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Banned Books Week: September 26–October 2

Banned Books of 2020 Video

Books unite us. They reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, divides us and creates barriers.

One of our most important goals here at the Library is to provide free and equitable access to information and resources. Among the many implications of that word––access––is the notion of freedom: you are free to read, watch, play, or listen to whatever interests you.

For nearly 40 years, the American Library Association and other organizations who are committed to preserving the tenet of intellectual freedom have promoted Banned Books Week in late September. Libraries around the world celebrate this annual event by hosting author visits and book talks, special programs and book displays, and other initiatives to promote awareness of the many literary works that are routinely challenged and censored.

Indiana’s High School Equivalency Testing Changes

Preparing for the High School Equivalency Test

What is a High School Equivalency Credential?

In the United States, adults who leave high school before graduation have another way to secure a high school equivalency credential. Through testing, you can demonstrate you have the same skills and knowledge as a high school graduate.

The High School Equivalency (HSE) is a high school diploma alternative aligning to current Indiana high school academics, preparing you for continuing education or employment. The assessment is based on five subject areas: math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Workers with this credential earn an average of $10,000 per year more than those without, helping them create a whole new future.  

 

Narwhal Appreciation Post

Team Narwal Kids

"Tails and Tales" summer reading games may be over, but we'll love that narwhal mascot for life! If you’re not ready for the end and want to learn more about narwhals, we can help!

Did you know that you have access to World Book Online with your library card? World Book Online helps you find answers and learn at any reading level––both at school and at home! You can find info on narwhals here! Did you know that the narwhal’s tusk is actually a long tooth?! You can also find resources for early literacy, student research, beginner’s Spanish language tools, eBooks, and more!

Early Literacy Skills and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Babies and toddlers are like little sponges, hungrily soaking up everything around them. Curiosity to understand, explore, observe, and taste everything around them is crucial to early brain development. These natural instincts sometimes lead to exciting and embarrassing stories to tell at their high school graduation. These little people are constantly observing, listening, and emulating the world around them, especially their caregivers. You are babies' and toddlers' first (and most important!) teachers!

Interning at the Library

Sylvia Beaver, Bloomington High School North student and Library intern

Sylvia Beaver, Bloomington High School North student and Library intern

“Despite the challenges presented to all of us in 2020 and beyond, we were excited to find a way to partner again with Bloomington High School North’s internship program. While our opportunities for internships during the pandemic were greatly limited, we created a safe pathway for an internship to take place during this extraordinary time. Our values and goals support experiential learning, with a focus on lifelong learning, inclusiveness, and developing essential life skills. Here at our Library, internships aim to provide valuable career experience, teach important workplace habits, introduce students to new contacts and social connections, and hope their time spent with us is fun and fulfilling. The mutually beneficial support each internship provides to the Library and our constituents is invaluable. Some internships at the Library have brought us talented staff that are now a part of our current team.

Learn Basic Computer Skills with Northstar Learning

The internet is everywhere, allowing you to work, play, and complete daily life tasks wherever there is WiFi. This is especially helpful in the age of physical distancing and mask-wearing.

For those with WiFi access, barriers may still exist. Some community members experience frustration with email and online forms, and concerns about internet safety, leaving them feeling increasingly isolated from social connections and workforce opportunities.

Do you have a friend or family member that could use a little help? VITAL's Northstar Online Learning teaches the basic computer skills needed to communicate using computers. Its free, self-paced courses offer step-by-step instruction, practice, and review for:

Two Grants Fund Hotspots, iPads, and Diverse Books

A tween girl uses an iPad during a children's program.

A tween girl uses an iPad during a children's program.

We are pleased to share that the Library is the recipient of two grants to support access to digital resources in Monroe County. The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department has awarded the Library a Digital Equity Grant of $10,500, and the Wahl Family Charitable Trust has gifted the Library $5,300.

“Providing equitable access to information is one of the Library’s most important goals and is reflective of our core mission to provide opportunities to read, learn, connect and create,” said Grier Carson, Associate Director. “One of the greatest challenges posed by the current public health crisis is our inability to reach each and every Library patron when physical access to the Library carries with it a number of health considerations. These grants will help us improve upon that.”

Get to Know Your Family!

Get To Know Your Family!

For many of us, connecting with friends and family has been especially challenging this year. If you’re unable to spend time with loved ones in person this holiday season, here are some tools to help you connect with them online! 

To access these resources you’ll need your library card number and password. If you’re not sure where to find that information, visit our eLibrary access guide to get started.

 

Ancestry.com

Celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Month

This October we're celebrating Dyslexia Awareness Month! Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects the way an individual processes language. It is characterized by unexpected difficulty with reading in relation to an individual's intelligence. Common characteristics of dyslexia include difficulty reading, difficulty with accurate and fluent word recognition, a deficit in the phonological components of language, difficulties with sequencing, and poor spelling. 

It is important to know that dyslexia is not uncommon. 15–20% of Americans live with the condition and, while this is changing, many people aren’t familiar with the term “dyslexia” and may not know what it is or how it affects an individual. Because dyslexia affects so many Americans, chances are you know someone with dyslexia. They could be classmates, coworkers, family members, the people and staff you interact with at the Library or at the other places you visit. 

VITAL Services Online

VITAL Services Online

The global pandemic has closed classroom doors around the world, but adult literacy and language services remain essential during this time of health crisis and uncertainty. According to Proliteracy, over 36 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level. Adults lacking these essential skills have increased vulnerability to COVID-19, and are at greater risk for financial instability and other social issues.

Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL) provides learning opportunities for adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math, or English-language skills. In order to safely continue services, VITAL services online provides distance learning opportunities that are flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances.

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