Cooperation between teachers and library staff
When connecting students with literature of all kinds, classroom teachers and library staff are valuable allies. By working together teachers and librarians can encourage book discussion and recommend titles to help students become enthusiastic, thoughtful and discriminating readers.
We have to be committed, ingenious, flexible and experimental in coming up with ways of making literature come alive for every single child – no exceptions allowed.
— Michael Rosen
Library staff are expert in helping students find books that match their interests and reading levels. They can help teachers support student reading by:
- offering enticing reading promotions and reading-focused activities
- adding new titles wanted by teachers and students to the library
- using social media to communicate and engage with students and teachers
- writing or gathering book reviews and posting these on a library website, or in the library
- promoting books to students through book talks, book clubs, reading aloud to classes, and providing lists of recommended reading.
Integrated library services — watch videos that explore the development of school reading cultures where collaboration, library services, and reading promotion are valued and supported.
Librarians' role in creating readers
Plan library visits with library staff
A regular, purposeful class visit to the library is a great way to engage with your students about reading for pleasure.
- Plan your visit in advance with the librarian.
- Explain what your goals are for the library visit.
- Enlist the librarian's help with book talks, matching students with books, promotion of new books or perhaps showcasing titles related to a current inquiry.
Integrate fiction into topic studies
Work with the library staff and the library catalogue to choose fiction to integrate into curriculum topics your class is working on. Literature can be linked to the writing process as well.
It's helpful when the catalogue is accessible from outside the library, in classrooms and also outside of school.
Share information on student reading interests
You can help your students find books they'll enjoy on library visits if you have a good knowledge of your students interests and abilities and the material available. The librarian will have a great knowledge of the library collection and together you can match students to books they will enjoy.
When planning library visits, let the librarian know of special interests within your class. For example, a group of BMX enthusiasts or an individual with a passion for fantasy, so some books can be selected in advance.
School staff as readers
Helping students choose books for reading pleasure
Student reading interests
Support reader-friendly library policies
Providing easy access to reading material is essential for creating readers, so your school library's policies need to make this happen. For example:
- Generous borrowing limits ensure students can access resources from across the collection to cater to their developing interests and tastes.
- Flexible scheduling gives students access to the library when they need to, during breaks and before and after school.
Find out what the policies are in your school library regarding borrowing and scheduling. Keep in mind that they will depend on your physical library space, the level of library staffing, and whether your library can accommodate whole classes, groups and individual students at the same time.
No school library staff?
If your school has limited or no library staffing, work with other staff to ensure the library has a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Recommend titles for inclusion in the school library, and get recommendations from your students. Participate in social media and attend library network meetings to gather reading recommendations, as well as sharing your own!
Teachers creating readers
Find out more
Layne, Steven L. (2009) Igniting a passion for reading: successful strategies for building lifetime readers.
Miller, Donalyn (2009) The book whisperer: awakening the inner reader in every child.
Miller, Donalyn and Kelley, Susan (2014) Reading in the wild: the book whisperer's keys to cultivating lifelong reading habits.