Monthly Archives: September 2012

Reading Worldwide

Even though national initiatives for the promotion of reading have almost become a worldwide standard, knowledge about literacy projects and related experiences across borders is scarce. However, reading promotion comes in many creative and unique ways, such as books hidden in taxis and at the hairdressers’ in Singapore, book prescriptions recommended by medical professionals in Kirklee or speed datings for book lovers in London.

This is where Reading worldwide comes in. It helps to think outside the box and gain new insights by looking at how reading promotion is done in different parts in the world. This website introduces innovative literacy initiatives from Austria to Venezuela in the hope to generate new project ideas that may be adapted locally – or to foster international collaborations. Instead of trying to be comprehensive and encyclopedic, Reading worldwide rather highlights successful or inspiring projects. Also, literacy experts share their views and experiences with the reading promotion community.

Literacy professionals may find some more stuff of interest. Current literacy events worldwide are listed on a dedicated webpage. The research section looks at findings from current or recent literacy and reading research. And the newly introduced topic pages summarize current literacy issues such as “New media“ or “Early literacy“ with related links and resources.

The portal Reading worldwide was created by the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) in cooperation with the Stiftung Lesen (German’s leading non-profit foundation on reading and media). The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) from 2008 to 2012. Stiftung Lesen has taken over Reading worldwide since May 2012 solely.

Library Priorities Report

OCLC Snapshots of Issues and Priorities in US, UK, Dutch and German Libraries

OCLC conducted a member survey to understand librarians’ top priorities, current key initiatives, thoughts on service and top methods for keeping current on happenings in the library field.

Libraries in the U.S.: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives

These reports detail findings from a study OCLC conducted  with libraries in mid-2011 to learn about their priorities, initiatives,  thoughts on the future of their service points and the sources they use to keep  up with developments in the library field.

See other reports in the Priorities & Perspectives  series for libraries in Germany | Netherlands | UK.

Select Key Findings for US Academic Libraries

  • Most academic library staff:
    • Consider licensed e-collections to be a top  priority
    • Are focusing on e-books, other e-resources and discovery tools as top current initiatives
    • Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years
    • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media

Nearly 2,000 academic library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

Select Key Findings for US Community College Libraries

  • Most community college library staff:
    • Consider licensed e-collections and e-books to be their top priority and current initiative
    • Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years
    • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media.
  • Community college library staff are less likely than other academic library and public library staff to expect that a national digital library will exist in the next five years.
  • Community college libraries are distinctively putting more focus on outreach and library instruction and their back-end office technology compared to other academic libraries.

Nearly 200 community college library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

Select Key Findings for US Public Libraries

  • Most public library staff:
    • Are focusing their priorities on Internet access, demonstrating value to funders and delivering e-content
    • Are concentrating on e-books as their top current initiative
    • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—while just a few use social media
  • Opinions are split on the make-up of service points in the future
  • The top priority for public library directors is demonstrating the library’s value to funders

Nearly 1300 public library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in US Public Libraries (4 Page PDF)

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in US Academic Libraries (4 page PDF)

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in US Community College Libraries (4 page PDF)

Select Key Findings for UK Academic Libraries

Most UK academic library staff:

  • Consider delivering e-books and other e-resources to be their top priority
  • Anticipate the top reason faculty and students are using their library will shift in five years
  • Rely on listservs to keep informed about library trends.

Nearly 120 UK academic library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

Select Key Findings for UK Public Libraries

Most UK public library staff:

  • Consider demonstrating the value of their library to funders to be their top priority
  • Anticipate the top reason users are using their library will change in five years
  • Rely on discussions with their colleagues to keep informed about library trends.

120 UK public library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in UK Public Libraries (4 page PDF)

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in UK Academic Libraries (4 page PDF)

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in Libraries in Germany (4 page PDF)

A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in Libraries in The Netherlands (4 page PDF)


UK Literacy Report

Study: U.K. Kids Reading Less, But Digital Formats Pick Up

New National Literacy Trust research Children’s Reading Today shows that children are reading less as their lives get more crowded. In 2005, four young people in 10 read daily outside of class. Today only three young people in 10 read daily in their own time. On the eve of International Literacy Day, the charity is calling for a national campaign to halt this decline.

