Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Required Reading and Research in the High School Library

For the past three years, I have been requiring our high school students to borrow books from the library. Each grade level has a minimum book quota: grade 9 = 20 books; grade 10 = 30 books; grade 11 = 40 books; and grade 12 = 50 books. This means, a student who belongs to his or her grade level will have to borrow the corresponding number of books.

Through this activity, I discovered that 15-20% of the student population are readers. They are the ones who need no prodding or fancy freebies to go to the library and borrow books. The rest comprises reluctant readers and non-book readers. While it is easy to reach the book readers, I still continue the book quota project but with a strategy to help them choose reading materials. That is why this year, during orientation, I launched the Reading Passport with the hope that students are guided in their reading choices. Students favor fiction books but there the non-fiction books to read for a purpose too.

Another strategy that can be done so that reading, books and the library can be meaningful to high school students is the implementation of a library instruction program, a research education program or, an information literacy program. That, my friends is for another post.

For the meantime, allow me to share another reading-library activity that allowed me to collaborate with teachers. This time, I was in cohort with the grade 9 Design teacher. She requested me to do a Library Talk on research where in the basic library research tools are introduced. Since this was my first formal session with the grade 9s, I introduced research as a way to find answers to questions and that, it is understanding the question and the way we find the answers that makes for a successful research. I then segued to the library's OPAC and online subscriptions. View my presentation in this Library Talk link.

From here, I will move on to a grade level activity, our annual Library Scavenger Hunt where the grade 9s will use their skill in locating information using the library OPAC and online subscriptions. Yep. I am one busy library bee!

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