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Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project
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Reader Boys: Nonfiction Books and Teenage Males Research Project

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  • 1. Reader Boys:Nonfiction Booksand Teenage MalesResearch Project Brooke Windsor December 5, 2009
  • 2. Reader Boys Research Question to Be Answered: Will shifting book displays in a school library media center to include more non-fiction young adult selections increase the circulation numbers of teenage boy students?
  • 3. Reader Boys Literature Review Summary1.) School Library Association of the United Kingdom. (2009). Books for boys. Retrieved from http://www.sla.org.uk/bib-intro-6.php. This article looks into some basic facts of the reading habits of boys before it starts to make recommendations aboutselections for boys and possible programming events. It notes how experiences and surveys lead to many of the sameconclusions—the primary being that boys tend to read more for a purpose than to simply enjoy the act of reading, meaning thatnonfiction selections are of great popularity since it ties into the act of reading for a reason instead of mere entertainment.2.) Champagne, J. (2009). What do boys want? Nonfiction! Retrieved fromhttp://oislibrary.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/what-do-boys-want-non-fiction/. This article by a school librarian details how she interviewed many of the boys who enter her school library and came to theconclusion that boys favor things that are true—true facts, true stories. Therefore, she found that most boys tend to lean moretoward nonfiction even though she does issue a caveat that each child is different and some boys are very much interested infiction.3.) Gorley, V. (2001). Research shows boys prefer nonfiction. Retrieved fromhttp://www.vindy.com/news/2001/jun/11/research-shows-boys-prefer-nonfiction/. This article is a good overview of many research projects conducted by average school librarians and a handful of universityprofessors that point to boys preferring to read “real stuff,” leading them to read more factual books than fictional tales. Evenpublishers are starting to pick up on this information to produce more nonfiction selections geared specifically toward boys, whichcreates a feedback system of increasing the number of nonfiction books for boys and more boys wanting to read those types ofbooks.
  • 4. Reader Boys Research Procedures -The participants for this study were selected as the total malepopulation of Jamesville-Dewitt High School in Dewitt, NY. It includedall male grade nine up to grade twelve—a total of 530 individuals. Thenumbers of circulation were collected from the daily, weekly, andmonthly circulation reports that come directly from the librarysadministration operating system which keeps track of all items beingchecked in and out of the library. -Currently the circulation numbers stand at total circulation (includingnonfiction, fiction, reference, and magazines) is 1,129/month—averaging 282/week or 56/day—which is very nice for a moderate sizedhigh school of 965 students. Since this study is focusing primarily onthe circulation of fiction and nonfiction, it was necessary to break upthose numbers as well. The numbers are 200/week for fiction 65/weekfor nonfiction.
  • 5. Reader Boys Research Procedures -Those base numbers then had to be analyzed by gender. Out ofthe weekly fiction numbers, only 85 of the 200 check-outs were bymales. The nonfiction books were divided more equitably—30 of the 65were by males. -The two current displays in the school library revolve mostly aroundgirl-centered fiction, such as the super popular Twilight Saga and theClique series. This study will take these base circulation numbers andsee how they can be affected by the changing of the displays in theschool library media center. -There is a great deal of literature that speaks of how boys tend tobe drawn more to nonfiction selections. By changing the two displays tofeature more nonfiction books, I am hoping to increase the number ofmale checkouts and thereby increasing the numbers of nonfictioncirculation in general.
  • 6. Reader Boys Research Procedures -I first looked up the YALSA (Young Adult Library ServiceAssociation) Best Books for Young Adults booklists for the past threeyears. Focusing on the nonfiction section of the lists, I searched forthose selections in the JDHS collection. -The books I found were: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel Far From Home: Latino Baseball Players in America by Tim Wendel A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend ofIron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet Tough Boy Sonatas by Curtis Crisler
  • 7. Reader Boys Research Procedures -The two displayed centered in the media center focused on these sixbooks, making sure they were always in sight of anyone in the library and hadcreative things to draw attention to them. *Toy foods surrounded What the World Eats *Baseball paraphernalia like a ball and glove for Far From Home *Journalist photos of Sierra Leones civil war for A Long Way Gone *Martial arts materials like knun-chucks for American Shaolin *Born on a Blue Day had colorful geometric toys like blocks *Tough Boy Sonatas had boxing gloves and a bongo drum -These items certainly seemed to grab the attention of all patrons whoentered the media center as when individual students during their free time orthe ones assigned to enter during the two study periods of the dayimmediately looked at the displays.
  • 8. Reader Boys Research Procedures -I also provided related nonfiction selections around these largedisplays such as nutritional books, poetry collections, baseball novels, andmartial arts instruction so that there are plenty of books from which tochoose if the showcased book is checked out or was enjoyed so muchthat the reader wanted more. -These displays were set up at the very beginning of the week beforethe school say had begun and was kept up (as it had to be restockedseveral times) for the span of one school week. The circulation statisticswere carefully monitored by printing out daily reports that specified thenumber of nonfiction books were checked out and the gender of thepatron who borrowed the materials.
  • 9. Reader Boys ResultsI created two graphs to compare the circulation of nonfiction among males the week before my study and the week of my study to see the comparison of the effects of the display changes.Week Before Week Of
  • 10. Reader Boys ResultsAlso, it should be noted that the selections on display and the related texts that were recommended for further reading were checked out primarily by the boys in the school. The circulation numbers of the girls checking out nonfiction remained the same at approximately 35 check outs over the week while theboys rose to the previously indicated levels of 46 from the previous count of 30.
  • 11. Reader Boys ConclusionsLooking at the graph comparison, it is easy to see that the nonfictiondisplays clearly made a positive difference in the circulation numbersamongst the teenage boys of Jamesville-Dewitt High School. Also,instead of a sharp rise over the week, there was a more gentle gradienteven though the same pattern of a high number of check outs onThursdays and a lower number on Fridays remained the same. The factthat the numbers themselves were larger though makes me feel that thispattern is more of a result of school requirements and normal socialschedules—such as checking out books to get assignments done beforethe weekend rolls around. Yet, overall, bringing attention to the wide,popular selection of nonfiction that the library had available increasedcirculation among the target group of participants.
  • 12. Reader Boys LimitationsThe major limitation with this study was time.Circulation numbers naturally fluctuate;therefore, extended amounts of time mightshow differences that are partially from thisnatural oscillation. Also, I did not have time toperform the study in reverse like I wanted totruly confirm my results, meaning having thedisplays focus primarily on fiction to see if itlead to lower circulation numbers for the boysin the school.
  • 13. Reader Boys Further ResearchI certainly would like to see further research in this area byperhaps having a year long study, going back and forthbetween fiction and nonfiction displays to track anyfluctuations in the circulation numbers, perhaps getting to thepoint of being able to predict the oscillation of the checkoutcount. Also, it would be useful to have a longer study to seeif the displays affect the specific areas of checkouts—suchas displaying books from the 300s or 500s to see if thosetopics are the highest to be checked out during that week butthen those numbers fade when the display moves to the400s or 900s.

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