Monday, April 29, 2013

That's not REAL reading!

Gripe of the Week…
“Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.”  Peter S. Jennison 
Photo by welcometolearn (Flickr)

I get so defensive when I hear staff tell students that they can’t read a magazine or a comic, but rather need to sign out a "real" book.  Seriously, you stand in a library and forbid reading? Out loud.  In front of students.  My circulation stats have gone up across the board once magazines were made available for check out.  When we brought in Graphic Novels, students who had never ventured into the library were claiming corners to hunker down in.  The demands for sequels and more, please, more did not come from my fiction readers (they asked gently or perhaps wrote a note), they came from the excited faces of students who never thought they belonged in a library.  Finally, we had something for the "non-readers" in the class.  Something to, you know, read.

In my experience, magazines lead to books, you know, those fact books we complain are never used? Magazines are samplers, wonderful teases opening up the worlds of thought. And have they never picked up Marvel?  You can’t read just one.  Want students to learn about archetypes and character development and morality?  What exactly to they think comics are all about???  Possibly, it is they that only look at the pictures!

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