Serious And Funny Construction Definitions Contractors Enjoy Reading

Over The Past 30+ Years -I have accumulated a variety of terms to describe the construction industry. Some of them are intended to be funny, some are serious and the rest are entertaining. Please feel free to share them with your friends, relatives and most importantly contractors as they will appreciate the humor and perhaps find value in the words of wisdom we are sharing.

If You Have Any Others You Would Like To Be Added Please Leave A Comment On The Right

80/20 Rule – of a contractor’s wealth and wellbeing comes from 20% of their activities

24 Hour Bookkeeper – Bookkeeper that sits in your office quietly, no watering, no feeding, available to work around the clock, never wastes company time surfing the web or chatting on cell phone

Aggravation Box – Computer with construction accounting software operated by a trainee

Auction – End result of working in the business, focusing on the wrong stuff and bad financial reports

Auditor – Person who goes in after the war is lost and bayonets the wounded

Assets of Company – Cash / Receivables – Payables / Trucks / Tools / Equipment / Material

Assets of Firm – Cash / Business Process / Sales Process / Client List / Predictable Cash Flow

Bad Bookkeeper – Wealth prevention tool keeping contractors from earning more than bookkeepers

Bad Bookkeeper Thinking Patterns – Some of the reasons they do what they do to drive contractors crazy

Bad Bookkeeping – Saving money in the wrong place and making decisions on garbage reports

Bad Numbers – Lead to bad decisions / cash shrinks / business unstable / bankruptcy or failure

Bankruptcy – Result of saving money on bookkeeping and making decisions on garbage reports

BCA Business Coach – Someone who helps you raise your level of thinking and income

BCA Staff Member – Cheerful, well paid, thinking, responsible adult, Mastermind Team member

BCG Matrix – Graphical representation of Cash Cows / Rising Stars / Question Marks / Dogs

Belly Button Accountability – The one person who is responsible for a deliverable on a construction project

Bid – A wild guess carried out to two decimal places

Bid Collector – Customer looking for cheap contractor

Bid Opening – A poker game in which the losing hand wins

Black Box – Computer with construction accounting software operated by a trainee

Bookkeeper Training Contractor – Bookkeepers, who train the boss to let them come in late, leave early, call friends and relatives, take long breaks, get paid more and do less and less.

BPM – Business Process Management for construction company owners to grow passive income streams

Budget Bookkeeping – Listing all deposits from the bank statement as sales income and leads to contractor paying too much in taxes.

Business Failure – No meaningful financial and project management records in the calendar quarter preceding the failure

Business Life Cycle – Start small / grow big / lose shirt / shrink back to small business

Business Plan – A plan to have accurate financial reports to base long and short term decisions on

Business Process Management – Develop a construction business that generates passive income

Business Roundtable – Little round table in tavern with pitcher of beer and four contractors strategizing

C.P.A. – Someone who is qualified to do tax returns and we refer a lot of business to the ones that only do tax returns.

C.P.A. Construction Consultant – Someone who has seen a bunch of tax returns and thinks they know how to run a construction business. They are generally more dangerous to the contractor’s financial health than a drunken car salesman on a backhoe at a gas station, in the dark, digging up live fuel lines.

C.P.A. Involved In Construction Bookkeeping – QuickBooks setup to make doing tax returns easy while greasing the rails for the contractor to go down the tube and go broke by focusing only on making the C.P.A’s job easier and not on increasing cash flow and profitable jobs.

Change – The only people who want change are wet babies! Everyone else hates change!

Cheap – Not enough time or money to do it right first time; but plenty of time and money to do it over

Chaos – Always on the dollars coming in; never on the money going out

Client – Someone who buys construction services and is more concerned about quality than price

Comfort Zone – Success you have now since that is what you feel you deserve no more / no less

Company Bookkeeper – Expensive luxury for construction companies that do not know about outsourced contractor bookkeeping

Completion Date – The point at which liquidated damages begin

Contractor Not A Banker – Student of Business Consulting And Accounting who has mastered the art of managing cash flow properly

Contractors – The people who makes civilization possible by building and maintaining structures

Contractor Gambling – One project away from making it big or going broke

Contractor Chaos – Contractor netting <$100K doing everything his way; especially the bookkeeping

Contractor Cheap – Amateur with customers from Hell and host of the game show “Low Price Leader”

Contractor Income – The average income of the six people they spend the most time with

Contractor Rich – BCA client earning $100K-$200K by building a client base to sell and service

Contractor Student – BCA client net <$100K learning how to get Rich then Wealthy

Contractor Successful – Contractor using timely accurate financial reports to base their decisions upon

Contractor Volume – Loses money on every sale and tries to make it up with a volume of new work

Contractor Wealthy – BCA Client earning $200K + Investing 50K with 100 clients to service

Construction Accountant – Someone who turns piles of numbers into meaningful trends

Construction Accounting – System that combines construction bookkeeping with Quarterly Tax preparation and payroll processing and presents the annual tax preparer with the information for them to prepare the annual income tax return. Construction accounting does not prepare annual tax returns as that is a profession and specialty of its own

Construction Bookkeeping – System for setup and maintaining construction bookkeeping

Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting – System for setup and maintaining construction bookkeeping and accounting together in order to develop and maintain the Key Performance Indicators that when viewed daily and understood leads contractors to accumulate wealth

Construction Worker Thinking Patterns – Insights into the mind of a typical construction worker

Construction Worker Fully Burdened Labor Cost – Cost of having construction workers on your payroll

Critical Path Method – A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control

Customer – Someone who buys construction services and is more concerned about price than quality

