Blogger Erika Hogan

Many Paths to Reading

Audiobooks, graphic novels, and comics . . . Oh my! And that’s just a start. Early literacy experiences for the preschool crowd have storytime to rely on, but what comes next for elementary school age library users? An explosion of possibilities! When it comes to inspiring emerging readers, from displays to reading lists here are a few ways to promote many paths to reading.

Read more: Many Paths to Reading

But I want them to read, not look at pictures. I’ve heard that sentiment so many times, and you probably have too. Though library staff may know that comics and graphic novels are reading, sometimes caregivers aren’t as easy to reassure. I’m usually optimistic we can find something everyone will agree on, but I’ve also started to look for subtle ways to promote many paths to reading.

For starters, graphic novel and audiobook versions are featured alongside text in every display. Why? To dispel the notion that only kind of reading really counts. There are many reasons an emerging reader may want to explore visual text or listen to a book while reading it. For one thing, they’re fun. Appeal matters and a young reader’s interest level can’t be taken for granted. Paired choices on display make it easy to see (and check out) books in more than one format. Bonus – this reinforces to library browsers that paths to reading are accessible in more than one way.

You might be asked about the value of graphics or alternate paths to reading. So have a few talking points ready. Be ready to share the good news: building reading habits will benefit reading skills. For more tips, check out the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table’s Best Graphic Novels for Children, read about nonficiton STEM comics, or visit the ALSC blog for audiobook tips and suggested graphic novels for mental health.

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