Thursday, December 17, 2015

Library Reading Promotion For Christmas 2015

In keeping with a Christmas tradition, our library is giving away candy canes for book borrowers. Sweets are treats for teens who read and for those who are reluctant to read. What I do is to spread books and display them on tables and open spaces in the library. Showing the book's cover is visually appealing. Put a sweet candy beside it doubles the appeal. Since the week started, my staff at the circulation desk has been busy dispensing books and sweets at the same time.

This promotional strategy sounds like the carrot on a stick technique, but, it keeps the circulation stats moving and teens reading.

I take note of reading responses as we go along. There is this grade 10 student who wants to study in the UK so he printed out a list of the Best British Books of the 20th century. The poor kid came to me for help, asking how to start a reading list. While the titles are a combination of easy and light reading, there is also stuff there that is pretty serious literature. So, I cautioned the boy and started him off with enjoyable reads. I recommended Roald Dahl, JK Rowling and a Gaiman novella. He finished each book by the said author in a month. He is now reading the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. I look forward to his transition to the different genres as motivated by his own choices.

Speaking of reading responses, we also launched the Christmas Reading Passport two weeks ago. It is easy to do.

1. Students get a reading passport.

2. The reading passport is designed to encourage students to read four books on the themes of hope, peace, joy and love. There are four questions to be answered, one for each book. This way, students are guided on their book choices. Recommended reads, a list of books about the themes are sent out via email lists to everyone.

3. The passport and the books are taken home over the long holiday break.

4. Students come back after the break with the passports filled out. They submit this to the library staff.

5. They get a token from the library.

Now, what do I do with the filled out reading passports? I use it to inform me of what books our teens enjoy and don't enjoy at all. I use the information form the passport as basis for acquisition purchases, as well as developing more book lists that would encourage and interest them to read. My next project is to do a compilation of the Best Reads by Griffins Who Read. This is like a book buddy journal where short reviews are put together. I envision this as a guide for incoming high school students who are charting their reading journeys. As their school librarian, I am their willing reading companion.

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