Thursday, October 24, 2013

Required Borrowing for Teens

When the academic year opened this August, I required students to borrow books from the library. Each grade level has a required number of books to borrow for the academic year. When they meet the required number, they are assured of clearance from the library at the end of the academic year. This delighted teachers and parents. The regular book geeks did not find it impossible to read 15, 20, 30, 40 books in ten months. But the reluctant readers found the requirement daunting.

This is where reading guidance come in.

With the help of my reliable library staff and a stable library database (Platonix by Romy Sebastian), we monitor the reading choices of students. I do weekly book recommendations via mailing lists. The books I put in the recommended reads list are a combination of fiction and non-fiction books. I have access to teachers' lessons and units of study and I use their plans to spot and match books and resources for students to peruse. The library bulletin board has a monthly statistic of borrowing profile per grade level. In one school assembly, I presented this data and campaigned for attendance to the 3rd ReaderCon. The idea is that readers and book lovers are capable of making an influence. In fact, I ask avid readers to write a short review of the book they borrowed from the library.

We have since seen a spike in our book circulation!

So far, we're sailing on smoothly. By month's end, I'll have access to the book circulation statistics of students. I plan to focus on those who've not borrowed one single title and help them make a good reading choice.

What do you do in your school to campaign for books and reading?

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