Friday, January 13, 2017

From Circulation Reports to Reading Guidance for Grade 9 -12

Towards the end of the 1st semester, my library staff and I looked over the circulation reports of our high school students. The numbers reveal a lot about our relationship with them. There are peaks and valleys on book readership from the last four months and this led us to reflect on the daily operations and readers services we provide for our students.

Studying circulation reports on a regular basis is helpful in the assessment of the library collection, reviewing the program and setting directions vis-a-vis curricular requirements and readers' needs or interest. I am reserving my reflections for another post on that matter. How readership affects and impacts collection development is for a separate discussion.

For now, let me share with you our response to sustain the readership and the habit of reading among our students.

I wrote each of them a letter. A generic one that has a record of the books they have borrowed, how far they have gone with their book quota and suggestions on how the library and its resources can further help them learn and grow. Below are my tips and recommendations:

  • Extend your understanding of an author’s life or milieu by reading primary sources like diaries, memoirs, journals, biographies;
  • Understand the context of a group of people in a particular time in history by reading personal stories, looking at a collection of photographs, browsing through timelines of world history books;
  • Test the veracity of a hypothesis by reading secondary sources like researches and studies done by scientists, mathematicians and experts in the field of the social sciences;
  • Look at models, patterns and processes of creation by analyzing case studies, business success stories, how-to-design handbooks, DIY manuals, craft books, art and architecture books;
  • Read up on stories about college life, college admission tips, sample essays written by seniors who successfully got in their college of choice.
  • Pick up a book on improving writing and research skills or being better at communication for business and social entreprenuership;
  • A couple of contemporary fiction, select classics and a book of poetry or two will balance your reading list.

Students who are regular library users responded back right away. The usual suspects borrowed books over the holidays. It remains a challenge for us to entice and offer readers services to the reluctant ones and those who prefer to use another kind or mode of technology. 

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