Choctaw Middle School and Lawton Public Library are tops!
Two Oklahoma City teens win the grand prizes!
Oklahoma teens who participated in 2011 Teen Read Month read 663,778 pages during the month of October, setting a record for the three year old program.
Before we do a run down of this year’s winners, here’s some background…
The promotion is an outgrowth of the national Teen Read Week, sponsored by the American Library Association’s YALSA group. (That stands for Young Adult Library Services Association, if you’re interested.) The problem with the national promotion was that it always conflicted with fall break for many of our state’s schools. Solution? The Oklahoma Department of Libraries decided to stretch out Teen Read over a month-long period, partner with The Oklahoman’s Newspapers in Education Program, and bring in sponsors like the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This year, Sonic, America’s Drive-In, and The Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley also joined in on the reading fun as sponsors!
This year’s theme was comics and graphic novels, but teens ages 12 to 18 could read whatever they wanted during the month and track it on a reading log. The purpose of the program is to keep teens reading for pleasure during the school year, when much of their reading time is devoted to school work. “Reading just for the joy of it is the best way to develop a lifelong love of reading,” according to Adrienne Butler, Youth Services Librarian at the Department of Libraries.
Now on to the big announcements! Drum roll please…
Top Public Library Reader: Cody Speegle, 17, representing Southern Oaks Public Library, OKC: 39,325 pages read!
Top School Reader: Kelsi Gonzales, senior, representing Putnam City High School, OKC: 22,503 pages read!
Top Public Library: Lawton Public Library, where 47 teens read a combined total of 148,268 pages! The public library will receive $250 worth of books courtesy of some dedicated teen readers. The library will also host a program by Kevin Stark, currator of the Toy and Action Figure Museum.
Top School: Choctaw Middle School, where 131 students read a total of 163,524 pages! A set of books worth $250, and a special program by Kevin Stark, are heading to the school thanks to these students.
Winners of the drawing were Kahen Kamaherett from Lawton High School and Hanna Powell from Curtis Inge Middle School in Noble. Both teens will receive some free books.
Top Ten Readers:
|Cody Speegle, 17, Southern Oaks Public Library||39,325|
|Duncan Fairrington, 13, Kellyville Public Library||33,840|
|Michael Reif, Grade 8. Lawton Public Library||25,594|
|Kelsi Gonzales, Grade 12, Putnam City High||22,503|
|Mitchell Sadler,Grade 7, Lawton Public Library||20,653|
|Cole Fullmer, Grade 8, Choctaw Middle School||14,956|
|Taylor Allen, Grade 12, Geronimo High School||12,302|
|Marci Walker, Grade 11, Lawton Public Library||11,356|
|Breana Pascoe, Grade 7, Lawton Public Library||10,855|
|Lexey Osborn, Grade 8, Lawton Public Library||10,724|
- More than 60 schools and public libraries registered to participate
- 447 teens from 17 schools and libraries went the distance, turning in reading logs to compete in the contest
- The 447 teens read 663,778 pages during the month
- Lawton Public Library’s top reader, Michael Reif, received a Nook e-reader courtesy of the Lawton PL
- Putnam City High School has had the top reader in the school category all three years of the contest
- This year’s total beat 2009′s previous record, which was 504,376 pages read.
- Total pages read for the three years of the program: almost 1.4 million pages
Expect Teen Read Month to grow in the coming years! We’re just getting started with this new statewide reading initiative.
Coming Up: We’ll follow this news with some additional posts next week. We’ll give you some insight into what kind of books our winners, Cody and Kelsi, enjoy. Plus, we’ll challenge you on your knowledge of Comics and Graphics Novels. Stay tuned!
With that in mind, let’s go!
• Sony is oh, so serious about this. Sony Corp. expands their digital Reader Library program to 30 more libraries across the country. Notice in the press release that Oklahoma’s Pioneer Library System is set to join the program.
• Harper-Collins is way too serious about this. Meanwhile, Harper-Collins and OverDrive are facing a backlash after announcing they will limit the number of times an e-book may be lent to 26. The reasoning: print copies wear out and have to be replaced, so e-books should have a planned obsolescence. (Really?! Wow, what Vance Packard could do with this!) The Pioneer Library System takes the publisher to task in this open letter, calling the plan, forced obsolescence.
