How well do you know your teachers as readers?

Cremin, Teresa (2018). How well do you know your teachers as readers? School Library Association.



While policymakers are guided by PISA and PIRLS data, librarians recognise that these large scale international surveys frame reading more as a measurable result than a lived experience and a social as well as a solitary process. Librarians and teachers understand that motivation and engagement matter. Their views are more in line with the OECD’s ‘expanded definition of reading literacy which recognises motivational and behavioural characteristics alongside cognitive characteristics’ (OECD, 2016).

School librarians often know young people well as readers – they know far more about them than their current reading level or assigned targets, and are aware of individual readers’ interests and inclinations, the frequency with which they read and their sense of self as readers. Through countless conversations in extracurricular reading groups, in lessons, in corridors and while book borrowing, librarians find out about their readers which enables them to make tailored text recommendations and reader to reader connections. Research indicates that close relationships between students and school librarians are common, as Joan Swann and I also found in our study of the Carnegie Kate Greenaway Award Shadowing Scheme [T1] . In the multiple case studies in schools across the country, the young people (KS2-4) we met were clear: they felt connected to their librarians, liked them, respected them and saw this as reciprocal.

But, I wonder, how well do librarians know the teaching staff as readers?

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