Tips to encourage readingThe Reader's Bill of RightsE
veryone has the right to read. Here's The Reader's Bill of Rights to help you make the most of that right: Readers have:
The right to not read.
The right to skip pages.
The right to not finish.
The right to reread.
The right to read anything.
The right to escapism.
The right to read anywhere.
The right to browse.
The right to read out loud.
The right not to defend your tastes.
—Pennac, Daniel, Better Than Life, Coach House Press, 1996.
Take time to:
Provide teens equal access to all library resources.
Provide high quality customer service to teens.
Become familiar with popular books and magazines that teens enjoy.
Read some of the popular books and magazines and talk to teens about them.
Design a "cool" space for teens. Make it accessible, comfortable and eye-appealing.
Provide multiple copies of favorite books in paperback editions.
Open the library during the times teens use the library the most.
Involve teens in library activities, services, collection development and programs.
Ask teens for their opinions and advice about library collections, policies and programs.
Take time to:
Read to your teenagers as well as to your younger children.
Make a time and a place for reading in your home.
Encourage talking about reading in your family.
Set a good example—read on your own.
Help your teen build literacy skills.
Take time to:
Collaborate with the librarians in your school and community to encourage reading for the fun of it.
Make regular reading for fun a part of your lesson plans.
Consider letting students choose their own books to read for assignments.
Keep track of your Daily Reading Time (DRT) and have your students do the same. Compare totals for a week. Use the totals as a benchmark and discuss ways to increase the time with your students.
Work with administrators and other teachers to make reading a number one priority in your school.
Read the article "Dear Teachers: Please Help My Kids Become Readers" by Chris Crowe, English Journal (March 2001): 139–144.
Read the "Statement on Adolescent Literacy" in the September 1999 issue of Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.
Talk about books and reading with your students regularly. Find out what texts teens value: magazines? Web sites? videos? Use these texts as a jumping off place to guide their reading. Read the texts teens value yourself.
Align instruction with successful reading relationships that teens have at home.
Get to know the passionate interests of individual students outside the classroom and connect these interests to their reading.
Ask the families of your students about their home reading habits.