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Enticing Summer Reading Alternative Programming For Kids Who “Hate” To Read

Summer is the busiest time of year for public youth services librarians across the country: we stack our calendars with programming and guest performers, bust out all the themed decorations, and break out our best book-themed t-shirts. All of this, of course, to the ultimate end of building in our young patrons a lifetime relationship with books.

Blogger Pamela Groseclose

Books for Tween Reluctant Readers (Gamers Edition)

Excitement is in the air as many of us slowly start to adjust to our new normal. It is summer reading season for most, and since many of us sat out last year, we are upping our game to welcome families back into the library, but as you do so, make sure you can target reluctant tween readers in the process.  Being a tween already has many uncertainties, but things are even harder to navigate amid the pandemic, especially for reluctant readers.  But libraries can help!  To get these young tweens interested in reading, librarians need a hook. These hooks can be as simple as sports, video games, or even popular T.V. shows.   For the past few weeks, I have been working on booklist bookmarks that tweens can pick up during the summer. I have also created a reader’s advisory sheet for tweens and families to pick up to get…

Audio books

Encouraging young listeners with downloadable and streaming audiobooks

Downloadable and streaming audiobooks have been on my mind again.  Recently, some articles came out about the benefits of audiobooks for literacy; a revelation that probably surprised few of us in children’s and school library services.  We did not create the Odyssey awards for nothing.  ALA Editions published a wonderful book about it by Sharon Grover and Lizette D. Hannegan “back” in 2012.  Last year, Rachel Wood from Arlington Public Library wrote an ALSC Blog post that stands as a primer for building an e-audio collection.  But it always feels like a topic needs to come around a few times before the greater profession and the greater public latches on. Perhaps it is not always content that is the way to hook a reluctant reader but format too.  Dan Cohen from the DPLA wrote an article for The Atlantic talking about the powerful role that smartphones play in the lives…

apps

The Gamification of Reading

John Hersey, author of Hiroshima, once worked on a committee for his children’s school to determine why children were struggling at reading. The group’s discovery was that the reason the children were struggling was because they thought the primers they were reading looked boring. They didn’t want to read stories featuring illustrations of perfectly mannered children that just looked dull, insipid, and boring. This idea of using interesting illustrations was taken up by William Ellsworth Spaulding, an editor at Houghton Mifflin’s textbook division. He borrowed an illustrator named Ted Geisel from Random House to create a textbook that contained words that experts had decided were important for first graders to know. Nine months later a book featuring 236 of those words from the list was created. Geisel had noticed that many of the words on the list rhymed; the first two words happened to be cat and hat. Cat in…