Delayed Payment – A tourniquet applied at the bank balance of any contractor who will allow it

Delusional – Contractor going to learn to use QuickBooks effectively in a few months

Developer – Company looking for a few, good, low priced, high volume contractors they can school

Displaced Aggression – Being angry at someone because of past events or circumstances which are resulting in ongoing issues. In some cases contractors have hired cheap or bad bookkeepers without realizing the consequences of not having useful financial and job cost reports

Dog And Pickup Truck – Contractor with a dog and a pickup truck one of the four types of contractors

Emergency Accounting – When taxes, payroll or paperwork piling up causes contractor to seek help from someone to get the “books” caught up, tax reports prepared, payroll processed or other issues

Emergency Bookkeeping – When taxes, payroll or paperwork piling up causes contractor to seek help from someone to get the “books” caught up, tax reports prepared, payroll processed or other issues

Emerging Contractor – Someone who is moving to a little less hands-on role in their contracting company you could be an Emerging Contractor.

Engineer’s Estimate – The cost of construction in heaven

Expensive – Goods or services that no matter how cheap they are; do not work

Experience – What you get, when you get, what you don’t want

Failure – A few errors in judgment repeated everyday

Fear – What initiates change or stops progress

Five For Five At Five – The five reports at five o’clock for five minutes that tells you how your business is doing

Fifteen Minutes Too Late – If you think you should fire somebody, you’re already 15 minutes too late

Fully Burdened Rate -Includes all the costs of keeping an employee on the payroll, not just wages

Hard Work – Expressway to Retired

Hustle – The expectation of getting 40 hour of work done in 20 hours

Income – Working for daily money

Insanity – Hiring and firing cheap in-house bookkeepers over and over and over expecting useful reports

Inexpensive – Goods or services that do work beyond the warranty period

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) – Reports if viewed daily and understood leads to wealth

Lawyer – Person who goes in after the auditors to strip the bodies

Leveling – When two or more people spend time together the group will level to the strongest personality

Listening – Contractor who asks their client what materials and results they want and give it to them

Little Leaks – Sink the construction business because they are easy to ignore

Liquidated Damages – A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible

Low Bidder – A contractor who is wondering what he left out

Mastermind Team – BCA Staff and Clients who mentor BCA contractor clients

MAP – Marketing / Accounting / Production / formula for success

Maximize – The process of building and running your construction business to generate highest possible profits for short run so you can spend it all quickly and go broke. Similar to running your pickup truck on the race track as fast as it will go without proper maintenance so it lasts for about ten hours and 1,000 miles before it is destroyed

MR>MC – Wherever marginal revenue exceeds marginal cost do the job

No Financial Reports – Driving on the highway, at night, windows blacked out and being surprised by the crash

Non-Construction Accountant – Dim-bulb want-to-be bookkeeper without any construction bookkeeping skills trying to jam retail accounting methods into construction accounting

Not Listening – Contractor who gives their clients what the contractor likes not what the client wants

Optimize – The process of building and running your construction business to generate normal and economic profits for the long haul and provide you with a substantial income for current living expenses and a comfortable retirement. Similar to running your pickup truck on the roads and highways at normal safe speeds with proper maintenance so it lasts for ten years and 200,000 miles or more

OSHA – A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine print, red tape, split hairs and baloney

PAM – Production / Accounting after checks bounce and letters for back taxes / Marketing word of mouth

Personal Assistant – Someone who works part time with big red “S” on back of their cape (Superman / Superwoman) able to run personal and business errands, answer phones, make deliveries, clean restrooms, take messages, memorize a verbal list of to-do items from contractor without writing any of them down, schedule jobs, listen to customer and staff complaints, babysit children and pets, wipe runny noses, clean up spills, make and serve coffee, pay bills, open the mail, go make bank deposits, work on tiny desk, no air conditioning in summer, limited heat in winter, bad lighting, fix broken computers and printers and do the bookkeeping for multiple companies

Pioneer – Contractor with flaming arrows in the back from asking the construction bookkeeper for accurate reports

Poor Contractors – Have hundred dollar conversations with their mentors and attend the business round table

Process – Part of a system to produce predicable quality results and reap dividends for the owners

Process Development – Do it, Document it, and Delegate it

Professional Contractor – Serious construction business owner with construction strategy and definitely in construction business to earn a worthwhile profit. One of the Four Types of Contractors

Purpose Of Your Construction Company – Acquire clients, satisfy their needs and repeat as often as possible to increase cash flow and profits.

Project Manager – The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union

Project Management – Combination of skills and construction project software

QuickBooks For Contractors – Accounting software for construction companies

Rain Maker – The person in the contractors firm that acquires new clients

Remodel House Process – Forming (Honeymoon), Storming (demolition), Norming (Rough-In), Performing (Paint)

Retail Bookkeeper – Worked at store somewhere, thinks all accounting is the same, expensive lesson for contractors

Retired – Means you got tired of them, or they got tired of you

Rich – Income exceeds outgo

ROI – Risk of Incarceration; in most cases the business owner is responsible for unfiled taxes and missed payments, not the bad bookkeeper

Salt Of The Earth Contractor – Has up to three employees and is one of the Four Types of Contractors

Salesperson – Amateur sorter

Sales Process – Documented system for acquiring new clients for the Firm

Solution – Properly setup and maintained QuickBooks For Contractors file

Sorter – Professional Rain Maker

Strategic Bookkeeping Services – Bookkeeping services for construction that understands and applies principles of profit and growth strategies

Strike – An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken

Success – A few simple disciplines practiced everyday

SWOT – Knowing the company’s Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats and what to do about it

Tax Preparer Doing Construction Bookkeeping – QuickBooks setup to make doing tax returns easy while greasing the rails for the contractor to go broke focusing only on reducing taxes not cash flow and profitable jobs.

