Creating a Reading Culture - Hands on Literacy conference Nov 2012


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Explores what factors impact on the creation of a reading culture

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  • Good morning What I would like to do today is first engage with the theory that I have talked and written about endlessly for the last 10 years at least and then look at what this means in practice for me in my role at Genazzano. I worked off and on in various roles as a consultant and editor, studied, lectured, wrote and reviewed for around 12 years after leaving a head of library position in 1996 to have my third child. My Phd completed during tis time, analysed how we create a reading environment in schools. Then, after all of this time away, I took up a full time role as Head of Library at Genazzano FCJ College at the beginning of 2009. Revisiting the theory I studied and wrote about and comparing it to my current practice is the focus of this presentation So, Reading is our topic, creating a reading culture. Manguel, in his wonderful book The history of reading , writes beautifully about the importance, the power and the relevance of reading. He said:
  • I believe very strongly that Manguel is right , and the research evidence supports this. Reading underpins all areas of learning - the opportunities our students have to access reading materials they want to read, how much ours students read and how well they read are all indicators of academic success. Research studies have replicated these finding over and over again. I wanted to remind you of this today but not dwell on it as we are primarily concerned today with how we create the culture within our schools that support and extends this – we are going to assume that we all embrace as a given that the role of creating this culture of reading is valued, recognised and supported. I do know though that this is not always the case. We all face pressures in school libraries to be many things, to fulfil many needs and reading is not always foremost. I do firmly believe though that if you can demonstrate the value of this role you will receive the support - how much support depends on many impacting factors. Today though I want to focus on the positives and explore what it is that contributes towards the creation of a reading culture. Let’s begin with us. What Chambers called The enabling adult. Zahnleiter said:
  • Haycock’s Canadian research found that :
  • What does this ‘Enabling adult’ do? How far do we go? Perhaps this? (cartoon next slide)
  • My PhD focused on creating a picture of what it was that the enabling adult did to create an environment conducive to reading, an active reading culture. One of the most crucial factors thrown up by my work, and reinforced by the research findings of others was the importance of relationships. Many commentators have found that the importance of relationships runs across all aspects of our role as teacher-librarians, not just reading promotion. Hartzell said:
  • And British research into relationships found:
  • It is not just enough to build relationship with teachers. It is about all kinds of relationships – they all feed of each other. Obviously strong relationships with students are central to the equation but if we are truly concerned about creating a school community wide reading culture we must also focus on the relationships we form with parents and administrative staff as well as students and teachers. All of these relationships contribute to the overall reading culture. What does the enabling adult need though before they can effectively form these relationships? All teachers, all experts in their field, need to be recognised as such and this cannot come about unless we have the knowledge to support our claim to relevance. James Moloney has said on this matter:
  • There is no way that we can do this properly without reading, reading the books themselves, the reviews and commentary on the books, and engaging with all of these experiences actively. Only then can we effectively build relationships based on our supportive expertise and create the reading culture we desire. Chambers said:
  • Simple but true!!! What else do we need to consider? What impacts on the culture that we are trying to create? I have spent time considering the importance of Ambience The feeling we create through our actions, and the choices we make, in relation to various factors: The physical environment – furniture, display, colour (more on this later) The rules we put in place to manage our collections The manner in which we interact with everyone – our attitude to our readers, how they read and what they read. All of these things contribute towards the ambience. How welcome does the community feel? Are structures, or management rules, there to impede or enhance the experience? (for example borrowing restrictions) – why??? Augustine Birrell said:
  • Let’s return to the issue of environment and in particular the access we provide. Krashen said:
  • Ridiculously obvious but sometimes it is the basics that we need to revisit. This is the first role of any space to provide access to reading material. How we categorise and shelve, display and promote material is all about improving access. The first question we should ask ourselves when we come to make decisions about how to handle a given text is how best can I get this book/ object/ reading experience into the hands of those who will appreciate it. This may mean hard copy books, ebooks or audio. What is the best way of getting story to readers? What about the physical spaces themselves? Doll said of physical space in school libraries:
  • And Misson said about space, about relationships, that:
  • So, we need to define space for ourselves within any given space – create our own territory, and this territory is always defined by our the society, the social, that surrounds us. What does this mean in practice for reading spaces? – the physical home of our reading culture. Let’s look at some pretty pictures!! (next slide – commercial circle cubby)
  • (next slide – GH circles)
  • Other seating arrangements
  • Or shelves that create nooks and crannies .
