Basic rough draft of some potential questions:
How many days in the last month have you read for pleasure?
How long do you usually read for pleasure?
Where do you do most of your reading?
Home Work School
What type of materials do you read the most?
Books Magazines Newspapers Internet Comic Books/Graphic Novels
Do you have a library card?
How many times in the last month have you visited the library?
How often does your mother read at home?
How often does your son read at home?
Do you discuss reading with your mother?
Do you discuss reading with your son?
Issue one: According to census data*, in 2007 there were 13.7 million single parents, 84% of which were mothers. Approximately 1/4 of children under 21 live with only one parent while the other lives away from the home. Though I haven’t seen any statistics, given that half the population is male, it’s safe to assume that many of these families are single mothers with at least one son.
Issue two: The lack of reading interesting and ability in boys is become a concern lately. Boys are falling behind in reading in many ways.
Issue three: According to the UK time diary analysis**, opposite sex parents didn’t have an affect on their children’s reading habits.
These stats leave me with several questions. Does age affect the modeling? Is there a way to change the modeling stats? Is there a difference between single mother households and two-parent households? What about lesbian households? Does format affect the statistics? How much of modeling is a conscious process and how much is unconscious? Is there a difference is mother’s actively try to engage their sons in discussions about books?
**Mullan, K. (2010). Families that read: A time-diary analysis of young people’s and parents’ reading. Journal of Research in Reading, 33(4), 414-430.
I volunteer at the Serra Mesa-Kearney Mesa Branch of the San Diego public library. While there today I was folding the calendars for the month and took a look at the programs offered. They offer quite a variety of programs, but it seems like most are aimed at small children or older adults. For example, they have Hopscotch Tiny Tots Stories and Crafts, Preschoolers Storytime with Grandma Patti, and Cowboy Bob, all aimed at preschool aged children. For pre-teens there is are Chess Classes and Learn to Crochet. For adults there are several exercise classes, job workshops, and book clubs. However, aside from the free tutoring, there are no programs aimed at youth between 14 and adulthood. Given the proximity to several high schools and the large youth population in the area, this really seems like a missed opportunity. I don’t know the library’s reasons for not having a strong presence for teenagers, but I do think reaching out to that population would be a good idea. I’ve noticed on the weekend that there are several high school aged patrons in the library.
Though I didn’t choose the program proposal for my final project, I did think a little about what programs could be beneficial. A book club for teenagers could be a great addition. I remember loving the book club I was in as a teenager because it gave me a chance to read something other than the books assigned in class and gave me a chance to express my opinion about that reading in a more free manner. Other branches also have music, movie, and video game programs that could attract youth patrons. One of the branches has a particularly interesting sounding option for a Teen Library Council that meets to discuss the library’s future programs.
Even if the programs it chose were completely different than those the other branches implement, the Serra Mesa-Kearney Mesa Branch could definitely benefit from implementing at least one program aimed at teenagers.
I think I’m going to go with Option A for the final project. I want to work more with the topics I covered in the lit review. I’m still really interested in the parent modeling, but I’m not sure where I really want to focus. I do think more can be done with the idea of parents’ gender affecting their modeling. It also might be interesting to research if and how non-book reading is modeled. Since it does seem as if so much research is focused simply on book reading and many in the field still primarily view reading as being related to books, more research into other formats would be warranted. With a few of the studies mentioning that parents did spend time reading newspapers, magazines, and online, it seems as if there has to be some kind of effect on their children. On the other hand, I keep coming up with so many different ideas that can relate to the topic.
- opposite gender parent modeling
- modeling in multiple children families
- comparisons across age groups
- format modeling
I think I’ll have to look over the articles I have some more before I decide.
I ended up observing a really fascinating program for the observation assignment. Since we’re writing a paper over it, I won’t go into too many details of the program here, but I can give the basic gist. It combines reading practice for kids with the use of therapy pets. I thought the collaboration of the library and the pet therapy agency was such a great partnership. It really brought the light the idea that we can look outside the field for ideas for research and programming.
The library field is one that’s both steeped in tradition and ever-changing. It was really innovative to take traditional reading practice and find a new way to improve that. They’ve based this program on both research on literacy practices and pet therapy. Collaborating with other disciplines, gathering information from research that might not be the obvious choice, and constantly looking at the library and information fields from new directions is the way to keep those fields best serving the population.