Tenant Improvement – Bid, award contract, work day and night, pressure, pressure, pressure, done

The Contractors Cash Management Mentor – Shares keys to peace of mind by showing you how to optimize your cash flow by properly managing receivables, payables, payroll, payroll tax reports, 941 quarterly returns, 940 annual returns, W-2 and W-3 returns in your construction business regardless of the economy, Sharie DeHart

The Contractors Profit And Growth Accountant – Shares the keys peace of mind by showing you how to optimize your bottom line profits by spending five minutes a day reviewing the Five Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of your construction business performance. And by regular phone and/or in person strategic consulting sessions where we focus on what your company needs to do to help you achieve your definition of success, Randal DeHart

Unlicensed Contractor – Someone who thinks they can save their customer money by scamming the system with supposedly lower overhead than likened contractors. All too often they provide FREE labor and material because they cannot sue customers for payment.

Warranty Work – The project that never ends

Wealthy Contractors – Work on building relationships and innovating (faster/better/cheaper)

Wealthy Contractors – Have million dollar conversations with their mentors

Wealth – Not working because you have enough cash to live the rest of your life

Working On Wrong Stuff – You can’t get rich with your head in the ditch

Promoting Reading In Schools In Sierra Leone


Helping children and adults to develop skills they need to fully participate in an information society is central in a librarian’s mission of providing the highest quality library and information service in society. Books help children read. They are more helpful than reading schemes because they promise and provide pleasure in reading. Both teachers and school librarians should be influential in the child’s reading process but they need good knowledge of children’s literature so that they can choose and help these young readers at all levels (Samara, 2002). The Library Association (1991) singled out four areas as being enhanced by reading and use of a variety of sources of information namely: intellectual and emotional development; language development; social development; and educational development. In view of this there is every reason for teachers and librarians to promote reading in school. What then is reading?


Current attempts to define reading tend to regard it as a thinking process with attention focused on comprehension. That is to say reading is a mechanical and thoughtful process requiring the reader to understand what the author is endeavoring to communicate and to contribute his own experience and thoughts to the problem of understanding. As far back as 1913 Huey began formulating such ideas as can be noted from his frequently quoted words:

until the insidious thought of reading as word pronouncing

is well worked out of our heads, it is well to place the emphasis

strongly where it really belongs, on reading as thought-

getting independently of expression.

In 1937 Gray posited that

…the reader not only recognizes the essential facts or ideas

presented, but also reflects on their significance, evaluates them critically, discovers relationships between them, and classifies his understanding of the ideas apprehended.

Such ideas about the nature of reading continued to expand so that in 1949 Gray wrote that the reader

…does more than understand and contemplate; his emotions

are stirred; his attitudes and purposes are modified; indeed his innermost being involved.

Reading is perceived as a progressive social phenomenon in that it is a means of forming people’s social consciousness; it is used as an instrument in implementing the task of continuing education and raising pupils cultural standards. In brief it is a means of increasing professional knowledge and skills and drawing people into a more creative life. In Sierra Leone, however, the task of ensuring that children learn to read, and of finding ways of helping them to do so is one of general concern to all teachers in both primary and secondary schools. One of the reasons why teachers are eager to help pupils to learn to read is that in modern society literacy is essential. In helping children to read they will not only be able to read but that their reading will develop into life-long habit. Thus a great deal of attention in schools is paid to:

– the promotion of children’s interest in books

– the supply, deployment and classification of books

– guidance in selection of appropriate books

– training in study skills and provision of time in which to read.


Reading in schools in Sierra Leone is embedded in the curriculum and is a continuum starting from pre-primary through primary to secondary schools, as an important studying skill. At both the pre-primary and primary school levels specific reading periods are slotted on the timetable ranging from fifteen to thirty minutes. Reading and Comprehension is a stand alone subject and children are taught not only to learn to read but also to read to learn for self-enhancement, experience sharing and recreation. Thus varied forms of literature are used notably poetry, fiction, drama magazines, newsletters and newspapers as well as non fiction, with the latter cutting across the subjects taught in school.

At pre-primary level teachers help pupils read by giving each pupil a copy of primer readers and encourage them to glance through pictures and ask questions about them as a way of stimulating their curiosity. Slips of papers bearing each pupil’s name are clipped to the primer for them to assume responsibility for keeping them clean. The teacher also demonstrates to pupils how to open these books carefully and flipping pages from front to back at a time to avoid damage. A few short sentences consisting of three to four letter words are read with pupils following in their books. After a while pupils are called upon to re-read each sentence orally. The main purpose of such a lesson is to introduce pupils to books and to teach them something useful regarding their care. Each lesson is different in design from all subsequent ones in order for the reading lesson to be of value to pupils. Typical lesson plans for teaching reading in schools include the following:

– Preparation for reading i.e. teacher shows pictures and stimulates pupils to tell related experiences, play games and tell stories;

– Guiding reading from the reader; and

– Skills-building procedures.

At the primary school level pupils read for a much longer time entire passages and if possible a whole story. They are also taught either to read as a class or divided into groups, and this exercise could be teacher-guided silent or oral reading; silent study with workbooks; dictionary or practice reader, or dramatization and choral reading exercises. Chief exercises of oral reading include reading aloud from books especially readers, notices, stories, poems and adverts. The value of oral reading exercise in school include:

1. It gives practice in using current grammatical expressions.

2. It helps to overcome speech and aid literary appreciation.

3. It makes pupils more conscious of the need for current pronunciation in speech, and to contribute to the fundamentals of reading.