  • Or playful spaces:
  • Or perhaps something that costs a whole lot less (foot table next slide)
  • Or a small primary school
  • (next slide – just a few cushions)
  • One other factor we need to provide that cuts across environment and organisational factors, collection management decisions, and our own attitudes is the element of choice. Choice relates most closely to Access, how we approach these two areas is paramount in determining the reading culture we create. We all read differently – peanuts demonstrates this perfectly:
  • Ok. I have discussed a range of different factors that impact upon the reading culture. Let’s have a look at one way that this could be presented diagrammatically:
  • Explain PhD connection Diagram includes factors we have not explored today. In summary:
  • Go to next slide – what does this look like in practice?
  • Genazzano – This is the end of my fourth year at the school and though sometimes I feel like I have just got there I have also a great deal of change since arriving. It has been a very busy time. . I hope that what i have done in the role so far is build on what was already a quality library service. I’d like to highlight the positives of what we do exploring what changes I have made and describing the reading culture that we are helping to create. First ROAD
  • ROAD runs from year five to year ten. Every class comes once every two week cycle. In recent times we have worked hard to make the program technology rich in both the ways we present to and interact with the girls and in how the program is assessed. We have also embraced those current educational thinking in how we work within the program. As such our year six assessment activity embrace visual thinking. (four peaks next slide)
  • (next – year seven audio advertisement)
  • (next slide – year nine photostory)
  • In an effort to ensure the program is properly incorporated into the teaching program we have also worked hard to create pages for the program on the learning management system where all of the subjects store material s and assessment tasks .
  • In creating these pages we have also created interactive pages for book promotional work that in the past were in the form of booklets. We have used prezi and the program issuu
  • We need to move on. I’d like to now look a the Physical environment at Genazzano (Next slide – Environment – outdoors)
  • Next slide – environment – ROAD reading area
  • Next slide Gallery space
  • I’d now like to discuss some of the enrichment activities that we are involved in that add to and support our reading culture. (next slide – CBCA enrichment reading project)
  • Next – Book Clubs
  • Next slide – literary afternoon teas
  • Next slide – literary afternoon teas - debate
  • Next slide – literary afternoon teas – food and discussion
  • Next slide – jeopardy quiz boxes
  • Next slide – National Year of Reading 2012
  • Next slide – NYOR – bear blogs
  • Next slide – LITFEST Story tents
  • (Next slide – Spine book poetry)
  • I’d like to move back now to collections (Next slide – Senior fiction)
  • Next slide - different collections
  • The last two little factors I’d like to mention are initiatives supported by research (next slide – lists)
  • (Next slide – outward facing covers)
  • In summary, I’d like to go back to the master and four magic words: These words are:
  • These four words come from Aidan Chambers’s description of what it is that an enabling adult does. He said
  • (THE END – say something) Thank you
  • Creating a Reading Culture - Hands on Literacy conference Nov 2012

    1. 1. Creating a Reading Culture Dr Susan La MarcaHead of Library & Information Services Genazzano FCJ College
    2. 2. READINGWe all read ourselves and the worldaround us in order to glimpse whatand where we are. We read tounderstand, or to begin tounderstand. Manguel, A. (1996) A History of Reading. London: Harper Collins. p. 7. Genazzano FCJ College
    3. 3. THE ENABLING ADULTChildren learn about literature fromwhat the adults around them doabout it. (Zahnleiter, 1985, p. 187 Genazzano FCJ College
    4. 4. Teacher-librarians typically placethe right book in the right handsat the right time and encourage alifelong love of reading. The roleof the teacher librarian,connecting young people withbooks that interest them, hasbeen underestimated. Haycock, Dr Ken (2003) The Crisis of Canadas School Libraries: The Case for Reform and Re-Investment Genazzano FCJ College
    5. 5. The Enabling Adult Genazzano FCJ College
    6. 6. RELATIONSHIPSTeacher-librarians must work onbuilding relationships asconsciously as they work onbuilding collections. Hartzell, 1999 Genazzano FCJ College
