The folks at the Prison Book Program (in Quincy, MA) are doing a virtual drive to raise funds to buy dictionaries for prisoners. From their site:
Help us raise $2740 to buy 1000 college-level dictionaries! For the vast majority of people in prison with sub-standard reading skills, a dictionary is the key to understanding the books we send them. One prisoner wrote:
“I have only been reading now for about 21 months. I am 46 years old and when I get out of prison, my son will be 11 years old. And I would love to be able to read and write to my son. So please if you all could see to help me I will be able to help my son when I get home.”
We are planning to buy the dictionaries at the wholesale cost of $2.74 which is over 40% off retail.
Donate 1 or donate 100. All help is greatly appreciated.
I just wanted to mention this here in case anyone wanted to help out! I think a virtual drive is a great idea because it makes donating really easy and simple. Also: you can find out if there’s a books-to-prisoners program in your area by consulting this map (thanks, Books through Bars!)
I finally uploaded the annotated bibliography I wrote for one of my classes. It’s on ancient (mostly archaic and classical) Greek art & archaeology. The assignment required us to find a certain number of resources in specific formats, so there’s a lot fewer web resources than I would include in a bibliography I was doing on my own. In fact, I’ve been thinking it would be fun to do a webliography of all the fun and creative online projects I’ve come across in this field. There’s the vast world of 3-D archaeological site modeling, and then there’s all sorts of online exhibitions, image collections, and digital libraries. I have many such sites bookmarked, but I’m sure they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Before I do this I’ll have to see if someone else has already done it.
I’m also working on posts about personal finance resources and an epic overview of my favorite sci-fi books from the past 10 years. (meaning ones I’ve read since 2000, not ones that have been published since then). I’m taking an online workshop on taxonomies and controlled vocabularies through Simmons College, so things might be dull around here until that’s over. I do plan to keep doing the visual LCSH roundup, though, because it’s entertaining.
I’m also ruminating on how to possibly create some simple yet helpful document on entrepreneurship that could be mailed to prisoners requesting information on the topic. A zine would be great, but the postage might overwhelm. It seems there is definitely a need for some easily distributable resource on this topic, at least in Pennsylvania.