Opening up Doors to Reading: Innovative Ideas for Developing a Reading Culture in Schools and LIbraries

Submitted by Joan Frazer Burton
 
Presenter: Joanne De Groot
 
Joanne de Groot has a PhD and MLIS from the University of Alberta where she currently teaches Teacher-Librarianship by Distance Learning from her home in Quebec. She spoke to a large audience on developing a culture of reading using technology. Joanne began her presentation with story time – reading ‘It’s a Book’ by Lane Smith, which humourously and accurately illustrates the world in which our children live where new technologies have become as familiar to children as traditional books.
 
In her presentation she explored the ideas of what a reading culture is, what it looks like and why it is important and she identified ways in which technology can be used to both build and maintain a reading culture in schools. The discussion included examples of online book clubs, ‘skyping an author’ events, ebooks and much more. Joanne presented a practical introduction to the ways in which technology can be used by library staff in both school and public libraries to promote reading and literacy and foster a love of reading within children. She shared many online resources that can assist teachers and librarians to enhance the reading experience for today’s technology-savvy students. These ranged from sites that connect classrooms with authors and sites that offer recommended reading lists to sites that offer free webinars or features on new books.
 
Joanne’s session left the audience with many practical suggestions and tips to help libraries transition into the digital age. The complete list of resources and other information presented can be found on the livebinder she created for this presentation at: http://www.livebinders.com/edit/index/225482.