Thursday, 13 June 2013

Promoting reading in the secondary school library

I loved giving a course on promoting reading enjoyment for school librarians at Heath Books this week. The discussions were excellent and so many wonderful ideas were shared that we all left with our heads buzzing. Here are a few of the ways we discussed for raising the appeal of reading, not all new by any means, but no less effective for that. In no particular order:

  • exciting reading promotion programmes devised, led and marketed by students
  • cross-curricular reading promotions, e.g. making book trailers with ICT, shadowing the Greenaway Award with Art
  • students creating social network pages for book characters using Fakebook
  • students dramatising books or making comic strips, computer animations, videos or even Top Trump cards based on books
  • reading ambassadors: older students who go round the school enthusing younger ones about reading
  • reading buddy schemes
  • book boxes with a range of appealing contents for tutor times
  • promoting books in the dinner queue and playground
  • using book trailers and book-related video clips e.g. from YouTube and Literacy Shed
  • huge photos in the library of some of the coolest students in the school reading
  • a virtual extreme reading challenge: students superimpose photos of themselves reading onto interesting backgrounds
  • students filming each other talking about favourite books
  • involvement in the Stan Lee Excelsior Award for graphic novels
  • storytelling in every subject area in National Storytelling Week

I’m a big fan of curiosity kits for attracting children to reading. The photo shows a fabulous one made by a student at Lowton High School in Wigan, under the aegis of the librarian. There are more ideas for promoting reading in school libraries here.

Many thanks to the great librarians on the course, and Heath Books.