Impact That Librarians And Libraries Have On The Decline Of Reading And Library Services

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TO READ OR NOT TO READ: THE IMPACT THAT LIBRARIANS AND LIBRARIES HAVE ON THE DECLINE IN READING AND LIBRARY SERVICES AS CHILDREN GROW UP

By:

Jessie A. Abraham

Wayne State University LITERATURE REVIEW The research question “what impact can librarians and libraries have on the decline in older children and teen use of library services and recreational reading” can be broken down to discuss several subtopics. This literature review examines peer-reviewed background material to provide a basis for the research questions discussed within this study. The review of the literature is divided into four subtopics that were studied using different theories and approaches in an effort to answer the research question. In an
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Factors Affecting the Decline in Aging Children
The early teen reading slump has been noted by researchers. Researchers have consistently found that pleasure reading increases throughout childhood and begins to decline, usually at age twelve to thirteen. Howard, V. (2009). Unfortunately, few researchers have explored the specific reasons for this decline from the perspective of teens themselves. Even fewer still have explored the role that reading for pleasure plays in the lives of young teens. Public libraries focus simultaneously on improving services to teen patrons and to pleasure readers of all ages as key to strategies to maintain importance and competitive advantage in the “age of Google.” (p. 298). One of the most significant barriers in the reading decline is difficulties selecting appealing reading materials. (p.299). This particular study was collected using focus group questions with 249 completed surveys out of the 900 sent to junior high school students. There were several factors that effected teen reading and usage of library services. Teens did not view library staff as a useful source of readers’ advisory. Teens describe their lives as very busy, leaving little time to read for pleasure. In this study, many teens note that they have more homework that elementary school, but also more freedom to socialize. Teens describe their dislike of assigned reading and their desire to select their own reading materials. This research
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