The Challenge School Librarians Is Creating Male Readers, Regardless Of Age Or School Setting

The Challenge School Librarians Is Creating Male Readers, Regardless Of Age Or School Setting

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One of the perennial challenges school librarians is creating male readers, regardless of age or school setting. However, in today’s increasingly fast-paced society, it is particularly hard to reach adolescent males with the gospel of reading. Many of them have been scarred by years of painful reading experiences in school, weakened by little to no exposure to print and meaningful literary experiences outside of it, and a distracted by a plethora of extracurricular activities and entertainment alternatives that knock recreational reading several notches down their priority lists. While no social, racial, or ethnic class is exempt from this issue, and good readers can be found all over the socioeconomic and ethnographic spectrums, the struggle to connect African American male students with books and “turn them on” to reading is well documented (Tatum, Teaching 12-14). Great progress needs to be made in this area to insure the betterment of the next generation of a substantial portion of the American population. Recreational reading is a powerful tool that can help these boys boost their academic performance, better relate to their peers and authority figures, better understand society and empower them to engage it and even change it, and reduce the risk of them leading lives of poverty, unemployment, addiction, and incarceration (Tatum, Teaching 15). Yes, reading has that kind of power to influence young men and put them on the right track to achieve success and happiness in life. In particular, this paper will examine strategies to entice black teen males to read, explore themes, authors, and titles that resonate with young black men, and seek ways that school libraries can better serve the needs of this vital population. Since Am...


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...and positivity concerning their school libraries, and foster positive relationships between school librarians and black teen males. While the process of putting these students on the road to reading is no means easy, and success is far from guaranteed, doing so can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a librarian’s or teacher’s work. Hopefully, increased reading among black male students will lead to increased academic performance, higher graduation rates, lower incarceration rates, and stronger personal and family lives that can revolutionize the fabric of black America and make the whole nation a safer, stronger, more educated, and more humane place. If books have the power to change the world, then school libraries and literature classrooms are vital generators that start and keep the engines of imagination, education, and progress running. Let the work begin. 

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