Readicide (a review)

After reading Kelly Gallagher's Readicide,  I have to say that I had a bit of a pain in my neck because I was nodding in agreement so much.  My current "real-life" job is a public school teacher and one thing I can personally attest to in Gallagher's argument is that schools are, quite literally, killing a love of reading.

The constant push for improved scores on standardized tests has made it so that most students believe that reading is merely to prove that they can, and herein lies the problem.  Most people in the United States can read, but do they enjoy it?  Does it make their life better? Does it increase their sense of empathy?  Do they feel a connection to what they read?  Do they understand the world better because of what they read?  In their darkest moments, have they had the experience of a piece of literature helping them to get through that time?  I think that this is what Gallagher is arguing for and I see librarians are the first people that can help "resurrect" reading for pleasure and personal edification.  Through booktalks, programming, and being an approachable, hip, lover of reading, we can lead young people back to a love of the book. 

The larger piece here, is that I see, on a daily basis, that the companies who make the large profits off of standardized tests are killing young people's love of learning on a massive scale.  Librarians need to work with teachers, administrators, school boards and parents to change the tidal wave of numbers that seems to be swallowing their children up and making  their lives less enjoyable.  I want my students to want to learn, and I hope that as a Librarian I will be able to work more earnestly towards such a goal.

1 comment:

  1. There is no conversation I hate more than dealing with a child who needs at least x AR points. "No, I don't care what kind of book." And then the look of irritation when they pick out a book they are actually interested in that doesn't fit their level/points scheme so they don't check it out. Where is the fun in this world????


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