The library should be the beating heart of your school, and the most valuable resource in it is - of course - the librarian! Sadly, however, sometimes children need more encouragement to come into the library. They may be reluctant or struggling readers, or reading may not be seen as ‘cool’ by their friends. Here are five steps to change this.
We are in boom times for children’s and YA literature, it seems, and more and more publishers are publishing books that are engaging for struggling readers to get them more motivated to read. I’ve often found it easier to ‘rev up’ the reading of those that have low literacy levels than to excite the interest of the ‘can read, won’t read’ crowd. It seems amazing, and a little incomprehensible, to me that young people who are able to access the fantastic imaginations of fab authors don’t show any inclination to do so - do they not realise that they could be fighting with ninjas in Chris Bradford’s books or travelling through magical realms with Garth Nix’s Lirael?
The transformation of our library to a libratory began well before I accepted the position as Resource Center director six years ago. I had been fortunate enough to have taught in the building for 14 years prior taking on the position. I watched how my students interacted with technology and books in the space. I saw overstuffed and inflexible bookcases, cluttered horizontal surfaces and a space that was visually disorganised. The whole space seemed askew - I have always been good with the ‘flow’ of spaces.
A good environment for reading is probably just as important as the book itself. Jane Jackson, marketing manager at BookSpace, shares her top tips on how to create the ultimate reading-zone.
Creating a school reading culture is high up on most headteachers’ wish lists. But presenting reading as an attractive offer isn’t always that easy. While most young people find electronic media instantly attractive so motivation is not an issue, we have to work much harder to make books appealing.