No reading in my library thank you!

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Whenever I go and talk about the work our library does and how we encourage students to discover a love of reader I always love to cheekily throw in the fact that I dislike students reading in the library.
Although it’s a little tongue in cheek and I omit, to begin with, the fact that it’s during lesson times, it is based in truth. A couple of years ago I also banned silent reading happening in form times.
My main argument and rationale behind this is that it can only have a negative impact on reading. Strange you may think that by stopping students from reading during lessons I’m actually improving reading but this is actually the case.
Reading, is like any creative past time. You have to be in the mood to do it. The conditions have to be correct and there needs to be a want on the readers part to do it. I am an avid reader, a grade A readatron that devours books but I don’t want to read all the time and I certainly don’t want to read when I feel like I’m being made to. In most cases if I feel like I’m being made to do anything I’ll most likely do the opposite.
I remember back to when I was at school, I was a very typical boy reader, meaning I wasn’t a reader. I hated our English lessons when we were forced to trudge down to the library and read. We’d pretend to pick a book, or spend ages umming and ahhing (time wasting) then sit chatting to each other, “sorry miss I was just asking James what was happening in his book and whether he was enjoying it as from the blurb it sounds really engaging”. Now does that sound familiar or what!
Yes, there are those students that absolutely love reading and will jump at the chance to spend any lesson time reading but do I really need to concern myself too much with those students, not at the moment. What I need to worry about are the kids that are like I was. How do I engage them in wanting to read? Well the answer certainly isn’t to force them to do it. They need to see that reading is something they can do and they can enjoy and they need any barriers that are stopping them from seeing this to be removed. This means categorically not making them do it.
Instead if they are in the library it is to engaged in activities and learning that shows/helps them to remove these barriers. I’m a big fan of data and using it to understand an individual. That is why we track our students for reading. It allows us to get a picture of them and their barriers and this helps us to them put things in place to break down these barriers and help them to become readers. I will probably talk more about our unique tracking models in different posts but fundamentally these are the reasons why I dislike students reading in our library.

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