4. It helps to serve as an index of pupils eye movement.

At secondary school level no special period for the art is slotted on the timetable but reading is one of the main thrusts of English Language and Literature-in-English classes. At this level pupils are expected to read in relation to their problems and are taught to master information and improve their oral skills; they are also assisted in their critical thinking, search for information and or to answer specific questions, proof-read and get a general view of a book. Such exercises are a build up from those taught in the primary school. Thus pupils are encouraged to read not only prescribed texts for both English Language and Literature-in-English subjects but also those prescribed in the subjects offered in school. In all these activities the school library is expected to play a reading role by offering a full complement of programs to include pre-school hours, clubs, homework help and Internet to assist in developing reading and information skills. It should also promote the habit of reading for pleasure and provide a systematic training in the care and use of books (Barbara, 1994). The library should also be able to stimulate reading with the provision of relevant reading materials (Hannesdottir, 2000) and provide working area for pupils to complete their assignments according to their own ability rate. Teachers alike use the library to enhance their teaching performance and to carry out research (Connor, 1990)


Sierra Leone has a 6-3-3-4 system of education with six years of primary, three years of junior secondary school, three years senior school and four years tertiary education. The system emphasizes basic and non-formal education with the education of the girl-child as one of the key elements. The over-riding objective of this system is to raise standards at all levels of ability; make higher education widely accessible and more respectable to the needs of the country’s economy; and achieve the best possible returns from the resources invested in the education system. To attain this objective there is a need for the establishment of libraries in schools to support the formal teaching/learning programs with a rich collection of book and non-book materials.

Not withstanding school libraries in Sierra Leone are not given much recognition as the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST)has no clear-cut policies on these institutions. Their development depends on the enthusiasm of head teachers and the quality of service rendered by the few existing school libraries depends on the type of school the library is serving. In primary schools the provisions of libraries are inadequate as compared to those in secondary schools where the level of organization is dependent on who is sponsoring the school. For example old well established mission schools like the Sierra Leone Grammar School, the Anne Walsh Memorial Secondary School for Girls and Saint Edwards Secondary School in Freetown, and a few government maintained schools like the Government Secondary School in Bo, have better collections than the majority of schools in the country, especially those that started as self-help schools. These schools have poor library collections because of the uncertainty of funding. Old Students Associations fund some schools and in turn have good collections. A few private schools, especially those run by internationals such as Lebanese International School has good collections. The majority of government supported schools offer the poorest quality of education especially those run on commercial enterprises. These hardly have libraries and pupils of these schools have to rely on the services of the Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) and other libraries like the British Council and the United States Information Services (USIS),where available. Some of the few existing school libraries are fast disappearing making way for classrooms because of increased intake.

Most schools lack qualified staff to run their libraries because of the non-availability of funds to pay professional librarians. The trend has been to employ library assistants who in most cases are school leavers with or without West African Secondary School Certificate of Education (WASSCE). Some schools put the library under the charge of a teacher.


To start with research is indispensable in improving the current reading situation in schools. Reading has not been researched on for long in the country. It is therefore difficult to ascertain the practical problems associated with the teaching of reading, which reading tests should be implemented in schools, and what role the school librarian should play. Only through research can teachers identify the reading needs of pupils and which methods are suitable enough to be implemented in the teaching of reading in schools and the subsequent provision of suitable materials in the school library.

Libraries should be established in schools with the aim of providing suitable and relevant reading materials for their respective institutions nation-wide. Trained and qualified librarians should be recruited to man these institutions and paid salaries commensurate with their status to avert staff turnover. Provision should also be made for their continuing education through attendance of seminars, workshops, conferences and formal courses in the field and related disciplines such as Information Technology. In this vein the schools need the support of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), Community Teachers Associations (CTAs), and donor agencies by providing grants for the acquisition of such reading materials as readers, textbooks, teaching manuals and supporting library resources.

There should be scope for the production of reading materials locally to be used in schools. For far too long there has been a dearth of local publications in reading used in schools. The vast majority of reading materials in the school library is foreign and is sometimes not suitable to the needs of society. Government and the public/national library, Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB), should address this situation by encouraging local writers to publish a developmental range of reading materials aimed at the specific sub-skills of critical reading and to provide practice materials in which these sub-skills could be integrated and consolidated. Equally so the SLLB should re-visit its role to schools. Since it has a Children’s Department and sometimes gives assistance to a few schools, more appealing reading materials geared towards meeting the needs of pupils should be provided. There should be regular book fairs, exhibitions and displays to inform schools and the public in general about what is on offer in the library.

In parallel Teacher Training Institutions should give greater priority to the teaching of reading in initial professional courses. These institutions are still concerned with beginning reading; they should go beyond this point especially for the elementary and junior secondary school levels. They should train reading specialists that would be closely working with school librarians to promote reading in school.

Teacher training is judged by the success with which it satisfies the demands of the school for better professional training and also by the degree to which it satisfies students that the courses are relevant. With increasing sensitivity of the needs of schools, all Teacher Training Institutions should include the teaching of reading as a compulsory element in the training of teachers. Similarly in all secondary schools time for reading should be provided on the timetable. Pupils need time to learn; in order to guarantee that important things are taught and learnt well, time has to be allocated in proportion to the relative importance of subjects. For a country with less than 40% literacy society expects that children become literate and numerate in whatever they are engaged. As literacy is basic to the learning of almost every subject in school, reading should have priority over all subjects.

