We love reading! (shocking, I know!) We stalk publisher websites for new and exciting titles that we think will appeal to our users, add them to the collection and then market them within the Library spaces. Our days are never brighter then when students ask us for recommendations. We know that readers do better in school because we see the correlation every day.
In the interest of evidence-based practice, the Arthur Holt Library invited Dr Margaret Merga, of Curtin University, WA, to share with us the research she has done into the benefits of a reading culture. Dr Merga shared a bucket-load…no…a truck-load of research with us from across the world that demonstrates the benefits of reading for pleasure for students. The good news for readers is that the benefits are not only academic. There are also strong links between people with good reading habits and skills and quality of life, social performance, vocational success, and even health benefits! (ABS, 2013; Keslair, 2017) That’s why the library is always such a happy place!
Sadly, there is also a lot of evidence that tells us that the interest and motivation to read for pleasure decreases once students enter high school (Niuwenhuizen, 2001). There are many reasons that this can happen, and Dr Merga addresses many of these in her upcoming book, Reading Engagement for Tweens and Teens: What would make them read more? due for release in December this year. The graph below is from an international study of the reading habits on 15-year olds (Thompson et al, 2013) and clearly demonstrates the link between student achievement and their reading habits. Unfortunately for Australia, it also indicates that approximately one one third of 15-year old Australians do not read for pleasure at all.
We are on a mission to ensure that Trinity Grammar School community is a community of readers – from the Prep, Junior and Middle School to the Senior School and encompassing students, staff and parents. Be prepared to see a lot this year from the Arthur Holt Library in terms of driving a positive reading culture because we know it matters to you and your future…and you matter to us.
By Ms Courtenay