• The New York Times tries to make it simple with this graphic showing the economics of producing a book.
• CJ Cherryh and fellow authors have their own plan! One of our favorite Oklahoma authors, Cherryh (now a Washington state resident), has joined with authors Jane Fancher and Lynn Abbey to offer e-book versions of their out-of-print titles on the website Closed Circle. You go, girls!!
We’re sure there’s much more out there, but all of this E-book talk is really giving us a headache!
Yep! Times are tough. A day doesn’t go by where we don’t see another news article about how states are having to trim services to make up big budget shortfalls. Often, an alert about jeopardized library funding hits our inbox or turns up on our social media page.The latest alert advises of U.S. House action to cut federal library dollars.
If you read the Okie Reads blog, you know how we feel about the importance of public libraries to a self-governing people.
Author Scott Turrow believes in the importance of libraries, and we were taken with this column he contributed to The Huffington Post:
Read, enjoy, and think long and hard about the budget decisions our lawmakers are discussing as they work to balance our collective budgets. Some services that are on the chopping block may just be the services we need to keep most as we strive to reclaim our economy.
Young Bill Young here, stealing a piece of Kitty’s online real estate one more time.
I’m not a librarian, but I play one in real life for my friend Ralph. Ralph is in the third age of life, and he’s embarked on a mission to re-read many of his favorite books and authors. Since I work in a library, guess who gets to do some of his Interlibrary Loan requests?
During the past year, I’ve borrowed books by George V. Higgins, Henry Kuttner, Lewis Padgett (the co-author pseudonym for Kuttner and his wife C. L. Moore), and illustrator/author Karen Wehrstein to help him in his quest. Most recently, he’s been rereading British novelist and mystery writer Nicolas Freeling.
Freeling was a popular, award-winning writer best known for his Van der Valk series, which was adapted for British television. His Henri Castang mysteries were not as celebrated, even though some critics believed them superior to the Van der Valk works. Freeling enraged his fans when he killed off Van Der Valk in 1972′s A Long Silence. The outrage over the loss of their favorite crime detective proved too much for his fans in Sweden and France, and both countries stopped publishing him.
But enough about Freeling. This post is really about how hard it is to find some of his books. I’m working down the list of Freeling’s two detective series so Ralph can read them in order, and so far I’ve struck out on finding two of the Castang novels: A Dressing of Diamonds and The Night Lords. They’re simply not out there on WorldCat to borrow through Interlibrary Loan.
Now I know that there is limited space on library shelves, that books are weeded due to disuse or bad condition, and that some books can’t be replaced because they are out of print. And, yes, the public is fickle and ever-changing. What’s popular today may be tomorrow’s cast-off. Still, it’s disappointing to find the works of a such a celebrated author disappearing from our library shelves and from publishers’ print schedules. Even a visit to amazon.co.uk reveals that many of Freeling’s works can only be purchased in used condition since they’re officially out of print in England.
A library colleague tells me it used to be hard to find books by Oklahoma’s own Jim Thompson. There wasn’t much demand for his dark pulp fiction, and his books were out of print. When a new appreciation for him emerged, some of his works were adapted to the screen (notably The Grifters, and After Dark, My Sweet), and he became even more popular than he was during his lifetime.
“We talk about immortal literature, but the vast majority of books are as mortal as we are.”
I wonder… will future generations come up with “no results” when they search for a John Grisham novel on WorldCat? Will they ponder the work of a forgotten author named Dan Brown? Will children still be reading Captain Underpants?
All is vanity.
Young Bill Young here. Kitty’s been a bit under the weather, but she’s back. To help her catch-up (a sick day can be costly work wise!), I volunteered to helm the blog today.
To start off, you need to follow the link below to see the latest Webcomic Wednesday on Sadie’s extremely cool Extremely Graphic blog. Go check it out (add your comment, if you wish) and then meet me back here. K?
Are you back? Good!
