Supporting boy-friendly practice in your school library

Supporting boy-friendly practice in your school library

It’s tough being a boy in a world dominated by women and girls who love books – classmates (achieving higher reading scores) teachers (lots more woman than men in primary schools) mums and grandmas (still the primary carer for most boys aged 10 or younger).

So here are six quick fixes to support boy-friendly practice in your school library:

  1. Celebrate reading in all its formats. Avoid sending out a message, however subliminal, which says print fiction is better than electronic media or comics.
  2. Give priority to displaying an exciting, unusual selection of picture books targeted at readers age 7 and above.
  3. Maintain attractive, quirky and accessible book displays with strong male appeal so that the keen readers can make independent choices without attracting unwanted attention.
  4. Rescue small books – especially narrative non-fiction and collections of jokes and poetry – often hidden between the bigger books on the non-fiction shelves. Display them in a prominent position where boys will see them.
  5. Allow boys to make ‘real’ reading choices when reading for pleasure rather than what you would like them to choose. Validate these choices with positive reinforcement and genuine interest.
  6. Make sure your relaxed reading spaces have boy appeal – an area where they have some privacy, an input into the design of the surroundings and the type of seating – even if this means cushions or beanbags on the floor.

Take a look at out 5 outstanding CPD courses for teachers which are packed full of tried and tested ideas from experts in promoting reading for pleasure.

Fiona Edwards
BookSpace CPD
August 2014