Funded by law firm Slaughter and May, the research with 21,000 children and young people across the UK reveals the number of children who enjoy reading very much or quite a lot has remained static since 2005 (50% today vs 51% in 2005). This highlights a clear issue with children’s leisure time with many children enjoying reading but pushing it out in favor of other activities. The research found:

  • More than a fifth of children (22%) rarely or never read in their own time
  • More than half (54%) prefer watching TV to reading
  • Nearly a fifth (17%) would even be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading
  • 77% of children read magazines in 2005 now just 57% do, comic reading has dropped from 64% to 50%, reading on websites from 64% to 50%

It is essential to make the time for children to read as the research shows there is a clear link between reading outside of class and children’s achievement. It found young people who read outside of class daily were 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age. Children in the UK are currently ranked 25th out of 65 developed countries in reading.

National Literacy Trust. (2012). Children’s Reading Today.


oday versus 51 percent in 2005.

IFLA conference report

Please find below a report from ALADIN member Heike vom Orde (IZI Documentation Centre, Germany) on her recent participation at IFLA 2012, the World Library and Information Congress that took place in Helsinki in August 2012.


During my stay in Helsinki I attended the IFLA off-site event at Sello Library in Espoo on August 15, 2012: “Surprising Library! — Public Libraries, Libraries for Children and Young Adults and School Libraries and Resource Centers”. This session was part of the IFLA Annual Conference joint session for Public Libraries, Libraries for Children and Young Adults and School Libraries and Resource Centres. Papers and Case studies from Finland, USA, Denmark, Germany, Canada and the Congo Democratic Republic were presented at the “surprising” location of Sello Library, a very modern library located in a shopping center near Helsinki. In my report I will focus on the four presentations that I was most impressed with; you can find all presentations online at:


The event started with a speech on Journey into imagination – a glimpse of the history of Finnish children’s literature. According to the presenters Finnish children’s literature lives on the cutting edge of time. Especially youth fiction touches on the social pain points sharply and accurately as issues are often raised in children’s literature much earlier than in adult fiction. When reading children’s literature, adult readers learn at the same time about the state of society. The presentation ended with the statement: “Read children’s books and you’ll know what kind of a world you live in. Wings of imagination will come along as a freebie.”


Jane Kenney Myers, President of the Lubuto Library Project (LLP), gave in her presentation Outreach to vulnerable youth in Africa through partnerships for innovative programming: The Lubuto Library Project insight into her innovative international development organization. The LLP mission is to create opportunities for equitable education and poverty reduction through model library services housed in indigenously styled buildings in Zambia. These houses provide not only safe havens, but also literacy skills and opportunities for educational growth. The project aims at sub-Saharan Africa’s street children, orphans and other vulnerable and out-of-school children by building and stocking open-access libraries, hosted and staffed by community-based organizations.  LLP also connects North American and European volunteers and students with their African peers through community services. LLP is a professional organization whose programs – rooted in local communities and guided by prominent Zambians – are according to Mrs Myers important and unique in Africa.


Susanne Brandt from Germany presented a talk on Blended living and learning in children’s libraries as places of virtual, social, sensual, esthetic and creative experiences – including practical examples from Germany. She presented a vision of librarianship for young people as a concept of “blended living and learning”: Special programs with experiences in the nature, artistic impressions, conversation or story telling in dialogue with different methods characterize the library as a meeting place with virtual, sensory, social and esthetic aspects. From this perspective libraries are able to strengthen their independent position and open their rooms for “blended living” to support the orientation and sensibility of young people in the virtual and real world.


Finally, Stéphhane Legault from Canada presented the incredible success story of the Club des aventuriers du livre, an amazing Summer Reading Club that was established in 1995 by Lanaudière Public Libraries. The dynamic and unique summer reading club is for children from six to fourteen years old. Since 1995, more than 85 000 children have read more than a million books. The reading club aims to promote academic achievement during the holidays, especially for boys.


The session in Espoo was very well attended and was inspiring for information professionals who are looking for innovative strategies to reach their target group and to support literacy skills.


Heike vom Orde
Leitung Dokumentation / Head of Documentation

International Literacy Day

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the International Literacy Day, 8 September 2012

This year, International Literacy Day has a special focus on the fundamental relationship between Literacy and Peace.

This has tremendous relevance in our current turbulent times. Countries with patterns of violence have some of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Conflict remains one of the major barriers to the attainment of the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Conflict-affected countries are home to over 40% of the world’s out-of-school population of primary school age.

We must not allow conflict to deprive children and adults of the crucial opportunity of literacy. Literacy is a fundamental human right, and the foundation of all education and lifelong learning. Literacy transforms the lives of people, allowing them to make informed choices and empowering individuals to become agents of change. Lasting peace depends on the development of literate citizenship and access to education for all. Amidst political upheaval and escalating violence in many parts of the world, literacy must be a priority in the peace-building agenda of all nations.