What was *that* all about?! Is the Hi and Lois comic strip saying more people are using their libraries because the lousy economy is shuttering book stores? Or is it saying “free” library service is helping put bookstores out of business? (“Everything has a cost,” Lois tells her two tykes.) This comic seems so wrong in so many ways it’s hard to get my head around it. The comic may simply be a commentary on the current economic crisis, but if it is, it fails. Instead, it comes across as anti-library and anti-egalitarian.
More than anything, it makes me think about a conversation overhead at the Oklahoma State Capitol a few years ago. The gist of the conversation was that libraries hurt publishers and authors because fewer people buy books.
Libraries are bad for the economy? Bad for the book publishing business? Let’s look at a couple of facts:
• According to the 2009 Library and Book Trade Almanac (formerly Bowker’s Annual), public, academic, special and government libraries in the United States bought more than $400 million dollars worth of books during fiscal year 2007-2008. (And that figure doesn’t even include school libraries.) These libraries spent approximately $1.9 billion on all acquisitions, including magazine subscriptions, online resources, AV materials and other print resources. The truth is, libraries are a major customer for publishers and authors, and they remain champions of traditional print, even as they branch out to offer new formats and information technologies to citizens.
• Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers estimates that U.S. publishers had net sales of $23.9 billion in 2009. Looking at it this way, it appears library sales are just a drop in the bucket. Sales to individuals and other types of institutions represent more than 98% of total book sales. (See how much fun you can have with statistics?)
And while we’re talking the economy, let’s not forget how often people use their library to hunt for jobs, fill-out online job applications, or to find information for their business or to start a new business.
More egregious is the idea that libraries are “free”, as the Hi and Lois comic strip suggests. Libraries are not free. They are paid for with tax dollars to provide a service for the common good. And this common good is best represented by this quote from James Madison:
A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
Libraries are there to provide citizens this popular information when they can’t afford to buy a book or a newspaper subscription, or can’t afford home internet access. And they have librarians to help when they don’t know where to start looking for particular information. For all of this, libraries are among the most beloved of American institutions. And for all of this, we get a lame cartoon like this one.
In many ways, libraries are a radical institution to support a radial idea: namely that the common person can be in charge of his own destiny, that she can participate in government, and that the path toward this self-determination lies in access to information and knowledge. How many citizens would be left out of our participatory democracy if the open, non-judgmental, only-here-to-serve library was taken out of the equation? There would be a real cost to that scenario, and it’s a cost we simply cannot afford.
The Boston Globe’s Sam Allis wrote a column on April 12 calling for that city’s corporate community to come to the rescue of the Boston Public Library (BPL) in order to prevent impending layoffs and the shuttering of four library branches. We’re all for keeping libraries open, especially during economic downturns when public library use soars as families struggle to make ends meet. We applaud his concern about BPL’s budget crunch and the danger of losing library services. But in calling for corporate citizens to come to the rescue of the BPL, Allis writes:
It’s not just the books or even computers, the sine qua non for the future transfer of knowledge. It’s the fundamental assumption that Boston prizes the culture that the branches foster across the city. The BPL is part of what separates us from Tulsa.
Excuse me?! (Someone hand me my boxin’ gloves!)
Now, I understand this kind of writing. A local service is threatened and the politician or opinion writer wants to emphasize how terrible the loss of this service would be. One strategy: pick a smaller state or community, and threaten that the service loss could turn your fair city into a Tulsa, or a Peoria, or a Bugtussle.
Too bad Allis was more interested in this cutsie (and lazy) strategy instead of really doing his research. Truth is, BPL might want to look at the success of the Tulsa City-County Library System (TCCL). Let’s look at some actual facts:
BPL Service Area (city of Boston): 620,000 (2008 estimate)
TCCL Service Area (county of Tulsa): 601,000 (2009 estimate)
BPL Branches: 27 (including central library)
TCCL Branches: 25 (including central library and genealogy branch)
So far, we’re sparring nicely. Now look at this:
BPL program attendance per capita: 0.29
TCCL program attendance per capita: 0.34
BPL visits per capita: 5.8
TCCL visits per capita: 6.1
BPL Internet use per capita: 1.18
TCCL Internet use per capita: 4.8
BPL circulation per capita: 4.8
TCCL circulation per capita: 8.5
Kapow! BPL goes down for the count!
