Tag Archives: Reader’s Advisory

Free Webinar: Graphics, The Musical

Image by Jess_Sanson. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.
Image by Jess_Sanson. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

Reference Outreach & Instruction at Minitex is offering a free webinar this month on graphic novels. Join Ramsey County Library’s Teen Librarians Marcus Lowry and Amy Boese. They will discuss the best superheroes, what’s hot in manga, as well as breakthrough indie voices for 2013.  This reader’s advisory for kids, teens, and adults will be held on Friday, December 13th from 1-2:00 PM (CT.)

Registration information can be found online with Minitex’s.

Books & Boys!

Image by CMLE
Image by CMLE

This past year, my nine year old son has been struggling with reading.  Even more disconcerting, is his negative attitude towards books in general. In one year, he has gone from a boy who would go to his bookshelf and hand me three or four books to read before bed-to a somewhat disgruntled and dispassionate reader.  In my mission to find answers and possible solutions, I discovered that this was a somewhat common occurrence with boys round my son’s age.  As a result, Patricia Post, CMLE Director, encouraged me to write this post.

In an article by K12 Reader, Boys and Reading: Strategies for Success  identifies why some boys struggle with reading including differences in development and the perception of the act of reading.  The author suggests greater one-on-one time, direct application of reading materials and taking time to identify books that may be of interest.

Professor Marcia Thompson, Center for Information Media at St. Cloud State University, stated that ” 4th grade boys are a tough niche. This is where so many boys leave the pleasure reading world.” She recommended the Guys Read website hosted by author Jon Scieszka. This site provides a list of books by category that have been boy tested and approved.  Under the Guys & Reading tab, Jon talks about the potential barriers to reading and the mission of his site. This site also encourages you to suggest titles you deem to be successful with boys.

If I was writing about another subject, I think my approach to finding solutions might be slightly different. Perhaps, I would consider a more tough love approach. However, based on the research, given how crucial reading is to the overall development of a boy, I have decided to take another tactic.

My parental approach and tips for a struggling reader:

  1. No guilt trips: I try not to add to the pressure he already feels to perform at school. Instead I search for work-a-rounds through subtle influences that might reignite his interests (keep reading for ideas.)
  2. Model behavior: I set aside time to read where he can see me. And, periodically share something I learned with him.
  3. Resources: Slowly introduce a variety of tools (print and electronic) to see if he latches on to anything in particular.
  4. Never underestimate the power of laughter: I take one night a week to read a short story to him before bed and alter my voice with each new character.
  5. Allow imperfections: I try not to get caught up in test scores-they are merely a gauge of where he is today, but tomorrow is another day.
  6. Its not about me: I want him find a passion for reading in his own way.
  7. Stay relevant: Think about things he can associate with cartoons, t.v. programs, video games and other activities that may have an age appropriate book.
  8. In his shoes: Think about what he might be interested in. For example on vacation this summer we spent time exploring a cave. After which I borrowed books from the library about spelunking. My son likes to re-purpose items found and bought. He was given the American Picker Kid’s book for his birthday. We also signed up for the online Kid Picker’s club.
  9. Less can be more:  I welcome short stories, comics, and articles from any appropriate source even if the designated reading level is for a younger audience.
  10. The power of words: I quickly respond and redirect negative, disparaging words he associates with reading and/or books.
  11. Progress: Although I strive for an immediate solution, it is not always possible. However, he can continue to make (value added) reasonable further progress.
  12. The big picture: I am in it for the long haul-beyond his formative years. My ultimate goal is that he becomes a literate, life long learner.

If you would like to share additional tips, resources or websites that you have found to be useful, feel free to contact me by email at (cmle@stcloudstate.edu)  or you can leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Based on the feedback, I would be happy to compile a list to share with our readers in a future post.

Reader’s Advisory Webinar

On October 8th, at 1 pm (central time), WebJunction will host a free webinar, Serving Readers: Beyond the Basics.

Images retrieved from WebJunction website.
Images retrieved from WebJunction website.

If you have incorporated reader’s advisory best practices for serving patrons, this webinar will discuss ways to enhance traditional techniques with new resources. It will be facilitated David Wright and Andrea Gough, representing the Seattle Public Library. Click here for additional information.

OCLC and Goodreads

My enjoyment and use of Goodreads continues, and I am encouraging family members, friends, and colleagues who count on me as their readers advisor to join me on Goodreads. Have you noticed that through a partnership with  OCLC (since 2007), you can pretty painlessly link to your home library to see if the item you are longing for on your “to-read list”  is available? It makes perfect sense for the two entities to partner up, and this union has provided greater visibility for libraries.   A new agreement pledges to improve Goodreads members’ experience of finding fresh, new things to read through libraries. It will also provide libraries with a way to reach this key group of dedicated readers through social media. Since 2007, Goodreads has sent more than 5 million web referrals to WorldCat, and it is hopeful that the expanded partnership will increase that number.
Go to http://tinyurl.com/co75gl8 for the minute details of this expanded partnership between OCLC and Goodreads.

What Should I Read Next?

Have you checked out the all new “What Should I Read Next?” http://whatshouldireadnext.com site? Fresh for fall 2012, this is a fun way to get your reading list in order for all that cozy reading time you’re planning! Type in the title or author of your choice (preferably one you loved!) and up pops a list of suggested titles. The list of suggested titles populates from user’s favorites lists – and the more times the titles appear together on user’s lists, the higher the title moves up on the recommendation list. Pretty nifty… but, will never beat reader’s advisory or book talks! 😉 Use it with your patrons and students, too!