Peace and sustainable development are interdependent, and it is crucial for the two to develop and strengthen simultaneously. Literacy is also a development accelerator, enabling societies to grow more inclusively and sustainably. Literacy programmes can become a key component of future development strategies, opening new opportunities and skills for all. All of this is vital to achieving Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals.

Progress has been made toward reaching the 2015 targets for literacy, but formidable challenges remain ahead. These challenges need to be met with stronger international resolve, if we are to deliver on the promises made in Dakar in 2000. UNESCO estimates that the global adult illiterate population stands at 775 million, while there are still 122 million illiterate youth worldwide. Women and girls make up nearly two thirds of the illiterate adult and youth population. Great potential is being lost.

We can end this cycle of exclusion. We all have a shared interest in ensuring that the world becomes a more literate place. As we approach the Education for All deadline in 2015, we have gained new momentum. UNESCO has worked tirelessly to place education and literacy at the top of the global development agenda. The United Nations Secretary-General’s “Education First” initiative, to be officially launched later this month, shall be a strong advocacy platform at the highest level.

The winners of this year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes demonstrate how successful literacy programmes can achieve outstanding results. They are living examples of the central role of literacy in promoting human rights, gender equality, conflict resolution and cultural diversity.

Today, I call upon stakeholders at all levels to strengthen partnerships that will accelerate quality literacy provision. It is essential that literacy programmes incorporate the values of peace, human rights and civic values, if literacy is to become a true means of empowerment. It can be the harbinger of peace and development. Let us make this happen, together and faster.

– – –

Message de Mme Irina Bokova, Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de l’alphabétisation, 8 septembre 2012

Cette année, la Journée internationale de l’alphabétisation met l’accent sur le lien fondamental qui existe entre l’alphabétisation et la paix.

Ce lien est d’une importance cruciale dans les temps tumultueux que nous traversons actuellement. Dans les pays en proie à des violences cycliques, les taux d’alphabétisation sont parmi les plus faibles du monde. Les conflits restent l’un des principaux obstacles à la réalisation de l’Éducation pour tous (EPT) et des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD). Dans le monde, 40 % des enfants non scolarisés en âge de fréquenter l’école primaire vivent dans des pays touchés par des conflits.

Nous avons le devoir de ne pas laisser les conflits priver les enfants et les adultes des formidables opportunités qu’ouvre l’alphabétisation. L’alphabétisation est un droit fondamental de la personne humaine et la base de toute forme d’éducation et d’apprentissage tout au long de la vie. L’alphabétisation transforme la vie des hommes en leur permettant de faire des choix éclairés et en leur donnant les moyens de devenir des acteurs du changement. Pour s’installer durablement, la paix dépend de l’essor d’une citoyenneté par l’alphabétisation et de l’accès à l’éducation pour tous. Face aux bouleversements politiques et à la montée de la violence que connaissent de nombreuses régions du monde, l’alphabétisation doit être une priorité dans les plans de construction de la paix de toutes les nations.

La paix et le développement durable sont dépendants l’un de l’autre, et il est primordial que l’un et l’autre se développent et se renforcent simultanément. L’alphabétisation est également un accélérateur du développement, car elle permet aux sociétés d’avoir une croissance plus inclusive et durable. Les programmes d’alphabétisation peuvent devenir un élément essentiel des futures stratégies de développement en offrant à tous des opportunités et des compétences. Or tout cela est indispensable à la réalisation de l’Éducation pour tous et des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement.

Des progrès ont été accomplis en vue d’atteindre les objectifs fixés pour 2015, mais d’importantes difficultés subsistent. La communauté internationale doit affronter ces obstacles plus résolument si nous voulons tenir les promesses faites à Dakar en 2000. L’UNESCO estime qu’à l’échelle mondiale 775 millions d’adultes et encore 122 millions de jeunes sont analphabètes. Les femmes et les filles constituent près des deux tiers des adultes et des jeunes analphabètes. C’est un immense gâchis de potentiel.

Nous pouvons mettre fin à ce cycle de l’exclusion. Nous avons un intérêt commun à faire en sorte que le monde devienne mieux alphabétisé. Alors que se rapproche l’échéance de 2015 fixée pour l’Éducation pour tous, nous venons de trouver un nouvel élan. L’UNESCO n’a pas ménagé ses efforts pour hisser l’éducation et l’alphabétisation au premier rang des priorités mondiales du développement. « L’éducation d’abord », une initiative du Secrétaire général de l’ONU qui sera officiellement lancée dans le courant du mois, constituera une solide plate-forme de plaidoyer au plus haut niveau.