All of these library stats can be found on Library Journal’s America’s Star Libraries ratings page. The magazine named TCCL a four-star library in 2009. Alas, BPL didn’t rate a star.
Tulsa’s library system is stellar, and it has a national reputation for providing excellent service to its users. Year after year, TCCL attracts more children to its summer reading program than any other library system in the state. Its Government Documents Depository received the first ever Federal Depository Library of the Year Award in 2003. (The feds bestowed this award on the Oklahoma Department of Libraries in 2009, meaning two Oklahoma libraries have received this honor in the seven short years of the award’s existence. No Massachusetts libraries have made this list yet.)
But this isn’t about Yankees vs. Okies. I’ve been to Boston three times and can honestly say it’s one of my favorite American cities. And, truth be told, my politics are probably more in line with the average Bay Stater than the average Oklahoman. No, this is about style over substance. It’s about writers not doing their homework. It’s about dissin Tulsa!
Young Bill Young here, filling in for Kitty a few days.
I read lots of science fiction and speculative fiction. Because of that, I really wish I was a teenager right now. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) is joining forces with Newspapers in Education at The Oklahoman to sponsor Read Beyond Reality this October, which is Teen Read Month in our great state.
Classroom teachers and school libraries can sign up to participate at Newspapers in Education. Public libraries are participating through ODL. The school and public library whose young participants log the most pages read during the month will each receive $250 worth of new books! Individual readers can win prizes ranging from premium tickets to an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game to an iPod Nano. (See why I want to be a teenager right now?)
Even if you’re not a teen, you can have lots of fun and learn more about Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror by visiting this Teen Read Month site. What are you waiting for? There are whole worlds out there for you to discover.
Young Bill Young here again for the out-of-town, but on-the-job, Kitty Pittman. An interesting thing about working in a library, is that some friends expect you to become their personal librarian. And that’s OK. Gosh, after all, that’s what we’re all about in the library world — connecting people to information, resources and books.
A good friend of mine has decided to rediscover the works of novelist George V. Higgins (1939-1999), and he has solicited my help in tracking down some of the titles no longer carried in his local library. This is easy to do with a service called Interlibrary Loan. He could easily have requested these books via ILL at his local library, but, ya know, I’m his personal librarian, so I was happy to oblige.
My friend is such a fan of Higgins, he believes the author should have won a Nobel Prize. Sounds like I need to find out more about this Mr. Higgins. So, lets. . .
The New York Times‘ Featured Author Page on Higgins
The Google Book Search Page: Books by George V. Higgins
Info on the George V. Higgins Collection at the University of South Carolina
The Who’s Dating Who Page for George V. Higgins (Looks like no one has been dating this dead guy.)
The proverbial Wikipedia Page on Higgins
And, finally, here’s a photo of the gentleman:
Any of you out there Higgins fans? Drop us a comment!
Holy Cow Batman, I just got back from the Metropolitan Library System Book Sale. Don’t tell any of the hundreds of people lined up to get books that we don’t read any more. You would get flatten on their way to the book tables.
OK, maybe there weren’t quite that many people but it sure felt like it. I stood at one of the tables with a woman who said this was her first time and she just couldn’t believe it. She was going to have surgery and had to be off for 6 months and desperately needed reading material. We heard her husband paging her, but she wasn’t getting out of the line until we got to the end. My husband went once, freaked out by the crowds and hasn’t been back. This is a booksale Not for the faint of heart.
I however am very happy to have 72 paperbacks and 1 hardback, (saw it while going to the checkout line and it jumped into my bag). All of these treasures for only 37 dollars!!! The only thing that could make me happier would have been some knitting books, but either they were all gone, I didn’t find them or someone got to them first. Drat.
I love this book decadence, and it’s re-using resources, supporting a good cause and helping to stimulate the economy while saving money. Makes me feel like a saint.
I just received this website, More people checking out the library …, from someone in our business office. Just more reasons to support your local public library, it’s there for you in the tough times. Be there for it when funding gets tight.