Bookmobiles, bibliomulas and library budget cuts

April 26, 2012

By Tricia Bobeda

Herb Swanson/NPR
The broken-down Cobleigh Public Library bookmobile sits idle at a storage facility in Lyndonville, Vt. Supporters are raising money to put it back on the road.

A round-up of literacy news from around the Great Lakes

The New York Times took a closer look this week at the new “Book People Unite” public service campaign to encourage children's literacy. The latest video from the campaign features classic characters from children's literature, music sung by rock stars and LeVar Burton on a school bus.

Literacy meme of the week
A photo of a donkey laden with children’s books has captured the attention of book lovers online this week. The photo is from a 2007 BBC article about a program in Venezuela to bring books to children in remote villages. A more recent YouTube video featuring Bibliomulas - The Traveling Donkey Library suggests the unconventional method for bringing books to children is still kicking in South America.

Libraries on the move

In the United States, some rural libraries are losing bookmobiles to budget cuts while libraries in New York City are checking out e-readers and building new "high-tech learning hubs." In Detroit, a group of elementary students have created outdoor libraries on the steps of library branches in their neighborhood that have shut down.

Early education funding fights

Wisconsin missed its chance last year for Race to the Top dollars but may apply again to get a piece of the $500 million in federal funding available for early childhood education. Commentators in Ohio and Michigan question what can be done to boost funding for preschool in their states after seeing low rankings the 2011 State of Preschool report.

WBEZ’s Front and Center project will launch a series about literacy in late May.



 

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