A dynamic teaching approach is necessary. Teachers should have confidence in the teaching methods used to develop children’s reading ability. They should show that they mean business and that they can deliver the goods. Children who have failed many times are hesitant at each new beginning and suspicious of, and uncooperative towards, those who teach half-heartedly. Teaching must be individualized as rarely will a child’s reading needs and problems at any one time are precisely the same as those of another. Therefore, teaching poor or non-readers in groups will seldom be effective. For efficiency of purpose reading should start with the child’s own language more so when the teaching of local languages is now introduced in schools. Children, especially beginning readers, will have confidence in books containing the printed speech and ideas in their local languages. In this light what then should be the role of the librarian in promoting reading in school?


The education of the child is vital for the existence of society as it is the child that would grow into adulthood for society’s very survival and continuity. Thus it should be the concern of everybody to contribute immensely to the development of the child. In Sierra Leone however, many children grow in homes with little or no experience in reading because of widespread illiteracy, poverty and the unwillingness of some parents to acquire reading materials for their children. Public library services all over the country are poorly stocked with children’s reading materials. Invariably the problem is left with the school teachers and librarians to play a major role in developing the reading ability of children. As Hannesdottir (2000) opined ‘school librarians can be a major factor in promoting the use of the library and its many purposes is not only related to the academic aspects of studies but also for experience for skills development and for enjoyment’ (p.10). As information professionals librarians have the opportunity and responsibility to educate teachers, school authorities and the public about the essence of reading in school and the need to expand the role of the library. Since information literacy is the key to life-long learning, creating a foundation should be at the heart of the school librarian.

One of the key components for a good reading program is the library collection itself. The school librarian intending to promote reading should keep up with the literature and know what is on offer and what type of reading materials that pupils need (Samara, 2002). Efforts should be made to analyze the collection when processed so that pupils can have access to it by either theme or subject. In addition to books, the balanced collection provided should include recordings, tapes and slides to reinforce the reading program as well as pictorial encyclopedias and atlases. There should also be a sound establishment and maintenance of folktales, storybooks, newspapers, science and historical fiction to create a natural appeal to children (Lewis, 2000). These will help keep children’s imagination alive as the reading development of the child is not only for enjoyment but also for knowledge and information.

In the light of the afore-mentioned provisions the school librarian should keep abreast with the library and know what is available and what kinds of books that can fulfill particular pupils’ needs. He should be able to properly arrange his catalogue so that pupils can access the collection with ease (Barbara, 1994). He should keep in touch with the pupils to know what they are interested to read. The school librarian should find out from teachers the reading syllabus, and from both teachers and parents about the most popular materials on the market and then acquire them with specific references based on local circumstances. He should also get in touch with public library services in his vicinity to know what they can offer to promote the reading ability of children in school and see how best this could be availed. Once availed the school librarian should be involved in publicity activities such as displays and preparation of brochures, newsletters, booklists and if possible, offer seminars and book talks to children. In this regard he should work closely with teachers especially those that teach national languages such as Mende, Temne, Limba and Krio and those that teach international languages like English and French. Even senior pupils could be involved in the exercise. These programs should be creative and well planned and directed to a class, individual groups and individual pupils on a special basis. As Gayner (1997) asserted, in all these moves the school librarian should love children and enjoy their company to show a desire in satisfying pupil’s reading needs.

Equally so the school librarian should organize special and regular reading programs in the school community such as Book Weeks and Library Days and promote Book Clubs. He should give book talks at school Literary and Debating Society(L & D S) meetings and provide reading awards as a way of encouraging pupils to love and read books. Pupils should be encouraged to write book reviews as a way of expressing their personal opinion and develop critical thinking. This endeavor should be creative and well organized. To gain the support of teachers, school authorities and the community, the school librarian should be a good leader actively involved in school and community affairs and constantly advocating support for the library’s role in school, School Management Committees and decision makers at all levels of government. He should make reading central in all forms of his library’s mission, educate pupils, teachers school authorities and parents about the changing information environment and its impact on the school campus and community at large (Connor, 1990). In order to sustain this program in school the librarian should solicit funds from donor agencies like DFID, USAID, UNICEF and UNESCO and should be involved in collaborative effort with local literacy providers and supporters in their respective communities in order to translate their support for the library.

Now that there is gradual improvement in the national power supply grid as well as hopes that come 2008 the country’s Bumbuna Hydro Electric Project would come into fruition attempts should be made by the school librarian to bring on board the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in promoting reading in school. The school librarian should take leadership role in utilizing these technologies and creating and identifying quality web sites in much the same way he organizes and recommends print materials. He should be able to teach pupils and teachers alike how to find the best sources of information using print and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Such moves will help improve their reading skills and raise pupils’ standard as readers and life-long learners (Hannesdottir, 2000). In all these ventures there should be cooperation among stakeholders if reading is to be promoted in school. Teachers, parents, booksellers, reader advisors and pupils should be involved in the planning and implementation of reading programs aided by specialist expertise like psychologists and children librarians.


Indeed the school librarian should acknowledge the part he plays in promoting reading in school and in molding the child’s ability for life-long learning. In this regard he should be an enthusiastic and skillful reader himself. He should have an enthusiasm and a knowledge to work and share ideas with teachers, school authorities, parents and interested members in the community in promoting reading in school so as to put the right reading material into the right hands and at the right time. Keeping in touch with the afore-mentioned will help him relate the problems of the school library in the local community and how best he could approach the problem of promoting reading in school. This, in effect, will provide an opportunity for the development of the child.


