“I have been to schools where teachers are concerned about the literacy of students. A secondary school teacher told me that the reading skills of the students were at primary school level. What happens when they start studying?”, asks author Annette Münch.
Münch is known for her novels on the tough youth environment; she released her latest novel,Dropout, in the spring of 2018. She believes that young people need good reading skills to do well in school.
“When students are in high school, and even in further education, it can be a difficult and time consuming process is they do not already have good reading skills developed from a young age. Without good reading skills it can become increasingly difficult for people to express themselves in writing, and those who have poor reading skills are also likely to opt-out of reading and understanding the news which is important for public debate”.
Books make us less alone
In addition to contributing to subjects that are useful in school contexts and in the social debates, books also help to develop empathetic abilities, she says.
“Books give us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the feelings of others and to know how others are. It makes us understand the world around us better. Many can also feel less alone through reading, when they find that others read as well.”
The chance of choosing the wrong book is great
Every single librarian is very important. They can provide personalized advice and follow-up, and find books that fit the students’ interests and reading skills.
“The chance of choosing the wrong book is very big, and you might be left with the feeling that “books are not for me”. I think it’s incredibly sad with those who haven’t experienced not being able to put down a book. To eat, sleep, everything must give way to a book you have been sucked into. The school librarian can contribute to the students’ first major literary experience,” she says.
Münch believes we need librarians who make exciting exhibitions, come up with recommendations, and enter the classrooms to present news. We need them to communicate a commitment to books.
School libraries must inspire
Old, narrow libraries ares uninspiring, Münch thinks she is more tempted to read in the bookstore where there is good lighting, tables and nice exhibitions.
“In schools it is especially important to use the resources in the libraries. Students must want to read books, so that there is no need for a librarian to be there every other Tuesday, but to be there every day. I’ve been to high schools where the libraries have the best location, high ceilings, great furniture- like a cafe but with lots of books. It clearly it motivates people to use them,” says Münch.
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