LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LITERACY AWARDS APPLICATIONS OPEN

Books on the bookshelves
And stacked on the floor
Books kept in baskets
And propped by the door
Books in neat piles
And in disarray
Books tucked in closets
And books on display
Books filling crannies
And books packed in nooks
Books massed in windows
And mounded in crooks
Libraries beckon
And bookstores invite
But book-filled rooms welcome
Us back home at night!
―© L.R. Knost, an award-winning author, feminist, and social justice activist, is the founder and director of the children’s rights advocacy and family consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, and Editor-in-Chief of Holistic Parenting Magazine

Photo courtesy of Spictacular and generously released into the public domain.



Applications are being accepted for the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards through March 8. According to the library’s public relations office, hese awards are made possible through the generosity of philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.

The Literacy Awards, which were created by the Library of Congress and Rubenstein, were first conferred in 2013 to honor and support organizations working to promote literacy both in the United States and abroad. The awards encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for promoting literacy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices. They are intended to draw public attention to the importance of literacy and the need to promote literacy and encourage reading.

Three prizes will be awarded in 2019:

  • The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) is awarded for an outstanding and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels. The prize is awarded to an organization based either inside or outside the United States that has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy.
  • The American Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy. The prize is awarded to an organization that is based in the United States.
  • The International Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in a country other than the United States. The prize is awarded to an organization that is based either inside or outside the United States.
    Other organizations will be honored for their best practices in various areas of literacy promotion.

The Librarian of Congress will make the final selection of the prize winners with recommendations from an advisory board of literacy experts.

The application rules and a downloadable application form may be accessed HERE.  Applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on March 8, 2019.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is administered by the Center for the Book, a unit of the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement at the Library of Congress. Congress created the Library’s Center for the Book in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. It has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion with affiliates in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit read.gov.

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The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov.


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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton

Across Borders Access to Published Works by Visually Impared Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities

Close-up of Braille page courtesy of Lrcg2012 under CC BY-SA 3.0

“It is humbling to know that when the weakest amongst us is in need, you answered the call with a steely determination and a steadfast courage to make a difference,” Stevie Wonder told delegates as they signed the treaty. “Today we all are brothers and sisters in the struggle to make this life and the future better, not for one, but for all.”



On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (bill S. 2559) without apparent opposition; the House approved S.2559 via unanimous consent on September 25, 2018. The bill and the Treaty were signed into law by the President this past Tuesday.

This law makes changes to U.S. copyright law that would bring the United States into compliance with the terms of the Marrakesh Treaty.  The treaty, which so far is ratified by forty-three countries, facilitates the reproduction and cross-border distribution of books in accessible formats.

Once the State Department notifies the World Intellectual Property Organization—the treaty’s administrator—of its ratification, the Library of Congress, National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handcapped will provide guidance on how it will impact NLS and its network libraries.


“An estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment: 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. 81% of people who are blind or have moderate or severe vision impairment are aged 50 years and above.” World Health Organization


The Marrakish Treaty Implementation Act allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons. It sets a norm for countries ratifying the treaty to have a domestic copyright exception covering these activities, and allowing for the import and export of such materials.

Sixty three (recently 28 European countries also ratified) countries signed the treaty as of the close of the diplomatic conference in Marrakesh. The ratification of 20 states was required for the treaty to enter into effect; the 20th ratification was received on 30 June 2016, and the treaty entered into force on 30 September 2016.

India was the first country to ratify the treaty, on 24 July 2014.< As of June 26, 2018, 80 countries have signed the Treaty and 41 states have ratified it , most recently EU and Japan.

In March 2015, the Council of the European Union accused the European Commission of delaying the adoption of the treaty by EU and called upon the Commission “to submit without delay the necessary legislative proposal.” There is continued opposition by some EU member states.[

On September 20, 2017 the EU Commission published a directive and a regulation on the Marrakesh treaty that has to be transposed into national law, in all 28 member states, deadline for transposition: October 11, 2018.

The European Union has committed to ratification and implementation of the Treaty, and member states are required to update their national laws to implement the Treaty’s requirements later in 2018.

The European Union ratified the treaty for all 28 members on October 1, 2018. The provisions of the Treaty will go into effect across the EU (including in the United Kingdom) on January 1, 2019.

RELATED:

Resources for this post:

  • Library of Congress
  • National Library Service
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Wikipedia [Description of the Act]
  • World Health Organization

ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

NEW LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS: U.S. Senate Confirms first woman and first African American as Librarian of Congress

Dr. Carla Hayden (b. 1953), Librarian of Congress

Dr. Carla Hayden (b. 1953), Librarian of Congress effective Sept. 30, 2016

The United States Senate vote of 74-18 confirmed Dr. Carla D. Hayden, longtime chief executive of the Enoch Pratt Free Library system in Baltimore and a former president of the American Library Association, as the 14th Librarian of Congress, for a renewable ten-year term.

Dr. Hayden was nominated by President Barack Obama in February.

This is truly a great honor to be nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to lead the nation’s library, the Library of Congress,” Dr. Hayden said. “It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Baltimore for 23 years and help restore the Enoch Pratt Free Library as a world-renowned institution. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff of the Library of Congress. I will be honored to build on the legacy and accomplishments of my predecessors in this position, to be part of a continuing movement to open the treasure chest that is the Library of Congress even further and to make it a place that can be found and used by everyone.”

Dr. Hayden is the first woman, and the first African American, to serve as chief executive of the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, with 162 million items in its collections. It also oversees the U.S. Copyright Office and the Congressional Research Service. It serves Congress and makes its research collections accessible on site and online.

She takes the helm from Acting Librarian David S. Mao, who has served since the retirement of Dr. James H. Billington on September 30, 2015. She will be sworn in at a date to be determined and is expected to assume her duties soon.

Dr. Hayden has recently overseen the renovation of the central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, a four-year, $112 million project, and has also led $40 million in renovations to other units within the 22-branch Pratt system. The system is named for the businessman and philanthropist who financed its founding in 1886.

She took the helm of the Baltimore system in 1993, winning strong praise for her work to ensure that the city’s library system offers a broad array of services to assist citizens from all walks of life, from access to books and other learning materials to computer access and job information. A program of outreach into neighborhoods served by the Pratt libraries included after-school centers for teens, offering homework assistance and college counseling; a program offering healthy-eating information for residents in areas with insufficient access to high-quality food; programming in Spanish; establishment of an electronic library, and digitization of the Library’s special collections.

Dr. Hayden won high praise, during recent civil unrest in some Baltimore neighborhoods, for keeping library branches open citywide to continue service and provide citizens with safe havens.

Dr. Hayden first served as a children’s librarian in the Chicago Public Library system, eventually rising to the post of deputy commissioner and chief librarian in that system. She also taught Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She received Library Journal’s 1995 Librarian of the Year Award, and served as president of the American Library Association 2003-2004.

Dr. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.

720px-US-LibraryOfCongress-Seal.svg

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register create works of authorship at copyright.gov.