I set out to devote this issue of Alki to literacy in its many forms, its many audiences, and its overwhelming impact on our communities. And wow, did you all deliver! (I had to pull the invitation to submit articles weeks before the deadline because there were already too many submissions) As this issue came together, I felt myself becoming more literate on literacy. I learned about literacies I had never thought of as such, like history literacy (p. 19) and even human literacy (p. 14). In this issue, there are also fresh takes on traditional literacy that are worth looking at, including book challenges and censorship (p. 10) and fiction book clubs in a setting you might not expect (p. 23).
We begin our collection of articles with an exploration of cultural literacy through the lens of zines and artists’ books (p. 5). You’ll also learn about a popular community conversation program in Pierce County that explores tough topics in a supportive environment (p.7). We learn about lists of books banned in prisons and how you can help improve access for those who are incarcerated (p. 21). We also feature a story about a substitute special education teacher who connects with a child in a manner beyond words (p. 22).
The digital world was a big theme for this issue. In “Digital Literacy: A Constantly Evolving Landscape,” Shana Ferguson talks about teaching in a world that is changing so quickly she has to recreate lessons that were relevant just recently (p. 12). Shawn Sheller highlights how Senator Mark Liias has been championing media literacy and how you can apply for funds to integrate media literacy into your class curriculum. There’s also MisInfoDay, a wildly successful recent event hosted by the University of Washington iSchool in which high schoolers learned about misinformation and gained fact-checking skills; By the way, you’re invited to join next year’s MisInfoDay (p. 16)! We also cover a training developed at Central Washington University to increase technology literacy among service desk staff (p. 30). Kaitlin Throgmorton, Bree Norlander and Carole Palmer discuss public libraries as open data stewards (p. 27). And Alex Byrne writes about how libraries will need to evolve their literacies in unanticipated ways as technology keeps changing faster and tech support for old software dries up (p. 36).
And of course no journal about literacy would be complete without a little summer reading, and Kari Ramadorai has three key tips that will help us motivate and engage kids in literacy activites (p. 26).
Take a look at our Milestones feature, which celebrates recent triumphs and advancements for library staff and libraries (p. 41).
Don’t forget our regular columns either. In “Read This Book!” Brooke Shirts covers summer graphic novels you won’t want to miss (p. 45). Sheri Boggs introduces the youth finalists for the Washington State Book Award (p. 43). And Darcy McMurtery dissects a cover letter that we’ve all probably seen at some point (p. 47).
Alki Editor: Di Zhang
Alki Editorial Committee: Kris Becker, committee chair; Linda Johns; Magenta Loera; Suzanne Carlson-Prandini; Anna Shelton; Kelsey Smith; Mindy Van Wingen
Design: Sonya Kopetz, KB design
Cover attribution: Doug Parry
Download the full-color PDF issue below.
Published July 2019
By Rhonda Gould
By Di Zhang
By Amanda C.R. Clark and Alexis Paperman
By Laura Farrow
By Karen Kline
By Shana Ferguson
By Pyper Stever
By Liz Crouse and Jevin West
By Lisa Labovitch
By Magenta Loera, Angela Gonzalez-Curci, and Sophia Marciniak
By Miles Caudesch
By Alaina C. Bull and Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman
By Kari Ramadorai
By Kaitlin Throgmorton, Bree Norlander and Dr. Carole Palmer
By Lauren Wittek
By Shawn Sheller
By Greg Bem
By Alex Byrne
By Sheri Boggs
By Brooke Shirts and the Puget Sound Council for Review of Children’s and Young Adult Literature
By Darcy McMurtery