Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

I ran across a little story from Columbia on the lengths to which a dedicated teacher has gone to bring books to children. Biblioburro or, Donkey Library, is an effort by one teacher to take books to children on weekends. He started with just a handful of books and one donkey but his effort has grown to thousands of books and 8 donkeys thanks to donations. There is video and, I confess, I was somewhat taken aback to see a full grown man with a load of books riding on a patient, overburdened donkey. Nevertheless, it is another reminder, were any needed, of how lucky we are to have libraries and how important books and reading are to young and old alike.

Read Full Post »

A wonderful essay in the Telegraph (UK),  Grand Theft Auto, Twitter and Beowulf all demonstrate that stories will never die reflects on the fundamental place story-telling has in our lives. The author, Sam Leith, was led to write the essay, apparently, after reading reports that we are “running out of narrative”. This fear has gone so far as to lead to the creation of group to fight it; at MIT of all places:

 A group of academics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in cahoots with some Hollywood moguls, have announced the opening of a “Center for Future Storytelling”.

What possible purpose could such a thing have? The author says:

Their announcement does not tell us, offering instead a feast of bilge about “next-generation synthetic performer technologies”.

But there we are. The Center for Future Storytelling is a sign of the times. The notion that the narrative arts are under threat from information overload, shrinking attention spans, text messaging, social networking sites and slam-bam CGI blockbusters is one widely given voice.

The article goes on to explore the place of shared narrative in our lives and criticizes the short-sighted thinking that supposes that libraries and books are redundant. But, best of all, he excoriates the thinking that supposes that the human need to tell stories can ever change.

I can’t really do justice to the article, so I highly recommend reading it for yourself!

Read Full Post »

Like most, if not all, blog software, WordPress tracks what search terms have led people to this site. Today I was surprised to see that we turned up in a search for “Dewey Readmore Books”. I suppose that I have mentioned Melvil and, certainly, the word books has shown up, but Readmore?

However, I was struck, chiefly, by the coincidence that I just finished reading Dewey’s biography Monday night. No, not Melvil’s but Readmore’s.

Who is Dewey Readmore Books, you might be asking? Well, a picture is always worth a thousand words:

 

I am a beautiful boy!

Dewey the Magnificent!

 

This handsome fellow spent 19 years delighting the Spencer (Iowa) Public Library staff and the people of Spencer, children and adults, alike, until his recent death. Despite my fondness for cats, I am not usually drawn to books of this sort. However, I came across a review that piqued my interest and so I read the book. It seems to me that it was at least as much about Spencer and the role libraries play in small rural communities, as about Dewey. In any case, I enjoyed it very much.

Cats in libraries are a well-known phenomenon. In fact, there is a Library Cats Map. You can click on any region of the US (and much of the world) and read a description of the library cats in that area. It doesn’t appear to have been updated in more than a year but its maker, Iron Frog productions, is, allegedly, interested in creating the most comprehensive compilation of library cats possible.

Read Full Post »