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Position Statement on the Value of Independent Reading in the School Library Program

Position Statement on the Value of Independent Reading in the School Library Program
The following position statement is currently under review to align with the National School Library Standards. In an information age, literacy demands not only the ability to read and write, but also the ability to process information and communicate effectively. Research suggests that reading proficiency increases with the amount of time spent reading voluntarily. Unfortunately, independent reading is often a casualty in our fast paced, media-oriented society. Today's students know how to read but have little or no interest in doing so. They have failed to catch the love of reading; therefore, they choose not to read. The adoption of Goals 2000 has made literacy an issue of national importance; therefore, a primary goal of the school library program must be to create life-long readers. To become life-long readers, students must have . . . The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. (adopted June 1994; revised July 1999, September 2010) Related:  COLLECTION: Promoting Reading

Position Statement on the School Librarian's Role in Reading Rationale: Reading is a foundational skill for 21st-century learners. Guiding learners to become engaged and effective users of ideas and information and to appreciate literature requires that they develop as strategic readers who can comprehend, analyze, and evaluate text in both print and digital formats. Learners must also have opportunities to read for enjoyment as well as for information. School librarians are in a critical and unique position to partner with other educators to elevate the reading development of our nation’s youth. Reading skills involve thinking skills. The extent to which young people use information depends upon their ability to understand what they read, to integrate their understandings with what they already know, and to realize their unanswered questions. In addition, 21st-century learners must become adept at determining authority and accuracy of information, and analyzing and evaluating that information to synthesize new knowledge from multiple resources.

Thinking Outside the Bin: Why labeling books by reading level disempowers young readers Illustration by James Steinberg A child enters the library, looking for something to read. She wanders the aisles, glancing at book spines, running her finger along the shelf, and lingering at a display of new titles. “Can I help you?” asks the librarian, following with more questions about her tastes: What was the last book you read? The librarian is engaging in readers’ advisory—matching readers to books. That process is often different from the hunt for “just right” books in classrooms and collections in which books are organized by reading level. In classrooms across the country, reading instruction, assessment, and labeling of material have impacted how people search for and engage with books, sometimes resulting in restricted reading choices—even for independent reading. What’s wrong with “just right” books? Most educators and researchers agree that student choice is a huge part of reading motivation. Leveling the books, or the child? Miller says that this can be very damaging.

Readicide Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools. Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline—poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. Reading is dying in our schools. In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers;mandating breadth over depth in instruction;requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support;insisting that students focus solely on academic texts;drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia;ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading;and losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures.

Position Statement on Labeling Books with Reading Levels The following position statement is currently under review to align with the National School Library Standards. Librarians use spine labels to organize and identify library resources by call number to help patrons locate general subject areas or specific fiction, non-fiction, reference, audiovisual, or other items. Viewpoint-neutral directional labeling in libraries increases students’ access to information and supports their First Amendment right to read. Best practice in school libraries includes books and other resources being shelved using a standard classification system that also enables students to find resources in other libraries, such as a public library, from which they may borrow materials. One of the realities some school librarians face in their jobs is pressure by administrators and classroom teachers to label and arrange library collections according to reading levels. For additional supporting information see also: American Association of School Librarians.

Five Librarian Bloggers to Follow There are so many blogs about librarianship that it would be difficult to follow them all. Everyone has his or her favorites, of course, but NewsBreaks is highlighting some you may not have heard of in the hopes you’ll find it worthwhile to hear their perspectives. If you already know about these passionate authorial librarians, read on for some insight into why they started their blogs and what advice they’d give to those thinking about blogging. David Lee King David Lee King is the eponymous blog of a digital services director whose interests include social media, emerging trends, and libraries. Bio: “I create, write, think, and speak about the social web, emerging trends, and libraries. Blogging Beginnings: The blog’s archive begins in September 2003, with a brief post titled “Cool DHTML Menus.” Why He Blogs: “I wanted a way to share my thoughts on websites and emerging technology trends that wasn’t part of a library listserv,” King says. Sample Post: “Tidy Up Your Twitter Followers”

Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It Summary In his introduction, Kelly Gallagher proposes a new word to be added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “readicide.” A noun, “readicide” can be defined as “the systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.” He goes on to explain that Readicide is inspired from his twenty-two years of experience as a teacher and a literacy consultant. His central thesis is that “rather than helping students, many of the reading practices found in today’s classrooms are actually contributing to the death of reading. Gallagher cites many studies to illustrate that reading has become less popular in recent years. Gallagher cautions his readers against blaming this trend on poverty or an abundance of other media that monopolizes children’s time, though he admits that they certainly do not help. The focus has changed in our schools and not in a good way. The second harm is just as disconcerting.

Organizing Booktalks | Informania Reader’s Advisory can take many forms, but my favorite is booktalking. The beginning of a new semester is the perfect opportunity to reach out to teachers and offer to do booktalks for their classes. Last week, I gave booktalks for twelve classes. Each booktalking session averaged three to seven books which can become a management nightmare. I use the following method to organize booktalks so that if teachers wish for me to booktalk more than once to their classes, I can be assured I am not repeating myself. Organizing Booktalks 1. The spreadsheet includes the author, title, and up to three genres. 2. 3. I keep all of this information in my Booktalk Notebook that I keep for reference at the Circulation Desk. Giving the Booktalks Once a teacher requests a booktalking session, I confer with him/her to determine a few factors I need to consider as I plan: 1. length of time teacher wants to stay 2. class composition (equal numbers of males and females?) Like this: Like Loading...

School Library Media Impact Wiki Guess My Lexile - The Book Whisperer What do Jeff Kinney's popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ray Bradbury's classic Fahrenheit 451 have in common? What about Gossip Girl: A Novel, Cicely von Ziegesar's catty romance and The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson's 1979 Newbery Honor book? While clear distinctions exist between each book's literary merit, age appropriateness, and reader appeal, these titles possess one similarity--they sit within the same Lexile text complexity band Well-meaning educators, concerned about increasing text complexity and reading rigor, engage in this game of "Guess My Lexile" when denouncing the low-reading level of young adult literature, elevating certain titles over others, or dictating book purchases and recommended reading lists. The Lexile Framework for Reading by Metametrix provides quantitative assessment of both students' reading levels and texts' complexity. I have no issue with assessing students' reading levels and identifying text complexity.

Study: Teachers Value Independent Reading But Lack Class Time for It Nearly all teachers and principals believe students should have time for independent reading at school, yet only about a third of teachers set aside time each day for this, according to a recent survey by Scholastic. The new report, released today, looks at how nearly 3,700 preK-12 teachers (including several dozen school librarians) and more than 1,000 principals answered questions about student reading and access to books. The findings, considered nationally representative, were part of a larger study that the education-publishing company released in November on equity in education. The literacy findings show that 94 percent of teachers and principals agree or strongly agree that "students should have time during the school day to read a book of their choice independently." But just 36 percent of teachers say they're able to make time for such reading every day. When independent reading occurs, students spend an average of 22 minutes on it. In School At Home Libraries Related stories:

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