Barbara, Jinks (1994).”The stars come out for reading’, School library journal, 45(3), 162-170.

Connor, Jane Gardner (1990). Children’s library services handbook. New York: Oryx Press.

Gayner, Eyre (1997).”Promoting libraries and literature to young people”, In Elkin, J. and Lonsdale, Ray, Eds. Focus on the child, libraries, literacy and learning. London: Library Association Publishing; 174-193.

Gray, W.S.(1937).”The nature and types of reading”, Quoted in Southgate, Vera, Arnold, Helen and Johnson, Sandra (1983). Extending beginning reading. London: Heinemann Educational Books; p.23.

Hannesdottir, Sigrum K (2000).”Ten effective ideas to promote reading in primary schools” , The school librarian, 48(1), 10-14.

Huey, E.B.(1913) “The psychology and pedagogy of reading”, Quoted in Southgate, Vera, Arnold, Helen and Johnson, Sandra (1983). Extending reading .London : Heinemann Educational Books;p.23

The Library Association (1991). Children and young pupil: LA guidelines for public library services. London: LA Publishing.

Lewis, C. (2000). “Limits of identification: the personal, pleasurable and critical in reading response”, Journal of library research, 23,253-266.

Samara, Dennis J. (2002). Why reading literature in school still matters: imagination, interpretation, and insight. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Association.

Reading Older Books Often Reveals the Basics That are Often Covered in Present Day Buzzwords

For those who really want to know their industry and really want to understand the basic fundamentals and underlining philosophy of such – it is recommended to have not only the newest and latest books on the subject, but also the books of days gone by.

Why you ask? Well, often new books are riddled with buzz-words and new hooks to help them sell, yet fail to address the reality behind it all. This is why our online think tank often reads older books and discusses them and then considers the implications of the changes and what those books were saying at the time. Great understanding can come from this sort of reading and deep digging for reality sake. Below are listed many books, with a short commentary as to why this information deserves further consideration.

“Feel the Fear And Do it Anyway – Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision, and Anger into Power, Action and Love” by Susan Jeffers, PhD. 1987. This work is very complete and it starts out by defining what fear is and how to figure out what you are afraid of and why.

Next it explains how to make it go away, to conquer your fears and use your new found knowledge to increase your personal power. Going for complainer to achiever and how to spot someone else who is limiting themselves by fear – she takes the book from the action phase to the life balance phase and turning your life into a wonderful experience full of success, enjoyment, fulfillment and love.

With fear tactics being used for political reasons and social control or even to increase media outlet loyalty – one needs to understand fear, its psychological buttons and how to overcome it all, if they are to survive and capitalize on the chaos created by others and accepted by the masses. We know that fear depletes vitamins in the body and causes stress, this also affects the bio-systems ability to operate efficiently and allow the brain the nutrients necessary for higher levels of reasoning and thought.

“The Technique of Handling People – Eleven Helps for your Human Relations” – by Donald A. Laird & Eleanor C. Laird 1954. This book is great to help people get along with others and is similar to “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in many regards. It starts by giving the reader tips in human relations, winning cooperation, clearing up troubles, becoming a confidant, arousing enthusiasm. There are chapters on harnessing criticism and turning it around, boosting loyalty, securing best efforts through praise and generating harmony in groups or personal relationships when it really counts. Finally, it explains the difference between leading and driving an organization or group.

Should we be appeasing hard to deal with people or rather get them to change on their own free will, allowing them to realize that if they will modify their behavior in the working environment everyone, including them will win – fellow employees, customers, themselves and the company. Why should all of us dealing with hard to deal with people develop psychological skills to counteract these problems?

“Help Yourself – A Guide to Self-Change” by Jerry A. Schmidt 1976. This short book is broken into parts, and the first part explains the need to be motivated to make a change, as you cannot help anyone against their will, including or especially yourself. It is necessary to set goals, be motivated to attain these goals and admit that you need a change. In part II, it explains more of the philosophy, methodology, techniques, tactics and strategies to complete the process to a new you.

So many people who are unhappy constantly blame others for their conditions, and refuse to look in their own mirrors. It is hard to evoke a positive change in others without them buying into a plan to change them selves. There are numerous self-help books out there, but no one is going to change until they decide they are ready. Once they do such self-help books are relevant, choosing the best one for the situation is too.

“Peak Performers – The New Heroes of American Business” by Charles Garfield 1986. This book starts out with the search for peak performance and expectation driven results, as it gives tips of where to find peak performers in large organizations. How to collect evidence, do research and profile those who are walking their talk. How to find those who love what they do and do it well. Next the book explains how to accelerate the organizations achievement and understand the growth curve, where to invest in human resources and use this inherent talent.

The book explains how to master your own skills, hone in on your talents and self manage your own peak performance. Next the book discusses how to leverage your own strengths within a team and lead the entire team to achieve more, by leading by example. How to handle change management and maintain peak performance while setting up the perfect team. The book is not only about peak performance of you and your team, it is much about winning, going all the way.

There is a lot of talk about the poor work ethic in today’s workforce. Many say that we need to give accolades, kudos and praise to produce performance, but us in the old school find it hard to praise those who are not giving their best efforts and insist that they are doing as much as should be expected. Giving the minimum never produced superior results for any organization, so this book peak performers is relevant and a must read for those who wish to win.

