Posts

Julie Gilliland on Why She Loves and Appreciates the Cleveland Public Library

Julie Gilliland is Associate Director of Marketing at Cleveland Play House and our guest blogger for this post. She tells why she is a friend of the library and why libraries are so important.

Did you learn everything you need to know in school?

No? Me neither. I grew up in a state(no, not Ohio)  that did not value education or dedicate tax dollars as it should have. The minute I left that state and started working in a “grown up job” I realized what a disadvantage my lack of education was.

I’m a privileged human who grew up in an upper-middle class household with an intact and functional family. I am sure that for this privilege I was carried on the backs of others from less fortunate circumstances. I cannot imagine the albatross, the inadequate education system, was for those who were left wanting. My insecurity could have morphed into the form of the consummate university student never wanting to leave school, thinking those letters behind my name would mean I was finally whole. I am much too frugal for that expensive path. Thanks to scholarships and a string of part-time jobs, extra work on movies and commercials, I paid for my public university bachelor’s degree in the arts and started my career in the non-profit world.

A benefit to the arts career path is a built-in scholarly lifestyle. I have always been surrounded by voracious readers and seekers of knowledge. My colleagues love travel and palate-expanding cuisine. The love of travel rubbed off on me but I sadly still have a peasant palate. I realized I love lifelong learning, and reading is my favorite way to learn. That fire inside me that started as a desire to beat my in-laws at Trivial Pursuit ® only grew from the honeymoon on.

I have a little secret confidence booster I keep in my purse. It’s my well-worn library card. I’ll never stop learning. And it wasn’t because I strapped on the burden of debt from a master’s degree. I fell in love with the Cleveland Public Library. Clevnet.org is my guiltiest pleasure. Reading books for free?! And you get to return them so they don’t collect dust in every corner of your home?! Sign me up!

When my husband and I need to figure out how to fix the washing machine we check out YouTube. When I need to figure out how to spell “hors d’oeuvres” I check out Google. When I need to submerge myself in the calming flow of words I check out a book. You can download it, flip through the pages, or listen to it—they are all forms of that glorious little thing we call a book. Whether you prefer the smell of a new book when you crack it open, an old tattered book that has passed through many loving hands, or the inviting blue light of reading on a device, it’s all the joy of knowledge we gain from reading. Imagine a world where no one reads? Without our varied and fabulous library systems here in Northeast Ohio we might meet that horrible fate. I’m a friend of the Cleveland Public Library, The People’s University, because they have been a friend to me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my book. It’s waiting on the bedside table and it is due back next week for the next adventurer. It’s a beautiful little gift we pass back and forth. Talk about enjoying your tax dollars at work. Want to get to know your new best buddy?  Visit my friends at https://cpl.org/ to access one of the best library systems in the United States and continue lighting your path of learning today.

 

Julie Gilliland is Associate Director of Marketing at Cleveland Play House, the recipient of the 2015 Regional Tony ® Award. She has worked for The Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Visit her at www.juliegilliland.com.

 

What Are Your Book Recommendations?

international-literacy-day-2016-collage

 What books would you recommend for others to read? Do you have a favorite book or author? We asked the same questions on September 8th in celebration of International Literacy Day.

International Literacy is a day that was created by UNESCO (United Nation Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to raise awareness about the importance of literacy. For the last three years we here at The Literacy Cooperative, along with the Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library and WKYC have conducted a social media campaign to celebrate the day. Each year we ask Greater Clevelanders to participate by posting a reading selfie with a book around a certain theme.

This year’s the theme was, “Recommended Reads.” We asked everyone to snap a picture of themselves reading a book that they would recommend others to read and then post it to their social media accounts with #CLEReads2016 and #RecommendedReads. Throughout the day we got a number of great pictures and some great book recommendations.

Cleveland mayor, Mayor Frank Jackson, recommended Listening In, The Secret White House Recording of John F. Kennedy, by Caroline Kennedy and Ted Widmer. Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish recommended, It’s All About Who You Hire, How They Lead, by Marten Mandel. We had council members take part as well. Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland recommended, A Fortune-Teller Told Me, by Tiziana Terzani. Even Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Connie Shultz took part and recommended Dark Money, by Jane Mayer. To see all the great pictures and for a summary of the whole day be sure to check out our Storify.

Everyone can use a new book to read or a new author to try. Take a look at the tables below for all the book recommendations from International Literacy Day. See if any spark your interest and add them to your bookshelf!

International Literacy Day was a great day to raise awareness about the crisis in adult literacy. However, one day is not enough do justice to this issue. Being a voice for literacy, early and adult, is something that needs to be done all year long.

This week (Sept. 26 – Oct 1st) is Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. It is a week to raise awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy (Read more about this important week here).

Instead of recommending a book to others this week, try to recommend articles, blogs, websites, and research papers that focus on the need for advancing literacy. This week would be a great time to read up on adult education and family literacy; to learn why it is being done, what needs to be done, and the impact it has on every part of the community.

COABE’s (Commission on Adult Basic Education) site has some great research reports detailing the impact of literacy on the economy. They have a great section on Adult Education and Family Literacy Week with a number of statistics to share through social media and in communication to elected officials.

ProLiteracy is another site we recommend for learning about the needs and movements in adult education. Their site has a number of great resources and a number of white papers ranging in topics from “Literacy and Women’s Health,” to a “Workplace Literacy Guide.” They also have a blog where they frequently post about the impact of literacy and even student success stories.

