What is the state of reading in Washington? From early literacy initiatives, to book groups and “big reads,” to outreach to special populations, this issue of Alki explores the state of reading from the point of view of Washington libraries. In “Read or Die,” Michael Cook gives an overview of the latest report from the National Endowment for the Arts on reading trends and their impact. State Librarian Jan Walsh tells the story of the Washington Reads program. Debbie Lahue from ESD 101 describes reading assessment in Washington schools post-WASL.
Sit up straight and take a deep, cleansing breath before starting “’Our Job Is to Promote Reading’” by Dan Howard and Dean Marney. They are men on a mission to transform the communities served by the North Central Regional Library system. If you think strategic plans and mission statements are mere intellectual exercises, this article will change your mind. Literally.
Have hope: reading lives in Washington. WLA’s annual conference will be held in Spokane in April and happens to overlap with GetLit!, the annual literary festival sponsored by Eastern Washington University. WLA is partnering with GetLit! to bring author Jane Smiley to read during the conference. Shawn Vestal’s article “Libraries and Literary Festivals” is a great introduction to GetLit!. Solinus and Angelina Benedetti are back, after a brief hiatus, with “Writing Is the New Reading,” while David Wright praises (and laments the passing of ) Washington’s small presses in “Made in Washington.”
The ability to understand symbols, to translate characters on a page into language—reading is a powerful act of discovery. Go ahead—open it. “It’s not like it’s the end of the world,” as Rita Dove writes. Just “the world as you think/you know it.”
Alki Editor: Julie Miller
Alki Editorial Committee: Sue Anderson; Lynne King; Erin Krake; Brian Soneda; Rayette Sterling; Deanna Sukkar; Mary Wise, chair; Bo Kinney, Alki intern
Alki was designed by Tammy Reniche, Director of Publications for Melby Cameron & Anderson.
Cover photo provided by Martha Shinners
Download the full-color PDF issue below.
by Martha Parsons
by Julie Miller
by Michael Cook
by Erin Krake
by Jan Walsh as told to Carolyn Petersen
by Abby Bass
by Jill Merritt
by Danielle King
by Shawn Vestal
by Dan Howard and Dean Marney
by Martha Shinners
by Debbie Lahue
by Nadean Meyer
by Carolyn Petersen
by Angelina Benedetti
by Brian Soneda
by Jennifer Fenton
by David Wright