“Writing Business Letters and Memos – Getting your message across, Write with authority, Keep a reliable paper trail, Reply to co-workers and the boss with Confidence” by Havis Dawson 1993. The book is short, but filled with great information, explaining right off the bat what is wrong with most business letters and why they fail to communicate properly and how you can change that and not make the same mistakes. The book offers tips of layout, format, grammar and hooking the reader’s interest. Next it discusses the many types of letters like sales letters, complaint letters, collection letters, requests for information, business memos, faxes and how to do a proper email.

“Better Letters – A Handbook of Business and Personal Correspondence” by Jan Venolia 1982. If you recognize the name, she is the same author of Write Right, which has become a classic amongst authors and writers. She starts by discussing letter writing style, organizing your thoughts and composing them into perfection. Listed are all sorts of Business Letter type formats and the next chapter discusses personal type letters and the vast differences. The book even has a chapter of how to be the benevolent dictator, promoting an agenda in harmony and getting results.

The art of business letter writing seems to be lost these days, as you read your email correspondence, you should consider how things have changed. Often we see abbreviated words used by text-message’rs and wonder what on Earth is this person thinking sending this in an email? Other times we read very professional emails, which say nothing at all and are laden with buzz words, how can we take any of this seriously?

“The IBM Way – Insight into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organization” by Buck Rodgers with Robert Shook – and foreword by Tom J. Peters. 1986. The book dives right into the implications of a business and its beliefs and how leadership guides or detracts from its mission. How IBM built a sales and marketing strategy that dominated the high-tech world by focusing on the customer and the future – then monitored the success, paid more than fairly and maintained an entrepreneurial spirit in the process.

In hindsight, one has to ask if the ideas in this book are reality based, they seem to be, but then again IBM is not nearly the company it once was. Is it because they lost their way from these policies and strategies or because of them? Things have sure changed, did IBM walk the talk or is this just another book hyping an unattainable utopian business climate that never really fully existed?

“Guerilla Marketing with Technology – Unleashing the full potential of your small business” by Jay Conrad Levinson – 1997. This book is the same as Guerilla Marketing, but with a technology based focus when marketing. It goes into real world scenarios with real small business owners asking questions and getting world-class advice from Jay Levinson.

It is ten years later and the world has really grown up now with social networking websites, AdSense ads on all the websites, so many variations of marketing strategies on the Internet, perhaps it is time for another book to help folks enjoy guerrilla marketing with the latest new tools, mobile marketing and innovative technologies?

“Future Scope – Success Strategies for the 1990s & Beyond” by Joe Cappo – 1990. The book discusses the challenge in predicting the future and the fine art of forecasting. Then it explains the issues with the population demographic shifts, immigrant labor and planning for the retirement of the baby boomers. Indeed, everything we are seeing now.

He discusses the middle class issues, many of which he got incorrect. He admits in advance that things can change along with consumer buying behavior and predicting people’s future tastes. He talks about the fitness craze as well. Attitude towards work, play, convenience and the FutureScope.

“Five Great Rules of Selling” by Persy H. Whiting – 1957. This is another one of those old classics on selling, and the advice is good and relevant, and mostly timeless. It is a good book to read to understand the foundation and fundamentals of selling, that so many new entrants either forget or fail to use to their own folly. This book is a remake of “The 5 Great Rules of Selling” that was a hit in the 1940’s. The book gets into the importance of product knowledge, getting the appointment, arousing interest, producing conviction and interest, closing the sale, overcoming objections, repeat business and referrals, working efficiently and scheduling, etc.

“Ziglar on Selling – the ultimate handbook for the complete sales professional” by Zig Ziglar – 1991. Zig Ziglar tells us why selling is paramount to our economy and how it is the oldest profession and why selling in the modern market is a honor and a good career choice. He discusses prospecting, cold calling, meetings, sales process, handling objections, closing the sale, dealing with people, getting referrals, making friends, solving problems, developing interest, desire, and rounds out all the potential topics on the subject of selling.

“One Smart Cookie” (the Story of Mrs. Fields Cookies) by Debbi Fields and Alan Furst – 1987. Here is a lady who never spent one penny on advertising, used intuition to make decisions, gave away cookies for free and ignored all the marketing experts, their advice and papers. Here philosophy and story of success is intriguing and fascinating. Her motto: Good enough, never is. And; If you chase the only the money, you will never have any. An American success story, well worth reading.

Sometimes all the business advice in the world is worthless, without a hard charger behind the push forward. Then again, with a superstar entrepreneur, well, they can often get it done anyway, without using conventional methods. The will to win, and succeed is worth all the strategic methodology in the world

“100 Ways to Make Money in Your Spare Time, Starting with Less than $100” by John Stockwell and Herbert Holtje – 1972. The first 238 pages list literally 100 different types of businesses that you can start on the cheap and how they operate and make money. Next there are chapters on business formation, selling, marketing, buying a business opportunity and record keeping.

If one is to read the Entrepreneur 500 today or any of the wonderful books by Robert Bond listing all the possible franchise opportunities, in contrast to this older book in 1972, we see very few innovations really. Although things do change, and have changed with technology, they have not changed nearly as much as we a lead to believe or nearly as fast as we think they will.

“Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Practice and Principles” by Peter Drucker – 1985. Participating in the entrepreneurial economy means you must understand what it is and how it works and Mr. Drucker starts out by explaining it in the introduction before he even starts the book. Fostering innovation, understanding the animal and using this knowledge to produce constant and continual creativity in business is the first section and next he explains entrepreneurship in action and how practicing these techniques and strategizing can produce winning products and services and methods for marketing them.

