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Report on Children and Reading

Scholastic has published the fifth edition of its popular Kids & Family Reading Report that gauges how children and their parents view reading in their daily lives. Of the children surveyed, 51% were currently reading a book for fun, and an additional 20% had recently completed one. 31% of the children polled identify as frequent readers, down from 37% in 2010. The report suggests that the reason for this decline is, “the increasing prevalence of other activities…, most notably, spending time using devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers.” One positive finding was that children are far more likely to enjoy reading when they are given the freedom to choose their own books.

“Scout” to Read from Harper Lee’s New Book

The New York Times reports that Mary Badham, the actress who played the young Scout in the 1962 movie adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” will give voice to that character again to celebrate the publication of Ms. Lee’s second novel, “Go Set a Watchman.”

Ms. Badham will appear at the 92nd Street Y’s Poetry Center in Manhattan on July 14, when the new book goes on sale. She will read from both “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which is narrated by Scout and set in Depression-era Alabama, and “Go Set a Watchman,” which features Scout 20 years later, returning home from New York. The event, which will be streamed at 92Y.org/harperlee, is one of dozens of “Watchman” celebrations taking place in bookstores, theaters and libraries across the country on July 14.

Tuesday’s Tip — Old Farmer’s Almanac

For a little bit of ‘homespun’, take a look at the Old Farmer’s Almanac!  It’s full of folklore and helpful tips for a sustainable lifestyle, with an emphasis on living on the land and following the seasons.  It also includes recipes for enjoying your harvest.  For the complete experience, check out the print edition at the library!  Or, explore the online version highlighted in this week’s Tip:  Tuesday’s Tip – June 23,2015 (Old Farmer’s Almanac)

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Tuesday’s Tip — Project Gutenberg Mobile

Take the classics with you wherever you go!   Your entire library can now fit into your pocket! Project Gutenberg is a great go-to for some classic reading that is completely and conveniently portable.  Give it a try!  You can also search for these titles in the Mid-Hudson Library System’s shared Overdrive site.  It’s a great place to browse for truly great works of literature and endless hours of amusement and drama, and best of all there is no limit on these titles and they don’t count against your e-loans limit on your library card! Read on for more details:    Tuesday’s Tip — June 9, 2015 (Project Gutenberg Mobile + Overdrive)
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Tuesday’s Tip — I ♥ NY Tourism Site

Now that we’re headed into summer, many of us are making plans for vacation.  If you want to stay close to home, you can turn a stay-cation into an exciting exploration of the region.  Once you’ve had your fill of that, exploring the state beyond your immediate environs is much easier to do with the well organized guides to be found at the I ♥ NY Site!   Happy trails!

Tuesday’s Tip — June 2, 2015 (I [heart] NY Tourism Site)

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Tuesday’s Tip — ReadGeek Website

We took a look at computerized book recommendation sites before (What Should I read Next?  4/17/12)  but today we will introduce you to yet another tool.  ReadGeek analyzes characteristics of books you have read in the past, and rated highly, and connects you to other titles it deems to share traits or styles or moods with those that you have enjoyed previously.  Give it a try and you may discover a new favorite waiting to be read!   Tuesday’s Tip — May 26, 2015 (ReadGeek Website)

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Tuesday’s Tip — Original Art Works on Paper

If you’re planning to add a little cultural flavor to your vacation season, you might want to consider scheduling an appointment to view original works of art on paper (drawings, prints, etc.) kept for protection from the elements in museums’ special archives and print rooms.  For more information about these little-known collections in our art institutions, you’ll find more description and detail, as well as some links to New York’s great metropolitan museums included in this week’s Tip!   Tuesday’s Tip — May 12, 2015 (Works on paper at museums)

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Baltimore Library Stays Open Amid Unrest

Eyes around the world were recently focused on the city of Baltimore, where the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody sparked protests. Across the street from the CVS drugstore that was burned down is the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch Library. Apart from a few hours at the height of the riots, the library stayed open, a decision that has received a lot of attention and praise. When the rioting first started, branch manager Melanie Townsend Diggs locked the doors and kept the patrons inside. Later, everyone was able to leave through the back door.  That night, she told library administrators, “I really feel at a time like this, the community needs us, and I want to try to open.” The library opened next morning and remained open. Later, Ms. Townsend Diggs reflected on the experience. “I’m proud that we were able to carry on,” she said. “The gratitude of the public has sustained the staff. It’s like they knew they can count on us. I’ve never been prouder to be a librarian.”