Connecting Boys With Books

Connecting Boys With Books

by Michael Sullivan
     
 

"Pre-adolescent boys are nearly invisible in libraries. With ever-increasing electronic amusements, how can books and the library compete for their attention?" "In Connecting Boys with Books, librarian and educator Michael Sullivan provides the tools that librarians, school library media specialists, and educators need to overcome cultural and developmental challenges… See more details below

Overview

"Pre-adolescent boys are nearly invisible in libraries. With ever-increasing electronic amusements, how can books and the library compete for their attention?" "In Connecting Boys with Books, librarian and educator Michael Sullivan provides the tools that librarians, school library media specialists, and educators need to overcome cultural and developmental challenges, stereotyping, and lack of role models that essentially program boys out of the library. Attracting boys to library programs in the "tween" years will go a long way in maintaining their interest in books and reading over a lifetime, creating good habits from a young age." From playing chess to swathing the walls in butcher paper to give boys a physical space to respond to books, Sullivan's practical ideas and developmentally astute insights show librarian and teacher colleagues how to make vitally needed connections with this underserved population.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Sullivan, a public library director in New Hampshire, addresses the special needs of boys and outlines how libraries can best serve them. Boys read less than girls, as every librarian knows, and most children's librarians are female. Library programming therefore tends to be directed at girls, as Sullivan points out. His suggestions for reaching boys include making a special effort to welcome them by programming for boys as well; promoting male readers as role models; storytelling; booktalking with appropriate titles (fantasy, nonfiction, and humor are especially appealing to boys); using genres such as sports to develop displays and programs and promote reading; offering chess, games, and other challenges to engage boys; and encouraging physical responses to books. There are some excellent examples of programs, booktalks, sample stories to tell, and lists of recommended reading (unfortunately, age levels are not indicated). Sullivan makes a good case for the different reading preferences of boys; as he puts it, "Boys prefer the external struggle and the heroic quest." Recreational reading that they truly enjoy (gross can be good!) is one key to promoting a lifelong interest in books, while the need for structure, Sullivan notes, is a hallmark of boys' learning style. The focus here is mainly on elementary and middle school-age boys, and while the emphasis is more on public libraries, school libraries aren't slighted. Indeed, cooperation between the two is encouraged. As a librarian at an all-boys school, I read this with great interest. Sullivan has thought long and hard about how libraries can reach boys, and his ideas are well worth listening to and implementing. KLIATT Codes: P;Recommended. 2003, American Library Association, 122p. bibliog. index.,
— Paula Rohrlick
Library Journal - Library Journal
Sullivan, a children's specialist and director of the Weeks Public Library (Greenland, NH), has written an important book for children's and young adult librarians to help them reach the often underserved population of boys. His early chapters outline just how and why the needs of boys are often unrecognized in public libraries and then go on to demonstrate how library programs and policies can redress that imbalance. The author draws heavily on his own successful programs, devoting a chapter each to chess clubs, storytelling workshops, and book talks. Sullivan refers back to the foundational material in the earlier chapters when discussing how to make these programs work, thus providing solid ground for creative librarians to experiment with their own programming ideas. Some librarians may take issue with many of the sweeping generalizations Sullivan makes about the differences between boys and girls, such as "boys read for information; girls read for methods of communication and cooperation." His recommendations, however, can only strengthen public library programs and services by helping librarians to draw in kids of both genders whose interests and temperaments may fall outside a library's usual scope of service.-Rachel Quenk, Thomas Memorial Lib., Cape Elizabeth, ME Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
This title accomplishes what it sets out to do, with ideas and perspectives on why boys aren't as involved in reading as girls, and what we as professionals can do to help change the trend. Sullivan begins by giving background information, statistics, and external influences that perpetuate the view that reading is somehow just for girls. He then gives some program ideas, but more importantly he suggests ways to change librarians' perspective in order to appeal to boys. The setting is more focused on the public library, but the ideas are important and useful in any situation. The writing is engaging and well researched, with footnotes at the end of each chapter. We've all read articles and studies lamenting the loss of boys in the library, and this book is a practical look at ways to try and change that.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780838908495
Publisher:
ALA Editions
Publication date:
06/01/2003
Pages:
136
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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