Read Fiction – The research says it all

The Harvard Business Review has a post pointing to research that shows the benefits of reading fiction.

“Over the past decade, academic researchers such as Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness.”

For Australians 2012 is the National Year of reading. Emphasis will be placed on this in this library blog as we endeavour to focus on the benefits of reading and especially to gather and share the research that will promote reading for information needs and also for recreation.


Follett Challenge entries are a source of inspiration

The winning entries of this challenge have been published and focus on the work done in school libraries – a great source of ideas and also advocacy for the role of Teacher Librarians in school libraries everywhere.
In Australia, 2012 is the National Year of Reading and I know that in our library we will be working hard to promote literacy in all subject areas with a focus on integrating the library (IRC)and Teacher Librarian in teaching and learning activities across the school (K-12).
View the winning entries here:

Is the ‘book’ dead?

We are in the middle of a very successful Book Fair where students are pouring into the IRC and dragging in their parents after school – to purchase books!
The success is largely due to the fantastic “Book Talks” by Murray from Scholastic. The books came alive as he spoke about them.
Even more exciting was the new merging of book and web as he demonstrated the “Clone Wars” website where students can interact choosing their own adventure/ending through gaming on the website then reading the resulting text page given to find out what happens next.
Reading books is certainly not dead or even dying at Broughton – but promotion of reading is very important. As technology and books merge an exciting future is developing.
This clip is worth watching:

Book Week! “One world, many stories”

Displays, online activities, and an author visit set the scene for a week long focus on books and reading.

Children’s author and humanitarian refugee worker Andrew McDonough visited Broughton for two days. On the first day he spoke to Year 11 about his work with refugees as they come into Australia. He then spoke to Years 7 & 8 about writing and illustrating books for children.

Andrew McDonough returned for another day and spoke group by group to the whole Junior School (K-6) about his writing and illustrating. His story telling was amazing and he demonstrated some of his digital illustrating techniques.

Books or ebooks?…. or both?

Our students have just had three weeks of holidays. Staff have been back for a Professional Development week, learning new technologies, planning and building the learning community here.

Our IRC has a comprehensive print collection but digital ebook resources for some curriculum areas are being purchased as funds allow. According to Kindelizaton: Are Books Obsolete? by Stephen Krashen,  the sales of paperback books are declining in comparison to the sale of ebooks.  This is based on the Amazon sales figures for January 2011 compared to January 2010. The point is made in this article that ebook readers and ebooks are less available to students of “high poverty families and under-funded libraries” and states that Ebooks are allowing the print-rich to get even print-richer”.

On the other hand in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 July, 2011 an article by Faith Sands looks at the merits of books and compares the reading experience of books with that of ipad and ebooks. Her opinion is that “There’s no substitute for books”.

As we constantly weigh up library budgets and the reading experience versus convenience and innovation, research based decisions have to be made.

Go Go News: Kids News

This news site for young people states “Children are curious and interested in the world around them. GoGo believes in satisfying and encouraging this curiosity by publishing real news stories that are not only relevant to them, but also capture the silly and the serious goings on in the world today.
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