The lovely and talented AL Direct tumbled into my mailbox yesterday chock full of fascinating tidbits, but none more fascinating than this. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined the READ poster campaign. That in itself isn't the exciting part. The exciting part is quoted with apparent approval in AL Direct:
"The Celebrity READ poster campaign is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to get a good education, improve their reading skills, and to read for sheer enjoyment."
Wow! Who knew that these silly posters have such a powerful effect on people. At first, I assumed such a statement was obviously a complete lie concocted by some shameless PR person at ALA. PR people have an arm's length relationship with the truth, so we can expect little from them. But then again, this is the ALA talking here, so we have to take it seriously. Since it's the ALA, and they never lie, I assume a statement as bold as this is backed up by some statistically sound evidence, but nevertheless I wanted to test it for myself.
I ventured from my lair in search of people. Since I work at a university, I figured I could find some students and ask them about it. I cornered three or four of them before they could get away from me, and I asked them why they were here at this university trying to get a good education. They all said the same thing--the celebrity READ poster campaign! They were very enthusiastic. They also volunteered that the poster campaign motivated them to improve their reading skills and read for sheer enjoyment. It was a little spooky the way they all used the same words and stared slack-jawed into space.
At least now we know how to get more people interested in reading and education. We just need to put these posters into every classroom in America, perhaps into every home as well. Then all our problems would be solved.
Thank you, ALA, for being so clever and solving all of our educational problems. Some people talk about class sizes or teacher pay or standardized testing. All we really needed were celebrity READ posters. It makes me feel all warm inside knowing my ALA dues have contributed to so much educational goodness in the world.