Moons ago, in a faraway snowy land, a school librarian started her ETL 402 quest: to develop a strong theoretical base on which to build a school library that fosters engaged readers and enhance life-long learning (Wocke, 2018, November 11).
LESSON 1: Know your readers
In the visually dominated lives of our students the screen has replaced the printed text as the main medium for communication and reading, according to Lamb and Johnson (2010), is not done in isolation any longer (Wocke, 2018, December 19). Printed books alone, are never going to be enough again to ensure that our students are “engaged readers” and according to Hashim and Vongkulluksn (2018) this is a critical component driving student learning and long-term academic success (p. 359). They reason that engaged readers are motivated and self-regulate their reading and apply learned strategies to real-life and out-of-school reading experiences (Wocke, 2018, December 30).
Davila and Patrick’s (2010) offer advice: find out what interests your readers – do not judge their choices, but read their suggestions and facilitate their choice (Wocke, 2018, November 24). Utilising the affordances of ICT to enhance reading – by linking the reading experience to multi-media formats – expanding the reading experience to include social links, extension and exploration opportunities and personalised elements as (Cullen, 2015; Wocke, 2018, December 29).
LESSON 2: Promote
It is vital to display and promote our collections in attractive and interesting ways. We need to organise our libraries in ways that make “browsing” easy and help students over the search hurdle (Cornwall, 2018). Kimmelman (2018) argues that uncluttered, quality collections counter choice overload and presents meaningful options to our patrons. Genrefication, for example, reduces the number of options and positively affects patron self-sufficiency and independence (Wocke, 2018, December 26). We recently implemented this by genrefication of our fiction collections and see immediate benefits for patrons and librarians. We are investigating expanding this further with our non-fiction collection and are looking at BISAC subject headings (2018) as a possible easier way of browsing than the DDC.
LESSON 3: Diversify
Librarians need to maintain diverse collections, not only in terms of genres (did this librarian fall in love with graphic novels and steampunk recently (Wocke, 2018, December 19, Wocke, 2018, November 29)!), but by incorporating cross-cultural and cross-curricular collections (Maclure, 2018, November 19). We must also expand outside of the walls of the library by including ebook and audiobook collections, even if these are not initially very popular, because it is important that we educate our communities to understand and embrace the value of multi-modal and multi-platform experiences as part of developing 21st century literacy (Horsley, 2018, December 27).
LESSON 4: Literary learning
The last lesson is one that I did not even know I needed to learn: Literary learning enhances access to curriculum content (thereby supporting student engagement and learning) through inclusion of carefully selected works of literature into content learning. Readers encounter people, places, events and situations that allow them to develop an understanding for perspectives and points of view that may be different to their own experience and understanding (Ross Johnson, 2014, pp. 477-478). I learnt many literature response strategies, such as literature circles, book trailers and story mapping with which to build links between literature and curricular content.
How did the ETL402 quest end? Hopefully never! Much has been done, much remains to do, and I realise that my learning will be a life-long quest.
Complete BISAC subject headings list, 2018 edition. (2018). Retrieved January 27, 2019, from Book Industry Study Group website: https://bisg.org/page/bisacedition
Cornwall, G. (2018, July 22). How genrefication makes school libraries more like bookstores. Retrieved December 26, 2018, from KQED website: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51336/how-genrefication-makes-school-libraries-more-like-bookstores
Cullen, M. (2015, December 21). How is interactive media changing the way children learn? Retrieved December 29, 2018, from Education Technology website: https://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/12/how-is-interactive-media-changing-the-way-children-learn/
Davila, D., & Patrick, L. (2010). Asking the experts: What children have to say about their reading preferences. Language Arts, 87, 199-210., 87, 199-210. Retrieved from http://www2.ncte.org/resources/journals/language-arts/
Hashim, A. K., & Vongkulluksn, V. W. (2018). E-Reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers & Education, 215, 358-375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.06.021
Horsley, D. (2018, December 27). Task 1: Ebooks & reading [Blog post]. Retrieved from ETL402 201890 Discussion Forum: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143048_1&message_id=_2029004_1
Kimmelman, A. (2018). The wise whys of weeding. Teacher Librarian, 46(1), 20. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=gale_ofa562488215&context=PC&vid=61CSU_INST:61CSU&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&lang=en
Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Divergent convergence part : cross-genre, multi-platform, transmedia experiences in school libraries. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 76-8.
Mclure, I. (2018, November 19). Thread 4: Multicultural literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from ETL402 201890 Discussion Forum: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143059_1&message_id=_2048880_1
Ross Johnson, R. (2014). Literature, the curriculum and 21st century literacy. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl, & M. Holliday (Authors), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.