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International Literacy Day

September 8th was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. The purpose is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education. So share your love of reading by joining the many individuals and groups in promoting the importance of literacy today!


Midnight restoration of funding to FL libraries

from Florida Library Association (4/27/2010)

State Aid – Budget Chairs Restore State Funding to Public Libraries to $21.2 Million
At midnight on Monday, April 26 the House accepted a Senate offer to restore State Aid to Public Libraries to the current year level of $21.2 million.

FL Senate Budget Director J.D. Alexander


When Senate Budget Chair J. D. Alexander made the offer, he asked if “the library guy” with the signs was in the room. The library guy we all know is Paul Clark who has pretty much lived in the Capitol keeping the issue in front of legislators and the press for 6 weeks. Senator Alexander was disappointed that Paul wasn’t there and said that other advocates could learn a lot from him. There, working the issue until midnight were FLA lobbyist Chris Lyon, Small County Coalition coordinator Chris Doolin, and a whole contingent from the Department of State including Secretary Kurt Browning, Legislative Liaison Rivers Buford III, and John Boynton. This group barely left the Capitol all weekend long. Chris Doolin had a very positive impact for libraries, especially on Sunday morning. The folks from the Florida Association of Counties, and many county lobbyists have been working the issue aggressively as well.
For the past two months library advocates have worked tirelessly to tell the library story. The Salter>Mitchell public relations folks distributed press releases for FLA at several critical junctures. FLA’s CapWiz wizard, Lisa Manners did an incredible job of keeping the message fresh with the result that library advocates generated over 60,000 messages in the last six weeks.
Thanks to everyone for their incredible efforts and congratulations on the wonderful success!
Charlie Parker, Chair
FLA Legislative Committee

Florida Library Association


USF SLIS students attend “Fast Track” adult literacy workshop


Gina Bingham-McIntyre

Gina Bingham-McIntyre and Arlen Bensen (current USF SLIS students) made the trek to Lake County on Friday, October 23, 2009 to learn about a new adult literacy teaching technique developed at Jacksonville Public Library.

Things looking up

Graduate Assistant Arlen Bensen

Fast Track Reading System

Exploring the Relationship Between Sounds & Syllables

The program is called Fast Track Reading System and it was developed at JPL with help from a grant through the Florida Department of State and the State Library and Archives of Florida. This system is aimed primarily at basic reading students, although parts of it appear to have useful applicability in ESOL courses, too. Fast Track II is currently in development to take successful Fast Track students well beyond the basic reading level.

Instruction is designed to take place over 26 weeks with about 3 hours per week of face-to-face class time. It centers on syllable division and helps students find patterns in the English language to pierce the randomness that confronts most adults who are learning to read. Syllable division is certainly not anything new, but the way the principles are described is extremely accessible (as opposed to the bewildering consonant-vowel-vowel-consonant-c-v-v-c-c previously employed). The success of Fast Track is measured by the high (80%) retention rate achieved in Jacksonville.

The October 23rd workshop was led by Sharon Jaskula, Literacy Program Manager at the Center for Adult Learning in Jacksonville Public Library. She also spearheaded the development of the program and sits on the board of the workshop’s sponsor VALF (Volunteers for Adult Literacy in Florida).  The session was held, primarily, so that literacy volunteers teaching in the Lake County Library System might learn this technique. The session was put together by Erika Greene, who coordinates literacy efforts for that system. Not only was she extremely gracious to encourage outside attendees, but she also did a fantastic job managing and supporting the day’s activities.

VALF logo

One warning flag for libraries raised by Ms. Jaskula on the 23rd concerns Florida community colleges converting to 4 year schools.  As they do so, they relinquish the part of their mission to provide remedial help to students seeking to pass standardized minimum achievement level exams required by the state for studying in higher education.  As a result, many of these adults who were formerly served by community colleges are now turning to public libraries as their only source of remedial instruction to make the grade needed on these standardized tests.  This encumbers sorely pressed public libraries even further during this economic downturn.  Ms. Jaskula says JPL is able to serve about 1,000 students per year in their Center for Adult Learning but that the demand is much greater. She has a significant backlog of students wishing to participate.  [Posted by AB]

Sharon Jaskula: Sharon@coj.net (904) 630-0353

Erika Greene: 352-253-6183 or egreene@lakeline.lib.fl.us


Visit the wiki for more details… http://literacyflorida.wikispaces.com/

Florida Literacy Hotline
(800) – 237 – 5113

Florida State Parks Offer Free Entrance This Weekend With a Library Card, Library Book or Book Donation

Florida State Parks Offer Free Entrance This Weekend With a Library Card, Library Book or Book Donation

-Free entry to Florida’s state parks September 11-13 celebrates Literacy Month-

To celebrate September as State Park Literacy Month, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service is offering free entrance to Florida’s 160 state parks September 11-13 for visitors who bring a library card, library book, or who donate a new or gently used family book. The park service encourages Florida’s residents and guests to take advantage of this opportunity to combine the joy of reading with the beauty of the outdoors.


Today is World Literacy Day. Literacy and Empowerment; Sept. 8

World Literacy Day 2009

World Literacy Day 2009

This year, International Literacy Day will put the spotlight on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development. Literacy and Empowerment is the theme for the 2009-2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade.


UNESCO Literacy Prize winners for 2009 announced

A newspaper produced entirely by women in rural India is among the winners of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes this year. Innovative literacy projects in Burkina Faso, Afghanistan and the Philippines have won the other three awards, while a programme in Bhutan received an Honourable Mention. The laureates were proclaimed by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, on the recommendation of an international Jury.

The award ceremony will take place at UNESCO in Paris on the occasion of the celebration of International Literacy Day, 8 September.