Tag: young readers

Arthur displays his library card.

A Librarian’s Guide to Fighting Discrimination

Earlier this year, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) published a digital resource for librarians as part of its push for freedom of expression (and book titles) in school libraries. The manual, an eight-page PDF file titled “Defend LGBTQ Stories,” outlines a number of difficult or delicate circumstances educators will encounter as their students develop literary tastes, and offers specific advice on how to be an ally and set an example of compassion for all students. The guide offers librarians simplified tools for de-stigmatizing LGBTQ themes, protesting banned books, staying up to date on school policy changes, communicating with the NCAC, and sharing their experiences on social media.

This fledgeling resource — a small, but mighty PDF — comes as part of a subset of the NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program called the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP). This grassroots-inspired program unites community members and national organizations to oppose the growing tangle of restrictions placed on library media in American schools. According to the NCAC’s website, the KRRP rallies “teachers, booksellers, librarians, local reporters and free speech advocates” to protect the reading rights of students.

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These subsets of the NCAC, itself an entity composed of fifty nonprofit organizations, do not have the legal clout to directly influence policy change in the American education system. Instead, they rely on time-tested community advocacy to drum up significant local support to challenge cases on an individual basis, while making these methods accessible to the public. Since 2016, for example, the Florida Citizens Alliance (FLCA) has pushed bills which aim to restrict materials allowed in Florida classrooms based on their educational value. The NCAC offers a thorough breakdown of the proposed legislation, a timeline for its development, and a history of the FLCA’s past initiatives. This document, available on the NCAC’s website, is free to read and share, and gives activists the help they need to make sure kids can read whatever they please.

While the NCAC’s resource “Defend LGBTQ Stories” is in effect a glorified How-To guide for being a properly “woke” librarian in an American school, it is nonetheless a tremendously productive and helpful tool which, in the hands of community activists and national associations alike, has the potential to effect real change and inspire a future generation that embraces diversity.

 

Featured Image via Arthur

Young Readers Still Prefer Books to Screens, Study Shows

Young people absorb information more easily from reading from physical books rather than from screens. This is the case, despite these“digital natives” growing up around screens such as laptops, iPhones, iPads and tablets.

According to The Irish Times, “the analysis of how more than 170,000 people are learning across Europe” finds that children and young adult far prefer reading physical copies of novels and longer-form articles, and tend to skim longer pieces of text when reading from screens.

The article notes that those studied were far less likely to take notes or become immersed in what they are reading when reading from tablet or computer screens.

These findings have “implications for how students learn both at home and in the classroom”, according to Dr Ann Marcus-Quinn, a lecturer at University of Limerick who is part of an EU-wide research team. “Just because young people can master electronic devices doesn’t mean that they have the critical skills to interpret texts,” she said. “While there is a bigger focus on independent learning, students still need expertise and help [from teachers] . . . and if students are taking notes, the old approach of using a pencil and pen or Post-It notes has its place.”

While Dr Marcus-Quinn is opposed to an over-all move way from technology entirely, noting that shorter texts like poetry can work be read and understood effectively from screens, according the research, there is a tendency among teachers to underestimate “the negative impact of digital technology when their students read longer texts, while students are more likely to be overconfident about their comprehension ability.”

Dr. Marcus-Quinn is one of close to 200 scholars and scientists investigating the effect of the digital age on reading in the European Union.

Read more about the study and its findings here!

 

Featured Image Via dissolve.com

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Between The Covers: “Yoga Bunny”

What happens when yoga meets bunny? Illustrator and yoga enthusiast Brian Russo’s amazing book, Yoga Bunny, brings yoga to a new generation!

“Between the Covers” is a series that serves to explore the beauty found on the insides of books.

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