Bringing good literature to students in schools is not only essential but it is also one of the best ways to get students interested in books and reading and this week’s Literature Festival did just that!! Authors talking about their books and providing background to their novels has emphasized to our boys the ‘treasures’ that can be found within stories whilst also reinforcing that reading is both pleasurable and worthwhile.
As a teacher librarian, I know that when interesting and comprehensible books are available, young people read, and this helps in the development of their literacy, including vocabulary. During the Literature Festival, students were coming to the library asking to borrow books written by the visiting authors and some of these students were ‘reluctant’ readers. This is heartening and we hope that these books will set some of our students on the path to life-long reading.
There is a lot of evidence available which reinforces the value of reading and I have included the Creed which is supported by the Literacy Matters Campaign in conjunction with International Federation of Library Associations.
Encouraging boys’ reading is not without its challenges and our students’ voluntary reading choices may not always include the ‘right stuff’ but we feel that regardless of what our students are reading, be it graphic novels, recreational magazines, comics or books, every reader will be exposed to thousands of words each year through self-selected reading which is far more than they might acquire from direct instruction and word games.
The quality of young adult literature available in today’s world is exceptional and McCarthy Library encourages students to request their favourite authors, series, genres, recommendations etc. and we endeavor to purchase these to ensure that the library collection is relevant and appealing for our students. New books are promoted through the library TV with a display of cover images advertising newly purchased resoures. Our lunchtime book club will resume in Term Two as will other programs and events throughout the year. In the meantime, library staff will do everything to promote reading and reinforce to our students that reading matters and few will dispute the power of a good book!
Head of McCarthy Library