    7. 7. CILIP (2002) Start with the Child: Report of the CILIP…the relationship between school Working Group on Library Provision for Children and Young People (report ISBN 0 9543792 2 5). London:librarians Instituteteachers has a Chartered and of Library and Informationsignificant impact on the quality of Professionals.learning in schools. Betterintegration, mutual understandingand respect need to be developed. CILIP (2002) Start with the Child: Report of the CILIP Working Group on Library Provision for Children and Young People Genazzano FCJ College
    8. 8. KNOWLEDGEThe teacher-librarian has thespecialised knowledge of readingmaterial which classroom teachersmay lack and can offer the guidancethat teachers often do not. Moloney, 2000, p. 102. Genazzano FCJ College
    9. 9. Readers are made by readers. Chambers, 1991, p. 87 Genazzano FCJ College
    10. 10. AMBIENCEReading is not a duty, and hasconsequently no business to bemade disagreeable. Augustine Birrell Genazzano FCJ College
    11. 11. ENVIRONMENTThere is a great deal of evidenceshowing that children with moreaccess to books read more. Krashen, 2002, p 2 Genazzano FCJ College
    12. 12. ENVIRONMENTThere is…evidence to indicate thatchildren also seek to define anddefend a territory for themselves. Doll, 1992, p 226 Genazzano FCJ College
    13. 13. There is no properly functioningindividual whose mode of existenceis not moderated or mediated (if notdetermined) by the social. Misson, 1997, p 5 Genazzano FCJ College
    14. 14. Genazzano FCJ College
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    27. 27. Choice Genazzano FCJ College
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    29. 29. Creating a Reading CultureTo be successful there should be: –a large, varied collection of reading materials –knowledgeable library staff who know both the collection and the students with whom the work –adequate access to reading materials both during structured reading programs and out of school hours – varied forms of reading materials in an array of reading ability levels Genazzano FCJ College
    30. 30. Creating a Reading CultureTo be successful there should be: –modeling by staff of positive attitudes towards reading and their students as readers –whole school support for reading as a necessary part of life –an encouraging, welcoming physical environment –a sense of ownership by the students of their own reading development and their reading environment Genazzano FCJ College
    31. 31. What does this look like in practice? Genazzano FCJ College
    32. 32. R.eadingO.penA.llD.oorsProgram Genazzano FCJ College
    33. 33. An imageA soundA colourA word Genazzano FCJ College
    34. 34. Responses to Text:Audio Files Genazzano FCJ College
    35. 35. Responses to Text:Photostory Genazzano FCJ College
    36. 36. Learning Management System Genazzano FCJ College
    37. 37. Genazzano FCJ College
    38. 38. Reading Environment – Outdoors Genazzano FCJ College
    39. 39. Reading Environment Genazzano FCJ College
    40. 40. Reading Environment – Galleryspace Genazzano FCJ College
    41. 41. CBCA enrichment reading programStudents as Judges Genazzano FCJ College
    42. 42. Book ClubsReading and discussing a common bookIASL bookmark projectBook week celebrationsSLAV Reader’s CupReviewingFavorites ListsBook SelectionLITFEST – SongLiterary Afternoon TeasStory reading in Prep to 4 libraryNational Year of Reading Competitions Genazzano FCJ College
    43. 43. Literary Afternoon Tea Events Genazzano FCJ College
    44. 44. Literary Afternoon Tea Events Genazzano FCJ College
    45. 45. Literary Afternoon Tea Events Genazzano FCJ College
    46. 46. Genazzano FCJ College
    47. 47. National Year of Reading 2012 Genazzano FCJ College
    48. 48. National Year of Reading 2012 Genazzano FCJ College
    49. 49. LITFEST Story Tent Genazzano FCJ College
    50. 50. LITFEST Genazzano FCJ College
    51. 51. Senior Fiction Collection ‘Readers are made by Readers’ Genazzano FCJ College
    52. 52. New Collections•Big & Beautiful•Real Reads•Pop-Up books•Graphic Novels•Interfiled Audio•Overdrive Genazzano FCJ College
    53. 53. LISTS Genazzano FCJ College
    54. 54. Outward facing covers Genazzano FCJ College
    56. 56. They provide books and time to read them andan attractive environment where people want toread. They stimulate a desire to become athoughtful reader. They demonstrate byreading aloud and their own behaviour what a‘good’ reader does. And they respond, and helpothers respond, to the individuality of everyonein the reading community they belong to. Chambers, A. (1991) The Reading Environment, p. 92. Genazzano FCJ College