Archive | April, 2013

National Digital Public Library

19 Apr

I found a blog called the School Library Journal that had some very interesting information about teacher librarians, instruction, and information literacy.  The most recent post, by Joyce Valenza, was about the Digital Public Library of America (librarians’ dream project).  Digital archives have been available, but they have not been aggregated into one portal, or a collection of collections. We have not been able to view all items easy to find and free online.  The DPLA’s main goal is “to create a resource that goes well beyond providing simple access to digitized or born digital content”.  It will officially launch, with approximately 2.4 million records, on April 18th at the Boston Public Library. It will enable any reader to consult works that were previously locked up or stored on shelves that are hard to access.  “The DPLA initiative sees itself as an advocate for open access and enrichment of the public spheres, encouraging Americans to hack the humanities”.

We all know the world is turning into a digital one.  I was definitely born into a digital world.   I know I have not even used a book as a reference on a paper in a couple of years.  If a book was used, it was assigned by a professor or it was an eBook.   The DPLA is moving in the right direction by attempting to move as many texts as possible online.  There are several texts that already exist online, but not all in the same place.     The DPLA is planning on including all types of media and formats such as books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, and digital texts.  The incorporation of all of this will make researching a lot easier for students.

Also, offering them for free online could encourage reading.   There would be no reason not to read something if it is readily available for free.  The more people that get involved and want their collections to be discovered, the larger the expansion of the portal and the more diversity that exists within it, so I hope libraries and museums and universities everywhere contribute.  This is something I would have loved to have throughout college as well as high school.  Not just for school related assignments, but for pure reading pleasure.  This could do great things for learning and literacy in general.


Health Literacy in the Classroom

7 Apr

October is Health Literacy Month and a group of committed volunteers in Florida helped spread its awareness.  Carol Scoggins put together an event that really took off.  She is very passionate about health literacy and she thinks that health information need to be distributed on a level that citizens can understand.   Scoggins came up with the idea for volunteers to read Curious George Goes to the Hospital to elementary school students across Florida.  It was a huge hit and over 900 volunteers eventually read to over 30,000 pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade students.  Goodie bags with pencils, stickers, and coloring books (with examples of what nurses, dentists, doctors, technicians, and other health professionals do) were given to each of the students that were read to.  This year, the book choice is The Berenstain Bears Visit the Doctor.  Since the program began in 1999, events have taken place in 32 states and 5 different continents.

I know don’t know much about Health Literacy.  It was never something that I studied in school.  A lot of what I know about health is through my doctor, family, and friends majoring in Nursing.  I think putting it in the classroom in a way that is enjoyable is a smart move. It is something I would have liked to have at an early age.   Also, the information is easy to understand.  Information on health and understanding it can be difficult because it is rarely presented on the level of an average citizen.  In addition, it gets kids reading!   Although health is the main concern of these events, it also gets kids excited about reading.  Maybe more events like this one would motivate kids to read .  I know that these volunteers are making a difference and I appreciate the work they are doing.