Of course The Literacy Cooperative is a great resource that assists the community in advocating and advancing literacy.  Our website includes articles and links to the latest information and research on the best and promising practices for early literacy and adult education initiatives.  Be sure to check out our website.

Do you have any articles or website you would recommend for others to read and learn more about the importance of adult education and family literacy? Be sure to leave a comment with your suggestions below.  And be sure to share your recommendations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #CLEReads2016.

[ultimatetables 1 /] [ultimatetables 2 /] [ultimatetables 3 /] [ultimatetables 4 /]

Join us in celebrating International Literacy Day, September 8th!

For the third year The Literacy Cooperative in partnership with Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, and WKYC, will celebrate International Literacy Day, September 8, 2016, promoting the importance of literacy and reading with a social media campaign. (We are also holding our inaugural Corporate Spelling Bee on September 8th as well. Learn more about that exciting event here). Last year we had over 500 pictures shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also trended #1 in the Cleveland area.

International Literacy Day 2016 collage

The city of Cleveland is already coming together to celebrate International Literacy Day with us! Some great pictures from Cleveland police officers, Captain Sulzer and Community Policing Commander Johnny Johnson, the Mayor of South Euclid, the team at Books@Work and the team from NEO Regional Library System!

Why is this so important? Literacy is an essential skill, one we use every day. Whether it is checking a bus schedule before work, reading a recipe to make dinner or taking medications before bed; it is a skill many of us don’t even think about using. For many though reading is difficult, limiting their everyday lives. In Cuyahoga County 435,000 adults read at or below a 7th grade level. For these low-literate adults daily life can be a struggle. Low literacy limits their job opportunities, which in turn limits their ability to earn a livable wage and take care of their families. Lack of literacy skills can make it difficult to help their children in school; causing their children to lose a valuable resource for their own successes. Even every day activities, like grocery shopping and cooking are difficult. They may be unable to read nutritional information on food, limiting their ability to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

This may seem like a large crisis, one beyond your capabilities to help, but that is not true. One of the main ways you can help is by raising awareness on International Literacy Day, Thursday September 8th .  International Literacy Day is a global campaign instituted by UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to raise awareness about literacy and how it is critical to our region’s economic future.

The theme for this year’s campaign is Recommended Reads. On September 8th, we are asking everyone to post a reading selfie with a book or books that you recommend for others to read. It can be an all-time favorite book, a new release that you fell in love with or even an interesting article. Then be sure to share your pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #CLEreads2016 and #RecommendedReads. Be sure to follow the hashtags yourself to see what others are posting and to get some reading suggestions for yourself.

Don’t have the book on hand? No problem, just post a reading selfie and include the title and author of the book you would like to recommend in your post. Be sure to tag the author in your post. There is nothing a writer enjoys more than seeing their work recommended to others. Want to help a low literate adults improve their reading skills?  Suggest a children’s book for parents to read to their children. We want everyone to end the day with having added at least one book to their “to-read” list as well as have heightened their awareness about literacy in our community and country.

We have an additional way you can participate in this very important day with us. During the month of September the library systems of Cuyahoga County are promoting “A Card for Every Child,” initiative. The initiative seeks to ensure that all children under 18 in Cuyahoga County own a library card.

In preparation for the day we are asking you to encourage your followers, friends, family and colleagues to go to the library and get their library card. Don’t have one yourself? Set an example and get your own card. The library is full of wonderful books for you and for you to recommend to other

International Literacy Day is an important day to raise awareness about the importance of literacy. It only takes a few simple steps to participate:

literacy_day2016

Please consider joining us in celebrating International Literacy Day on September 8th. Low literacy in our community is a crisis. One that desperately needs your help and attention. One picture and post on September 8th can do so much to help us continue to raise awareness about this important issue.

We look forward to seeing all the fantastic reading selfies and great book recommendations!

Make sure you are following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@literacycoop) to stay up-to-date on the activities of the day!

There is Still Time to Beat the Summer Slide

Summer Slide blogThe summer is winding down. How have you spent these warm weeks? On a family vacation? Taking walks in the park, playing at the beach? Going to festivals or amusement parks? How about reading together or doing a handful of math problems with your child once a day?

Don’t let the summer end without helping your child beat the Summer Slide. There is still plenty of time to prepare for the coming school year.

The Summer Slide refers to how over the summer months young people lose academic skills and progress gained over the school year. The Summer Slide particularly affects children of low-income families. During the summer, low-income students lose on average more than two months of reading achievement. By the end of fifth grade, low-income children are nearly three grade equivalents behind their higher-income peers in reading.

So, what can be done to defy these statistics and be prepared for the coming school year? Take a trip to the library and take out a number of books you can read together. Find books covering a range of topics from fiction to nonfiction. Spend at least 20 minutes a day reading these books together. It can be before bed, in the morning, during lunch or while in the waiting room of a doctor or dentist. Why not spend a summer afternoon reading outside in the shade of a tree?

Reading doesn’t have to be from a book. During breakfast you can read the back of a cereal box together. You can even use this time to discuss the nutritional information and talk about healthy eating. While you are driving you can read road signs. You can go over shapes and colors of the signs with younger children as well.

summer slide blog (books)    The summer is a great time to get children outside and active. You can create reading games, such as a vocabulary scavenger hunt. Label items throughout your yard or hide certain words in the trees and bushes. Have you child run about finding all the words and then use them to create sentences and stories. They are active and learning at the same time!

It doesn’t take much time to help your child to be prepared to start school. Reading with them for at least 20 minutes a day is a simple way to help fight the Summer Slide.