National Novel Writing Month, or the snappily abbreviated NaNoWriMo, is well under way all over the world. For seventeen years, November’s thirty days have been embraced by budding novelists eager for a challenge: write 50,000 words, or an average of 1,666 words every day of the month. More than 400,000 participants have created free profiles on the official NaNoWriMo website, a hub for literary wisdom and inspiration, networking, and digital badge incentives. Maybe you are already participating, or maybe you’ll mark next year’s calendar, but either way, check out what PPL is doing to encourage and empower independent authors in our community.
SELF-e is a discovery platform designed to expose self-published ebooks to more readers through the public library. Authors submit their ebooks through a simple online form and decide if they’d like their book to go to libraries in their state with books from other local indie authors and/or to Library Journal to be evaluated for possible inclusion in a curated, national product.
PPL hosts a monthly Writers’ Meet-Up on second Thursday evenings. This is an opportunity to get feedback on short excerpts of your work and to be inspired by fellow writers. Or, if you’re feeling a little stuck and have nothing to share just yet, maybe you’d like to join the monthly journaling group at PPL. This is a supportive environment for creative, reflective writing, with the options to follow prompts and to share work.
We’ve added a lot of new materials to our Adult Literacy and English Language Learning shelves. I thought I would regularly highlight some of these new materials and this week we are looking at English for Everyone. This program has multiple components and focuses on the self-learner. The first component is the print material, which includes a course book and a practice book. The course books are designed to facilitate English language learning and understanding. The practice books have additional exercises to reinforce new skills. Each unit is broken down into modules, which should be done in order.
The course is split into four levels aimed at learners at different stages. Level 1 Beginner is aimed at learners with little or no experience of English. Level 2 Beginner is for people who know the basics, but not much more. Level 3 Intermediate is for confident speakers wanting to sound more natural in a wider range of situations. And level 4 Advanced is for learners with strong English skills who want to learn colloquial English. On the back of each book you can find more information about the four levels and how they relate to the CEFR and global exam standards.
To fully take advantage of this program, learners will need to register for an account online. This allows anyone to leave the site and log back in later without losing their progress. We have found this feature really useful to learners using the Mango Language Program.
Most modules in the books have supporting audio recordings of native English speakers to help learners improve speaking and listening skills. Every module in the book is identified with a unique number to easily locate the correct audio component. Each file can be played, paused, and repeated as often as needed. Audio can be accessed online through the website, but also through the free iOS/Android app. This allows users to learn on the go.
Another component is the ability to access exercises online for free (unfortunately there are limits on the number of free exercises available). The online exercises are interactive versions of the English for Everyone practice books.
We hope this highly visual course allows for a deeper understanding of the English language. The extensive supporting audio and exercises, both in print and online, allows for greater access for language learners.
If you have been to the Main Library lately, you may have noticed a few changes in where items are located. One of the bigger changes has been the bringing down of the CD collection to the lower level. Along with moving things around, we have separated out MAINE MUSIC! We are celebrating the talented musicians who live and work in our great state!
Now if you search in our online catalog for “local music,” you will find a listing of our holdings. We are continuing to update our collection with new local artists, so keep checking back for new titles!