
As I was browsing the latest library news today to find something newsworthy to add to my blog I came across an article posted on lisnews.com (I will provide the full link below) about how the Fairfax County Public Libraries, located in Virginia, could potentially receive drastic budget cuts. This will result in the loss of numerous positions and programs. While this is bad enough, the end of the article made me physically recoil. The Board of Trustee’s is also voting on the possibility of making the position of librarian in the county one where an MLS is not required, also resulting in a pay grade reduction. So, in essence, there will be no more librarians in this county. This really saddens me. All across the country politicians are acting as if the field of librarianship is no longer relevant, needed, or wanted. Where is this leading us as a society? Are we really that far gone where we feel there is no longer a need for qualified librarians anymore. I fear that if this passes it will set a precedent for other libraries across the country and we cannot let that happen. As librarians, now more than ever, we must stand together and demand that our value to the community not be diminished. The next few months will be a test for many of us as we fight these changes in policy, but it is now more than ever that we must fight for the profession we all love.
When I go to the public library it is either for programs or to check out books (both of my children are under ten), so I admittedly know very little about gaming. At home, we own no gaming devices (our family is more into athletics in our free time) so to recommend games is a little bit out of my comfort zone. I really know nothing firsthand about the latest gaming technology, but through my course work at USF I have heard over and over again that libraries that have gaming programs have seen major success, especially with the teen crowd, which is harder to reach. I decided to do some research to find an authority on the subject who would be a little more knowledgeable than me. I went to the ALA website (aren’t they the authority on many things library?), and found a list of video games that each library should have. These games include:
Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 (2007 & 2010) and New Super Mario Bros (2006) from Nintendo
The ALA also has a website that lists 50 core titles that each library should own. Some of these titles include:
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (2005) and Beyond Good and Evil (2003) from GameCube
Some of the games recommended seemed a little dated, but even I can still see the appeal in Mario Kart! This site was extremely informative and if you are like me and know little about gaming I suggest you check it out.
According to the ALA, gaming in libraries can be extremely beneficial. For example, the article “New issue of Library Technology Reports reveals benefits of gaming services at libraries” states that gaming can motivate a whole new group of users to get excited about the library once again. It is no secret to librarians that getting elementary aged children into the library is a piece of cake. The real challenge is keeping those same children interested as they become teenagers. Gaming is an activity that most teenagers enjoy, regardless of their gender, socioeconomic background, literacy level, etc. Libraries have changed and are no longer just about books and research, but have evolved into community gathering places. In order for libraries to stay relevant, they must give the people, all people, within the community what they want, and for teens that is clearly gaming.