Category Archives: Reading

Day #3 IFLA: Evidence skirmishes

After another delicious and friendly breakfast at Dutch Manor Inn (I feel sorry for all of you delegated staying at the Westin!), I headed down to catch the long morning session on evidence and library impacts. Got to hear the … Continue reading

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Gossip and publicity about the Caine Prize and ‘African Literature’ |

A very fine article Acts of mutiny: the Caine Prize and ‘African Literature’ by Ranka Primorac.  In the end, labeling is marketing.  A writer can object to labeling, and refuse to be labelled: but then they have to be prepared … Continue reading

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IFLA day #2 in Cape Town South Africa

As with any conference, the fun part is time between sessions when you get to have more in-depth chats about library stuff.  This afternoon I had coffee with Ari Katz from Beyond Access, who is now based in Thailand working … Continue reading

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First day at IFLA in Cape Town

Worked on my presentation all morning… realizing audience will probably be like 300 people…. and they strictly enforce time limits, so have to say everything in 15 min, so have to practice a dozen times… Walked down to convention center… … Continue reading

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Amanda Craig on the golden ages of children’s literature

Amanda Craig on the three Golden Ages of Children’s Literature Great article by Amanda Craig in the Independent today. I have never seen such an interesting and comprehensive summary of the history (and present) of children’s literature. Highly recommended. via … Continue reading

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EIFL partners to launch library training in Uganda

EIFL Electronic Information for Libraries is delighted to announce a joint project with Maendeleo Foundation and National Library of Uganda that will encourage development of new and innovative public library services in Uganda that meet local community needs.The collaboration will … Continue reading

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Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever

I listen to The New Yorker fiction podcasts once a month on a long run.  Generally they are wonderful.  This month’s was less compelling.  While Cheever was prescient about the pitfalls of an over-sharing culture, and his sentences are compelling … Continue reading

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More on the IFLA conference

See the FAVL posting for links…. An excellent day at IFLA conference. Started in morning with exactly the kind of coffee meeting I love, with Christophe Cassiau-Haurie who has written extensively on BD in Francophone Africa. He’s done a few … Continue reading

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Espen Stranger-Johannessen on promoting a reading culture in Uganda

Espen, who has been affiliated with the Uganda Community Library Association and Kitengesa Community Library, both supported by FAVL, has a new article in the IFLA Journal.  It is based on his fieldwork in Caezaria Library in Uganda. It is … Continue reading

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Blattman and cash transfers and libraries and reading

Chris Blattman defends and promotes cash transfers.  It’s a good, compelling oped piece. But I worry that as the juggernaut of “just give cash” gains steam, people will give less to support public goods. As you know, dear reader, I … Continue reading

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Wow lots of reading from Africa!

Carmen McCain reviews Words Without Borders which features African women writing in indigenous languages: Closest to home is Ibrahim Malumfashi’s translation of the first chapter of Nigerian author Rahma Abdul Majid’s massive Hausa novel Mace Mutum. This timely English translation … Continue reading

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I cannot wait to read Gene Luen Yang’s new graphic novel

via ‘Boxers & Saints’ & Compassion: Questions For Gene Luen Yang : NPR.

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Burkina Faso education policy mistake

Government announces 100,000 solar lamps.  These cost about $10 each, so the is $1 million.  That could have been used to establish and operate for 5-10 years 50 community libraries.  I think effect of that would have greatly exceeded effect … Continue reading

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Reading affects empathy? Or positive publication bias?

OK I can’t write something that isn’t honest+sour grapes.  So there.  Nobody, certainly not Science, will publish replications of this study.  If authors had found no effects, or reverse effects, no one would have published.  Important to remember that.  My … Continue reading

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Sudanese starting to read books again? Or New York Times reporter with human interest angle?

When Leslie and I were in Khartoum we bought and browsed extensively in the bookstores.  At that time mostly English stuff, but as Arabic improved occasionally we purchased simple Arabic texts.  On each successive visit, a bookstore would have closed.  … Continue reading

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What does literature do? Adam Gopnik weighs in, skeptically…

Nor do humanities specialists, let alone English majors, seem to be particularly humane or thoughtful or open-minded people, as the alternative better-people defense insists. No one was better read than the English upper classes who, a hundred years ago, blundered … Continue reading

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Are there still people who confuse correlation with causation in 2013? Yes! Pleasure reading makes you better at math?

I love the “might”, “likely,” “makes sense”… why not, “it is also likely this is an expected correlation and has no implications for anything….” Study author Dr Alice Sullivan said: “It may seem surprising that reading for pleasure would help … Continue reading

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“The Story of a Scar” by James Alan McPherson

Last night I read “The Story of a Scar” by James Alan McPherson, and I have to say that it is an excellent short story.  The dialogue is gripping, and the characters sympathetic.  I wasn’t quite sure about the ending.  … Continue reading

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What does literature do counterfactual Friday

So… according to Benicio del Toro, supposedly Che Guevara ordered printing and distribution of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, after the revolution took Havana.  Did a lot of people read it? Was Cuba better off?  (Things look bad for the answer to … Continue reading

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What does literature do?

According to some: High school students and movie stars testify that “The Catcher in the Rye” changed their lives and changed the world. Not me.  I read it in high school.  I re-read it a couple years ago.  I remember, … Continue reading

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