[bksvol-discuss] Re: Spreading the word

  • From: "Kim Friedman" <kimfri11@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 02 Dec 2009 09:47:38 -0800

Hi  Valerie, I don't suppose those dear teachers in your state are
frightened about illiteracy? I read a very disturbing book a few years ago
called Illiterate America by Jonathan Kozol. He claimed at the time of
writing that 1/3 of Americans are either totally or functionally illiterate.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it? This tends to bug me because people who read
Braille are a small minority among blind people. I get especially bugged
when I here that teachers didn't want to be bothered to make sure their
students could read, and if you happened to be blind, you could get along
with audio. Sorry, but that won't wash with me. If somebody has diabetes and
has neuropathy in their fingers, that's one reason why Braille would be
impossible for some blind people. I'm not denying that reading it would take
hard work, but those who work at it and master it can say they are literate
in that they can open a book and read it. I'm not implying that if somebody
can't read that they're lacking in intelligence. You've certainly found out
that you can find smart illiterate people and stupid literate ones who have
a problem with certain consequences of certain actions.  Maybe they're not
able to "connect the dots" 1. inability to read leads to 2. Difficulty in
finding work, checking different opinions from those one hears leads to 3. A
narrower choice in decision making. 1. Accessibility to books leads to 2.
more books available to a wider population of readers which leads to 3.
dissemination of knowledge, entertainment, etc. which leads to 4. More
people reading which leads to 5. people borrowing books which leads to 6.
people buying books which leads to 7. profits to booksellers which adds to
the economy, general satisfaction for book lovers everywhere. Maybe I
haven't mentioned some things that should be in the list, but thought I'd
write it down such as it is. You've probably used this argument for why
people should support and get involved with Bookshare. I think it's rotten
you're encountering recalcitrant teachers. I'm also glad your librarian is a
mensch (translation: mensch is a Yiddish word for all-around human being.)
Regards, Kim.    


From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Valerie Maples
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 9:03 AM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Spreading the word

Dear Kim;


After having had mixed results on other levels, I met with our head
librarian at our local library with some trepidation. My fears were totally
unfounded, and he was incredibly interested in finding ways to promote
Bookshare, even being willing to contact the staff and ask if we could keep
brochures at our local library and instruct the librarians about its
existence. Unfortunately, occasionally in this tight economic times or just
because the personalities occasionally you find librarians that feel like
you are taking away from their library, rather than enhancing the gift of
literacy. You never know which kind of library and you will get unless you
know them well.


Nichole finally got an opportunity to meet Jan yesterday, and he was
absolutely ecstatic about getting to put a face with the name of a little
girl who has encouraged so many people to get library cards and to begin
going to the library. He has been instrumental in getting me books from
out-of-state when necessary and waving the fees to us so that I could work
on a book for Bookshare. I am incredibly grateful to him.  We are still very
limited compared to other cities/states, but he is a gem!


Sadly, the schools on the other hand, are of totally different mind. They
all feel that it is too much work and not worth their time. I probably need
to make contact with the librarians within the schools, but since the
special education teachers or other professionals are the ones to sign the
authorizations, getting in with the librarians usually isn't good enough
unless they already have well-established relationships with the said
teachers. On the other hand, they might be an "inside" ally. The truly sad
part is most of our self-contained classrooms here don't ever see a library,
and that is absolutely criminal in my opinion. I have yet to find a child
who hasn't enjoyed the library, despite expectations that kids who have not
been read to or are not literate would not like it. Every child we have
taken to the library has been in total awe that there are so many different
books in one place. The key is in getting them there within individual,
preferably a friend, parent, or teacher, who enjoys reading. From there you
can teach them about book responsibility.


In the meantime, I keep plugging away. Smiles.


Have a great day!



From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kim Friedman
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 3:37 AM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Spreading the word


Hi, I'm wondering if we could call librarians and ask them "Have you ever
heard of Bookshare?" I'm wondering what they'd make of this. I'm wondering
if librarians, teachers, and folks concerned with literacy out of general
principles might be interested. I know bookstore owners are interested in
making a profit. We are contributing somewhat to their profit margins when
we buy books from them. Just a thought. I think I'll ask librarians near me
if they've heard of Bookshare. Now I must tell them how to contact the
organization we all know and love. Regards, Kim. 

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