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Local Book Notes: An Inmate Initiative & Mayor 1%

"A few months ago, our Books Department was contacted by the Cook County Sheriff's office," Open Books says in its latest update.

"We were told that as part of their new Literacy and Education Initiative, the Department of Corrections wanted to create libraries throughout the 11 facilities of the county jail system, but they were having trouble acquiring enough books that were content-appropriate and in good condition.

"The largest single site pre-trial detention center in the U.S., the Cook County Department of Corrections houses about 9,000 inmates daily and admits approximately 100,000 people each year.

"The Sheriff's office estimates that 65% of the inmates are functionally illiterate, which means they read at about a 7th-grade level or below.

"Up until now, inmates interested in reading had to rely on gifts of books from employees or families as there was no library within the system, aside from the legally-required law libraries.

"And that lack of access to books contributed to an ongoing problem: penal institution records show that the chance of inmates returning to prison drops to 16% if they receive literacy help, down from 70% if they do not.

"In a very short time, Open Books has provided 6,000 high-quality books to the Department of Corrections."

Click through for the rest, including a report on the inmate program by WGN-TV.

Gerber/Hart Is Back
"The Gerber/Hart Library, which holds the Midwest's largest collection of LGBT literature, will finally reopen . . . after leadership and construction problems delayed its move to a new space for nearly two years, said library president Carrie Barnett," DNAinfo Chicago reports.

"The 32-year-old library was the center of controversy last year after a 'For Rent' sign quietly popped up on the window of its former Granville Avenue location in Edgewater.

"Rumors swirled about possible infighting among board members last year, but now Barnett said it's time to take the library to its next step at the new Rogers Park location.

"The library space occupies a portion of the second floor at 6500 N. Clark St. and is the building's only tenant."

*

"Members of the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives board of directors met with the public Dec. 5 to discuss new directions it intends to take as the library recovers from nearly two years of turmoil," the Windy City Times reports.

"After the meeting, Barnett reiterated the library's renewed commitment to engaging more with the community. 'For the past few years, it has been almost like a black box, and it heightened distrust. People couldn't get answers. We can't, and we won't, go on like that,' she said.

"As part of the new transparency, the public was allowed to tour the archives at the new facility, something that was rarely allowed in the past."

Defending Your Rights In The Digital World
The EFF Reading List of 2013.

Mayor 1%
C-SPAN re-aired this even from November a few days ago - I'm almost finished reading the book at which point I hope to write up a proper post. In the meantime, though:

In Mayor 1%, Kari Lydersen argues that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel represents the wealthy and powerful in the city and has demonstrated an inability to empathize with the working class and poor.

During this event held at Haymarket Brewery in Chicago, Ms. Lydersen discusses the book with Ben Joravsky (Chicago Reader), Amisha Patel (Gressroots Collaborative), and Brandon Johnson (Chicago Teachers Union).

The video isn't embeddable but you can watch it here.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on December 17, 2013


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - An Odd Call From Bermuda.
SPORTS - All Is Not Forgiven, Bears.

BOOKS - Turning Points Of The Civil War.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Baxter's IV Bag Shortages.


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