Monday, November 19, 2007

National Endowment for the Arts report "To Read or Not To Read"

The report describes a decline in reading by Americans...
All of the data suggest how powerfully reading transforms the lives of individuals— whatever their social circumstances. Regular reading not only boosts the likelihood of an individual’s academic and economic success—facts that are not especially surprising—but it also seems to awaken a person’s social and civic sense. Reading correlates with almost every measurement of positive personal and social behavior surveyed. It is reassuring, though hardly amazing, that readers attend more concerts and theater than non-readers, but it is surprising that they exercise more and play more sports—no matter what their educational level. se cold statistics confirm something that most readers know but have mostly been reluctant to declare as fact—books change lives for the better.
Amazingly there is no mention of libraries, except to mention they will not be mentioned...
Also absent is a discussion of U.S. public libraries and their part in promoting reading of all kinds. A lack of reliable national data on library circulation rates for reading materials—as separate from CDs and videotapes, for example—has informed this decision.

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