What an interesting book to read again now that we have experienced another two decades of constant innovations. Amazing that some of these strategies seem so obvious now and it is equally as interesting that even with all the modern communication, that the underlining foundations of innovation creation are similar.

“Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” by Wess Roberts, PhD. – 1987. The book is a quick history of who Attila the Hun was and how he commanded respect and leadership in his time. The book takes some of these strategies and puts them into a modern context. How one must desire to lead, honor customs, pick your enemies wisely, responsibilities of leaders, decisiveness, delegating, negotiation, discretion, and leaving with dignity.

Despite the current accepted methods of “feel good leadership” one thing should be noted and that is that leading by fear, strength, honor and conviction also works. There are times no matter what any Neo-Feel Good psychologist tells you, that such methods would be wise to employ. Surely, not a topic that will make you many friends discussing, but the reality is it works.

“Inflation Can Be Stopped” by Robert S. Morrison – 1973. This is an excellent book for folks to read who do not understand the problems of challenges of inflation. It was written by a street-smart entrepreneur and businessman and is easily understood by the average readership. Mr. Morrison explains what inflation is and why it is so important. He explains how to deal with it and control it and why we must.

Those who often speak on economic issues of our time ought to have this minimum background knowledge and perhaps this book on their bookshelf as well. The FED fears inflation and for good reason, inflation comes with it, huge economic implications and we as citizens owe it to ourselves to understand what it is and how it works.

Can you now see why it is important to read older books too, rather than just the every day new buzz-word books, hyping and hooking you with new sub-themes? Think on this topic a bit, see what you come up with?

News Reading in the Internet

One of the benefits of modern media is the use of the latest technologies has changed the speed of relaying information to different parts of the world. Decades ago the catch phrase was the latest news; today the popular phrase is breaking news because people received the latest news by the hour, every hour. Unlike ages before, people received news days or weeks after the incident occurred. Before, it was plain global news, at present it has become more specific using phrases such as Islam news, culture news, middle east new, and online news to name a few. Due to internet the world has been getting smaller and people get easy access with latest news development. It is a welcome development as people will be able to digest specific information easily.

Online technologies have allowed people to search and received news developments at a click of a mouse. And not only that, they can type specific key words such as gulf news, international business news, and middle east news to arrive easily at the web pages they want immediately. Long ago, newspaper readers’ patience has to be tested before they can read latest Muslim news, Islamic news, and Middle East News. The search bar features have slimmed down time constraint of accessing specific news to readers. In addition, some functions of these sites has exposed readers to links that give related information of the events.

Readers have to skim from different pages to find one article about world business news. Oftentimes, readers have skipped the news that they want to read as it is buried in the inside pages. In addition, newspapers then do not provide in depth analysis of events that unfolded during that time. Online editions have categorized different news items such as world business news, international business news, news in middle east, and Islamic news, to give more details as the event progresses every seconds of the day. And because of these readers have are better informed and are more clarified with the issues.

The internet has further created additional source of information for everybody. The web does not host online editions of major newspapers. It is home to websites and blogs that concentrate on specific news categories. Thus, you have sites for Islam news only, blogs for culture news, and webpages that caters only gulf news. In addition, thousands of articles that deals specifically with topics like Islamic news, international business news, and middle east business news, just to name a few are easily accessible. It gives readers of more objective and detailed information of specific interest.

It has been predicted before that the web will replace newspapers as major source of current events information. This is the reason why newspapers have invaded the web to benefit from this development. At present, both off line and online versions are available for everybody. It is not yet definite if land base newspapers will suffer extinction just like the dinosaurs of long ago. At any rate, people are still enjoying both versions.

Become a Scholar – Learn the Technique of Newspaper Reading

Most of us would go without the morning coffee than the morning newspaper. But, how many of us get the most from the newspaper? We read without a plan merely as a habit. We read for the diversion or relaxation and not for the educative values or informative ideas it provides.

News terms describing everyday happenings like accidents, crimes, tit-bits, comic strips, weather reports, shopping guides, radio and TV programs belong to the first group. News stories reporting on the visit of foreign dignitaries, the question-hour of the parliament, important inventions and innovations around the globe, sports events, book and film reviews, short-stories and articles in the society page come under the second category. The richest from the viewpoint of education consists of the editorial, the business page, special articles, interviews, biographical sketches and the ‘letters to the editor’ column.

One of the prerequisites is the allocation of time according to the kind of material read. Find the items that require more time and concentration, and that can be read in a lighter vein. Of course, we must skim through the whole paper once to arrange the items according to the priority. You may be wondering how to select the items quickly. Every newspaper report begins with head line and brief information about the story. So, after reading the headline and the first few paragraphs we can choose the items we require. Moreover, there are supplements along with the main issue of the newspaper those pertaining to education, entertainment, science and technology, matrimonial, employment, property, literary reviews and the like. We can mark those items pertaining to the different branches of knowledge like science, history, philosophy, biography, technology etc., and later cut out and file these clippings. When these clippings accumulate and are orderly classified we would have compiled an exciting informative mini-encyclopedia itself.

Although our interests guide the reading, yet the absence of substantial vocabulary may act as an impediment to our reading speed and comprehension. But, though the difficult words hinder our smooth reading and understanding, they also give us a wonderful opportunity to improve our word-power. We can enter such words in a scrapbook and get their meaning using the context with a dictionary. This will help build language skill, use of the correct syntax, spellings and learn how to narrate an event.

Newspapers, therefore, become the best teachers when they are read and understood systematically. “The careful reader of a few good newspapers can learn more in a year than most scholars do in their great libraries,” said American author, Franklin B.Sanborn.

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