Les lauréats qui ont remporté cette année les Prix internationaux d’alphabétisation de l’UNESCO démontrent quels résultats remarquables peuvent être obtenus grâce à des programmes d’alphabétisation réussis. Ils sont l’illustration vivante du rôle central joué par l’alphabétisation dans la promotion des droits de l’homme, l’égalité entre les sexes, la résolution des conflits et la diversité culturelle.

Aujourd’hui, j’appelle les parties concernées à tous les niveaux à renforcer les partenariats en vue d’accélérer la mise en place d’une alphabétisation de qualité. Il est indispensable que les valeurs de la paix, des droits de l’homme et du civisme soient inscrites dans les programmes d’alphabétisation pour que celle-ci devienne un véritable instrument d’autonomisation. L’alphabétisation peut être un vecteur de paix et de développement. Œuvrons ensemble, plus vite, pour que cela arrive.

– – –

Mensaje de la Sra. Irina Bokova, Directora General de la UNESCO, con motivo del Día Internacional de la Alfabetización, 8 de septiembre de 2012

Este año, el Día Internacional de la Alfabetización gira especialmente en torno a la relación fundamental que existe entre la alfabetización y la paz.

Esto es algo de capital importancia en los turbulentos tiempos que vivimos. Los países donde imperan patrones de violencia muestran índices de alfabetización que están entre los más bajos del mundo. Los conflictos siguen siendo uno de los principales obstáculos para el cumplimiento de los objetivos de la Educación para Todos (EPT) y los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM). Los países afectados por conflictos albergan más del 40% de los niños del mundo en edad de cursar estudios de primaria que no están escolarizados.

No debemos permitir que los conflictos priven a niños y adultos de la crucial oportunidad de aprender a leer y escribir. La alfabetización es un derecho humano básico y también el fundamento de toda educación y del aprendizaje permanente. La alfabetización transforma la vida delas personas, facultándolas para decidir con conocimiento de causa y emancipándolas para que puedan ser protagonistas del cambio. La paz duradera depende del advenimiento de una ciudadanía alfabetizada y del acceso universal a la educación. En medio de las convulsiones políticas y la escalada de la violencia en muchas partes del mundo, la alfabetización debe ser una prioridad en los programas de consolidación de la paz de todos los países.

La paz y el desarrollo sostenible son interdependientes, por lo que es esencial que se desarrollen y refuercen simultáneamente. La alfabetización es también un factor de aceleración del desarrollo, que permite a las sociedades crecer de forma más integradora y sostenible. Los programas de alfabetización pueden ser un componente esencial de las estrategias de desarrollo del futuro, un elemento que traiga consigo nuevas oportunidades y competencias para todos. La suma de todo ello es indispensable para que se cumplan los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio y los de la Educación para Todos.

Se ha progresado hacia el logro de las metas de alfabetización fijadas para 2015, pero quedan por delante formidables obstáculos que es preciso abordar con mayor determinación internacional si de verdad queremos cumplir las promesas formuladas en 2000 en Dakar. La UNESCO cifra en casi 800 millones el número de adultos analfabetos que hay en el mundo, y en 122 millones el número de jóvenes que no saben leer ni escribir. Las mujeres y niñas representan cerca de dos tercios de esta población de adultos y jóvenes analfabetos. Se está desaprovechando un gran potencial.

Podemos poner fin a este ciclo de exclusión. A todos nos interesa conseguir que el mundo sea un lugar más alfabetizado. Cuando nos acercamos al plazo de 2015 fijado para los objetivos de la Educación para Todos, hemos cobrado un renovado impulso. La UNESCO ha trabajado incansablemente para que la educación y la alfabetización ocuparan un lugar preeminente entre las prioridades mundiales de desarrollo. La iniciativa “La educación ante todo” del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, que se pondrá en marcha oficialmente a finales de este mes, constituirá un poderoso instrumento de promoción al más alto nivel.

Los galardonados de este año con los Premios Internacionales de Alfabetización de la UNESCO demuestran que con buenos programas en la materia se pueden obtener resultados excepcionales. Todos ellos son un vivo ejemplo de la función central de la alfabetización en el fomento de los derechos humanos, la igualdad entre los sexos, la resolución de conflictos y la diversidad cultural.

En el día de hoy exhorto a las partes interesadas de todos los niveles a reforzar las alianzas que aceleren la prestación de servicios de alfabetización de calidad. Para que la alfabetización llegue a ser un verdadero instrumento de emancipación, es fundamental que los programas que la fomentan incorporen los valores de la paz, los derechos humanos y el civismo. La alfabetización puede abrir el camino de la paz y el desarrollo. Hagámoslo posible. Todos juntos y cuanto antes.