It's only in a library that all children of all backgrounds can freely explore the huge range of books and where they have the freedom to find their own tastes and discover literature at their own pace.
— Ursula Dubosarsky, SCIS Connections, May 2014
The school library can do a lot to scaffold students as they look for their just right books. Along with an inclusive, appealing, current and wide ranging collection, you also need:
- a reader-friendly environment using clear, helpful signage and attractive displays with plenty of face-out display of book covers
- junior fiction books arranged by series to encourage reading mileage and confidence
- clear, helpful signage and labels
- displays on themes, topical issues, new books, read-alikes
- photos of readers and their reading recommendations.
Also look into arranging fiction by genre. This is more user-friendly for students than a long alphabetical sequence, and plays to their reading preferences.
Arranging library fiction by genre
You'll want friendly, helpful librarians who can connect with library users and make connections between book and reader, telling them “I thought of you". Along with reader friendly policies, services, and strategies you'll also need:
- to promote books across ages, such as by promoting easy reading fiction as “quick reads” to older children, and helping struggling readers find books that suit their abilities
- to limit choice for students who are overwhelmed, such as with a “good books” box with 10 or so titles, or by picking an alphabet card and choosing something to read from that letter of the alphabet
- to promote books with visitors
- to use digital tools to connect readers with books and authors, for example by Skyping with an author or students from another school.
Reader friendly environments
Building an inclusive collection
Reading promotion includes information about reading promotion online